Cinco de Mayo is not only the unofficial kickoff to the summer in Washington, but it also lands on a Friday this year. (Take that, Taco Tuesday!)
That makes May 5 the ideal day for no-holds-barred partying; expect to find lots of welcoming places at which to throw back ice-cold cervezas during the giant drinking holiday (oversized sombreros optional). Two recent arrivals, Taqueria del Barrio and Mezcalero Cocina Mexicana, will be celebrating their first Cinco de Mayo ever. One of the biggest bashes of the weekend — a three-day drinkathon happening at Canal Park in Southeast — is projected to roll on into Sunday.
Here’s where to find specials all over town this weekend.
City Tap House
901 Ninth Street NW
Specials kick in at 3 p.m., including a guacamole trio ($15) with bacon, blue cheese, and Mexican corn. Beeritas made with 21stAmendment’s El Sully will be available for $10. Guests looking to keep it simple can enjoy a traditional guacamole and Anderson Valley Briney Melon for $20.
1219 Connecticut Avenue NW
From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., the retro-inspired nightclub will ring in the Mexican holiday on its brand new open-air rooftop with free tacos from Barcode, $5 Coronas, margaritas, and tequila shots, $20 hookahs and more. Tacos will be first-come-first-serve, and drinks are projected to flow all night long.
1250 Ninth Street NW
The Southern Mexican-inspired restaurant will offer a limited release Chamomile Saison, which was created in partnership with 3 Stars Brewing Company. The bar infused the 3 Stars Peppercorn Saison with chamomile, which is plentiful throughout Mexico. Available for $1 off the suggested retail price on Friday. May 5.
2333 18th Street NW
Happy hour runs from noon to 7 p.m. and includes $3 Tecate, $5 margaritas, and $5 tequilla shots. Anyone who donates a minimum of $5 to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will get a wristband extending happy hour pricing until midnight.
Mezcalero Cocina Mexicana
3714 14th Street NW
Happy hour starts early (11 a.m.) with $5 margaritas and $3.50 Mexican beers available all day. From 3 p.m. to midnight there’s a satellite bar and a build-your-own taco bar doling out taco for $2 a pop. Mexican street foods like tortas, quesadillas, enchiladas and the signature tacos de canastas will be available for $5. Tequila shots ($3) and mezcal shots ($4) should be discounted until 6 p.m.
1606 20th Street NW
Mission plans to open at 11 a.m. on May 5, offering a full lunch menu as well as bottomless brunch options. Drink specials include $4.50 Tecate cans, $4.50 pints of Dos Equis, $8 Mission margaritas, $28 pitchers of margaritas, $7 shots of El Jimador and $9 shots of Don Julio Blanco are available all day in addition to its regular happy hour. Expect giveaways, a DJ and mariachi music.
Morton’s the Steakhouse
1750 Crystal Drive, Arlington, Va.
$2 steak tacos and $8 specialty margaritas will be served from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
4000 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va.
A patio party means margaritas will be flowing from 11:30 a.m. on at Mike Isabella's Mexican cantina. At 5 p.m. the party picks up with additional drink specials, suckling pig tacos, piñatas and music from DJ BuckyStarrJones. Each ticket ($5) includes access to unlimited chips and salsa.
Quarter and Glory
2017 14th Street NW
From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., there’s Cinco specials including discounted tacos (two for $5), as well as select drinks ($7 margaritas and Hot Pueblo).
Surfside Glover Park
2444 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Expect half-price pitchers of margaritas, half-price Surfside Riptide pitchers, and mix-and-match beer buckets for $20. Food specials include nacho platters and $10 Bermuda Triangle platters, which features chips with salsa, guacamole, and cheese dip. Surfside will also have prizes and giveaways courtesy of El Jimador Tequila.
2190 Pimmit Drive, Falls Church, Va.
Trek to the NoVa ‘burbs for a traditional Mayan Cochinita Pibil taco — It's a traditional dish of pork wrapped in banana leaves and slow roasted for hours in an achiote-bitter orange marinade — for $3.
1926 14th Street NW
Beginning at 3 p.m. the restaurant plans to roll out special cocktails and snacks including ricotta- and queso fresco-dumplings with avocado salsa, as well as tacos with braised chicken, refried beans and serrano salsa.
Taqueria del Barrio
821 Upshur Street NW
Taqueria del Barrio’s inaugural “Cinco de Mayo Celebration!” ($65 per person) includes bottomless bites and drinks from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., as well as beer and tequila tastings, and swag giveaways throughout the evening.
Ventnor Sports Cafe
2411 18th Street NW
Expect $5 Tecate tallboys, $6 margaritas, and deep-fried tequila shots (dios mio), as well as Tex-Mex offerings including tacos, queso, and churros.