It's Cinco de Mayo, the 5th of May, which for Mexico means a celebration of some long-ago war victory. But for us Americans, it means an excuse (do we need one?) to indulge in tacos and a free flow of margaritas. Gracias, Mexico! There is no shortage of Mexican and pseudo-Mexican restaurants on the Atlanta BeltLine. So if you're looking for ideas, I am reposting some of my favorite taco places on the Atlanta BeltLine, with some details on how they are celebrating 05/05/21. Here's to Mexico! Olé!
Guac y Margys Cinco de Mayo: They are offering margarita and tequila specials and giving away GyM swag. And they have really good swag. And margaritas.
Guac y Margys is one of my favorite restaurants on the Atlanta BeltLine. Guac y Margys is known for their…well, guacamole and margaritas, as the name suggests. And both are seriously good. But with customer requests for more substantial fare, their menu has only expanded over time. They have $3 tacos on Taco Tuesday, and their selection is ever changing. The just released (spring 2021) menu: tacos with shredded chicken, slow roasted pork, pinto bean and three meats. Be sure to pair a taco with a margarita - they have one of the most expansive selections in town, served by the glass, double glass or pitcher. Their “dranks” are delicious and playful. Try this one: Have You Seen My Giant Hat? made with Lunazul tequila and infused with blackberries, mint and lime. Or Nobody Calls it Hotlanta, which has watermelon and lime. Join them for a TV/movie themed trivia night, or just chill on the patio with front-row-people-watching seats on the BeltLine.
Pure Taqueria Cinco de Mayo: It looks like they are celebrating Cinco de Mayo all month long. Yeah, Pure! They have created some margaritas that look AH-may-zing: Blackberry Thyme, Grapefruit Habanero and Strawberry Rhubarb. They also have specials like Lamb Carnitas, Blue Corn Tuna Tostadas and Mexican Street Corn (my favorite). They will have live music and giveaways. Save a Grapefruit Habanero for me please.
Pure has several locations in metro Atlanta, but this one in Inman Park has a genuine neighborhood feel. The locals stack up at the bar, making it a great place to meet people over a seriously strong margarita. COVID has dampened the socializing a bit, but all the more reason to relax on their covered corner patio on a nice day/evening. The fish tacos earn high praise, and for something different, try the lamb tacos, served with their own dipping sauce. Don’t expect to find your typical Amer-exican fare here, though - the rice is green, and the quesadillas are fried like an oversized empanada (not a bad thing). The taquitos keep us coming back, and the torta cubana will fill you for days.
Superica Cinco de Mayo: I searched their social media and website, and can't find anything special they're doing for Cinco de Mayo, but do you really need a reason to eat tacos and drink margaritas?
This Tex-Mex restaurant by Ford Fry has a funky cool vibe with a huge patio outside Krog Street Market. They serve tacos by twos and threes, with beans or rice or both. You can get your tacos in a flour tortilla, crispy shell or hard shell. The barbacoa is a favorite, along with the pork belly. To really splurge, try a non-taco and get the pricier short rib, slow roasted for 36 hours, available until they run out. Whether you get tacos or not, don’t skip the queso, which comes in several varieties, including one loaded with ground beef, sour cream and guac. They serve brunch on the weekends, if you’re craving some huevos rancheros or tamales and eggs. Expect long waits on weekends, though - they don’t take reservations.
Bartaco Cinco de Mayo: Bartaco is taking it virtual, COVID-style, with an all-day celebration on Instagram. They have a lineup starting at noon, including yoga and fitness classes, street corn demo and live music. So pretend you're paying attention on that Zoom meeting while you're making street corn to Enrique Iglesias.
In Mexico, they say street tacos should be eaten in 2 to 3 bites. Bartaco has it down with their street-size tacos. The pork belly is perfectly crispy and tender, the duck is decadent. And the crispy avocado taco, fried in a golden batter, melts in your mouth on the first bite. To fill up, order at least 2 or 3 tacos with a side dish. The Mexican street corn is some of the best, and the guacamole, served with saucer-sized corn tortilla crisps, never fails. Don’t miss the margaritas, made with freshly squeezed lime, or try one of their fresh non-alcoholic juices. Bartaco quickly adapted COVID safety protocols - even when you dine at the restaurant, you order online, and the food is delivered to your table. It has its pros - no more waiting for a server to bring you a check. The best part of Bartaco, though, is the beachy feel, with a plein air atmosphere and wrap-around patio overlooking the Inman Park scene. In winter, cozy up to the fireplace or sit under a space heater with a cozy blanket.
Taqueria Tsunami Cinco de Mayo: $5 margys. Yeah!
Taqueria Tsunami, already well situated in the suburbs, has a new urban location, across from where the BeltLine ends at Memorial Drive. TT fuses the best of Mexican and Asian into a taco (or bowl). Think shrimp tempura with cilantro, hoisin sauce and slaw. Or carnitas in a Korean pepper sauce with cucumber. As with most Asian restaurants, the fish is the best (baja or shrimp tempura). The tacos are a good size, and you can get a combination of 2 or 3 with a side dish. Try the salad, which is crisp, flavorful and well-portioned. For an appetizer, get the queso, which comes with tortilla chips and triangles of warmed tortillas.
Minero Cinco de Mayo: They are offering cool souvenir glasses so tomorrow, if you have no memory of what you did last night, you'll have a glass to show you where you went, at least. I'm a sucker for glasses. UPDATE: Shawn and I went to Minero for a boozy lunch (for me) and I got my souvenir glass. Those quesadillas with fried cheese on the OUTSIDE!
Located in Ponce City Market, it’s actually Minero’s burrito that gets rave reviews - it’s monstrous. Oh and did we mention fried cheese on the outside? But if you can’t be convinced, they have some creative twists on tacos such as vegetarian (cauliflower) and Southern (fried catfish). Interesting historical fact: Minero is the Spanish word for miner, and it's supposedly miners who came up with the word taco. Adding to its authenticity, Minero grinds its own corn daily, after importing it from independent farmers in Mexico. They’re taking COVID precautions seriously - it’s patio dining only (as if we need a reason to sit outside at PCM and watch the world go by). And salsas come with spoons so you’re not dipping into any germs. After a long, hot walk on the Atlanta BeltLine, pair your meal with a refreshing frozen margarita.
OK, not a taco restaurant, but a fave for beer and food on the Atlanta BeltLine. And they are getting in on the Cinco fun with live Latin music, smoked chicken enchiladas and frozen vodka margaritas (with homemade margy mix, OJ and key lime).
You might - and should - get your BBQ fix here. And now they are offering BOGO tacos this evening. And what makes a good taco? The meat, silly!
Hooray for Mexican war victories! And margaritas.
An Atlanta native, Nicole Gustin is the Founder & CEO of BiteLines, which offers walking food tours on the Atlanta BeltLine. She considers the BeltLine her backyard, and is excited to see how Atlanta is reinventing itself. The BiteLines blog features art, restaurants, happenings and weirdness on the Atlanta BeltLine. Share story ideas and pics at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or follow on Instagram @bitelinesatl. Note: We have paused our tours during the pandemic, but will ramp up again as soon as it’s safe.