The annual Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos – which runs from Halloween evening through Thursday, November 2 this year – honors lost family and friends. Altars are built and bedecked with photos of the dead, along with their favorite foods and drinks to help sustain them in the afterlife. These restaurants are running specials or holding their own celebrations to help Americans to get in the spirit.
Oyamel, Washington, D.C.
Take down tacos — one cradles shredded rabbit amped with pequin chili peppers, the other features turkey braised in a broth of sour oranges and ancho chilies. Then, dig into queso fundido packed with wild mushrooms, and knock back specialty cocktails, such as the Manzi (Peloton de la Muerte mezcal, manzanilla sherry, chamomile, lemon, and cardamom bitters). Make a reservation at Oyamel.
La Palapa, New York, New York
Three beautifully bedecked altars pay homage to the annual festival, which gets an extended run through Sunday, November 5. There are a pair of celebratory cocktails, including the lime-forward Trotsky Margarita with passion fruit and blood orange accents. Limited-time dishes include pumpkin soup with toasted almonds and crema, construct-your-own barbecue braised brisket tacos, and Oaxacan black mole with roast turkey. Make a reservation at La Palapa.
The Blind Burro, San Diego, California
The two-for-one Dia de Los Burros Halloween celebration begins at 4PM on Tuesday, October 31. Indulge in $17 bottomless margaritas, taco specials, and the tequila-powered Potion De Los Muertos cocktail with an eerie beet juice float that looks like a bloodstain. There’s even a magic show from 8-10PM featuring Ben Silver. Make a reservation at the Blind Burro.
Red O, San Diego, California
It’s happy hour all day on Tuesday, October 31 so you can start the celebration early. Enjoy street tacos, live music, and discounted drinks. There are two specialty sips for the evening, including the Casa Blanca with silver tequila, clarified lime, and triple sec. Make a reservation at Red O.