The Best Cinco de Mayo Specials and Celebrations in San Francisco
In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War and isn’t very widely celebrated. In America, like it or not, it’s become a celebration of Mexican heritage and a popular drinking holiday. In SF and around the Bay Area, we’re celebrating with some fantastic drink and food deals, pub crawls, boat parties, fiestas, and, of course, lots and lots of margaritas. Here’s a bunch of the best deals and fun stuff to do over the course of the weekend.
FOOD & DRINK SPECIALS
If you want to get the party started early, head to this taqueria right around the corner from Market Street for an all day happy hour on Friday, May 3. In addition to all of the regular happy hour specials, there will also a Mexican Paloma that comes with a novelty ceramic cup for $12 (while supplies last).
This local Cal-Mex chain is celebrating Cinco de Mayo all weekend long with a different special $13 margarita every day. Kick off the weekend on Friday with a “Yoga Pants” (Campo Azul tequila, prickly pear, chia seeds, lime, agave), spend Saturday sipping a “Pina Express” (El Silencio mezcal, green chartreuse, pineapple, lime, agave), and then bring your fire extinguisher on Sunday for The Flaming El Compadre (Campo Azul tequila, guava, firewater bitters, lime, agave).
The patio just opened at the Flores in Corte Madera and the restaurant is offering all day happy hour on Cinco de Mayo, so if you want to celebrate in (almost) guaranteed sunshine, that’s your best bet. And Flores on Union will have a mariachi band from 3 to 5pm.
There will be several battles taking place at this Lucha Libre Taco Con food truck park on Cinco de Mayo. Outside of the ring, over 15 food trucks will be serving tasty taco specials in the hopes of being crowned the ultimate taco throwdown champion. Inside of the ring, 20+ luchadores will be rumbling and tumbling at a live wrestling show. Make the party even more of a party with buckets of agua fresca cervezas, agave-wine margaritas, and classic micheladas. VIP is $48 and gets you ringside seats and two drink tokens. Advance GA is $15 and day-of is $20, but it will probably sell out before then.
Head to the original Brixton location or check out the new one by the ballpark for a $35 Cinco de Mayo buffet brunch from 10:30am to 3:30pm on Sunday. They will be offering a buffet brunch for $35 from 10:30am to 3:30pm on Sunday, May 5. Dishes include scrambled eggs, chorizo with scrambled eggs, churros, black beans with bacon, corn and flour tortillas, potatoes with corn, onions, and bell peppers, chilaquiles, chili relleno, as well as carnitas. Sides consist of Cheddar cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and salsa verde. Reservations are encouraged.
Cadillac Bar & Grill is going big all weekend with a live salsa band, aerial performances, shooter girls with shots of tequila and beer samples, food and drink specials, and $5 raffle tickets for prizes. The party goes from 5pm to 9pm on Friday and Saturday, and 3pm to 9pm on Sunday.
Kick off Cinco de Mayo (and get a good base for any drinking that may be happening later in the day) at Son's Addition in the Mission. Chef Nick Cobarruvias is whipping up his special chorizo & egg chilaquiles with guajillo salsa and avocado ($14), which pairs perfectly with their popular micheladas ($9) for Cinco de Mayo Sunday Brunch from 10:30am to 2:30pm. Reservations can be made on OpenTable.
It’s chef Michael Mina’s birthday on Cinco de Mayo, so at International Smoke, his collaboration with Ayesha Curry, they’re calling it Cinco de Mina and serving his favorite tacos for $2 and a hibiscus margarita for $11.
The Lobby Bar is throwing a Cinco de Mayo party on Saturday, May 4 from 6 to 8:30pm with Latin soul music from Mayan Dynasty, as well as food specials like three street tacos for $6, chips and guac for $4, $4 margaritas, $5 well drinks, and $10 for a Corona and a shot of tequila.
THE BEST CINCO DE MAYO PARTIES & EVENTS
The Phoenix is throwing a Cinco de Mayo party with most of the stuff you’d expect at a Cinco de Mayo party, including piñatas, games, DJs, and lots of margaritas. They’re calling it “Taco ‘Bout A Party,” but the invite has no mention of actual tacos. Barbecue on the grill is being promised, however. Oh, and if you want to actually go in the pool, you’ll have to purchase a $30 pool pass, which includes a cabana and towel. Admission to party poolside is just $5.
The party on Union Street will be happening at the Palm House, which will be open from 2:00 PM to 2:00 AM hosting a celebration that includes a patio bar, sizzling tacos, El Conquistador punch bowls (with a full bottle of Cenote), $10 chipotle mango margaritas and $5 Coronas. Admission is free with RSVP.
The modern Mexican restaurant in Downtown Sausalito is celebrating “seven years in seven days” coinciding with Cinco de Mayo, including a $77 anniversary tequila flight (Wednesday, May 1 – Tuesday, May 7), and a Cinco de Mayo brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
Oakland is celebrating Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, May 4th with a free festival from 12 to 7pm that will feature Latin performances and entertainment including traditional Folklorico dancing, traditional Aztec dancing, lowrider cars, dancing horses, wrestling, performances from Oakland Unified School District students, DJs, family-friendly activities, shopping and more. There will also be a tequila garden featuring spirits from ArteNOM, Cimarron, and Don Amado Mezcal, as well as food and beverages from Corona, local breweries, and Mexican restaurant Otaez.
Go big on Cinco de Mayo at the San Fran Cinco Pub Crawl. You’ll get discounted drinks and other Cinco de Mayo fun at 12 different bars, including Mayes, Lush Lounge, Jackalope, R Bar, and Wreck Room. Tickets are $9 to $19.
The first ever Tacosntequila.com Cinco de Mayo Fiesta at the King Street Event Center will go all day on Sunday from 11am to 7pm. There will be music, dancing, games, salsa lessons (noon to 1pm), photobooths, and lots of food and drink specials. Tickets range from $16 to $56.
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