It’s Cinco de Mayo, a holiday celebrating the Mexican militia defeat of the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. In honor of the battle and spring what better way to celebrate than with a Margarita and some Mexican cuisine. Frozen or on the rocks, in a glass or poured from a pitcher here are some Windy City favorites.
Frontera/Topolobampa. We in Chicago are lucky to have Rick Bayless, in our city. He has been here since 1987, almost a quarter of a century, creating contemporary regional Mexican food and beverages. His restaurants continue to be popular with sometimes as much as a six week wait to get reservations. Lunch and bar seats are easier to come by. When you go ask for a “Topolos.” 445 N. Clark. 312 661 1434.
Salpicon offers a choice of over 100 tequilas to have in your Margarita or have the House Margurita with Herradura Silver, very good. 1252 N. Wells. 312 988 7811.
Salud offers a choice of more than 75 premium tequilas. 1471 Milwaukee Ave. 773 235 5577. CLOSED
Zocalo is offering Cinco de Mayo specials including $5 margaritas. and the patio opens today. 358 W. Ontario. 312 302 9977. CLOSED
Adobo Grill makes a good Margarita that goes well with their fresh guacamole made tableside. 1610 N. Wells. 312 266 7999.
El Jardin, a popular Wrigleyville hangout, Cubs or not–is a great place to sit outside, order a pitcher and enjoy. Regulars say the buzz comes a little quicker from El Jardin margaritas. 3355 N. Clark, 773 528 6775. Sadly, CLOSED
Big Star, the relatively new Bucktown spot (opened November 2009) in the old Pontiac space is getting pretty good press and is about to do even better with the combo of warm weather and opening of their huge outdoor patio. Inside, expect a raw look–concrete floor, wooden booths and exposed light bulbs. The prices are reasonable, the tacos and tostadas are from sous chef at Avec and the prices are good. Cash only, but for your convenience there is an ATM right by the door. 1531 N. Damen. 773 235 4039.
At Lalo’s try the mango margarita. They offer a “gallery” of margaritas and reasonable prices. Lalo’s has eleven Chicago area locations. In the city there are Lalo’s at 500 N. LaSalle, 733 W. Maxwell St., 4126 W. 26th and 1960 N. Clybourn.
Fuego Mexican Grill and Margarita Bar celebrates Cinco de Mayo with a Mexican fiesta featuring Live Mariachis, Tequila Samplers and Mexican cuisine. 2047 N. Milwaukee. 773 252 1122. CLOSED
JUST OPENED TACO FUEGO (April 26) is offering a one-day only special for Cinco de Mayo. They are offering FIVE different dishes, each with a play off of the number five (skirt steak, chorizo, chicken, shrimp and tilapia). 1648 W. Belmont Ave. CLOSED
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