Tomorrow marks Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday honoring the passing of loved ones. To join in the celebrations, Mexican restaurants and bars across NYC are stocking up on sugar skulls.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Day of the Dead celebrations
The Black Ant
Get in the Halloween and Día de Muertos spirit at this insect-loving East Village cantina. Wash down dishes from chef Mario Hernandez, such as croquetas de chapulin, grasshopper tacos and macarons sprinkled with ant powder, with Day of the Dead cocktails rimmed with worm salt. 60 Second Ave (212-598-0300, theblackantnyc.com)
Served through November 2nd, Day of the Dead specials at this Mexican chain include pumpkin tamales with cranberry-jalapeño, short ribs in mole negro with spaghetti squash, and flan flavored with coffee and Kahlúa. Dos Camino will also have live DJ sets, face painters and sweets, as well as a $75 cooking class with executive chef Ivy Stark to teach you how to make traditional Mexican specialties like sikil pak (a Yucatecan pumpkinseed dip) and mucbi pollo (a chicken tamale pie). 675 Hudson St (212-699-2400, doscaminos.com)
Taking influence from the culinary traditions of Tlaxcala, chef-owner Roberto Santibanez will highlight chilies, herbs and ingredients from Mexico’s smallest state at this four-course dinner ($70 per person). Offered at Fonda's Chelsea location on November 2nd (the items will be available as a la carte specials at the other locations through November 13), the multicourse menu includes dishes like potato gorditas with cotija, green mole with braised pork, and a compote of Mexican purple sweet potato with roasted pineapple and guava sauce. 189 Ninth Ave (917-525-5252, fondarestaurant.com)
At all locations of Toloache and Tacuba until November 2nd, chef Julian Medina is offering a street-food–inspired holiday menu with items like steamed lamb shank in banana leaves, a tamal Veracruzano and pumpkin creme brûlée with cinnamon bunuelos (fried dough balls). 251 W 50th St (212-581-1818, toloachenyc.com) Book here and save 35% at Toloache.
It's fitting that this coastal Mexican spot is celebrating Día de Muertos—co-owner, Placido Domingo, voiced a character in the Day of the Dead–themed animated film, Book of Life. For this year's holiday, the restaurant is celebrating with a $75 Ofrenda De Muertos prix-fixe, featuring plates like zucchini flower soup, pulled pork tamales and black mole chicken, along with a mezcal-and-blackberry La Catrina cocktail. The space will be decorated with sugar skulls, flowers and, yes, even chocolate-covered crickets. 209 E 49th St (212-751-4545, richardsandoval.com/pampano)
At both locations (Hell’s Kitchen and Tribeca) of the tequila-charged Mexican resto will kick off Day of the Dead celebrations from 7pm to 9pm on Tuesday, November 1st with food-and-drink specials, sugar-skull face-painting and Mexican music. 668 Tenth Ave (212-920-4770, anejonyc.com)