Cinco de Mayo Dining and Drinking Guide 2015

Cinco de Mayo is the time to go nuts with tequila and tortillas, and Chicago's got its fair share of both in limitless iterations. Here's where to eat and drink on Cinco de Mayo:


Get your margarita on at Ay Chiwowa
Get your margarita on at Ay Chiwowa

Ay Chiwowa: Considering River North's Ay Chiwowa has the festive look and feel of the inside of a piñata, the bar and restaurant is an ideal destination for all your Cinco de Mayo revelry. Tequila, tacos, and other Mexican street dishes are the name of the game all day and all night come May 5. Ay Chiwowa is offering 50% off all margaritas and $5 Coronas from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m. With kegged cocktails clocking in at 13, 24, 56, and 90 oz. sizes, there's no shortage of booze to be had, from the pineapple- and vanilla-splashed Margarita Piña to the Paloma Superior awash with Pamplemousse Rose, grapefruit, and honey-ginger syrup. For food, sweet corn elotes, queso fundido, tacos, and the hamburguesa made with chorizo-infused beef are all perfect fuel for a night of frivolity. 

Tokio Pub: No better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than with 9.5 hours of non-stop tacos. Tokio Pub is commemorating the raucous holiday with $1 tacos all day long, from 11:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., with options ranging from crispy chicken and crying tiger shrimp to crispy fish and nacho tacos. Additionally, the Schaumburg restaurant will feature special yuzu and pineapple margaritas for $5. 

Mercadito: For Mercadito, Cinco de Mayo is a holiday worth celebrating. Chef Patricio Sandoval kicks off festivities with a Cinco de Mayo cooking demo on May 4. Designed to showcase Cinco de Mayo history and flavors, as well as provide ideas for the perfect Cinco de Mayo fiesta at home, the lesson features five courses paired with cocktails and costs $60 per person. Then on Cinco de Mayo, Mercadito will be offering food and drink specials, along with a live DJ.  

Hash House A Go Go: One or two margaritas are never enough. That's why Hash House A Go Go is rolling out an array of specialty margaritas for Cinco de Mayo, which are even more delicious when sipped on the State Street patio. In addition to the strawberry-lemonade margarita and lime margarita, Hash House will feature strawberry-basil margaritas, Hillcrest margaritas with cucumber, and jalapeno-watermelon margaritas. 

Cactus Bar and Grill: Did somebody say, "Cinco de Mayo Social Hour"? Well I just did. Let me elucidate. Cactus Bar and Grill is the perfect after-work spot in the Loop on May 5, featuring a Cinco de Mayo Social Hour with Don Julio Tequila from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. During this exceedingly happy happy hour, guests can partake in $7 Don Julio margaritas and cocktails, including margaritas and palomas. Don Julio reps will be in attendance to dole out margarita samples as well, and hang out Don Julio swag. 

Taco Joint: A restaurant named Taco Joint seems like the perfect destination to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. You'll find perfection indeed at either of the two locations, both celebrating the boisterous holiday with margarita, cerveza, and tequila specials. This means $5 off all bottles of Taco Joint margaritas and $5 "beer 'n' tequila shot" specials, aka a can of Modelo Especial with a shot of chilled El Jimador blanco tequila. 

Kanela Breakfast Club: Cinco de Mayo may be filled with tequila and tacos, but it's important to start the day right. In other words, head to Kanela Breakfast Club for a chorizo- and corn-packed breakfast quesdilla on May 5. The restaurants will also feature housemade margarita specials for $5 each or $25 per pitcher. 

- Matt Kirouac