Lifestyle

The Best Cinco de Mayo Specials and Celebrations in LA

Updated On 04/28/2017 at 05:05PM EST Updated On 04/28/2017 at 05:05PM EST
Red O Restaurants

DRINK DEALS

Las Perlas

Address and Info

Downtown

Downtown office dwellers shouldn’t bother going back to the grind after lunch, as this tequila and mezcal bar will get its festivities going at noon, with $5 cocktails until 4pm, tacos on the patio all day long, live music by Tres Souls from 1-4pm, and pitchers of margaritas and buckets of beer available well into the night.  

Red O

Address and Info

Santa Monica (& other locations)

Indulge in Rick Bayless’ modern Mexican fare alongside all-night specials at the bar, including $5 beers, $5 Modelo micheladas, $10 Cabo Wabo margaritas, and tequila shots. There’ll be music at all locations, including Santa Monica, which will kick things off with a DJ at 4pm followed by duo Michael Alvarado & Sylvia from 7pm to 10pm.

Cabo Cantina

Address and Info

Brentwood (& other locations)

No matter where you are in LA, you’re never far from one of these spring-break-in-Cancun-reminiscent watering holes that pretty much scream "Cinco de Mayo" 365 days a year. The Cinco de Drinko celebration will be touting 99-cent Coronitas (available at all locations until they run out, which, in our estimation, will be mere moments in), and Cabo Cantina will open extra early at 10am to get ahead of the mania. A special draft beer station will be erected, and those fabled two-for-one happy hours will take place as usual from 4pm to 8pm, and again from 10pm till midnight.

Mercado

Address and Info

Beverly Grove (& other locations)

From 4pm until midnight, this trio of upscale Mexican eateries will be shaking up one-night-only $13 watermelon-basil margaritas, along with a $10 Tromba house margarita. There'll also be $9 Tromba shots, $4 cans of Modelo, and $9 plates of guacamole and carnitas tacos. Look for deals at the affiliated Yxta Downtown and Maradentro in Brentwood and Studio City too.

La Cabana

Address and Info

Venice

The stalwart spot that was firmly planted on Rose Ave decades before it was hot will be doing $5 Dos Equis on tap, $8 house margaritas, $10 doubles, and $10 “Ultimate” margaritas concocted with Corralejo and Cointreau. Cinco de Mayo also happens to be the one day of the year this place puts its mariachi band on the roof. Get ready to Instagram the hell out of the whole thing.

Big Bar

Address and Info

Los Feliz

The Eastside cocktail den will be marking the return of its “nefarious beast,” also known as the largest margarita in Los Feliz -- a seriously massive beverage that forgoes tequila in favor of Mestizo Mezcal blanco. It’s never officially been measured, but it fits two giant ice blocks, so, yeah, it’s big. A piece of the action will cost you $12. You can also do a made-to-order traditional margarita that keeps it simple with Altos Blanco tequila, agave, and lime for the same price, or a $10 Sangrita -- a refresher that blends fruit and vegetable juices with spices -- that comes with a shot of mezcal or tequila.

Shutters on the Beach

FOOD DEALS

Border Grill

Address and Info

Downtown

Yes, it’s the first Cinco de Mayo in more than 25 years where there won’t be a celebration at this modern Mexican joint’s Santa Monica spot (it shuttered six months ago), but the fiesta feel lives on at the Downtown location. Expect to find $3.50 tacos ranging from grilled fish garnished with cucumber citrus slaw and a jalapeño aioli, to ribeye with roasted peppers, as well as a variety of $5 bites including a chipotle crab roll, mini queso fundido with chorizo, and calamari. You can wash it all down with $7 margaritas while a DJ works the outdoor patio from 4pm to 10pm.

Shutters on the Beach

Address and Info

Santa Monica

Keep it classy at this upscale beachfront hotel, which will be marking the occasion with an interactive chef’s table where executive chef Vittorio Lucariello will whip up fresh ceviche before your eyes (ranging from $16 to $22), and then pairing the plates with craft margaritas beginning at 5pm.

The Mixing Room

Address and Info

Downtown

This small-plates-and-cocktail lounge inside the JW Marriott at LA Live will feature $4 tacos -- including its pork-laden Lechon version made with both the meat and crispy skin plucked from a roasted whole pig -- along with specialty drinks like Mexican mules, palomas, and special $10 pineapple margaritas. An acoustic band will be kicking things off at 4pm, followed by a DJ from 8pm to 1am. And, if you’re worried the whole thing might be one big blur, there will be a photo booth for proper documentation.

Renewable Farms

DO-GOODING

Big Sunday's Cinco de Mayo Happy Hour

Address and Info

Hollywood

This nonprofit that connects volunteers with opportunities to help those in need is throwing a benefit for The Emergency Fund (which provides everything from new linens to electric bill assistance for those going through a rough patch) via a fun-filled happy hour. The plan is to provide Mexican-inspired fare, drinks, games, and music during a three-hour window starting at 5pm. The suggested donation at the door is a paltry 10 bucks, so you honestly have no excuse not to stop by and support the cause.

Fiesta at the Farm

Address and Info

Anaheim

Riverbed Farm -- a sustainable urban farm staffed by interns and volunteers that provides food to the underserved -- is teaming up with nonprofit Solutions for Urban Ag to host an evening fiesta fundraiser from 4-9 pm. In addition to Mexi-Cal dishes created by OC chef Dani Inman, you can expect live music, a silent auction, microbrews, margaritas, and an opportunity to tour the farm. Tickets will run you $45-$55, and all proceeds from the event will go towards farm operations and vocational training programs. There are plenty of things to do in Orange County, but this one takes the Cinco cake.

Casa Sanchez Mexican Restaurant

LIVE MUSIC

Mariachi at Casa Sanchez

Address and Info

Del Rey

It’s as good a time as any to catch a proper mariachi performance at this grand Westside restaurant. Make a reservation for either the 7pm or 9pm dinner shows, and take advantage of the all-night margarita specials and various tequila tastings while you’re at it.

Rock En Espanol Night at The Viper Room

Address and Info

West Hollywood

The legendary Sunset Blvd venue will feature a lineup of bands for its themed Cinco show, including the ska-and-reggae-focused Delirians, Spanish indie trio Alianza Rebelde, and “Bandito rock” group Ill Tiempo (which claims it’s got a splash of Tapatio thrown in for good measure). Tickets are $10 ahead of time, or $15 at the door.

Date

Event

Location

May 4-5

Lucha VaVOOM Presents Cinco de Mayan Acrobatic masked wrestlers (including Lucha’s famous “minis”), burlesque stripteases, Aztec dancers, comedy, a parade of lowriders, mariachi music, and tequila? Sounds like an epic night to us. The touring show will be making a two-night stop in LA for raucous revelry, and while the 5th is already sold out, Cinco de Cuatro is still a strong possibility. Tickets are $48.50.

The Mayan Theater, Downtown

Lucha VaVOOM Presents Cinco de Mayan The Mayan Theater, Downtown Acrobatic masked wrestlers (including Lucha’s famous “minis”), burlesque stripteases, Aztec dancers, comedy, a parade of lowriders, mariachi music, and tequila? Sounds like an epic night to us. The touring show will be making a two-night stop in LA for raucous revelry, and while the 5th is already sold out, Cinco de Cuatro is still a strong possibility. Tickets are $48.50.

Date

Event

Location

May 5 Fri

Heco in LA: Taco Madness This food and drink festival hosted by L.A. Taco and I Love Micheladas features plenty of both. You’ll be able to purchase tacos from carts, stands, trucks, and restaurants including Maricos Jalisco, Guerrilla Tacos, and Coni’Seafood, among others. The fun also includes multiple DJs spinning the whole night, and a live art component featuring several local muralists. Free admission, 6pm to midnight.

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Downtown

Heco in LA: Taco Madness LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Downtown This food and drink festival hosted by L.A. Taco and I Love Micheladas features plenty of both. You’ll be able to purchase tacos from carts, stands, trucks, and restaurants including Maricos Jalisco, Guerrilla Tacos, and Coni’Seafood, among others. The fun also includes multiple DJs spinning the whole night, and a live art component featuring several local muralists. Free admission, 6pm to midnight.

Date

Event

Location

May 5 Fri

Cinco de Mayo with Happening in Highland Park There's simply no getting around it: This one’s all about drinking. The guys behind the event are using the straightforward advertising slogan “It’s Time to Get Wild & Party All Night”; have a flyer featuring three people throwing back shots; and, coincidentally, are promoting free tequila shots all night with food and drink purchases, along with games like corn hole, beer pong, and pin the tail (for shots, of course). So yeah, safe to say you’ll be happy the following day is a Saturday.

51 Tavern, Highland Park

Cinco de Mayo with Happening in Highland Park 51 Tavern, Highland Park There's simply no getting around it: This one’s all about drinking. The guys behind the event are using the straightforward advertising slogan “It’s Time to Get Wild & Party All Night”; have a flyer featuring three people throwing back shots; and, coincidentally, are promoting free tequila shots all night with food and drink purchases, along with games like corn hole, beer pong, and pin the tail (for shots, of course). So yeah, safe to say you’ll be happy the following day is a Saturday.

Date

Event

Location

May 5 Fri

Cinco de Mayo Party at The Bungalow The sprawling outdoor lounge that’s always popular with a post-work Silicon Beach crowd will be throwing a soiree complete with entertainment by Mariachi Mi Jalisco performing from 6pm to 8pm. The menu will get some tacos and nachos added for the night, and the bar plans to mix up a special michelada and watermelon margarita as well.

The Bungalow at Fairmont Miramar, Santa Monica

Cinco de Mayo Party at The Bungalow The Bungalow at Fairmont Miramar, Santa Monica The sprawling outdoor lounge that’s always popular with a post-work Silicon Beach crowd will be throwing a soiree complete with entertainment by Mariachi Mi Jalisco performing from 6pm to 8pm. The menu will get some tacos and nachos added for the night, and the bar plans to mix up a special michelada and watermelon margarita as well.

Date

Event

Location

May 5 Fri

Baja Cantina's Annual Cinco de Mayo This place looks like one big Cinco de Mayo party all year, but it goes all out on the big “holiday” when crowds line up to get into the iconic indoor-outdoor Tex-Mex Mecca for a fiesta that goes all day and night. The place will be offering a foursome of tequilas -- Avion, Don Julio, Patrón, and Casamigos -- at all of its bars, fencing off the parking lot for extra room, and setting up an outdoor kitchen. Crowd Theory will start playing at 6pm, but the place will open at noon and keep it all going for the next 13 hours.

Baja Cantina, Marina del Rey

Baja Cantina's Annual Cinco de Mayo Baja Cantina, Marina del Rey This place looks like one big Cinco de Mayo party all year, but it goes all out on the big “holiday” when crowds line up to get into the iconic indoor-outdoor Tex-Mex Mecca for a fiesta that goes all day and night. The place will be offering a foursome of tequilas -- Avion, Don Julio, Patrón, and Casamigos -- at all of its bars, fencing off the parking lot for extra room, and setting up an outdoor kitchen. Crowd Theory will start playing at 6pm, but the place will open at noon and keep it all going for the next 13 hours.

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