Cinco de Mayo celebrations 2012

Photo Courtesy of Moonshine Brewing Company

Unsure of how you'll be celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year? Check out these Chicago places honoring “The Day of the Battle of Puebla" with libations and hot Latin-inspired beats.

Cactus Bar and Grill
Starting at 11am on May 4, Cactus Bar and Grill in the Financial District is hosting a pre-cinco party with $4 Pacifico drafts, $5 12-ounce margaritas, $5 Patron Silver shots, $20 buckets of Corona and Corona Light and plenty of Mexican-inspired dishes. DJ Andrew Vonn will start spinning festive music at 4pm and the staff will be dressed in sombreros and ponchos. Expect piñatas.
(Cactus Bar and Grill, 404 S Wells St, 312-922-3830,

Mahoney’s Pub & Grill

For their annual “Cinco de Ogden” party on May 4, Mahoney’s is offering live music from the Funky Monks and no cover charge.
(Mahoney’s Pub & Grill, 551 N Ogden Ave, 312-733-2121,

The Cinco de Mayo party starts at 11:30am at Mercadito with specialty cocktails, mariachi performances throughout the day and dancers and DJs at night. A family-style menu of guacamoles, salsas, tacos, sides and dessert is available for $40 before 9pm, and $50 after. A cooking demonstration is available April 24 for those who are celebrating the Mexican holiday at home. Chef Patricio Sandoval will share authentic recipes of Poblano cuisine, like mole poblano, at 6:30pm.
(Mercadito, 108 W Kinzie St, 312-329-9555,

CHAOS Brew Club

A $20 donation online, or $25 at the door, gets guests artesian beers, authentic Mexican food, a raffle with beer-themed prizes, a "best guacamole" contest and live entertainment from Acustico (world Latin music pulled from Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, and America) from 6–11pm.
(CHAOS Brew Club, 1329 W Grand Ave, 773-991-9318,

Zest Bistro

Enjoy lunch and dinner specials of $5 margaritas, $15 buckets of Corona and $5 fish tacos at this Downers Grove spot.
(Zest Bistro, 935 W Burlington Ave, Downers Grove, 630-969-9869,

Barrio Urban Taqueria

From 11am to 11pm, Barrio is featuring the beats of DJ Lugo, DJ Omar Perez, DJ Impact and a live Spanish guitarist, Evan Christian. Shots of Tanteo Tropical and Tanteo Jalapeño with a sangrita back are offered at $5 each.
(Barrio Urban Taqueria, 714 W Diversey Pkwy, 773-360-8316,

Moonshine Brewing Company
There’s no cover and lots of outdoor seating at Moonshine’s once-a-year Taco Bar featuring $2 tacos and an outside grill cooking skirt steak and chicken. Soak up mint julep and margarita specials (it's Kentucky Derby day, too, after all), $5 hand-crafted beers all day and night, live mariachi players from 6pm to 8pm and DJ Greg Bauer and DJ Ryan Ross spinning Latin-inspired beats after 8pm.
(Moonshine Brewing Company, 1824 W Division St, 773-862-8686,

Nacional 27

Enjoy drinks, dinner and dancing at Nacional 27 from 5pm to 3am on Cinco de Mayo. Snack on half-priced tacos and empanadas in the lounge area from 5pm to 7pm or sit down for special Cinco de Mayo prix fixe menu by Chef Chico Vilchez ($29.95 per person) and sultry Latin beats spun by DJ X from 7pm to 11pm. After dinner, special guest DJ Rich Era keeps the beats going until 3am.
(Nacional 27, 325 W Huron St, 312-664-2727,

She-nannigans House of Beer

On top of a roaming mariachi band entertaining everyone along the pubs and clubs on Division street near the Viagra Triangle, She-nannigans will host a live broadcast from B96 from 6–10pm as part of a “Cinco Division” celebration.
(She-nannigans House of Beer, 16 W Division St, 312-642-2344,

Trolley crawl: Lottie’s Pub, The Pony and Frontier
Three trolleys (complete with Dos Equis promotional girls) stocked with Dos Equis beer and Maestro Dobel Tequila will travel between Lottie’s Pub, The Pony and Frontier for Pioneer Tavern Group’s second annual Cinco de Mayo Dos Equis Trolley Crawl. The trolley is free; pick-up will begin at each location at 7pm, and circles among the three bars until midnight. Each location will have a featured drink: $5 tequila shots, $3.50 Dos Equis and more. Sign up at Lottie’s or The Pony.
(Lottie’s Pub, 1925 W Cortland St, 773-489-0738,
(The Pony, 1638 W Belmont Ave, 773-828-5055,
(Frontier, 1072 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-772-4322,

Executive Chef David Dworshak is preparing a Cinco de Mayo menu, including squash-blossom soup, whole fried fish Veracruzana style, whole roasted suckling pig and crispy soft shell crabs.
(Carnivale, 702 W Fulton St, 312-850-5005,

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