Cinco de Mayo is an interesting holiday. While it commemorates a battle that was fought in Mexico, Mexico doesn’t celebrate it. And what’s even more perplexing is that outside of Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is often confused with Mexican Independence Day, which is actually on September 16. For those of you interested in the origins of this crazy fiesta day, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Batalla de Puebla fought on May 5, 1862 in which the small town of Puebla defeated invading French troops.
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in NYC
So, why is Cinco de Mayo such a big deal north of the border? The origins of its celebration began in California in 1863 as a symbol of solidarity with Mexico against France. And, Americans being Americans, we love having a reason to celebrate.
King David Tacos
Start your day with Tex-Mex breakfast tacos from King David Tacos. The Brooklyn-based import from Austin is all the rage and will deliver a variety of taco bundles with choices like queen bean (refried beans potato, egg, cheese), Mom’s migas (eggs scrambled with Mom’s salsa and tortilla chips, with jalapeno rajas, cheese), or the No. 5 (chili non carne, beans, potato). For Cinco de Mayo, order their Taco Drop delivery and you’ll get two Mexican spring water Topo Chicos as a bonus. Just heat and eat. If you’re out and about, they also have carts at Madison Square Park and Prospect Park.
Los Tacos No. 1
They don't look like much, but the lines tell a different story. The multi-station Los Tacos No. 1 stands in Chelsea Market and Times Square are the real deal when it comes to Mexican tacos. Los Tacos No. 1 was created after three friends from Tijuana, Mexico and California decided to bring authentic Mexican bites to the East Coast, using family recipes with fresh and simple ingredients. You’ll have to bring your own margaritas, though—they don’t serve alcohol.
East Village Mexican bistro, Rosie’s, has put it all together for you with their “Rosie’s Taco Kit.” Designed for a festive taco night at home, you can say you’ve done some of the cooking yourself with this party kit. You’ll get three different salsas, fresh ingredients to make your own guacamole, and three different taco fillings. Not to worry, though, the kit comes with step-by-step directions. Order yours from Baldor Specialty Foods.
For a festive way to celebrate the day, make a visit to Tortazo in NoMad. The restaurant is hosting games, live music and an all-day happy hour with various specials. Beverage promos include $30 margarita pitchers for four people, $4 Tecate cans, $4 shots of Cazadores Blanco Tequila. Tortazo also has a “Puebla Spritz,” especially for the holiday. Food specials include $2 spicy churro bites and $1 chile Relleno flautas. Happy hour on Cinco de Mayo will last from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Plan an outdoor fiesta with your gang at Cantina Rooftop in Hell’s Kitchen. If you time it right, the sunset is a perfect backdrop to the colorful umbrellas covering the tables. Go a little crazy with your group and share the totally instagrammable 8.5-pound Big Ass Taco or the 15-pound Big Ass Burrito. Wash everything down with a fruity Niña Fresa, made with Don Diego Silver tequila, watermelon, strawberry and St. Germaine.
Nina’s Great Burrito Bar
Nina’s Great Burrito Bar has several specials exclusively for Cinco de Mayo. The restaurant will be serving esquites, "Nachos Norteños" with beef birria and a "Burrito Ahogados" (drowning burrito). The regular menu is also available on Cinco de Mayo with the restaurant’s ten different tacos, various antojitos and traditional Mexican specialties.
Sinigual offers a fun and festive location to enjoy the day. Order one of their handcrafted margaritas; guacamole as you like it, made tableside; and a pile of their sizzling fajitas, and let the party begin.
Tipsy Scoop and Tanteo Tequila
What would Cinco de Mayo be without tequila ice cream? To celebrate, JAJA Tequila has collaborated with Brooklyn’s Tipsy Scoop to create boozy flavors for Cinco de Mayo. There are four flavors to try out—"Watermelon Basil Margarita Sorbet," "Churros and Tequila Ice Cream," "Classic Margarita Sorbet," and the "Coconut Lime Margarita Ice Cream" (it's dairy-free). You can try them out at Tipsy Scoop’s locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan or online for same-day delivery in NYC.