We should be telling you that there’s more (history) to Cinco de Mayo than tacos and tequila. But we thirsty drinkers can’t help but focus on the solid drink deals and parties about to go down from one ‘hood to the next.
See which Mexican hotspot hit our list this Cinco de Mayo. Keep in mind – the tequila-filled holiday falls on a Friday so there’s no excuse not to get your drink on.
Fiesta like there’s no mañana! Kick off at Cinco de Mayo at the wee-hours of the morning. From 12:00 AM to 2:00 AM, devour chips with fresh tomatillo and roasted tomato habanero salsas, and a can of Tecate for $5. Return for dinner to experience the live mariachi band playing from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM, then relax on the rooftop with a Hibiscus & Ginger Frozen Margarita and city views.
145 E. 39th St, 212-865-5800, www.salvationtaco.com, @salvationtaco
This 3-week-old, Mexican bar-taqueria is blowing heat throughout the ‘hood as they fire flautas, tacos, and nachos from a vintage Volkswagen van. Along with frozen margarita-sangria drinks, Street Taco will be serving a series of specials that will give you a buzz before you know it this Cinco de Mayo. These are $6 Watermelon Goza Margaritas made with Goza Blanco Tequila, watermelon juice, agave and lime wheel garnish; $6 ST House Margaritas, a mix of Milagro Silver Tequila, lime juice, agave, salt rim and lime wheel garnish; $5 Modelo Especial; and $4 Tecate. Rolling deep? Opt for a pitcher of Watermelon and ST House Margarita Pitchers for $28 apiece. Spare a buck, or five, and load up on Chicken Tinga Tacos for $1 each. These savory tacos include stewed chicken topped with Cotija cheese, crema, onion, and cilantro. This is place is going to be LIT. #FireEmoji.
358 3rd Ave. at 29th St, 646-791-5413, www.streettacony.com, @streettacony
With a wall of Day of the Dead skulls, there’s no mistaken: it’s a Mexican joint. Another newcomer, this taqueria and tequila bar will serve up free shots every hour and give away free “cinco swag” – aka sombreros, mustaches, beads – to get folks in a festive mood. The neon ‘Tequila Makes My Clothes Come Off’ is insta-funny, so arrive with a fully-charged phone to snap away with.
118 E. 15th St, 212-677-6300, www.camachosnyc.com, @camachosnyc
GUAC Tacos + Tequila
The guac-geared joint in Alphabet City will be offering a variety of food and drink specials including Buy four tacos and get the 5th free; $5 margaritas (original and spicy), AND Mexican beers all night long; Choose five (of 11) funky flavors of guacamole for $25 – Guac it up with Fried Golden Bacon, Exotic Mango and Roasted Sweet Corn; and finally, buy five shots and get a large guac FREE. Oh and, Avion Tequila will be hosting the party, so samples – aka shots – of tequila will be circling the room all night.
179 Avenue B at E. 11th St, 212-254-4822, www.guacnyc.com, @guacnyc
Let’s welcome the Watermelon Margarita to the spring menu. A tequila-based ‘tail with freshly juiced watermelon and black pepper simple syrup, presented with a watermelon wedge (to eat) – ideal for the tequila-themed day and warm outdoor dining. Remember Rosie’s favorites, too like the Charred Citrus Margarita with grilled grapefruit and orange infused tequila, mezcal, lime and agave with a charcoal salt rim. Food options are plentiful, so try ‘em all! Sample the Asada Oaxaquena – aka Oaxacan-style grilled meats – for groups of two, four or six. Guac included.
29 E. 2nd St, 212-335-0114, www.rosiesnyc.com, @rosiesnyc
Lower East Side
Salsa in during La Contenta’s special Cinco de Mayo happy hour from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. All cocktails cost $8. The Jalisco Express – created and named in honor of the Tequila Express train in Jalisco, Mexico which took people to the agave fields in the lowlands of the Jalisco region #fact – is a blend of Tres Agaves Blanco, lime juice and Tres Agaves agave syrup; slice of jalapeño, cucumber and pinch of basil atop. As for entertainment, there will be a Mexican-style market with vendors outside the restaurant, along with a trio-band performing traditional Latin music. Already have plans? No worries – These special offerings are running throughout the weekend.
102 Norfolk St, 212-432-4180, www.lacontentanyc.com, @lacontentanyc
It’s no surprise La Esquina will be throwing a Cinco De Mayo party. They party every weekend! In addition to complimentary shots, knock back the Margarita con Fruta. Choose either passion fruit or blood orange to pair with El Jimador Reposado tequila and lime. Your hips will work from there. P.S. La Esquina Upper East Side (E. 73rd & 2nd) is officially unlocking its door this Cinco De Mayo (that’ll be a whole other celebration). Will it have a secret subterranean lounge like the OG? That’s for you to find out.
114 Kenmare St, 646-613-7100, www.esquinanyc.com, @esquinanyc
Spend your Friday evening surrounded by pretty people in a stylish setting behind Saxon + Parole (hence “Ghost;” The “Donkey” part? We don’t know). Stuff your face with Nachos Especiales, and slurp the Sandia Slurpee, a jalapeño salt-rimmed glass filled with Cazadores Blanco, watermelon puree, Campari and strawberry syrup crafted by Ignacio Jimenez. More like Cinco te Quila.
4 Bleecker St, 212-254-0350, www.ghostdonkey.com, @ghostdonkeynyc
Did you know that Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo more than Mexicans? It’s true. Head to any Dos Caminos location for great guac and Calle Fresca Margaritas. This refreshing rendition of the classic margarita blends together Cazadores Blanco Tequila, fresh cucumber slices, mango purée and fresh lime juice. Ancho chili salt around the r-r-r-rim.
All locations, www.doscaminos.com, @doscaminos
Get dancin’ to live music and entertainment at Añejo. Mexican bites and margaritas will be available at both Hell’s Kitchen and TriBeCa restaurants all-day long for the one-day only. Lean toward the Mexican Firing Squad made with Tapatio reposado, grenadine, fresh lime and spiced salt. Indulge in the Crispy Cauliflower Tacos covered with pineapple-arbol glaze, snap peas and pea shoots – fresh, seasonal and new to the menu.
Both locations, www.anejonyc.com, @anejonyc
Photo Credit: Tanya Blum
At a vast tequila warehouse, expect a lot of…tequila. For $25, sample the Margarita Flight featuring four 2 oz. mini-margaritas: Bodega’s Traditional Margarita, Spicy Margarita, Margarita del Sol, and Solstice. Or, with a few friends (and straws), share the Mega Margarita ($85 Regular / $120 Cadillac). This large-format “mega” margarita serves 5+ guests and is finished with a Coronita beer. Available at Bodega Negra Café only, choose Cinco for Cinco! Enjoy five of Bodega Negra’s signature bites at only $5 a pop. Offerings include Churros, Grilled Corn Salad, Veggie Taco, Chicken Taco, and Jalapeño Rellenos. So, is it deal or no deal?
355 W. 16th St, 212-229-2336, www.bodeganegranyc.com, @bodeganegranyc
The corner Chelsea spot offers an upscale approach to Mexican street food in a vibrant, urban-art-themed space where the walls do the talking. Savor #5DeMayo with a Temerario Michelada (served in a beer mug) in one hand, and black-bunned Temerario Burger in the other. I’ll explain later. Live music and DJ hits happening from 2:00 PM until late. Did we mention happy hour is all day?
198 8th Ave & 20th St, 212-645-2100, www.temerarionyc.com, @temerarionyc
We’ll make it easy for you. From 3:00 PM to late: Drink: Sangre de Nopal – tequila blanco, prickly pear, St. Germain elderflower, citrus and agave nectar. Eat: Camarones Al Ajillo – Garlic shrimp, tequila flame, lime juice, chile de arbol and Mexican rice. See A spectacular skyline view from your seat. Done!
605 W. 48th St, 212-957-1700, www.cantinarooftop.com, @cantinarooftop
The Deal: No deal, but a promise from mix-master Joshua Campbell. That is, a heady cocktail like Hot Hands crafted with Cazadores Reposado, chili infused Cazadores repo, grapefruit, lime and agave nectar; mint leaves, grapefruit peel, and Martini and Rossi prosecco to top it off. All you need, no matter what holiday it is.
221 Smith St, 347-987-3260, www.leyendabk.com, @leyendabk
Mezcalería La Milagrosa
Yes, you will be entering through freezer door in a deli. No, you are not going to freeze to death – just have telephone number reservation ready to access the newly-opened clandestine agave bar. From the brains behind La Superior and Cerveceria Havemeyer comes Mezcalería La Milagrosa, an intimate agave bar and a listening room featuring a carefully curated mezcal and tequila selection and a notable, high-fidelity sound system (to be powered by top DJs). Out with the old, in with the New (Fashioned) – mezcal, orange bitters and cocktail sugar – and new, eclectic mix of tunes, from Japanese soul to Cumbia, breakbeat and trance to Bossa Nova.
149 Havemeyer St, 718-599-1499, www.cerveceriahavemeyer.com, @cerveceriahavemeyer
The Taco Truck
Traiga su propio tequila! Let’s translate: Bring your own tequila! Those who bring their own bottle will receive their choice of Aquas Frescas for FREE. Fill up on fresh taqueria fare, including Aguacate Tacos – that’s crispy avocado – and Berenjena Tortas (or crispy eggplant sandwich). This is next-level Mex-street food. Pro Tip: Download The Taco Truck’s new loyalty app to receive 3 FREE Tacos Tradicional with their download. This is Cinco celebrating at no cost.
62 Newark St. Hoboken, 201-850-1400, www.thetacotruck.com, @thetacotruck
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