Cinco de Mayo started with a David and Goliath story. The year was 1862 and a rather unimpressive (in both training and number) Mexican army defeated the well-manned and well-equipped French forces at the Battle of Puebla. So, despite what you’ve heard, today isn’t Mexico’s Independence Day. The story of this unlikely military triumph is still, however, something to toast, eat, and dance to.
Here are five spots in major cities around the world that are turning up the volume and serving up fine Mexican fare. Because every day should be a margarita and guacamole day, but having a reason to indulge makes those avocadoes and tequila even better, am I right? Of course I’m right!
New York: Rosa Mexicano
9 East 18th Street
New York, NY 10003
Rosa Mexicano is typically a classy joint, but on Cinco de Mayo, it goes from Manhattan-chic to mmh-mmh-good. Sure, you’ll nosh on Mexican favorites like top-notch guac, sizzling enchiladas, and tacos stuffed with farmer’s market veggies –all excelente. And if your stomach is already rumbling from pre-gaming it on tequila, their prix-fixe Cinco Menu features Rosa’s yummiest classics. Plus, over 75 tequilas and mezcals will be available for your drinking pleasure. Just think of it as a fiesta for those of us who are SO over cramped bars and deafening tunes.
Retorno del Rey 36
Col. Zona Hotelera
77500 Cancún, Quintana Roo
Okay, so here’s a little secret: Cinco de Mayo isn’t really a big deal in Mexico. Here’s proof. But you know what IS a big deal? Casitas’ grass-roofed beach cabanas. The only thing better than lounging on the sands of Cancun is dining on the sands of Cancun in your own personal cabana like a queen.
Based out of the Ritz-Carlton resort, this upscale venue’s food is out of this world. The menu includes tender filet mignon, Caribbean lobster aguachile, Baja California oysters, and many more drool-worthy items that are making our stomachs rumble in jealousy.
If you need a romantic spot to spend with your sweetheart and an unbeatable selection of red and white wines, go here, and don’t worry about missing out on buckets of tequila. After all, you won’t want to forget this experience!
San Francisco: Taverna Aventine
582 Washington Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
This alleyway celebration is simple and affordable, the way NoCal should be. Maybe you’re a San Fran native who just escaped a hectic office, or maybe you’re in Cali for a few days and need a low-key way to celebrate. Whatever your reason, Taverna Aventine’s got you covered. The party starts at 4 p.m. and features taco trucks, a live DJ, and – you guessed it – more alcohol than is reasonable to consume. Cheers!
Paris: El Nopal
Belushi’s Gare du Nord
5 rue de Dunkerque, 75010
Well, this is ironic. It seems that the French are celebrating Cinco de Mayo like they invented mariachi and margs. El Nopal, which is typically a hole-in-the-wall taco joint, partnered with Belushi’s bar to throw a Mexican fiesta complete with a Mexican-themed food stand, frozen margaritas, a live band, face painting, and a piñata. I’d fly to Paris any day, but the piñata makes this party all the more tempting. Now who has an extra ticket to France they don’t mind parting with?
London: El Patron + Tequila Patrón’s Cinco de Mayo Special
141 Upper Richmond Road
Putney, SW15 2TX
There’s no place like London, even when it comes to a Mexican holiday. For Cinco de Mayo, El Patron paired up with the tequila brand Patrón for a party that’s serious business. Tequila Patrón will whip up the tequila that made its name while the restaurant will serve up such mouthwatering options as fish tacos, pork burritos, guacamole, and gooey cheese quesadillas. Bring your friends, bring your partner, bring the random guy from the red double-decker bus, but do not miss this!
Okay, so we’ve dished out five of our top hotspots for Cinco de Mayo. Now we want to hear from you! Did you like what you saw here? Do you have any hot venues to add to the list? Let us know in the comments!