Food

Where to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo Around DC

Skip the cheap shots and head to one of these taco and tequila parties or festive feasts instead.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at El Rey. Photograph by Mykl Wu.

This Sunday marks Cinco de Mayo, the holiday commemorating Mexico’s defeat of France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Here’s where to celebrate at DC-area bars and restaurants—especially if you’re looking for more than just tequila shots.

Barmini and Amparo Fondita collaborative feast
Discerning revelers can head to this “elevated Cinco de Mayo celebration” from Barmini bartender Al Thompson and chef Christian Irabién of the forthcoming Amapro Fondita in La Cosecha Latin marketplace. Irabién, a Chihuahua native, will serve modern small plates like burrata tostadas with cactus and tomato while Thompson mixes drinks. All-inclusive tickets for two seatings (6:30 and 8 PM) at District Space in Brookland are $99.99 per person.

Urbano 116‘s “Battle of Puebla” dinner
This Alexandria eatery is celebrating all weekend with festive events and eats from Friday to Sunday. On May 3, Mexico City-based chef Alam Mendez-Florian is offering a four-course meal and drinks inspired by the Battle of Puebla with Franco-Mexican twists like a short rib with potato gratin or Mexican bouillabaisse ($95 per person). The next day from 2 to 4 PM, head to a cocktail class with guest mixologists from Mexico City. Marco Aurelio Dorantes and Emilio Valera will teach attendees how to craft tequila and mezcal drinks alongside snacks like shrimp ceviche (tickets are $40). On Cinco de Mayo the restaurant will unveil five new tacos (two for $5).

El Techo‘s #NewRoofWhoDis
The U Street rooftop bar above Rito Loco is getting a revamp for summer that will debut on Cinco de Mayo. New touches include lofty covering, more florals, and a frozen margarita machine that’ll crank out $13 drinks like a berry-lemongrass-mango-mezcal margarita starting May 3.

Taco Bamba and Poca Madre patio parties
On Saturday, chef Victor Albisu’s upscale restaurant throws a “Mexican tiki party” from 9 to 11 PM with unlimited snacks like smoked brisket quesadillas and chile rellenos tacos (tickets are $35; drinks available for individual purchase). If an open taco-and-guacamole bar is your thing, check out casual sibling Taco Bamba’s party at the Penn Quarter location from 1 to 4 PM on Sunday ($35 a person online, plus the option of $35 open bar wristbands available at the door).

Fried cauliflower tacos at Tico. Photograph courtesy of Tico

Tico‘s taco party
Ready to party all day? This 14th Street Spanish-Latin restaurant is celebrating from 2 PM to midnight on Sunday. Food and drink tickets (one for $8; five for $32) can be purchased online in advance and used to get fried chicken tacos, whole roasted pig plates, hibiscus margaritas, and more.

Mission‘s guacamole fest
On Saturday and Sunday, Mission’s new Navy Yard and Dupont locations will throw parties with live music, giveaways, and bottomless brunch menus that include unlimited guacamole and free-flowing margaritas. Come for the $8 quesadillas, stay for the $5.50 Dos Equis.

El Rey‘s mariachi mash
U Street’s taqueria is breaking out a whole mariachi band for the festivities, which run from noon until 1:30 AM. In addition to live music look for food and drink deals like $4 carnitas tacos, an array of house margaritas, elote, and an ice luge.

Radiator‘s rooftop fiesta
The rooftop of Logan Circle’s Mason & Rook Hotel opens for a summer season of fun on Cinco de Mayo. Head up any time Friday through Sunday for a Mexican menu of tacos, elote, quesadillas, margaritas and complimentary nachos.

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