In 1862, the Mexican army defeated the French in the Battle of Puebla. Now, we celebrate that victory on May fifth every year with delicious Mexican food and, of course, margaritas (in moderation, please).
Celebrate Cinco De Mayo ATL Style
With the arrival of patio weather, a margarita is just the thing so, head to these Atlanta bars and restaurants for Cinco de Mayo.
There is no better place for Oaxacan cuisine in Atlanta than Casi Cielo. Everything from the appetizers to the main courses is carefully put together and the presentation is extremely Insta-worthy. The menu has lots of vegetarian options including the huitlacoche (Mexican truffle) quesadilla, portobello tacos, and the cauliflower al josper with piperrada. Other specialties include carnitas with mole negro, charcoal prawns with green chili habanero oil, and tuetano which is roast beef marrow bone and lamb with chimichurri served with tortillas. Casi Cielo has nearly 50 different tequilas including a few ultra-premium options. Off the cocktail menu, the "Chilerita Margarita" uses silver tequila, framboise, muddled orange, and gets a grasshopper salt rim.
Bone Garden Cantina
Beyond having a stellar name, Bone Garden Cantina also has out-of-this-world food and drinks. The place is off the beaten path and filled with colorful Mexican Day of the Dead folk art. Each dish is made from scratch daily and many of the tequilas and mezcals available come from small, family-owned distilleries that the owners have personally visited. The menu is huge and filled with Mexican favorites including tamales, tacos, empanadas, enchiladas, quesadillas, and burritos. There are plenty of vegetarian options for those avoiding meat. There are a whopping 13 margarita options. Feel the burn with the "Hot Chile Margarita" which is infused with habanero peppers. The "Southern Hospitality Margarita" combines agave spirits using reposado tequila and mezcal, peach, and fresh lime.
Red Pepper Taqueria
Nothing says Cinco de Mayo like a tray of delicious tacos and an ice cold marg. Red Pepper Taqueria serves some of the freshest Mexican food in Atlanta. There are 10 tacos available and the taco duo option allows guests to mix and match two with a side of rice and beans. Tacos are affordable at $4 a pop and come in creative flavors like blackened shrimp with kale slaw and avocado ranch. Or, keep it classic with carne asada and al pastor. The house frozen margarita can be flavored six different ways including watermelon and prickly pear. The "Sandy Tropical" is just right for spring weather with tequila, lime, hibiscus, and mint. Visit any of the three Atlanta-area locations for a delicious meal.
Guac y Margys
Guac y Margys is a margarita bar on the beltline. The "GYM," as it's lovingly nicknamed, uses the taco as a creative outlet and the menu rotates seasonally (sometimes daily). Start with the famous guacamole or black bean dip (pro tip: dips are half off on Wednesdays and guess what Cinco de Mayo is this year...a Wednesday!). Current taco offerings include roasted pork, shredded chicken, and pinto bean. There are 17 different margaritas on the menu and they all come in single, double, or pitcher sizes. The punny "Cool Hand Cuke" uses cucumber and jalapeño-infused tequila and the "Forever, Forever Ever?" infuses tequila with fresh blueberries. Bring the whole quaran-team and order up a pitcher.
No Mas! Cantina
No Mas! Cantina's owners live in Mexico half the year to ensure that it's serving downtown Atlanta the most authentic food possible. The main dining room has 350 seats (less seating now due to COVID restrictions) and more than 80 tequilas. The street corn bocados (fried corn fritters) pack a little heat and come with a tangy sauce. The chile relleno dish stuffs four cheeses into a poblano pepper before battering it, frying it up, and serving with salsa crema, poblano rice, and refried beans. There are lots of fresh and frozen margarita flavors to choose from including coconut, peach, guava, and tart passion fruit. If you're not driving, order a "Margarona," a frozen margarita with a Corona (the beer, not the virus) upended inside.
Nuevo Lardeo Cantina
Since 1992, Nuevo Laredo Cantina has been dishing up authentic Mexican cuisine. Since this eatery is only open for lunch, it's a great place to start the Cinco de Mayo festivities. Two words: lobster quesadilla. Get it. You'll thank us. The tortas are typical lunch staples served on freshly baked bread with your choice of meat and then piled high with tomatoes, avocado, jalapeño, lettuce, beans, onion, and smoky chipotle mayo. There are plenty of vegetarian options and even a small children's menu for picky eaters. All five of the house margaritas, whether fresh or frozen, come in single or pitcher sizing. Add your favorite flavors like strawberry, prickly pear, or mango!