Top Restaurants to try for Hispanic Heritage Month 2022
Hispanic Heritage Month takes place September 15 to October 15 every year, and serves as a time to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latino community. Food is a major component in Hispanic culture, as it helps identify the importance of family and togetherness.
As the Greatest Midwestern Food Town, it's safe to say we’re home to a variety of Hispanic and Latin restaurants, each with their own flavor and vibrant ambiances. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve compiled a short list of the top restaurants you should try throughout September and October.
La Bahia Grill
La Bahia Grill specializes in Nayarit-style seafood and spins a unique take on Mexican cuisine. There’s a special for each day of the week, from Margarita Mondays (any 12 oz. Margarita for $3.50), to Taco Tuesdays where you can order traditional-style tacos with any meat for $2.50. Some of their popular dishes include Carnitas, a version of pulled pork dressed with Mexican spices, or their Aguachiles—shrimp cooked in lime juice with spicy salsa and onion. Aside from the amazing food, you will be met with friendly-attentive staff and a breathtaking mural of Frida Kahlo adorned in colorful flowers. If you’re lucky to get a table in front of Ms. Kahlo, we recommend taking a picture, as this is a popular selfie spot!
Maize Mexican Grill and Maize at the Station
Whether you’re on Campus or in the heart of Downtown, both locals and students are acclimated with Maize Mexican Grill—arguably one of the top spots for authentic Mexican Cuisine. Maize incorporates flavors from Mexico City, Michoacan and the mountains of a little farm in Guerrero Mexico. Their Burrito Pollo (Chicken) and their Quesadillas are popular picks, with their expertly-mixed margaritas and cocktails convincing you for round two. There are two locations: Maize at the Station is located at 100 N Chestnut St, and Maize Mexican Grill is at 60 E Green St.
It’s hard to miss Fiesta Cafe with their plunging ceiling plants and signature pink stucco walls off South 1st. Street. For over 34 years, Fiesta Cafe has been a staple in Champaign, with popular menu items such as their Burritos, Enchiladas, Chimichangas, and over 160 different kinds of Tequila (not that we’re counting). Everything is made fresh in-house, from the sauces to the Guacamole, and rumor has it—they have the best Alex Tacos in town. Alex Tacos are a hidden gem not on the menu, but it consists of Pork, cilantro, and grilled onions with green chile sauce on corn tortillas. Outdoor seating is also available, so be sure to bring your friends and loved ones!
El Taco Tako
When you think of the Broomcorn capital of the world, Latin cuisine might not be the first thing to come to mind, but you will be pleasantly surprised. Arcola, Illinois, is steeped in Mexican culture thanks to the Hispanic immigration of the 1970’s, where there were opportunities for employment with broom manufacturing. El Taco Tako is beloved for their array of menu items, spanning from Chalupas, Quesadillas, stuffed Chili Burritos and their famous selection of tacos. Home-cooked and always authentic, this hidden gem is appreciated by locals and travelers driving through Arcola.
Sol Del Mar
If you’re looking for tasty food and a vibrant atmosphere, look no further. Located in Tuscola, Illinois, Sol Del Mar in Tuscola is beautiful as it is tasty—imagery like sombreros, fruits, cactuses, and sunsets and other Hispanic motifs encompass the backs of their booths, chairs and tables. Their Tacosala Fajitas and Quesadilla De Luxes will have you coming back for seconds, and don’t get us started on their endless variety of margaritas! Outdoor seating is also available, so don’t forget to enjoy an evening outside with your loved ones.
While you’re at it…
If you’re in the mood for great food and music, La Bahia Grill frequently hosts karaoke nights on Fridays, and Nola’s Rock Bar hosts En Fuego Wednesdays from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am! Put on your dancing shoes and enjoy an evening full of Salsa, Bachata, and Cumbia. The Axe Bar also hosts frequent Latin Night Parties, Saturdays from 10pm to 2 am.