The craziest party north of the border lies no further than the corner of Division and Damen. Like its older sibling in Old Town, the Mexican eatery is notorious for its more than 80 brands of tequila and has plenty of tableside guacamole to go around.
If dunking a tortilla chip into the frighteningly fresh dip doesn't entice you, perhaps remaining menu choices will (and there certainly are a lot). Adding modern flair to Mexican classics, you'll find earthenware cazuelas of homemade chorizo, adasero cheese, zucchini and tomatillo-chile salsa and chipotle shrimp skewers with grilled pineapple. Don't overlook the ceviche (try the "tasting" and feast on all three varieties) and the mole-basted chicken enchiladas. The clincher? Everything on the menu costs less than $20.
Though the restaurant may be a veritable candy store for tequila connoisseurs, accompanying drinkables are a must for novices and liquor-snobs alike. Tequila-tinis dazzle the drink list in the form of concoctions such as la maracuya (cabo wabo blanco tequila, midori and fresh passion fruit juice) and mojito a mi manera (blanco tequila shaken with basil, mint and lime). Margaritas, like the guac, will be mixed beside your table as you watch.
A great scene for both partying and pre-gaming, every Chicagoan should stop by Adobo at least once for a Mexican fix with a twist. Looking to entertain? Inquire about the private party rooms, which seat 15-200 guests at a time. If you're dining with fewer friends, grab a seat on the lively patio, but hurry—on the weekends it's a nearly impossible feat.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Carly Schwartz