Cinco de Mayo food and drink specials around DC

El Presidente's Classic Margarita.(Photo courtesy of Birch Thomas)

Sunday is Cinco de Mayo, and there are plenty of opportunities to join in the festivities across the D.C. area. The holiday, which celebrates Mexico’s victory over the Second French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, is a perfect excuse to enjoy specials on margaritas, tacos and more.

Check out the following list for a few recommendations on where to celebrate. For more restaurants to choose from, consider attending Latin Restaurant Week, running from Friday through May 17. The event celebrates Latin cuisine and both aspiring and established Hispanic restaurateurs.


“Little Mexico” celebrations
14th Street NW, from Spring Road to Shepherd Street
Enjoy Mexican cuisine on Saturday and Sunday in D.C.’s “Little Mexico,” with special promotions at local restaurants, such as Taqueria Habanero, D.C. Corazon and Chicatana. Live mariachi bands are performing from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and a Mexican folk dance performance by Corazon Folklorico is being held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Margarita Stroll Bar Fest
Dupont Circle
For the first time, Dupont Circle is hosting a crawl for margarita and taco lovers. With tickets starting at $10 for early bird general admission, the event allows visitors to embark on a journey that will include $5 tequila sunrise shooters, $6 margaritas, taco specials, live DJs and more.

El Presidente
1255 Union Street NE
On Sunday, Stephen Starr’s “neo-retro Mexican experience” restaurant will host food specials all day long along with a live DJ from noon to 6 p.m. and a complimentary half-ounce welcome sipper for guests. Guests can also expect a tasting flight featuring a trio of Don Julio tequilas. Michael Lloyd, Beverage Manager of El Presidente, told WTOP there will be a “Don Julio takeover” of the frozen margarita machine. There will also be a “top secret guacamole,” which Lloyd gave no additional details on, except to say “you will see what it is” when you arrive. Weather permitting, expect a satellite pop-up bar outside with to-go margaritas.

Casta’s Rum Bar
1121 New Hampshire Avenue NW
The lively fiesta expected at this bar will include a live DJ and a “Margarita Bike” that lets you pedal to power your own margarita blender. Admission is free with specials all day for tequila shots, margarita pitchers and beer.

640 Rhode Island Avenue NE
Listen to a live DJ and live Mexican bands at this Metro-themed outdoor beer garden, while you sip on margaritas and mezcal. Taqueria Habanero is also expected to sell food at the venue this Sunday.

732 Maryland Avenue NE
The owners of the Lutèce restaurant are hosting live entertainment and drink and food specials at Pascual’s Cinco de Mayo all-inclusive party. Tickets for the event — which will include michelada, taco stations and a preview of the upcoming panadería — cost $150.

Pinko De Mayo
3000 12th Street NE
At Primrose, enjoy a lively fiesta with the sixth annual Pinko de Mayo. The Sunday party includes a full flight tasting of new wines from Lightwell Survey and snacks by Primrose. At this event, you’re expected to wear — no surprise — pink. Tickets cost $50 per person.


2000 Mount Vernon Avenue

Alexandria, Va.
The Cinco de Mayo celebration begins at this outdoor beer garden on Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Along with to-go, 10-ounce bottled margaritas for sale (including a tamarind margarita and a strawberry, cucumber and jalapeño margarita), Hi/Fi is also offering food specials, such as a baja fish taco and a tuna tartare tostada. Other drink specials include big schooner glasses of beer for $5, half-priced frozen drinks and more.

Punch Bowl Social
4238 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1180
Arlington, Va.
From Friday through Sunday, this entertainment venue is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a Latin playlist, $9 Patrόn Silver margaritas and take-home souvenir Patrόn bottle glasses while supplies last. The restaurant is also hosting a mini piñata hunt throughout the venue with gifts inside.

Alexandria Bier Garden
710 King Street
Alexandria, Va.
Don’t miss Old Town Alexandria’s Cinco de Mayo bar crawl this Sunday. Check-in is at Alexandria Bier Garden with tickets starting at approximately $20 per person, which grants entry to all participating bars.


La Catrina Barlounge
4935 Cordell Avenue
Bethesda, Md.
With eight live DJs and two mariachi bands, this big and bold Cinco de Mayo party is sure to entertain. The ticketed event also includes drink and food specials across two floors, plus VIP table and bottle service. Free general admission tickets are sold out, but tickets start at $10 for a high top for groups up to four, $20 for a VIP table for groups between four and six people and $30 for a VIP table for groups between six and eight people.

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Michelle Goldchain

Michelle Goldchain’s reporting has focused primarily on the D.C. area, previously working as Editor of Curbed DC for Vox Media and Audience Growth & Engagement Editor for Washington City Paper. She is the author of “D.C. by Metro: A History & Guide.” She also reports for 'Artsplained' on YouTube.

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