On May 5, people all over Mexico and the United States head to their favorite Mexican restaurant to celebrate Cinco De Mayo, a holiday that commemorates the cause of Mexican freedom during the American Civil War. Today it is widely known as a celebration of Mexican heritage, pride and food.
I’ve made my own tamales before, and let me tell you one thing – I will leave it to the professionals from now on. While I love tacos, quesadillas and a heaping bowl of guacamole, there’s something about authentic Mexican food that I cannot achieve at home. Besides, this national holiday will be celebrated at the restaurants I list below, so get out and have some fun with a margarita in one hand and a taco in the other.
La Margarita in Fountain Square – A hip spot that has only been around for a few years, La Margarita is known for their top notch margaritas and quesadillas. Now that the weather is nice, you will want to snag a relaxing seat on the large patio out front.
Bakersfield on Mass Ave – The limited menu shows they provide only what they know best – tacos and tequila. Order a pitcher of margaritas, chips and salsa and relax after you get your table as this Mass Ave newcomer is a happening, busy hot spot. Swing by on Cinco De Mayo to see their brand new patio.
Adobo on Washington Street – Noted for the fresh guacamole made right at your table, Adobo’s atmosphere is just as vibrant as their food. This is a great option for any special occasion you may be celebrating.
The Tamale Place in City Market – Tamales are tricky and time consuming to create at home, so let this restaurant do the work for you. Regular tamales are 1/2 pound, but you can order 3 minis to sample different meat and vegetarian flavors.
Tortas Guicho in Fountain Square – What’s unique about this restaurant are their authentic tortas, which look like sandwiches full of Mexican flavor, piled so high that you may have difficulty biting into them. Salsa, nuts and spicy pickled veggies are a free perk to any meal.
Revolucion in Fountain Square – Described as a tiki bar with “better-than-bar food,” Revolucion is definitely an experience you do not want to miss. Try any of the fun sauces with funky labels on your table to make your meal unique to you.
Biscuits Cafe in Broad Ripple – When I ride my bike on the Monon Trail and pass this place, the smells from the kitchen grab my nose and try to steer my bike towards the rack so I can walk in and grab some tacos. The name may be misleading, but the authentic Mexican food is not.
LaChinita Poblano – Their Asian-inspired skirt steak taco was voted by Food Network as Indianapolis’ #1 taco, which is quite the stamp of approval. Located on the Monon Trail, this restaurant has limited seating, as if it is suggested that you grab your meal and head out to the trail to walk it off.
Tacos 46 on High School Road – It may feel like fast food service when tacos are served in lined red baskets and are only $2 a piece, but you’ll savor the extra time when you bite into the authentically-prepared dishes. Wash it all down with a traditional mango juice or horchata drink.
Taquiera El Maguey on West 38th – This westside restaurant offers authentic tacos with homemade corn tortillas topped with loads of cilantro and homemade sauce. Ignore the strip mall appeal as what is inside the restaurant offers so much more flavor than the outdoor atmosphere.
Guanajuanato Grocery and Restaurant (Lafayette Square) – Make your way through the grocery store for some shopping and then head to the back and grab a seat at the restaurant. You can’t get much more authentic than this. Like what you ate? Pick up the ingredients on your way out the door to try your hand at making the meal at home.
There are quite a few authentic Mexican restaurants hidden in many spots around the city. Who else should we add to our list? Have you eaten at any of the restaurants above? Share your experience in the comments!