Cinco de Mayo is looming, and while there are plenty of margaritas awaiting you, it's also fitting to leave room for new surprises. Like a bacon taco. Although, if you're reading about it now, is it still a surprise? You have no time for such philosophical questions, there are bacon tacos to be had!
El Rey (info and address)
That shipping container taco spot on U Street will help you celebrate Cinco de Mayo by packing as much pork product as possible into a taco. Specifically, it has a woven bacon taco shell, pork loin, pork al pastor, carnitas, and pork fat mayo. Keeping with the theme, this taco will sell for $5. Try it with a Short Mexican Stiffy, made with reposado tequila, mezcal, agave nectar, bitters, and orange.
Masa 14 (info and address)
It’s all about margs at Masa 14 on Cinco de Mayo. They will be serving classic, fresh strawberry, and mango margaritas all night long for $5. Also try five small plates new to the Masa 14 lineup, like octopus ceviche tostadas and chicken chalupas. They’re $5 (notice a theme?) in the bar and lounge area. DJs will spin from 7pm-close. Note: you can also get in on the margarita deal at both El Centro D.F. locations and Zengo in Chinatown.
El Centro D.F.
14th St / Georgetown
Try a little bit of everything at El Centro’s Cinco de Mayo buffet. Who doesn’t love a good buffet? For $10, SERIOUSLY $10, you can fill up on brisket tacos, carnitas, chorizo empanadas, chicken tinga flautas, and a lot more. Buffet hours are 5-11pm and the DJ will start spinning at 7pm.
Mission (info and address)
Because they just opened their doors, this is Mission's first go-round for Cinco. Things bode well taco-wise, because the man slinging tacos is Chef Rod from the much-craved R&R Taqueria. Try his tacos de pescado, made with fried mahi mahi. And, with 50+ types of tequila and mezcal, we’re sure they won’t run dry.
Agua 301 (info and address)
Be one of the first to experience the Agua 301 patio on Cinco de Mayo. They’ll be offering a countdown of sorts throughout the weekend: margs cost $7 on Sat, May 3rd, $6 on Sun, May 4th, and $5 on Monday for Cinco de Mayo. An endless supply of tacos will keep your mouth busy as you take in the waterfront views.
Bamba Bowl at Del Campo (info and address)
Del Campo’s sister restaurant, Taco Bamba, is hosting a taco extravaganza from 12-3pm on May 3rd. Taste tacos from some of DC’s best Mexican spots, then help pick a winner by casting your vote. Tickets are $30, inclusive of food and beverages. Get them here.
May Industry Takeover Night at Graffiato (info and address)
May’s Industry Night happens to coincide with Cinco de Mayo, so the Graffiato team invited out-of-town chefs to showcase their Latin cuisine. Louisville's Anthony Lamas, Chef/owner of Seviche, Boston's Michael Schlow, Chef/Owner of Tico, and Philadelphia's TJ Torres will be there firing up some Mexican fare. All you need is the $10 cash-only cover fee and a willingness to party from 10pm-1am.
1. El Rey919 U St NW, Washington
2. Masa 141825 14th St NW, Washington
3. El Centro D.F.1819 14th St NW, Washington
4. El Centro Georgetown1218 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington
5. Mission1606 20th St NW, Washington
6. Agua 301301 Water St SE, Washington DC
7. Del Campo777 I Street NW, Washington
8. Graffiato707 6th St, Washington
This hip taqueria is nestled into what looks like a bunch of shipping containers on U Street. MUCH more importantly, inside you'll find a delicious array of tacos, like their adobo chicken or their carnitas, for around $3 or $4 each.
The culinary lovechild of chefs Kaz Okochi (Kaz's Sushi Bistro) and Richard Sandoval (Zengo), Masa fuses the talents of both into a pleasing array of Latin/Asian small plates, in a handsome, open-kitchen 100-seater.
Seeking a new adventure, the masters behind Masa 14 opened Centro to challenge themselves to capture the energy of Mexico City. That energy, apparently, comes straight from superb tacos and tequila. With three floors of raw concrete, walls adorned with Aztec masks, and tables glossed with vintage Mexican newspapers, Centro is undoubtedly a success -- and that's before we even talk about the menu, which features great fish tacos, chicken tamales, and a host of tequila tasting menus. Mexico City rules.
Richard Sandoval's El Centro takes over the old Third Edition space and amps things up with house-infused tequilas, a back patio, and Greek influences.
Helmed by Chef Rod from the beloved R&R Taqueria, this spot has treats like tacos de pescado -- made with fried mahi mahi -- plus 50+ types of tequila and mezcal.
This modern resto crafts authentic Mexican cuisine and then spices it up with modern flair by using experimental ingredients and out-of-the-box techniques.
Using a wood-fired grill is one way to cook a steak, and at Del Campo, that smoke helps add another level of flavor to the meat. This upscale Argentinian restaurant in Chinatown is a beautiful tribute to Argentinian grilled meats, all served in an elegantly rustic space outfitted with oak wood floors and leather sling-back barstools- perfect for enjoying the 48oz ribeye on the menu.
Opened by former "Top Chef" Mike Isabella, Graffiato is an innovative Italian eatery in Chinatown (yes, confusing). What's not confusing is the tastes or the fact that there is a ham bar where locally-cured meats are carved to perfection right in front of you. The open wooden bar-style kitchen allows you to converse with the chef as he kneads the dough for your personal wood-fired pie.