One of my favorite holiday is approaching and with it falling on a Saturday this year, I can’t think of a better way to take in #SummertimeChi than enjoying a drink or more at one of these Chicago dining destinations because what? Outside.is.OPEN! To enjoy a booze filled day celebrating National Tequila Day (July 24), for those that drink that is, you can plant yourself at one spot or grab a friend, your mask and hop around the city. Tequila, in order to be classified as true tequila has to be made in the Jalisco region of Mexico or a region very close to it; kinda like how Champagne has to be made in the Champagne region of France to be labelled true champagne. From the new on the scene buzz worthy restaurants to some old faithfuls that have returned post covid, here’s our selection of the best places in Chicago and around to celebrate and enjoy National Tequila Day (July 24). Remember tequila is not just for margaritas, though I love a good marg, it can be prepared other ways. Most of these restaurants are not offering special deals per se, just a heads up.
Jaleo, the hot buzzing restaurant from the renowned Chef José Andrés officially opened their kitchen in Chicago this week! Let’s Celebrate the arrival of the first of 5 dining destination from Chef José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup. Get lost in the flavors of modern-day Spain when you order their Margarita Donostiarra — Arbol infused tequila, mezcal, bay leaf, lime, sherry salt to line the rim. Cocktails are made either by the glass or by the pitcher.
Photo via OffShore
What feels like a 5 mile walk to the other end of Navy Pier is well worth when delicious tequila based Paloma awaits at the Guinness Book of World Record certified world’s largest rooftop bar. Palomas not really your thing? They also have the Melon marg on the menu to help take your mind of your stressors while taking in the city scape.
Not that anyone needs an extra special reason to head to Virtue in Hyde Park but since it is National Tequila day, might as well go for their brown fashioned cocktail and stay for the food too.
MERCADITO RIVER NORTH
The longtime River North spot is one of our old faithfuls. Food’s good’s service is nice and drinks hit just right. You can order Mercadito’s little market made with Espolon reposado, amiga sandia with or pick from their tequila selections that includes casamigos, don julio, espolon, codigo 1530 or casa noble and have them create something special and spicey for you.
ELEVEN ELEVEN CHICAGO
The West Loop restaurant Eleven|Eleven whose kitchen is now helmed by Chef Lamar Moore actually runs a happy hour from Thursday to Saturday where cocktails are $8 and so a perfect time to get your Tequila Day celebration on. Choose from the Electric Eleven Lemonade or the Margo de Calle.
When one door closes after so many years (47!), a bigger better one is sure to open and that’s the case of Tecalitlan restaurant. The one time West Town staple, and scene of so many memories for many of us patrons, had to close their famous Chicago Avenue location and have now moved to Lincoln Park’s New City development. Though the new location might seem different and a few menu items previously available are no longer, Tecalitlan’s making sure to keep the food good and the drinks as strong and delicious as we know. Order their classic margarita frozen, its really what summertimechi is all about.
Chef Doug Psaltis’s (The P in RPM) new restaurant is one of the hottest in the city right now and though we can’t promise need to give the Midas Touch a gilded go. What’s in it you wonder? Tequila Blanco, fresh grapefruit, a spritz of lime and a dash of heaven’s honey expertly blended
Travelle at the Langham Chicago never dissapoints; not in service, not in the food department and certainly not with their drinks. Pick between the Pelirroja made with Avion silver tequila, tamarind serrano syrup, plus chocolate orange bitters or their La Paloma.
Aperol and Tequila in the same cocktail you say? Don’t knock it til you try the ‘Which is Which’ combo at Top Chef season 15 winner Chef Joe Flamm’s Rose Mary. The mixture of Espolon Reposado Tequila, Strega, Aperol might just transport you, if but for a brief moment, somewhere serene and scenic on the Adriatic.
Enjoy the glamour of Old Hollywood with retro and reimagined cocktails at BLVD Steakhouse like the Some Like It Hot is a blast from the past featuring Lunazul Tequila, Ancho Reyes Liqueur, Grana Gala Liqueur, Jalapeno Shrub, and agave with lime to help with the heat. Pair your favorite cocktail with BLVD’s Bar Snacks including warm olives, crispy chickpeas and truffle marcona almonds.
pronounced: Boh-la-jee, like the Bellagio but w/o the O. SLC Editorial Director, loves to write about topics at the intersection of career and lifestyle for today's young professional and future leaders.