Unlike in May 2021, when restaurants were operating at 25-percent indoor capacity, this year’s observance of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France in the Battle of Puebla can be celebrated both indoor and outdoors without a limit on party size. Businesses across the District wasted no time announcing drink and food specials for Cinco de Mayo, which falls on a Thursday in 2022. Some food and drink deals are only available for Thursday, May 5, but plan for margaritas to flow all weekend long. Meanwhile, Plnt Burger celebrates the holiday with discounts on its fiery new Baja burger and spicy lil’ dippers.Read More
Where to Find Cinco de Mayo Specials in D.C.
Restaurants and bars go all out this year with margarita specials and mariachi bands
1. Roy Boys
It’s sure to be a good time at Shaw’s lively, neon-lit hangout, which plans to keep flights of tequila and mezcal flowing alongside its in-house Rita’s Tacos menu. Drinks specials also loop in the Caribbean passion fruit liqueur Chinola and South America’s favorite fiery spirit Chacho. Doors open at 4 p.m.
2. El Tamarindo
El Tamarindo is celebrating 40 years of business, and the Adams Morgan staple’s Cinco de Mayo specials include $7 strawberry or classic margaritas. There’s also a #BuildItOnTheNationalMall michelada, meant to support the “Latinos Are the Missing Piece” campaign to include a National Museum of the American Latino on the National Mall.
3. Emmy Squared Pizza: Shaw - Washington D.C.
From now until May 22, Emmy Squared Pizza menus will feature La Mexicana, a Detroit-style pizza topped with chorizo, ground beef, jalapeños, and sliced red onions, garnished with a drizzle of tomatillo sauce. In collaboration with country singer Thomas Rhett’s tequila brand Dos Primos, Emmy Squared is also pouring up a passion fruit margarita made with the spirit.
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For Cinco de Mayo, Tico is serving margaritas, ranch water, nachos, ribs, and twin tacos for $5 each, available in the dining room and bar. On May 6 through 8, diners can take advantage of the same specials in the bar only.
5. El Techo
Channel tropical vibes in Shaw with the rooftop oasis Washingtonians sometimes wait in long lines to enter. On May 5, El Techo is opening early at noon, serving a Cinco de Mayo special of $20 for three tacos and a marg or beer until 4 p.m. Look forward to a live mariachi band from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and a DJ from 8 p.m. to midnight. A solid DJ lineup is booked for the rest of the weekend too.
6. Mi Casa
Mi Casa plans to have a Cinco event on Thursday from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. In partnership with Hornitos tequila, guests can enjoy one round of complimentary appetizers like empanadas, flautas, and shrimp cocktails with the purchase of any Hornitos cocktail.
7. Taqueria Las Gemelas
On Cinco de Mayo, the Destino team will have a mariachi band performing from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. while customers sip on their newly launched “stirred margarita.”
8. Nina May
The “Nina Mayo” menu is back for another year with a multi-course menu ($68 per person), on May 5, with margaritas whipped up at the bar. Dishes include duck confit tostada, arroz con pollo, tacos al pastor, and a tres leche cake topped with mascarpone whipped cream.
9. Republic Cantina
Trek to Truxton Circle for Tex-Mex in the nation’s capital. Here, the classic margarita gets a salted orange rim while the alternatives bring a spice element, including one with both jalapeno, mezcal and a chili salt rim. Order ahead to snag a Cinco to Go packs at Republic Catina for pickup and delivery.
10. Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar
Head downtown to the Peruvian mainstay on Cinco de Mayo, when the normally $13 margaritas are now $7.
11. Buena Vida Gastrolounge
The newly retooled Clarendon restaurant celebrates five days of Cinco de Mayo with a different flavor margarita featured each day leading up to May 5. Only one flavor a day will be available at a price of $5 each, until Cinco de Mayo. On the actual day, select beers, wines and cocktails will be available for $5 at each at the bars on both the first and second floor of the restaurant.
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12. Santa Rosa Taqueria
After shuttering its doors during the pandemic, Santa Rosa just made its long-awaited return to Capitol Hill. On Cinco de Mayo, the restaurant’s happy hour is extended from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., offering specials like a two margaritas plus chips and salsa deal for $18 alongside a mariachi band performance. Enter a raffle by leaving behind your business card for the chance to win “a year of Santa Rosa,” which will get you a different Santa Rosa-related promotion each week for 52 weeks (think branded T-shirts, event tickets, and free margarita coupons).
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13. El Rey (Multiple locations)
The newest El Rey in Arlington boasts a 50-foot bar and 11 different tacos to eat alongside a classic, spicy and mezcal margarita by the glass or pitcher. On Cinco de Mayo, find $10 watermelon margaritas, $10 frozen El Rey mules, and a raffle and swag giveaways. The D.C. location of El Rey on U Street will open at 2 p.m. on Cinco de Mayo and festivities include a mariachi band, ice luge, and beer and shot combos on special.
14. Mission - Navy Yard
The tried-and-true spot for margaritas, tacos, and nachos is throwing an all-day Cinco de Mayo party with a live DJ from noon to close (1 a.m.). Specials include margs by the glass ($9) or pitcher $30), alongside $2 chips and salsa, cheese quesadillas for $8.50 and $9 chipotle chicken rollups.
Rasa is pouring up a refreshing Indian-style tamarind margarita made with tequila, fresh lime, and a touch of tamarind to enjoy with rice, salad, or grain bowl.