We’re not sure how tacos and tequila became the way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo history. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely 1862 victory over invading French forces, and today that means margarita specials and $1 taco deals.
Chalk it up to some people just knowing how to have a good time. And don't just throw back those margaritas — there's a real art to them. Whether you're in it for the quality or quantity, check out these food and drink specials for Cinco de Mayo.
The East Village guacamole restaurant Guac Tacos + Tequila (179 Ave. B) will offer cinco food and drink specials for Cinco de Mayo: Buy four tacos and get the fifth free, $5 original and spicy margaritas, all Mexican beer $5, a guacamole flight of five flavors for $25, and a free large guac with an order of five shots.
At The Rusty Knot, the nautical-themed bar on the shores of the West Village (425 West St.), celebrate Cinco de Mayo at 7 p.m. with folk dancing and live music. Nosh on street tacos, nachos and “gas station burritos” with $3 Dos Equis, Tecate, Modelo Especial and Corona, and $5 Knotty Ritas.
Count on Stephen Starr’s lively Mexican joint El Vez (259 Vesey St., Battery Park) for a good time, with all-day food and drink specials like $9 frozen classic margs, $6 Tecate and a shot, a one-off menu of dishes like pork belly nachos and hamachi ceviche, and a live mariachi band from 6-10 p.m.
Davio’s Manhattan (447 Lexington Ave., Midtown) is throwing its first-ever Cinco de Mayo Rooftop Fiesta on its 27th floor terrace with Blue Hour Tequila. Your $68 is all inclusive, with a custom Margarita Bar, Mexican beers, steakhouse appetizers and desserts, photo booth, a piñata (filled with grown-up prizes like gift cards), all with a great view.
Art meets tacos at the new casual taqueria and bar Street Taco (358 Third Ave., Kips Bay), already a hot spot for both its tacos and colorful frozen cocktails. Check it out for yourself on Cinco, with specials like Modelo Especial for $5, Tecate for $4, margaritas for $6 and pitches for $28, and $1 Chicken Tinga Tacos.
Union Square newcomer Camacho's (118 E. 15th St.) is giving away free shots every hour on Cinco De Mayo (in addition to the free shots they give out at 11 p.m. nightly, FYI) along with party swag like sombreros and beads. They’ll also have a special large-format mezcal cocktail, The Bad Hombre, served out of a smoking skull ($35).
Rooftop party season is back at Hudson Terrace (621 W. 46th St.). Just say “fiesta” at the door to get free entry to their Cinco soiree — arrive before 6:30 p.m. for a free drink, too. Specials include two-for-one Don Julio margaritas, $5 Bud Light & Modelo, $8 mango margaritas, $8 tequila shots and $10 cocktails, with three rooms (indoors and outside) of live music and party favors; go VIP ($24) for a two-hour open bar and exclusive salon.
Get your Queso & Cocktails on at Prospect Heights’ new casually upscale Mexican restaurant Alta Calidad (552 Vanderbilt Ave.), featuring $10 tequila cocktails — and don’t you want to get your drink on at the place where the house signature is the Margarita Calidad, which literally translates to Quality Margarita? Your first drink also includes one of Alta Calidad's funky queso fundidos.
Take a tour of the Mexican lowlands at the Lower East Side’s La Contenta (102 Norfolk St.), where they’ll be serving a special menu of Tres Agaves cocktails. They’re only $8 during their special Cinco de Mayo happy hour from 4-6 p.m.; after that, the price goes to $10. Shop a pop-up Mexican-style market with fruit and sweet vendors outside the restaurant, accompanied by a traditional Latin band.
New York-born taqueria Dos Caminos will have happy hour specials ($6 small plates, $5 Coronas, $10 tequila flight) as well as a special food menu at all of its locations — though if you’d like more of a festive air, the Meatpacking and SoHo restaurants will have mariachi bands, Cazadores margaritas and a special Cinco Punch, plus complimentary tastings of reposado, anejo and extra anejo tequilas.
For a more literary take on Cinco de Mayo, NYLO New York City hotel (2178 Broadway, Upper West Side) will be serving a Frida Kahlo-inspired cocktail (they come an adorable sugar skull glass and a flower crown for you, $15) at their Cinco de Mayo party from 5 p.m. to midnight.