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Downstate Road Trip Round Up: Cinco de Mayo

Regional road trips are all the rage right now. Many folks feel most comfortable hopping in the car with their loved ones and exploring sights that are off the beaten path. Some of those sights may even be in your own backyard! For plenty of regional travel ideas, check-in every Wednesday for a Downstate Illinois Road Trip Roundup on themed topics showcasing several destinations across the southern portion of the state. Since it is Cinco de Mayo, let’s focus on some of the best places to celebrate the holiday with food and drinks!


Celebrate this Cinco de Mayo right by dining, drinking, or shopping at one of the many Mexican eateries in Carbondale.

At El Paisano Taqueria you will be treated like family. They guarantee friendly servers, good service, and delicious Mexican food!

Chango’s Bar & Grill offers simple counter service, serving tacos, burritos, Mexican beers and late-night weekend hours.

Don Taco Mexican Grill offers visitors “on the go” Mexican food, with both indoor and outdoor seating. Their new expanded menu now includes Al Pastor, Barbacoa, and Carnitas.

With a casual atmosphere, Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant is a local favorite serving both traditional and contemporary Mexican cuisine. Authentic throughout, both the food and the service will leave you coming back for more.

At Don Sol Mexican Grill you can enjoy comfort food, happy hour and a cozy setting.

Not your typical Tex-Mex food or burrito joint. Moe’s Southwest Grill offers a variety of fresh and flavorful ingredients to fit any diet (paleo, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free).

New to Carbondale, Sergio’s Mexican Restaurant provides Mexican cuisine, margarita towers and a fun and family-friendly atmosphere.

Featuring a blend of Mexican and Southwestern flavors, Tres Hombres Mexican Restaurant has been dishing up great music and food for more than 30 years. Lunch and dinner are served daily, with refreshing drinks and a packed schedule of live entertainment.

Dona Camila is a locally owned and operated offering authentic Mexican cuisine in a one-stop shop. Dine in or grab carry out and peruse the specialty grocery store featuring hot sauces, Mexican sodas and snacks, a variety of peppers, pinatas, and even cowboy boots!

Don’t forget to make a stop to satisfy your sweet tooth at Panaderia La Unica, an authentic Latin-American bakery serving fresh breads and pastries.

Effingham Celebrate the beauty of Mexico and honor local Mexican culture by toasting to Cinco de Mayo, this May 5th, 2021. We can’t think of much else that tops having a reason to get together with friends, eat tacos and drink margaritas… Thankfully, Effingham has a plethora of options to satisfy your appetite for authentic Mexican cuisine!

This Wednesday, take a break at La Terraza Express Taqueria, a taco truck that won the 2021 “People’s Choice” Award. Their food truck fare is not only authentic – it’s also delicious! Choose from their menu of burritos, quesadillas, tacos, taco salad, nachos, tamales, sides and more. Planning a night out? Whether it’s a night on the town with your girlfriends or you’re in charge of date night, Cinco de Mayo gives you the perfect excuse to head to Downtown Effingham and experience the traditional flavors of Taqueria Don Pedro. This locally-owned and operated restaurant brings fresh, regional Mexican flavors to the heart of Illinois through family recipes, which have been passed down from generation to generation. Not to mention, they offer dining options that include a rooftop view of the downtown area… Excuse us while we swoon. If you’re looking for a more classic dine-in option, look no further than Puerto Vallarta, on the south end of town, for a twist on the traditional. Enjoy authentic Mexican flavors in the restaurant’s warm and welcoming atmosphere. El Rancherito, on the north end of town, is another great choice for dining in! While you’re there, order up your favorite Mexican entrees, like their infamous fajitas or chimichangas. Wherever you choose to celebrate, however you choose to celebrate, we can’t wait to see you out and about, honoring the beautiful heritage and culture of our local Mexican restaurants. Share your experience with us using #tasteofEffingham!


There are so many FANTASTIC places to grab some Mexican food and beverages throughout our 22-county territory – too many to mention, unfortunately! But there are a handful of crowd favorites that you should definitely try. That glass full of beauty pictured above can be found at Casa Maria in Belleville. It is called the ‘Maria Vice’ and is half strawberry margarita and half pina colada. If you’re there for food, Casa Maria’s barbacoa tacos are pretty darn good as well! Tequila Mexican Restaurant in Centralia is highly regarded for its margaritas. Whether it’s by the glass, the pitcher, or even a tower (yes, they have margarita towers) – the margs here are fantastic. Tequila has your traditional frozen and traditional margaritas of course, but a rare concoction they also feature is the Coronarita. You likely guessed it, the Coronarita is a delicious combo of margarita and a Corona beer. In our Eastern Region, Carmi is home to Mr. Jalapeno – which often offers half-price margaritas…who doesn’t love that!? And for those looking for carry out, they have GREAT family deals that will feed five people! If you’re ever around White County, Mr. Jalapeno is definitely worth a stop.



If you need a reason to eat great Mexican Food, Cinco de Mayo is happening this week, and Metropolis has 2 great Authentic Mexican Eateries to celebrate at! El Toro Loco is a quick 2 block walk from the Superman Statue on Market Street. This is a great place to order your favorite Mexican dishes. A crowd favorite at El Toro Loco is the flight of Margaritas! Nothing screams celebration more than 4 flavored margaritas accompanying your unlimited chips & salsa and delicious entree. Not only is the food amazing, the artwork on the walls of this restaurant are a sight to be seen. Check out El Toro Loco’s Facebook page for Cinco de Mayo Specials. Casa Tapatia is located directly across from Fort Massac State Park on Highway 45 as you enter Metropolis. This authentic Mexican Restaurant is ready to serve you lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Their large menu is sure to offer you your favorite Mexican plate, or a new cultural experience for your palate. Patio dining is available should you want to take the celebration outside. Casa Tapatia has a full bar and even a video gaming room for your entertainment.(must be 21 to enter the gaming room). Both of these amazing, locally owned restaurants are great places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, or any day of the year!


Mt. Vernon

Cinco de Mayo is a great excuse to spend some time with friends! In Mt. Vernon, there are four Mexican restaurants you can get your queso and margarita fix from! El Rancherito of Mt. Vernon offers indoor and outdoor dining. A local institution for more than 25 years, “the Ranch” as locals call it does not disappoint! El Rancherito goes through almost 100 gallons of margaritas in a normal week! They use their own recipe house lime margarita, available frozen or on the rocks, in sizes from small to Margarita Tower! Eight other flavors are available and all pair well with chips and queso. Authentic cuisine and traditional favorites fill the menu. For May 5th, they say, “Let’s fiesta with Corona – cerveza that is!” They will have giveaways, $1 tequila shots, three tacos for $5 and DJ and karaoke from 5-? Agave also offers indoor and outdoor dining. Whether you go for a favorite like Trio Chimichangas or the Agave Special with a chicken enchilada and chicken burrito, you can’t go wrong! This Cinco they are celebrating 10 years in business with incredible drink specials, a DJ from 3 pm – 9pm, a kids’ prize table (while supplies last) and sales of their annual Cinco de Mayo t-shirt! Downtown, La Fuente is kicking off with a bang! Recently purchased from Guero’s, La Fuente has an ambiance all its own. Check out their menu full of steak, chicken, vegetarian dishes and more! Enjoy Mexican beer, margaritas or if a sweet tooth is what you have, their dessert menu is off the charts! Last, but certainly not least, La Fiesta comes in with a whopping 20+ flavor choices for margaritas as well as top shelf margaritas that will really make your chicken fajitas sizzle! From blue raspberry to strawberry and everything in between, La Fiesta margaritas are on fire whether you get them frozen or on the rocks! A new in 2020 patio seating is a fun place to be, or dine indoors if you prefer. Whatever your preference, there is a place to enjoy Cinco De Mayo and Enjoy Mt. Vernon!


Let’s taco ‘bout Cinco de Mayo! With nearly a dozen Mexican restaurants in Williamson County, there are plenty of places to celebrate! Several of our favorite local restaurants will be having specials on food, margarita pitchers, beer, and more! El Ranchito in Marion will be hosting a fundraiser, with proceeds from their Cinco de Mayo t-shirts going to Cardinal Glennon Children Hospital. Another local favorite, Tequila’s in Carterville, will be having specials on their most popular dishes, like; Chimichangas, Chicken on the Beach, Fajitas, and Pollo Loco. If you can’t make it this week, don’t worry! Our Mexican restaurants always have delicious food, great prices, and friendly service, so you can celebrate any time!