Preview Chicago’s Top 5 Margaritas in Chicago

1. Big Star

1531 N Damen Ave (at N Wicker Park Ave), Chicago, IL
Taco Place · Wicker Park · 564 tips and reviews

Christian V.Christian Van Brimmer: Al Pastor Tacos are the best! The pescado almost as good. Get the guacamole and the Big Star Margarita made with mescal… A smoky, less sweet alternative. Come at lunch for a minimal wait.

Miroslav L.Miroslav Lysyuk: Get the $30 margarita pitcher, some tacos, and sit back and relax with a friend and people gaze. FYI seats at the bar are a little hard to get, but easier than a table. Once you’re in though, u good

J.M. S.J.M. Saponaro: Best margaritas ever + awesome tacos

2. Frontera Grill

445 N Clark St (btwn Illinois St & Hubbard St), Chicago, IL
Mexican Restaurant · Near North Side · 251 tips and reviews

Lance O.Lance Orchid: Try the queso fundido classico and mexcal margarita; both are A+. The blue agave margarita A-. The mole poblano a solid B; not exceptional but good. Try Guelaguetza in LA for amazing mole.

ChelseaChelsea: Be sure to make a reservation ahead of time to avoid waiting in the long line! Tropical tuna ceviche is awesome and the summer margarita is AMAZING!

Stephanie M.Stephanie M: Tom, our server, was awesome. He was so knowledgable and patient. We had a wonder lunch! Don’t miss out on the Champagne Margarita! And, a Rick Bayless sighting.

3. Mercadito

108 W Kinzie St (btwn Clark St & LaSalle Blvd), Chicago, IL
Mexican Restaurant · River North · 241 tips and reviews

Nicki W.Nicki Walliser: Amazing margaritas…seriously!! Try the duck tacos, they’re to die for! Their guacamole is also very flavorful. Great atmosphere!

AngelaAngela: One of the best margaritas in the city, awesome guacamole, Shrimp enchiladas, roasted chicken, and Caramel flan. A must try if you love mexican!

Réjane P.Réjane P: Try the different salsas, so very good. Fish tacos are amaze, and their margaritas trick you into thinking you’re drinking juice. SO GOOD.

4. Garcia’s Restaurant

4760 N Lincoln Ave (at W Lawrence Ave), Chicago, IL
Mexican Restaurant · Ravenswood · 111 tips and reviews

Adam G.Adam Graff: Skip the flautas (chicken only), you’ll want the steak. Burritos, salsa, and margaritas are fantastic. Reminds me of the old Salvadores on Lake near Michigan Ave.

venessa t.venessa tarbell: Great food, great margaritas, and great service. Newly remodeled. Not too cramped and good for kids.

Lenny G.Lenny Gallo: The best Mexican in Chicago. Go with friends and get the burrito ranchero and a pitcher of margarita.

5. Uncle Julio’s Hacienda

855 W North Ave (at N Clybourn Ave), Chicago, IL
Mexican Restaurant · 151 tips and reviews

jessica w.jessica williams: The Swirls & Passionfruit Margaritas are top notch!

Chelsea W.Chelsea White: Get the fajitas and the frozen margaritas!

Molly G.Molly Godfrey: Margs are delicious, wish they were a little bigger

6. Cesar’s Killer Margaritas

3166 N Clark St (at W Belmont Ave), Chicago, IL
Mexican Restaurant · Lakeview · 80 tips and reviews

Lauren D.Lauren Drogos: New renovated area is really nice…and margaritas are as lethal and delicious as ever!

Marco T.Marco Trejo: Killer Margaritas, ask pablo for the tamarindo con chile margarita

Nastasia T.Nastasia Tebeck: orange passion Pommarita is the best margarita in here! Get the Mega size.. Just do it. 🙂

7. Del Toro

2133 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL
Mexican Restaurant · East Pilsen · 47 tips and reviews

Cityvida MobileCityvida Mobile: Try the Pepino Margarita, delicious.

Valerie V.Valerie Vargas: The Pepino and Guava margaritas are a must try! The watermelon mojito is also very refreshing! Perfect summer drinks.

noemi r.noemi roman: Best Sandia margaritas! And you have to try the habanero burger.

8. Taco Joint

1969 N Halsted St (btwn Armitage Ave & Willow St), Chicago, IL
Taco Place · Lincoln Park · 90 tips and reviews

Lindsay P.Lindsay Pomazal: Amazing ceviche tacos and they are only $2. Also the guava margarita is a must!

ivy t.ivy t.: Great tacos, esp the ceviche taco. Pollo torta wasn’t too special. Pear tropical margarita is delish and rojo mole was yum. Great servers.

Jodi L.Jodi Laughlin: Order margaritas & guacamole along with El Pastor & Ceviche tacos and you have a feast!

9. Antique Taco

1360 N Milwaukee Ave (at N Wood St), Chicago, IL
Taco Place · Wicker Park · 159 tips and reviews

Chris S.Chris Shackleton: As good as its far more crowded neighbor Big Star. Love the margarita, steak tacos, habanero popcorn, and the chips and salsa.

Angella M.Angella Miller: So good! Get the Rosemary Margarita❤❤

Ben K.Ben Kossak: The pineapple cilantro margarita and corn salad were both to die for.

10. Pancho Pistolas

700 W 31st St (at Union Ave.), Chicago, IL
Mexican Restaurant · Bridgeport · 48 tips and reviews

Genevieve G.Genevieve Gonnigan: Best Margarita’s in Town & they are heavy on the Tequila. A pitcher of margaritas w/Chicken Nachos is the Happy Hour we all Live for! Cheers! Read more.

A B.A B: Best Margarita’s in the city. Must order the Bistec A la Mexicana

Nicole P.Nicole Parejko: Chips and salsa (2 kinds!) + awesome margaritas + a Sox game on = a great time! Love it here I come all the time!

11. The Mayan Palace Mexican Cuisine

2703 N Halsted St (at W Schubert Ave), Chicago, IL
Mexican Restaurant · Park West · 25 tips and reviews

Rob N.Rob N.: Of course the margaritas are great and really on half price Tuesdays and Thursdays. Get anything steak! Wait staff is second to none.

Jenna W.Jenna Walker: Margaritas are tasty & 1/2 priced to Tues and Thurs. Friendly and attentive waiters. Large burrito meal is good to share. Good place to meet up with your friends and a pitcher of margaritas!

Mari B.Mari B: This was my Thursday wknd kick-off for 4 yrs! Margaritas in all flavors are awesome for 1/2 price, service is great, ceviche, steak taco salad and the steak nachos are the BEST!

12. La Cantina Grill

1911 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL
Mexican Restaurant · Prairie District · 47 tips and reviews

Ron W.Ron Willis: If you like flavored Margarita’s you will have to try the Grapefruit Margarita with salt of course!

Heather F.Heather Folsom: Best (stuffed) chicken quesadilla I’ve ever had. Tilapia tacos, guac, & pineapple margarita were also delicious. Good service too.

Shani S.Shani Simon: Thursday night $6 margaritas & chicken tamales! Yum!!!

13. Cantina Laredo

508 N State St (btwn W Grand Ave & W Illinois St), Chicago, IL
Mexican Restaurant · Near North Side · 131 tips and reviews

AskMenAskMen: Swing by to grab a margarita or hand-muddled mojito before diving into dishes such as the cascabel ribeye steak, Oaxaca cheese chile rellenos & braised pork shanks topped with chipotle wine sauce. Read more.

Melanie P.Melanie P: Get the quesadilla and the margaritas! Delicious.

Veronica R.Veronica Rivas: Try the Casa Rita Margarita! You’ll be in for a treat. The Mango & Pollo salad, amazing!

14. Cafe El Tapatio

3358 N Ashland Ave (at W Roscoe St), Chicago, IL
Mexican Restaurant · Lakeview · 57 tips and reviews

Lexy P.Lexy P: One of the best burritos and margaritas I’ve had on the North Side. And outside eating! Total win.

laura h.laura honeycutt: The Rolls Magnificent Margarita is the best on the menu! Arrive thirsty!

Kelly O.Kelly O’Toole: Great food and Margs and the staff is super friendly! Gotta check this place out

15. Taco Joint

158 W Ontario St (btwn La Salle St & Wells St), Chicago, IL
Taco Place · River North · 50 tips and reviews

Sean B.Sean Beach: Love the tacos, affordable, fun margarita blends. A must stop on my visits to Chicago!

Taylor K.Taylor Konigseder: Awesome margarita and guacamole variety.

Katie W.Katie Waters: Great for groups! Delicious margaritas that will get a buzz going and a yummy variety of tacos. Subscribe to their email list too!



Best Grub in Chicago’s Wicker Park Neighborhood

Best Grub in Chicago’s Wicker Park Neighborhood

According to in Peace)

Jeni’s Opens Her Splendid Wicker Park Ice Cream World:

WICKER PARK — Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, the much-anticipatedartisanal ice cream from Jeni Britton Bauer — an Ohio-based chef known mostly by her first name — opens Tuesday and yes, there will be free scoops.

Set for 7-10 p.m. Tuesday at 1505 N. Milwaukee Ave., the festivities will include free ceramic mugs featuring the colors of the shop’s ice cream flavors, given away to the first 50 folks in line.

During a preview party on Monday, Umberto Castaneda, a DJ at theCrocodile, 1540 N. Milwaukee Ave., was holding two cones, one for him and the other for his girlfriend, Merideth Olson.

Castenada’s waffle cone was packed with Buckeye state, a blend of salted peanut butter and dark chocolate, while Olson had the black cat espresso, a collaboration between Jeni’s and Chicago-based Intelligensia, using ground espresso beans steeped in cream.

Olson, a clerk at Plenty, a specialty grocery at 2036 W. Division St., said that pints of Jeni’s are among Plenty’s best-sellers.

“It is so popular. I am super glad they are opening a shop here,” Olson said.

Most pints at Jeni’s are $12, and only one flavor is available now — Queen City Cayenne. Scoops of ice cream start at $5 for two flavors.

The cozy shop — with orange chairs and patterned gray tiles —  offers Jeni’s signature flavors, including brambleberry crisp, pistachio and honey.

Five limited-edition flavors (lemon buttermilk tart frozen yogurt; Bangkok peanut, etc.) and four ice cream sandwiches (oatmeal cream, salty caramel with smoked almonds) round out the menu.

Britton Bauer, an art school dropout, said she once thought if she made it to the five-year mark making artisan ice cream she would somehow “be professional.”

“Then it was a 10-year mark and now 20,” Britton Bauer said.

When asked if her children will one day take over the business, Britton Bauer said that is hard to say but whether they are inspired by making ice cream or not, she would want them to run their own businesses.

“Being an entrepreneur is like forming your own world. You get to make up your own rules, surround yourself with awesome people and be inspired every day,” she said.

Though she lives in Ohio, the 41-year-old entrepreneur said she spent her early years in Peoria, where her family was from before they moved to Ohio in the 1980s.

Britton Bauer said that she chose to open her second Chicago shop and 21st nationwide in Wicker Park because it is a neighborhood where you can spend the whole day, going to the park to brunch to shopping and eventually eating ice cream.

Britton Bauer is flying back to Columbus Wednesday after the new shop’s first full day. She plans to visit often.

“I’m just a 45-minute flight away,” Britton Bauer said.



Main image: Eater


Neighborhood Guide, Places

Best Comedy in the City of Chicago

Best Comedy in the City of Chicago

According to

Damn right the funniest—and this spring the merriment scales even greater heights. Consider: As this magazine went to press, Los Angeles’s fabled Laugh Factory was scheduled to open in the newly renovated Lakeshore Theater (its owner, Jamie Masada, promises that big names such as Tim Allen, Dave Chappelle, Carlos Mencia, and Bob Saget will grace the marquee). The Second City’s new standup venue is still just a few months old. The Chicago Improv Festival, with more than 80 acts, arrives at the end of April (click for our guide to the fest). Even the staff of The Onion is bowing to the trend: The satirical newspaper is ditching New York City for Chicago later this year. The downside of this flurry? The sheer volume of comedic choices here can be paralyzing. So our reporter visited scads of comedy shops around town to separate the hilarious from the hideous. A dozen destinations made the cut. Read on for her expert picks.

4830 N. Broadway; 773-561-4665,
What it offers: Improv and sketch
Backstory:: Twenty-four years ago, Mick Napier founded The Annoyance. In 2004, he codified his the-only-rule-is-no-rules philosophy in a book,Improvise, which has become a revered manual for aspiring improvisers. Today, Napier presides over the operation’s handsome digs in Uptown. In addition to providing an artistic home for the legendary comedienne Susan Messing, The Annoyance also welcomes budding writers who want to stage their work for a discerning crowd. (Past hit shows include Skiing Is Believing, Burlesque Is More,and 40 Whacks: A Lizzy Borden Musical.) We also dig the lobby’s high-low assortment of things to do: Play board games while sitting under a chandelier. Sip a Cosmopolitan or a PBR. Both, please, thank you.
Best for: You and your sullen teenager or anyone who ever insinuated that you aren’t “with it”
Must see: In a World. . . , Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ($8); Messing with a Friend,Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. ($5)

Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave.; 773-281-4444,
What it offers: Standup only
Backstory: “You are NOT going to see hack comedy performances detailing tired premises such as ‘the difference between men and women.’ ” So says the website for Chicago Underground Comedy, the Tuesday night carousel of talent in the backroom of Beat Kitchen, a bar in Roscoe Village (chalkboard beer list, pink Christmas lights, grimy tiles) where working comedians congregate. Instead, you’ll hear well-known local joke tellers dispense fresh alt-comedy about breakups, injuries, misunderstandings, working at Starbucks, and how to get a DUI on a bicycle.
Best for: A young, well-educated broke person
Must see: The fearless Ever Mainard and the always-cantankerous Mike Stanley, Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ($5)

157 W. Ontario St.; 773-387-8412,
What it offers: Standup only
Backstory: Three nights a week, the River North nightclub Ontourage places 160 chairs on the dance floor and becomes The Comedy Bar. These evenings attract polished standup veterans, usually playing to a mix of tourists and young Loop professionals. In a current show, Sean Flannery interweaves his monologue about near-death experiences—he has suffered 32 broken bones—with drawings, photos, and video clips. The swanky décor, reasonable ticket prices, and no drink minimum are pluses. Feel free to channel your Night at the Roxbury alter ego.
Best for: Someone dipping a toe into the city’s comedy pool
Must see: Flannery’s Never Been to Paris, Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ($10); Mike Leibovitz, April 20 and 21 at 8 and 10 p.m. ($10)

Read more…