Sept. 16, marking Mexico’s declaration of independence from Spain in 1810, is national holiday celebrated in Mexico with food, dance, music and cry (grito) of “viva la independencia.”
Texans, too, mark the day with festivities, and in Houston Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants and bars will be doing their part to commemorate the day. If you are fiesta-minded this weekend, here are some options with special food, drink and party spirit for Diez y Seis de Septiembre.
Hugo Ortega’s H-Town Restaurant Group: James Beard Award-winning chef’s Mexican restaurants (Hugo’s, 1600 Westheimer; Caracol, 2200 Post Oak; Xochi, 1777 Walker; and Urbe, 1101 Uptown Park) will mark Mexican Independence Day on Sept. 16 by offering the signature Greatest Margarita Ever Sold at a special price, $18 (normally $29). Live mariachi music at each venue, too. Hugo’s will be serving the holiday’s signature dish, chiles en nogada —green poblano peppers, topped with creamy white walnut sauce and red pomegranate seeds, the colors of the Mexican flag. Additionally, a special three-course tequila pairing menu will be offered at Hugo’s, Caracol and Urbe, while at Xochi it will be a three-course mezcal pairing menu. See;;;
Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen: (pictured above) Both locations of Enchilada Queen Sylvia Casares will mark Mexican Independence Day with a dine-in special of an enchilada plate, $15.50, representing the colors of the Mexican flag (a chicken enchilada topped with salsa verde, a vegetable enchilada with cream sauce, and the popular Morelia enchilada topped with a spicy red chili sauce). Pair the enchiladas with Sylvia’s lineup of margaritas. 6401 Woodway and 1140 Eldridge Pkwy.;
Arnaldo Richards’ Picos: Chef Arnaldo Richards’ iconic Mexican restaurant will mark Mexican Independence Day with three days of special dishes and margaritas Sept. 15-17. Chef special dishes will include tacos de chile capeados (crispy Chihuahua cheese-stuffed jalapeno tacos); octopus carpaccio; huitlacoche and mushroom quesadilla; shrimp pozole; pork shank flameado; red snapper; birria; and a lineup of special margaritas. On Sept. 16 from 6 to 10 p.m. there will be mariachi music and tequila tastings. 3601 Kirby;
HIDE AND SEEK: Discover Houston’s hot hidden bars and dining enclaves
Spanish Village: If you’ve never had the legendary cheese enchiladas at Spanish Village, one of Houston’s oldest Tex-Mex restaurants, make a plan. The restaurant near the Museum District neighborhood will celebrate Mexican Independence Day by offering its El Clasico Enchilada plate for $10.99. Additionally, on Sept. 16 there will be mariachis from 6 to 8 p.m., and on Sept. 17 $5 Spanish Village margaritas for $5. 4720 Almeda
Monkey’s Tail: The Mexican-inspired bar in the Lindale Park neighborhood will begin its celebrations on the eve of Mexican Independence Day with cumbia music beginning at 9 p.m. and a Mexican Candy shot for all guests at 11 p.m. for the “el grito” shout; the party continues through closing at 2 a.m. 5802 Fulton;
El Venado: Recently opened on Washington, the restaurant/bar will hold its official grand opening weekend, Sept. 16-18 by celebrating Mexican Independence Day by serving a mixed parrillada (carne asada, sausage and chicken) for $21. Additionally, there will be happy hour pricing over the three-day weekend including upgrading select tequila cocktails to 1800 Cristalino tequila at no additional cost. On Saturday there will be live mariachis at 7 p.m. 6502 Washington;
Cuchara: The modern Mexican bistro in Montrose is marking its 10-year anniversary on Thursday, Sept. 15 with a big party on the eve of Mexican Independence Day. The festivities, 7 to 11 p.m., will include a deejay, mariachis and a traditional “Viva Mexico” proclamation at 11 p.m. Admittance is $25 (adults only); guests can pre-purchase admission bracelet at the restaurant ahead of time to avoid the line. Food and drink available for purchase. 214 Fairview;
Greg Morago writes about food for the Houston Chronicle. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter. Send him news tips at Hear him on our BBQ State of Mind podcast to learn about Houston and Texas barbecue culture.
Greg Morago was a features editor and reporter for The Hartford Courant for 25 years before joining the Houston Chronicle as food editor in 2009. He writes about food, restaurants, spirits, travel, fashion and beauty. He is a native Arizonan and member of the Pima tribe of the Gila River Indian Community.


Shop Sephari