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Taco Joint
Photograph: Martha Williams Taco Joint

Cinco de Mayo events in Chicago

From live music to great deals on tacos, salsa and margaritas, here's where to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

By Elizabeth Atkinson

Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico's victory against the French in the 1862 Battle of Puebla, but American celebrations are mostly of the eating and drinking variety. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with traditional dishes at Mexican restaurants, Chicago's best tacos, plenty of tequila and the best margaritas in Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Cinco de Mayo in Chicago

Cinco de Mayo events in Chicago

Photograph: Donna Rickles


Restaurants Latin American West Loop

Mariachi bands and margaritas are the stars of Carnivale's Cinco de Mayo celebration. There will also be a taco station with $2.50 tacos and a cigar roller, if you have the inclination. Drink specials include an $8 classic margarita and $8 El Diablo, with reposado, pomegranate, ginger beer and lime.


Restaurants Contemporary American Bridgeport

Enjoy a multi-course Mexican dinner at Nana for Cinco de Mayo, with dishes like kingfish ceviche and cochinita pibil. The dinner is four courses with pairings and is $35 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 312-929-2486.

Photograph: Colin Beckett

Cantina Laredo

Restaurants Mexican River North

In addition to the already long menu of margs this joint has, it'll be slinging a few special drinks just for the holiday, like the Cinco 'Rita, with Silver Cabo Wabo, Hornitos, Cazadores, Herradura, Giro, Cointreau, lime juice and agave or the Verde Infusion 'Rita, with cucumber-infused Montelobos Mezcal with Milagro Silver, fresh lime juice and agave.

Photograph: Martha Williams

Taco Joint

Restaurants Mexican Lincoln Park

Taco Joint will offer $5 off of all margaritas by the bottle and a $5 beer and tequila shot, with a can of Modelo Especial and a shot of El Jimador blanco tequila.

Photograph: Martha Williams


Restaurants Mexican River North

Learn a little at Mercadito this Cinco de Mayo, with a fiesta-themed cooking demonstration. Five courses will be paired with five beverages, and you'll know how to replicate them at home afterwards. The demonstration is $60 per person and reservations can be made by calling 312-329-9555.

Photograph: Jason Little


Restaurants Contemporary American River West/West Town

Hop on a trolley between Frontier, Lottie's Pub and the Pony Inn and enjoy drink specials like $3.50 Dos Equis and tacos. Start at Lottie's (the trolley crawl headquarters) for a Don Julio brand meet and greet and then head to the Pony Inn, where the MP3 Amigos will be playing all night long. Did we mention the trolley's free?


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