Skip to Content

TLO Restaurant Review: El Chilango

9:49 AM EDT on June 28, 2023

Let me get this straight – You are telling me El Chilango, 4536 S Pennsylvania Ave., is a world-class taqueria and has an appreciation of luchador culture?

¡Hijo de la chingada! Sign me up!

I have been to many restaurants in the state of Oklahoma this year and – on accounts of authentic taste, general rapport, and, of course, psychotronic ephemera – El Chilango is the best eatery I've been to in 2023, 2024, and probably 2025.

Located outside a shopping center near SW 44th, underneath a sign that's surrounded by faces of brawny luchadors, it's unassuming at first, but walking in, you bask in the shine of its hallowed orange walls, feeling the gaze of works of art that pay homage to the likes of El Santo, Blue Demon, and surprisingly, the Rock.

I recently stopped by in the midst of a lunch rush around noon, and with musica blaring from the radio, there was a steady stream of patrons coming in and out, all wanting trademarked tacos and other non-traditional Mexican eats.

We grabbed a table and I was furiously pinned down by a gracious horchata—seriously, it’s fabulous—and, to a count of three, we were fully exposed to the mas sabor of El Chilango with the gratis chips and an array of salsas and hot sauce.

For the main courses, my hermosa gringa had three tacos – al pastor, carnitas, and my absolute favorite, barbacoa, all arranged on the plate with seared jalapenos, roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes, and three cut limes, just to be safe.

Spiked with different taste sensations and feelings, with so many onions and so much cilantro, they were gorgeous in presentation and, as I soon learned, flavor. Manhandled by a slightly crispy corn tortilla, they were all fenomenal, especially the barbacoa, as I predicted.

My own order of tacos started and ended with the swell tripe taco; the sweating meat on the corn tortilla was surrounded by onions and cilantro, as well as peppers, potatoes, and even more gillied onions. With the stomach giving way, it was more than was ¡increíble!

With the outlandish taco out of the way, I dug in on the crown jewel, the Quesadilla Chilonga ($5.99), a folded corn tortilla, pressed with ample cheese and a serving of huitlacoche—a “sporous fungus that feeds off corn before its ears fully develop”.


I have had it before in South Texas and Mexico, but to find huitlacoche here in Oklahoma City, in a bubbling quesadilla for $5.99, brought incredible joy to my Mexican food journey, and my own life. I felt like I was holding a title belt at one of best taco trucks south of the border, not a little restaurant on SW 44th and Penn.  

Basically, I was in Heaven. And for the luchador memorabilia…that’s the glaseado on the pastel. More than ever, Cómpralo ya!


Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for clicking!

Please provide your email address to read for free.

See all subscription options

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter