for celebrating Cinco de Mayo
You can pretty much count on being sick of margaritas after you've spent the day drinking at the festival and the parade, so when it's time to head to this 40-year-old Pilsen bar (known for its Latin jazz acts), you can switch it up. Go for the house signature Michelada, a spicy, refreshing combination of lime juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire and beer. Sounds bad, tastes good. 3608 W 26th St between Central Park and Millard Aves (773-521-0095).
It's impossible for anybody who lives in Pilsen not to get caught up in the Cinco de Mayo festivities, even the artist community. But instead of heading to the park for the festival, they'll stick to what they know and fill this divey watering hole. They might not admit it, but these brooding AIC grads will celebrate their place in Pilsen in their own way, with canned beer and fried food taking the place of margaritas and tacos. 2149 S Halsted St between 21st and 22nd Sts (312-948-5275).
Salud Tequila Lounge
So you can't make it to Pilsen. Your car broke down, you lost your CTA card or maybe you're just lazy. You'll miss out on the real Cinco de Mayo celebration, but if you're anywhere near Wicker Park, you can get a taste of the holiday at Salud. On Thursday 5, you can drink $3 frozen margaritas, dance to a live mariachi band and win all kinds of crap. 1471 N Milwaukee Ave between Evergreen Ave and Honore St (773-235-5577).