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La Vaca Margarita Bar

Bars, Cocktail bars Lower West Side
3 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
La Vaca Margarita Bar
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

This airy, clubby Pilsen spot with lacquered concrete floors and TVs pulsing with Latin music videos is actually better known for its margaritas. But the michelada is a spicy, traditional-style sleeper. You pick your beer (Sol, Pacifico, Modelo, Negro Modelo or Victoria) and your heat level (mild or spicy, though both deliver a punch). It arrives in a massive, frosty mug that fits your whole beer at once, making it an inarguable bargain at $4.25. The Bloody Mary-esque flavor is balanced, savory and tingly from a good douse of hot sauce. The intense chili powder, lime and salt rim will numb your lips but keep you coming back, like a glutton for fiery punishment.


Venue name: La Vaca Margarita Bar
Address: 1160 W 18th St
Opening hours: Mon-Wed 4-10pm, Thu 4-11pm, Fri 1pm-2am, Sat 9am-3am, Sun 9am-11pm
Transport: El stop: Pink to 18th. Bus: 18, 60.
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Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

The food gets 5 stars - the service gets 2. I've been to La Vaca enough times now that this is a common theme (they always seem to be understaffed). If you can look past the service, I'd encourage you to at least check it out for "Taco Tuesday" or "Donald Trump Wednesday." The patio is open in the summer with a live DJ, and the surrounding area (in Pilsen) is fun to check out. Plus, margaritas and a patio? ... I'll go back. 


I wish I could give this place more stars! The food and drinks were delicious, and reasonably priced but the service was terrible! The queso fundido is simple but delicious, the salsas were fresh and flavorful, and the tacos were delicious all on good, thick, homemade tortillas. If you're willing to put up with the service try the chicharron taco, the texture and flavors were by far my favorite of everything we ordered.