The grass is green, the trees are budding, and spring is in the air! After snuggling up with warm drinks by the fireplace for months, it’s time for something cooler. If the nicer weather has you craving a margarita, you’re in luck. Whether you prefer frozen or on the rocks, Grand Rapids has plenty of amazing Mexican restaurants that serve plenty of tasty margaritas. We’re not just talking tequila and mix here.
As we head into May, join the fun for Cinco de Mayo and check out the innovative margaritas—and delicious food—at one, or more, of these local restaurants.
Housed in a remodeled 1920s neighborhood service station, Donkey Taqueria dishes up authentic Mexican food like barbacoa tacos and chips served with homemade guacamole. Their bar is a don’t-miss. “We always carry the best selection of tequila in the city with over 130 varieties,” says Tina Iker, Director of Operations.
For Cinco de Mayo, local band Cabildo will play from 6PM-10PM and they’ll have lots of fun giveaways, like sombreros, maracas, and sunglasses. Maracas! “We’ll have a few extra flavors of margaritas, as well,” says Iker. Donkey’s standard margaritas include a classic lime flavor, prickly pear, mango, white peach, and jalapeño.
If you’re in the mood for a little Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, et. al, Donkey Taqueria’s sister restaurant, The Winchester (648 Wealthy Street, Grand Rapids), is hosting an "N'Sync de Mayo" party featuring local DJ, AB from 6PM-2AM. “He's created an awesome line-up of music highlighting the best music of all of our favorite boy bands and early 2000's top hits,” Iker says.
Donkey Taqueria - Margaritas with Coaster
Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids
Lindo Mexico expanded for the second time last fall and for good reason: lots of people enjoy the casual, family-owned restaurant and the authentic, fresh food prepared by their chef each morning. In addition to special dishes like chimichangas and Camarones (shrimp)—and a coconut flan you won’t want to pass up—Lindo Mexico offers more than 10 different tequilas and a wide variety of margaritas.
Their Cinco de Mayo celebration kicks off at 6 PM with live Mariachi music by "Son de Mexico Mariachi" as well as prizes and giveaways throughout the evening. Lindo Mexico will also be offering margarita specials, including a margarita flight featuring their house, mango, tamarind and prickly pear flavors. "Since this is the official opening of our patio, which many of our customers have been anticipating since the weather started to get nice, we plan on having a very festive fun-filled event and hope everyone can join us," says owner Gricelda Mata.
Reservations are recommended for parties of 6 or more.
Just around the corner from Van Andel Arena, Luna embraces the rich culinary heritage of Latin America and features contemporary Latin foods. The menu at Luna changes regularly, but you can always expect delicious food and creative drinks. In addition to the food specials they’ll be serving for Cinco de Mayo, you can expect to see inspired margaritas.
“Our bartenders like to use fresh, in-season produce to create new features every week,” says Mario Cascante, owner of Luna. “For example, this week we are experimenting with watermelon as our margarita feature.” Their current menu includes a classic, pink, top-shelf, spicy, mango and Paloma margarita, which range from $6-$8. They also offer a flight—a super fun way to try 3 different margarita flavors—for $12.
Reservations are strongly recommended for parties of any size!
Luna margarita flight
Photo Credit: photo courtesy of Luna Taqueria & Cocina located at 64 Ionia Ave SW #100
You’ll find Cinco de Mayo just across from the Grand Rapids Art Museum, serving authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex food in an upbeat atmosphere in the 150-year-old Flat Iron Building. The menu features fajitas, a hot-and-spicy burrito, and more.
The colorfully decorated restaurant features murals by Grand Rapids artist Rolando Mancer and the original tin ceilings and exposed brick add a historic element to the décor. If you’re feeling adventuresome for Cinco de Mayo, try their 46-oz house margarita!
Less than 5 miles from downtown Grand Rapids, the Beltline Bar, a long-time local favorite that’s been in GR since 1953, features a classic Mexican menu. Last year the restaurant served its 5 millionth burrito—a menu favorite that keeps customers coming back year after year.
The Beltline bar will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with El Jimador margaritas for $5, Mexican bottled beer for $3, and El Jimador shots for $3. They’ll also be serving their popular 2XL wet burritos ($12.99), have a live radio broadcasting from 4PM-6PM and a live mariachi band from 8PM-10PM. Plus, there will be piñata fun and they’ll be giving away party favors throughout the evening.
Lindo Mexico margaritas
Photo Credit: photo courtesy of Lindo Mexico located at 1742 28th St SW
Owned by the same company as the Beltline Bar, El Barrio features traditional Mexican cuisine with a fresh modern flair, like their best-selling pork carnitas and prickly pear margaritas. They also have tequila flights and a “make any tequila a margarita” menu in addition to their classic margaritas. If you’re feeling a little fancy, you can order a margarita made with Limited Edition Don Julio 1942 or Milagro Special Reserve, each $25 and made with Gran Marnier.
Like the Beltline Bar, El Barrio will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with El Jimador margaritas for $5, Mexican bottled beer for $3, and El Jimador shots for $3. You can also score a tasty spicy brisket burrito with a Founders All-Day IPA for $16.99. El Barrio will feature additional drink specials and add to the fun with piñatas and party favors.
This list isn’t meant to be exhaustive and we only included restaurants that serve margaritas, which is why we didn’t highlight great Mexican restaurants like Taqueria San Jose and El Granjero. If you have another favorite we didn’t mention, please share it in the comments.