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El Bebe is throwing an all-day Cinco de Mayo party.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Where To Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in D.C.

Parties for the annual tequila-driven holiday run all weekend

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El Bebe is throwing an all-day Cinco de Mayo party.
| Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The annual celebration of Mexican culture, which commemorates a victory at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, is always a prime excuse for local restaurants to throw big, mind-bending parties.

In addition to discounts on guacamole, tacos, and margaritas, some bars are getting into the spirit with live Mariachi bands and elaborate decorations.

Cinco de Mayo falls on Sunday, May 5, but plenty of area bars plan to go all out all weekend.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Roy Boys

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Mezcal El Silencio is celebrating all over the country with specialty cocktails and deals at featured bars slinging its spirit. Shaw newcomer Roys Boys is in on the action, mixing mezcal cocktails all week up to the holiday (and available per request after).

 

Roy Boys bloody mary
Roy Boys
Roy Boys/official

Michael Schlow’s Mexican eatery considers Cinco its biggest party day of the year. Sunday’s fiesta stretches from 2 p.m. to midnight with margaritas, cocktails, and music from DJ LexisLane. Bites include house chips with guacamole; tacos with chicken, pulled pork, or cauliflower; whole roasted pig; and warm churros. Food and drink tickets are $8 each or five for $32, with a portion of the day’s proceeds going towards My Sister’s Place.

Tico tacos
Tico/official photo

El Techo

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Owner Louie Haskins is promising “three days of chaos” at his Shaw rooftop, featuring Tulum-inspired vibes, DJs, and the christening of a new clear-topped roof and a frozen margarita machine. Other upgrades scheduled to be unveiled over the weekend include an infinity waterfall on the roof’s back tile wall.

The Meatball Shop

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The New York-based chain’s new strawberry margarita is half-off all day on Sunday. Macho Balls, made with chipotle chicken, avocado crema, escabeche, and fresh cilantro, are $5 for five. Get added heat from a “Swift Kick” sauce for $1.

Macho Balls at The Meatball Shop
Meatball Shop/official photo

Radiator

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Guests can jet up to the top of Kimpton hotel to mark the start of rooftop season. To kick off a three-night celebration (starting Friday), there’s al pastor tacos, elote (grilled corn), and quesadillas. Nachos are free upon arrival. The Saturday Night Live character Mango inspired a cocktail called You can’t-a have-a de Mango!, filled with house-made mango syrup, lime, and Chacho jalapeno aguardiente. There’s also a bloody paloma with blood orange puree.

Espita Mezcaleria

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The Oaxcan-style bar is unleashing a potent mezcal flight with Espadin, Tío Rey, and Cuixe for $28. A Buho mezcal shot and Victoria beer combo costs $10, and Piña Rita cocktail (El Velo Blanco tequila, fresh pineapple, lime, and triple sec) is on tap for $13. Holiday bites will be paired with new spring dishes like coconut ceviche or roasted carrot tacos. 

Espita Mezcaleria [Photo: R. Lopez]
Espita Mezcaleria
R. Lopez/Eater DC

Westend Bistro

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The patio at the The Ritz-Carlton will be filled with decorations and festive music to go with jalapeno and raspberry margaritas ($17) and tacos featuring steak, chicken tinga, and tempura shrimp ($24 for a trio).

 

Westend Bistro
Westend Bistro/official photo

Prather's On The Alley

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Weekend brunch at this Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood staple calls for huevos rancheros and chilaquiles. Steak, chicken, or veggie tacos will be served for dinner on Sunday. Margaritas will also be flowing at a special price.

Prather’s
Prather’s/Facebook

Taco Bamba

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Victor Albisu’s centrally-located taco shop is offering an open taco and guacamole bar on the patio for $35 tickets (extra for drinks). Meanwhile, next-door sister spot Poca Madre is getting the party started early on May 4 with a Mexican tiki patio party. Expect smoked brisket quesadillas alongside tiki cocktails with a Mexican twist (9 p.m. to 11 p.m.).

Mi Vida Restaurante

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Head to the Wharf’s waterfront Mexican restaurant for a performance by a live Mariachi band throughout the day. Featured spring cocktails making use of its extensive tequila list include a Piñada (El Jimador Silver, kalani coconut, pineapple and mint) and Cielo Rojo, a spin on the margarita with Chamucos Blanco, spicy serrano-infused watermelon, lime, and chile salt.

 

 

Punch Bowl Social Arlington

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Ballston’s tri-level party pad will serve its “El Macho” cocktail for $5 — it’s normally $11. That includes El Jimador Reposado tequila, muddled cucumber, house-made cardamom syrup, and fresh lime juice. 

Punch Bowl Social
PBC/official photo

El Bebe

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Navy Yard’s newest taco and tequila bar will ring in its first Cinco de Mayo with all-day specials from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., including $2 salsas, $5 esquites dip (grilled corn, lime, red onion, jalapeno) and guac, $5 margaritas, and $4 Tecate or Corona tall boys. 

Mission (Multiple locations)

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Both outposts of the Mexican mainstay (Navy Yard and Dupont Circle) will add unlimited guacamole and margaritas to bottomless brunch menus. Doors open at 11 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday with live music, food and drink specials, and giveaways. Discounts call for $6 Corona tall boys, $8 margaritas ($28 pitchers), $8 Casamigos shots, and $8 quesadillas.

Neighborhood Restaurant Group chef Nate Anda is hosting a themed two-day pop-up on Saturday and Sunday, dubbed Anda’s Taqueria, featuring spins on street tacos and three Mexican cocktail-inspired beers (Founders’ Mas Agave, Commonwealth’s Pomelo Paloma, and the Bruery’s Or Xata). Craft lagers run for $4 all weekend.

Urbano 116

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Starting at 11 a.m., the Old Town bar and restaurant will celebrate its first Cinco de Mayo with five new tacos (two for $5) packed with chorizo and ratatouille. The day before, two top bartenders from Mexico City will roll into town to host a cocktail class from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ($40 per guest, plus tax and tip).

Urbano 116 tacos
Tacos at Urbano 116.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Roy Boys

Roy Boys bloody mary
Roy Boys
Roy Boys/official

Mezcal El Silencio is celebrating all over the country with specialty cocktails and deals at featured bars slinging its spirit. Shaw newcomer Roys Boys is in on the action, mixing mezcal cocktails all week up to the holiday (and available per request after).

 

Roy Boys bloody mary
Roy Boys
Roy Boys/official

Tico

Tico tacos
Tico/official photo

Michael Schlow’s Mexican eatery considers Cinco its biggest party day of the year. Sunday’s fiesta stretches from 2 p.m. to midnight with margaritas, cocktails, and music from DJ LexisLane. Bites include house chips with guacamole; tacos with chicken, pulled pork, or cauliflower; whole roasted pig; and warm churros. Food and drink tickets are $8 each or five for $32, with a portion of the day’s proceeds going towards My Sister’s Place.

Tico tacos
Tico/official photo

El Techo

Owner Louie Haskins is promising “three days of chaos” at his Shaw rooftop, featuring Tulum-inspired vibes, DJs, and the christening of a new clear-topped roof and a frozen margarita machine. Other upgrades scheduled to be unveiled over the weekend include an infinity waterfall on the roof’s back tile wall.

The Meatball Shop

Macho Balls at The Meatball Shop
Meatball Shop/official photo

The New York-based chain’s new strawberry margarita is half-off all day on Sunday. Macho Balls, made with chipotle chicken, avocado crema, escabeche, and fresh cilantro, are $5 for five. Get added heat from a “Swift Kick” sauce for $1.

Macho Balls at The Meatball Shop
Meatball Shop/official photo

Radiator

Guests can jet up to the top of Kimpton hotel to mark the start of rooftop season. To kick off a three-night celebration (starting Friday), there’s al pastor tacos, elote (grilled corn), and quesadillas. Nachos are free upon arrival. The Saturday Night Live character Mango inspired a cocktail called You can’t-a have-a de Mango!, filled with house-made mango syrup, lime, and Chacho jalapeno aguardiente. There’s also a bloody paloma with blood orange puree.

Espita Mezcaleria

Espita Mezcaleria [Photo: R. Lopez]
Espita Mezcaleria
R. Lopez/Eater DC

The Oaxcan-style bar is unleashing a potent mezcal flight with Espadin, Tío Rey, and Cuixe for $28. A Buho mezcal shot and Victoria beer combo costs $10, and Piña Rita cocktail (El Velo Blanco tequila, fresh pineapple, lime, and triple sec) is on tap for $13. Holiday bites will be paired with new spring dishes like coconut ceviche or roasted carrot tacos. 

Espita Mezcaleria [Photo: R. Lopez]
Espita Mezcaleria
R. Lopez/Eater DC

Westend Bistro

Westend Bistro
Westend Bistro/official photo

The patio at the The Ritz-Carlton will be filled with decorations and festive music to go with jalapeno and raspberry margaritas ($17) and tacos featuring steak, chicken tinga, and tempura shrimp ($24 for a trio).

 

Westend Bistro
Westend Bistro/official photo

Prather's On The Alley

Prather’s
Prather’s/Facebook

Weekend brunch at this Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood staple calls for huevos rancheros and chilaquiles. Steak, chicken, or veggie tacos will be served for dinner on Sunday. Margaritas will also be flowing at a special price.

Prather’s
Prather’s/Facebook

Taco Bamba

Victor Albisu’s centrally-located taco shop is offering an open taco and guacamole bar on the patio for $35 tickets (extra for drinks). Meanwhile, next-door sister spot Poca Madre is getting the party started early on May 4 with a Mexican tiki patio party. Expect smoked brisket quesadillas alongside tiki cocktails with a Mexican twist (9 p.m. to 11 p.m.).

Mi Vida Restaurante

Head to the Wharf’s waterfront Mexican restaurant for a performance by a live Mariachi band throughout the day. Featured spring cocktails making use of its extensive tequila list include a Piñada (El Jimador Silver, kalani coconut, pineapple and mint) and Cielo Rojo, a spin on the margarita with Chamucos Blanco, spicy serrano-infused watermelon, lime, and chile salt.

 

 

Punch Bowl Social Arlington

Punch Bowl Social
PBC/official photo

Ballston’s tri-level party pad will serve its “El Macho” cocktail for $5 — it’s normally $11. That includes El Jimador Reposado tequila, muddled cucumber, house-made cardamom syrup, and fresh lime juice. 

Punch Bowl Social
PBC/official photo

El Bebe

Navy Yard’s newest taco and tequila bar will ring in its first Cinco de Mayo with all-day specials from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., including $2 salsas, $5 esquites dip (grilled corn, lime, red onion, jalapeno) and guac, $5 margaritas, and $4 Tecate or Corona tall boys. 

Mission (Multiple locations)

Both outposts of the Mexican mainstay (Navy Yard and Dupont Circle) will add unlimited guacamole and margaritas to bottomless brunch menus. Doors open at 11 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday with live music, food and drink specials, and giveaways. Discounts call for $6 Corona tall boys, $8 margaritas ($28 pitchers), $8 Casamigos shots, and $8 quesadillas.