Cinco de Mayo may not be celebrated widely in Mexico, but Chicago sure knows how to honor the Battle of Puebla. Celebrate Mexico’s heritage at a number of restaurants throughout the Windy City serving up Mexican cuisine and occasionally even some festive music. Drinks at all five of these hotspots are also flowing freely.
108 W. Kinzie St.
Chicago, IL 60654
Get in the holiday spirit with a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta cooking demonstration with Chef Sandoval on April 28 and 29, 2014. Not only will you eat five delicious courses that he’s prepared in front of you, but also enjoy five beverage pairings for $55 per guest. Would you rather celebrate the holiday just by dining out? You can do that too with everything from hefty servings of guacamole to ceviches, tacos and “platos fuertes,” which are plates piled high with traditional dishes, such as chile rellenos and enchiladas. Mercadito also features an extensive tequila menu.
El Mariachi Tequila Bar & Grill
3906 N. Broadway Ave.
Chicago, IL 60613
Tableside guacamole isn’t the only thing this rustic and laid-back Wrigleyville restaurant has going for it. Live mariachi music may also keep you entertained while you imbibe from its list of tequilas (more than 150 kinds), beers and cocktails, including, of course, margaritas. The celebration isn’t complete without some food, and you’ll have choices aplenty, from carne dishes to authentic Mexican favorites.
4760 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
Let the margaritas flow at this popular Lincoln Square restaurant. Not only can you choose from a handful of flavors, including mango, pineapple, coconut and pineapple, but you can grab a pitcher of margaritas and you’ll even be served the margarita “overflow” when the glasses are delivered to your table. Pair these delicious drinks with an array of traditional dishes, from quesadillas to fajitas, and you definitely won’t go home hungry.
Related: Best Mexican Restaurants In Chicago
1531 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
Named the best taqueria by the Chicago Reader numerous times, this Wicker Park hotspot is the place to be on Cinco De Mayo. The crowd will most definitely overflow from the patio onto the sidewalk as numerous people clamor for whiskey and tequila, as well as the mouthwatering tacos (pork belly, pork shoulder, chicken, tilapia, to name a few) and a handful of other dishes. The menu might be a short one, but the flavors are big. Just plan to arrive early — and stay late.
702 W. Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60661
This West Loop hotspot may be festive year round with its colorful decor, but it also makes for a fabulous Cinco de Mayo celebration. Nosh on Nuevo Latino cuisine made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, and enjoy your pick from a number of cocktails, tequilas and rums. Cachaca, a different kind of rum, is also available. It may hail from Brazil, but it’s sure to liven up your Cinco de Mayo festivities too. Latin music too will keep you in the mood.
Related: Best Tortas in Chicago
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s scribbling novels, and TV show reviews and recaps. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.