Food & Drink

Everywhere in ATL to celebrate not-Mexican independence

Published On 04/28/2013 Published On 04/28/2013

Cinco de Mayo is about independence. Specifically, your independence from any Mexican places that suck. So check out this round-up tortilla roll-up of Atlanta's categorically best joints. Best Nachos Nuevo Laredo 1495 Chattahoochee Avenue; West Atlanta; 404.352.9009 If you're on the search for nachos that don't require you buy a movie ticket, then you've come to the right place. Nuevo Laredo's Panchos nachos are topped with chorizo, frijoles, and white cheese and provide the perfect cheesy crunch to go with their premium Cadillac marg. Click here for more info on Nuevo, and a menu Hottest Waitresses Tin Lizzy's Cantina 3639 Piedmont Road; Buckhead; 404.846.6000 Not only does the local Tex-Mex chain offer cheap margaritas and quick fast eats, but the waitresses and bartenders provide prime ogling that is only matched by the equally hot patrons that frequent the sexy Midtown location. Try to keep your eyes in their respective sockets and cartoonish steam from shooting out of your ears. Visit Tin Lizzy's site for more than just pretty faces. But also, pretty faces. Best Margaritas Pozole 1044 Greenwood Ave NE; Virginia Highlands; 404.892.0552 When scouring the streets for cheap late-night eats, Pozole has you covered with lobster and brisket tacos and flavored margs from peach to jalapeno. The VaHi tequila bar sits pretty with over 50 varietals, and switches things up by using shaved ice and their "magic ingredient" housemade sour mix. Check out Pozole's full menu Craziest Taco Filling Holy Taco 1314 Glenwood Ave; East Atlanta; 404.230.6177 The Glenwood Ave taqueria gets all gourmet with their sustainable approach to tacos and tortas using everything from roasted beef tongue to puffed pork skin. But it's the buttermilk fried chicken heart tacos that will steal yours. And possibly stop it. More here on the holy grail of taco joints Best Guacamole Rosa Mexicano 245 18th Street NW; Atlantic Station; 404.347.4090 Rosa's Guacamole en Molcajete is the wildly popular Mexican chain's signature accompaniment to skillets, tacos, and chips. Painstakingly made table-side with a mortar and pestle like an old apothecary remedy, the guac is ground right in front of you and fuses creamy avocado with jalapenos, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. Click here for more of what Rosa has to offer Best Salsa Alma Cocina 191 Peachtree Street NE; Downtown; 404.968.9662 Fifth Group's first foray into authentic Mexican fare gets the modern approach by fusing fresh ingredients and traditional regional influences with Latin American flavors in dishes like wagyu brisket enchiladas and crispy pork belly ceviche. But it's their salsas like the fire-roasted negra, poblano-dried plum, and cactus-pumpkin seed that'll get you yelling about how happy you are to eat things not made in New York City! More info on Alma Cocina right here Best Outdoor Space Tijuana Garage 351 Moreland Ave NE; Little Five Points; 404.475.8888 The patio at Moreland Ave hacienda Tijuana Garage looks like something out of an Antonio Banderas flick, but with slightly less hair. Offering prime views of Little Five Points' colorful characters, it's the sweet spot to soak up the sun and gorge Diablo Fried Shrimp and Porky's Nightmare tacos while downing equally nightmarish pitchers of Herradura-heavy Gila Monster margarita. Click here for more on Tijuana Garage Best Tequila Selection Agave 242 Boulevard SE Atlanta; Grant Park; 404.588.0006 The Grant Park Southwestern eatery somehow crams nearly 100 tequilas into their bar without tipping it over. Impressive specialty selections include like Herradura Seleccion Suprema, Partida Elegante, and the most expensive shot on the menu, Don Julio Real. Shots fired. Link here for more on Agave's website

Photo by Dylan York

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1. Tin Lizzy's Cantina Grant Park 415 Memorial Dr, Atlanta, GA 30312 (Atlanta)

Tin Lizzy's has the perfect rooftop to soak up some sun and take in the surrounding views (even if the surrounding views happen to be a cemetery). They've also got standard Mexican fare for cheap, like tacos, nachos, quesadillas & 'ritas.

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2. Nuevo Laredo Cantina 1495 Chattahoochee Avenue NW, Atlanta, GA 30318 (West Atlanta)

While working for ATL giant Coca-Cola in the 1960s, current restaurateur Chance Evans took frequent trips to Mexico, presumably to figure out just how they made that much-coveted Mexican Coke. Anyway, those trips inspired Evans to open his own restaurant, which he's ensured is serving only the best, most authentic South-of-the-Border dishes, including huevos rancheros, chicken mole, chalupas, and more.

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3. Pozolé 1044 Greenwood Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 (Virginia Highland)

Craving cheap, late-night Mexican eats? Look no further than this VaHi spot, 'cause it's serving up chips & salsa, pork tacos, and beef tacos way beyond your bed time. Wash it all down with one of their many tequila options and end (or begin) the night on the right note.

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4. Holy Taco 1314 Glenwood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 (East Atlanta)

Holy Taco is an East Atlanta taqueria helmed by chef Robert Phelan, who is dedicated to using sustainable, local ingredients to shape his ever-changing and evolving menus. In a modern setting with outdoor seating, Phelan is serving up a ton of delicious food, including brisket tacos, fried squid tortas, and chorizo quesadillas.

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5. Rosa Mexicano 245 18th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30363 (Atlantic Station)

With locations throughout the country, you better believe that the folks at Rosa Mexicano know a thing or two about great Mexican food. And this one, the only one in the South, certainly doesn't break the pattern, with delicious table-side prepared guac, a great brunch menu, and a prime location in the Atlantic Station area.

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6. Alma Cocina 191 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30303 (Downtown)

If you've got soul, there's no shame in boasting about in your name and Alma Cocina, which translates to Soul Kitchen in Spanish, isn't shy. This upscale downtown joint is serving upscale Latin/Mexican food in a modern setting, including braised lamb tacos, roasted chicken mole, and desserts like Mexican Coke (the drink) panna cotta.

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7. Tijuana Garage 351 Moreland Ave, Atlanta, GA 30307 (Little 5 Points)

This Tex-Mex grill's got cheap drinks (including 'ritas & shots) and Mexican bites like quesadillas, diablo fried shrimp, fajitas, and nachos.

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8. Agave 242 Boulevard SE, Atlanta, GA 30312 (Cabbagetown)

From the name alone, it shouldn't be hard to tell that this place is into tequila. And boy are they, with nearly 100 varieties, including a couple that are 100+ proof (good luck, there). But Agave isn't a one-trick pony, as experienced head chef Jack Sobel is well-trained in Mexican-Southwest cuisine, serving up barbacoa enchiladas, tuna fish tacos, and fresh tenderloin fillets. Easy on the tequila, this is a meal you'll want to remember.

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