WASHINGTON — Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico’s 1862 defeat over the French invasion of the state of Puebla, but in the U.S., it’s become a more broad celebration of Mexican culture — usually marked by margaritas and Tex-Mex.
If you’re looking to sip on sangria or take down some tacos in light of the holiday, there are plenty of places around town where you can do just that. Here are a few:
Espita Espita highlights the cuisine of Oaxaca, a state in southern Mexico. (It’s also home to an impressive collection of mezcal.) On May 5, the restaurant will feature mezcal flights and cocktails, plus tacos topped with adobo rubbed pork and chicharron. The festivities starts at 10:30 a.m., and the patio will be open. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
El Sol and Mezcalero These two sister restaurants (run by a brother-and-sister team) are constantly on critics’ top picks for Mexican cuisine. In a previous interview , Washingtonian executive food editor and restaurant critic Ann Limpert told WTOP, “They’re doing the best tacos in the area, wonderful, huge torta sandwiches and really good margaritas, too.” (Courtesy Mezcalero)
Cactus Cantina and Lauriol Plaza Two other sister restaurants, Cactus Cantina and Lauriol Plaza, are known for their smoky salsa, margarita pitchers and sizable patios. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Chaia Vegetarian taco spot, Chaia, is serving a seasonal sangria made with strawberries, citrus and edible flowers, plus seasonal tacos and sides of rice and beans for Cinco de Mayo. (Courtesy Chaia)
Tacos, Tortas and Tequila and Buena Vida
8407 Ramsey Ave., Silver Spring, Maryland
This new Silver Spring, Maryland, spot (two concepts in one) opens just in time for Cinco de Mayo (May 4 is the restaurant’s first day). Diners can expect dishes such as heirloom tomato ceviche; mushroom and corn enchiladas; and roasted chicken adobo with bacon, white beans, Swiss chard and pepita. (Anchor Images, Inc.)
(ANCHOR IMAGES INC)
MXDC Cocina Mexicana Todd English’s modern Mexican restaurant has a few specials for May 5, including five festive margaritas, five different types of tacos and five signature appetizers for $7 each, from noon to 5 p.m. (Nicholas Karlin)
Oyamel Jose Andres’ Penn Quarter restaurant is a D.C. staple. You can count on delicious tacos, ceviches, tortas and tequilas. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images for American Express Platinum/Jason Kempin)
Taco Bamba Victor Albisu’s beloved taco bar has four different locations in the D.C. area. Get the day started off right with one of the concept’s breakfast tacos, sopes or tostadas (the tinga tostada has pinto beans, chicken tinga, cheese and a fried egg). (Greg Powers)
Taqueria del Barrio Alongside a list of classic margaritas and creative Latin cocktails, diners can find everything from seared beef tongue tacos to grilled cactus paddles melted with Oaxaca cheese in this Petworth hot spot. (Jai Williams)
El Centro D.F. Margaritas, tacos and guacamoles are the stars at this Richard Sandoval restaurant. El Centro has two D.C. locations: Georgetown and 14th Street.
Taqueria Nacional This T Street taqueria caters to quick meals and leisurely lunches. The patio is the perfect place to watch the hustle and bustle of 14th Street.
Mission Right next to the Dupont Circle Metro station, Mission is running Cinco de Mayo specials from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. on May 5. Expect $5 Coronas, $28 margarita pitchers and $9 nachos and quesadillas — plus, the perfect patio for people-watching.
Guapo’s A popular choice for fajitas, platters and other Tex-Mex fare, Guapo’s has locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. (Courtesy Guapo’s Restaurant)
(Courtesy Guapo's Restaurant)
Tico Cinco de Mayo festivities at Tico include a live band, satellite bars and plenty of tacos from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. The event is free to attend. (Scott Suchman/Tico)
(Courtesy Guapo's Restaurant)
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