Cinco de Mayo 2016: Here’s Where to Eat and Drink in Washington

It's a great excuse to eat cheap tacos and sip margaritas.

Fresh (and gluten-free) corn tortillas stuffed with seasonal vegetables at Chaia in Georgetown. Photograph courtesy of Chaia.

It’s Cinco de Mayo on Thursday, and bars and restaurants are busting out their best Mexican-inspired food and drink specials. Here are some places to celebrate.

Cheap tacos at Tico

1926 14th St., NW

If you’re looking for gourmet taco deals, you’ll want to stop by Tico on Thursday. All of their tacos—two-texture beef with chiles and shrimp salad with avocado, edamame with tomatillo sauce, fish, duck and more—are $5. Margaritas like spicy orange and hibiscus are $10.

When: Thursday 3 p.m. to close.

Rooftop drinking at Surfside

2444 Wisconsin Ave., NW

It might be rainy and cold on Thursday, so you’ll need a liquid blanket to drink outside. Starting at noon on the rooftop, you can get mix-and-match beer buckets, half-price marg pitchers, and half-price Surfside riptides, their new swirly frozen drink with rum, coconut and tropical juices.

When: Thursday noon to close.

All-week beer and margarita specials at AGUA 301

301 Water St., SE

You don’t have to wait until Thursday to celebrate Cinco. AGUA 301 is offering $3 Coronas from 11 a.m. to close and $2.50 tacos from 5 p.m. to close today, $4 Corona Light and Negra Modelo drafts on Wednesday, and a variety of specials on the big day: $4 Corona Light and Negra Modelo drafts, $3 Corona bottles, $6 Sauza margs and $9 Casa Noble margs.

When: Tuesday to Thursday, times vary.

Mexican decorations at Chaia

3207 Grace St., NW

First a farmers’ market stand, now a brick and mortar shop in Georgetown, the “farm-to-taco” eatery is hosting a “Chaia de Mayo” party featuring Mexican-inspired decorations from the Petworth DIY studio The Lemon Bowl. Sip beer, wine, and cocktails specials adorned with edible flowers while you listen to Mexican-American artists and try five seasonal vegetable tacos for $3.75 each and three for $11, including the green asparagus taco with Gordy’s Pickle Cherry Pepper Chevre, pickled lemons and cilantro sauce.

Al Pastor tacos at Pepita

4000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (entrance on N. Quincy Street)

Craving a classic pork taco? Head to Mike Isabella’s Arlington cantina, which is firing up a rotisserie and a pig roaster on the patio to cook spit-roasted al pastor ($2) and roast suckling pig ($3) tacos.

When: Thursday 11 a.m. to close.

Seis de Mayo at Del Campo

777 I St., NW

Extend Thursday’s celebrations into Friday at “Del Campo at Dusk,” a rooftop affair including carnitas tacos, chorizos, chilaquiles from chef Victor Albisu and an open bar for $30. After the main event, stay for a cigar and mezcal late-night happy hour. Regular admission is $35.

When: Friday 6 to 9 p.m.

Bottomless buffet at El Centro D.F.

1218 Wisconsin Ave., NW & 1819 14th St. NW

Richard Sandoval’s taqueria El Centro D.F. is offering a $20 all-you-can-eat buffet of tacos, guacamole, and tequila-infused gelato at its Georgetown and 14th Street locations. They’ll also have $6 classic margaritas and $5 Mexican beers.

When: Thursday starting at 4 p.m.

Oyster tacos at Espita Mezcaleria

1250 Ninth St., NW

For a more unique taco experience, head to the new Southern Mexican-inspired Shaw restaurant for fried oyster tacos with watercress, lime mayo served on heirloom corn tortillas—$10 for two or $15 for three. Once you’re thoroughly fed, try the customized mezcal flights or $5 beer specials.

When: Thursday 5 p.m. to close.

All-day tacos, beers, and margs at Fuego Cocino Y Tequileria

2800 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, VA

Clarendon’s Mexican “fire kitchen” is serving up all-day drink and food specials: $5 margaritas, draft cervezas and guacamole, $8 Patron margs, and two tacos + margaritas for $10. If you’re with a group, get the 4 taco platter with a liter of margaritas for $35 or the loaded fajitas for $50.

When: Thursday noon to close.

Mexican-style grilled cheeses at GCDC

1730 Pennsylvania Ave.

This is one’s for cheese lovers: “Elsi’s homemade fajita grilled cheese” at the White House neighbor GCDC. The limited-edition $10 sandwich is made with queso fresco, marinated chicken, sauteed red and green, and white onions, served with green tomatillo sauce.
When: Tuesday to Friday during lunch.

Web producer/writer

Greta started as an editorial fellow in January 2016 and joined as a full-time staff member that August. She now works as a web producer and writer. She was previously an intern at Slate and National Geographic and graduated from the University of Missouri’s Journalism School. She lives in Adams Morgan.