Mexican immigration to Chicago has been documented since the mid to late 1900s.  According to a 1928 article by Anita Edgar Jones, Mexican immigrants began to arrive in larger numbers by the late 1920s, first establishing themselves in the Near West Side's Hull House, Back of the Yards' University of Chicago Settlement House, South Chicago, and East Chicago, Indiana.  Wherever Mexicans settled in Chicagoland, they established businesses which invoked Tenochtitlan and their ties to the Valley of Mexico. For example, in 1958 the Chicago Tribune highlighted Federico Camacho, a Oaxacan immigrant who came to Chicago in 1946 and opened Cafe Azteca on North Avenue 11 years after settling in the city.

Perhaps the most successful of these businesses in Chicago Mexican history is Azteca Foods. Founded in 1970 by Arturo Velasquez, his wife Joanne, and members of Pilsen’s Azteca Lions Club, Azteca Foods started by selling tortillas and eventually grew into a production company selling over $30 million in tortilla chips, salad shells, and refrigerated tortillas sold in 25 states by 1992. A successful businessman, the City Colleges of Chicago named one of their facilities after Arturo Velasquez located at 2800 S. Western Avenue.

Additional Information

32. Azteca Foods (5005 S. Nagle Avenue, Chicago, IL 60638)

33. Aztec Supply Corporation (5024 W. 67th Street, Chicago, IL 60638)

34. Azteca Tacos - Ghost Sign (1836 S. Blue Island, Chicago, IL 60608)

35. El Azteca (4158 W. Armitage Avenue, Chicago, IL 60639)

36. El Azteca Mexican Restaurant (5011 W. Fullerton Avenue, Chicago, IL 60639)

37. El Taco Azteca (2151 W. Cermak Road, Chicago, IL 60608)

38. Tenoch Auto Sales (5300 S. Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60609 - Permanently Closed)

39. Tenochtitlan Bar & Grill (2451 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647 - Permanently Closed)

Real Tenochtitlan was a chic mexican restaurant serving mole, seared duck breast, and other upscale takes on Mexican cuisine. Located in Logan Square, it once hosted a fundraiser for then Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez. The restaurant is now closed but the liquor license lives on, now doing business as Paulie Gee's Logan Square. 

Additional Information: Review of Real Tenochtitlan, Time Out Chicago, September 2008

40. Supermercado Cuauhtemoc (2506 S. Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60623)

Mobile-friendly map