National Queso Day is September 20! A staple of Tex-Mex and Southwestern cuisine, chile con queso, or just queso, this delicious appetizer originated in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Who can possibly deny enjoying a bowl of melted cheese, chilis, and cream (unless they're lactose intolerant)? For this special day, enjoy one, or all, of these NOLA Mexican restaurants for some wonderful queso.
El Pavo Real
El Pavo Real prides itself on serving "real Mexican food for a real New Orleans neighborhood" down on South Broad. For an appetizer, grab the rajas con queso, which includes poblano strips, caramelized onion, and corn in the dip. For an added charge, you can include chorizo or crabmeat with it as well. The Chipotle Coconut Shrimp with cilantro rice and plantains is also a specialty. 4401 S. Broad St., 504-266-2022, elpavorealnola.com
Originating as a small Baton Rouge buffet in 2007, Sarita's Grill serves Mexican inspired dishes with Salvadorian flavors. While you could get the standard chile con queso, how about branching out and ordering the Queso Fundido? This dip comes mixed with cheese, tomatoes, black olives, and your choice of either chicken or beef fajita with flour tortillas. You can also get queso with refried beans when you order their bean dip appetizer. 4520 Freret St., 504-324-3562, saritasgrill.com
A true New Orleans classic, Velvet Cactus was voted the best Lakeview restaurant by Where Y'at Magazine's readers. The restaurant has the perfect options for National Queso Day. The standard queso is blended with jalapenos, roasted onions, and tomatoes, and can be enhanced with molida beef or chorizo for an extra charge. Or you can order the "Get Ur Freak On Queso," which comes with pico de gallo, molida beef, and guacamole. 6300 Argonne Blvd., 504-301-2083, thevelvetcactus.com
Run by renowned and celebrity chef Aarón Sánchez, Johnny Sánchez is known for its inventive Mexican food and chic atmosphere. To start, order the queso dip with lime, cilantro, and chorizo. Or, perhaps you'd like to get the Queso Fundido with chorizo, rajas, and flour tortillas. Don't forget to order from the restaurant's extensive drink menu. 930 Poydras St., Ste. 101, 504-304-6615, johnnysancheznola.com
Barracuda is a unique taco stand/margarita garden with locations in both Uptown and Algiers. For National Queso Day, get your queso with pepitas, pomegranate, and a side of chips. You can also add homemade chorizo or even add some extra spice if you like your dip hot. While enjoying your queso, make sure to grab one of Barracuda's mouthwatering tacos. Multiple Locations, eatbarracuda.com