Cinco de Mayo Festivities in DC
It’s Friday. It’s Cinco de Mayo. What more reason do you need to celebrate?
It’s probably best you know Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day as popularly thought here in the US. It’s in fact, the date commemorating the Mexican Army's victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. (The actual Mexican Independance Day (from the Spaniards) is Sept 16, btw. )
In any case, it’s become such a tradition here now to celebrate Mexican culture on this date, and lots of restaurants and bars have some fun specials that you should take advantage of. Here are some of my favorites.
1. Espita – This Southern Mexican inspired restaurant in Shaw has partnered with local 3 Stars Brewing Company to incorporate Mexican ingredients into a beer, and the result sounds wonderful. The Chamomile Saison is crisp and refreshing, with a slight floral note at the end. I’m looking forward to trying this on Friday, when it will be a $ off!
If mezcal is more your thing, a guest mezcalier will be present to customize mezcal tastings and flights for you. Espita has an INCREDIBLE selection and variety of mezcals, so there’s no way you will go wrong here.
Best of both worlds = beer and a shot ;)
2. All Set – All day $5 margaritas in passionfruit, mango, and guava flavors. Follow that with the decadent Maine Lobster Guacamole with red onion, tomato, lime and cilantro, served with yucca chips. Yum.
3. City Tap House - Cinco de Mayo, City Tap style includes $15 guacamole trios (including a Mexican corn version) and $10 beeritas. Go early to grab a spot on the patio!
4. El Camino – Not sure what this Bloomingdale spot will be up to, but since it’s Friday they will be open for lunch as usual anyway! Get an early start and fill up on some delicious chilaquiles (add on chorizo!), and cheers to the weekend with a margarita!
5. Mezcalero's celebration will be a day long affair, starting with an early happy hour with $5 margaritas and $3.50 Mexican beers available all day, beginning at 11am. Additional Cinco de Mayo festivities will be kicked off on their patio at 3pm- a satellite bar and a build-your-own taco bar available until midnight, where for $2 a taco. Mexican street foods like tortas, quesadillas, enchiladas and the restaurant’s lauded tacos de canastas will be available for $5 from 3pm-10pm. Keep the party going with $3 tequila shots and $4 mezcal shot and dance the night away with a DJ will spin from 7pm-2am. Taco menu will be available till 2 am!
6. For an even earlier start, head to Commissary which will be celebrating on May 4 instead. Frozen Palomas (aka Fro-Lomas) and Spicy Margaritas will be available for $5. A la carte food options will be available such as authentic Carne Asada, Crispy Chicken Tinga Taquitos and Beer Braised Port Carnitas Tacos.
7. Happy hour starts at 3pm on Friday at Tico, featuring special cocktails with El Silencio, Don Julio and Milagro and additional bar bites as well .
8. Taqueria Del Barrio The new Petworth hot spot will have an All you can eat and drink celebration with tickets going for $65 per person. That gets you All You Can Drink Classic Margaritas, Schlafly White Lager, Ballast Point Beers and Cinco De Mayo Punch, plus “gringo” tacos and honey-chipotle wings. Get tickets here.