Cinco de Mayo, the commemoration of Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, is much more popular in the United States than in Mexico, and that means you don’t have to take a trip to celebrate.
Whether they typically serve Mexican fare or not, the city’s bars and restaurants offer specials on tacos, tequila, and other Mexican specialties, as well as music, games, and giveaways.
All events take place on May 5 unless otherwise stated, although many celebrations take place throughout the week.
The restaurant is offering a special version of its $80 Patron margarita tower from May 5-8, with red, white and green drinks to form the colors of the Mexican flag. 1177 N. Elston Ave., 773-770-3766, azulmariscos.com
Listen to the mariachi starting at 6 p.m. on April 30 and May 5. On May 3, $2.95 tacos will be on offer as well as table magic from 6-9 p.m. For all three days, you can order a flight of $29 margaritas with strawberry, coconut, and cucumber varieties representing the red. , white and green of the Mexican flag. You will also have a chance to win Takito swag. 201 N. Morgan St., 312-888-9485, bartakito.com
Week-long specials include $5 tacos on May 3, $5 nachos on May 4, and $5 burritos on May 5. Offer is limited to one per person per day. Locations vary, burritobeach.com
Kick off your celebration on April 30 with a “Refresh Your Cinco Fiesta” from noon to 4 p.m. with a DJ, cornhole, and beer pot on the patio. Follow @cruzblancachi on Instagram for a chance to win beer, swag and other prizes from May 1-5. Check back on May 5 for canned releases of Paloma Grapefruit Season and Pachamama Tropical Lager. Both beers will be available on tap or in a four-pack of 16-ounce cans. 904 W. Randolph St., 312-733-1975, brewpub.cruzblanca.com
Share an order of lamb barbacoa roasted in banana leaves and served with pickled onions and corn tortillas ($38). 730 W. Grand Ave., 312-243-8955, the-dawson.com
Fuse Japanese and Mexican dishes and you have Carnitas Osaka, a savory pancake made with crispy pork shoulder, carrots and bonito flakes ($20) available May 2-9. 950 W. Lake St., 312-265-1348, gaijinchicago.com
Order shrimp tacos and you’ll get a free margarita shot. Locations vary, thehamptonsocial.com
The bakery’s pastry and savory teams team up to make pork, chorizo, egg and diced potato empanadas ($6.75) or roasted poblanos, beans and chihuahua ($6). For something sweet, pick up a four-pack of dulce de leche whoopie pies for $13. 1733 Central St., Evanston, 847-869-4396; hewnbread.com
Buy a taco order on Cinco de Mayo and you’ll get a voucher for a free taco order in the Gold Coast bar’s late-night Taco Alley window until the end of June. Pair them with an Avocado Margarita ($17), Spicy Watermelon ($14) or Chocolate Glaze ($16) offered May 5. Taco Alley will also be offering free tacos to everyone from 11 p.m. to midnight on May 7. 15 W. Division St., 312-600-9816, hopsmithchicago.com
The restaurant celebrates all month with a menu of summer drinks made with Calirosa tequila, including a cucumber margarita and a Mexican mule. Order one from 4-8 p.m. on May 5 and you’ll also be treated to a Calirosa tequila tasting. 71 E. Wacker Drive, 312-346-7100, sonesta.com
Catch a set by DJ Rudy de Anda from 7-11 p.m. while sampling agave flights and new seasonal dishes. 740 W. Randolph St., 312-929-2900, lajosie.com
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Choose from beer-breaded whitefish tacos with homemade poblano corn relish, grilled chicken breast tacos with homemade pico de gallo, or grilled steak tacos with cilantro and diced onions for $12. All three platters come with tortilla chips, pico de gallo and salsa verde. Pair them with a $4 bottle of Corona. Specials are available May 1-5. 1801 Division Street West, 773-782-4400, macswoodgrilled.com
A fiesta that runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. includes two drinks, a chips and salsa station, Loteria games, and a DJ for $20. Additional specials include $4 Corona Extra, $5 Corona Hard Seltzer, and $6 Tito’s cocktails. 1419 N. Wells St., 312-477-2800, oldtownpourhouse.com
Pair a carne asada pizza made with grilled steak, queso fresco, black beans and guacamole ($28) with a $10 margarita or a $24 bucket of six Modelos. 465 N. McClurg Court, 312-265-1328, robertspizzacompany.com
All four locations offer margarita specialties including an $11 prickly pear margarita, a $12 pineapple ginger margarita, and a $10 classic margarita. Locations vary, timothyotooles.com
Mexican-inspired specials include a $13 steak taco dinner, a $10 steak burrito, $3 cans of Tecate, and $5 Sun King Brewery Mexican Pachanga beers. 2159 W. Chicago Ave., 773-782-1400, tumanstapandgrill.com
The fast-casual chain is offering a special Steak Milanese taco ($5.95) from May 4-10 with breaded steak, avocado, red chili aioli and pickled fresnos. Tag a friend in the comments on the Velvet Taco Instagram page on May 5 for a chance to win a margarita night including 24 tacos and a red velvet cake. Locations vary, velvettaco.com
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