Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, but in the United States, the day is widely known as a celebration Mexican-American culture. From margarita-fueled fiestas to specials on tacos, tamales and quesadillas, here’s where to eat and drink this Cinco de Mayo.
Arnaldo Richards' Picos, 3601 Kirby
Picos is throwing a fiesta under the rooftop, featuring an outdoor tequila tasting with 13 varieties, a taco truck slinging quesadillas, tamales and tacos, a massive tent with a dance floor and DJ, a photo booth and patio bar with frozen margarita machines. The all-day party begins at noon.
Berryhill Baja Grill, participating locations
Celebrate with drink and food specials — including $2 Coronas, $2 Tecate cans, $4 frozen ’ritas, $5 ’rita rocks, $4 bonita shots and half-price queso, taquitos and nachos — plus free live entertainment at participating locations (The Woodlands, River Oaks, Buffalo Speedway, Galleria and Memorial City Mall).
Bistro Provence, 13616 Memorial
The French eatery is letting bygones be bygones with a special Franco de Mayo meal, showcasing French-influenced dishes that are considered traditional Mexican. (who knew Mexican flan differs very little from the French crème caramel?). The three-course menu will be offered for lunch in addition to the regular menu.
Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, 4310 Westheimer
This hip spot will be offering spicy Mexican-influenced whiskey sours (made with Bulleit Bourbon, Ancho Reyes amaro, fresh citrus and egg whites). The specialty drink will be available behind the bar all night long ($12), and there will also be a special Diageo trailer camped out in the parking lot from 5 to 8 p.m., offering complimentary promotional items and tastings of the spicy whisky sour.
Caracol, 2200 Post Oak #160
The coastal Mexican restaurant will be offering $5 margaritas and palomas during lunch service alongside a menu of daily specials. Happy hour will run from lunch to 6:30 p.m.; and during dinner and happy hour, expect specials with featured producers, including Casa Nobles, El Tesoro, Gran Centenario and Espolón. Live music goes from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Eight Row Flint, 1039 Yale
Hit this casually cool booze and taco house to sip $5 frozen and rocks margaritas and palomas and $3 Tecate and Modelo all day long (from noon to 2 a.m.). From 2 to 6 p.m., happy hour means you can stuff your face with $3 tacos. The special is good for all taco varietals, filled with everything from Berkshire pork and charred scallion to roast chicken, corn and Maitake mushrooms.
El Big Bad, 419 Travis
This downtown tequila temple will be throwing a Cinco de Mayo fiesta beginning Friday at 11 a.m. and running throughout the weekend. Expect liquid nitrogren margaritas, tequila samplings and giveaways, food and drink specials, local vendors (Saturday) and more than 70 different infused tequilas. Finish with Cinco de Bruncho on Sunday. Entry is free before 4 p.m. on Friday, with $10 tickets after that. Saturday’s flea market is free.
Fusion Taco – Heights, 4706 North Main
The globally inspired gourmet taco spot will offer happy hour deals all day, featuring $3 tacos, $3 Corona and Modelo pints, $5 Dulce Vida Ritas, $6 Coronaritas, $8 beer-and-a-tequila-shot combos and $15 buckets of Modelo and Corona. The eatery will also have a face painter to deck the niños out like luchadores, as well as piñatas from 6:30 to 8:30pm.
Henderson Heights, 908 Henderson
The party starts at 11 a.m. and goes all night, with live music, a margarita bar with nine flavors to choose from and free chips and queso. The kitchen and bar will be open until 2 a.m.
Hotel Derek’s Revolve Kitchen + Bar, 2525 West Loop South
The hotel restaurant and bar is hosting its second annual Cinco de Mayo-inspired Margarita Throw Down, showcasing several citywide philanthropic organizations as they compete against one another for ultimate margarita glory. Guests will be able to enjoy dollar margaritas from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., then cheer on all of the competing groups, which include Big Brothers Big Sisters, NACE, The Arthritis Foundation, The Rise School of Houston, Friends of BARC, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Kids’ Meals and St. Jude, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. While watching the margarita action, event attendees can swing over to the Revolve Kitchen + Bar and enjoy complimentary Southwestern bites. Cost is $25 per person (ages 21 and up) and includes self-parking and heavy hors d'oeuvres throughout the event.
Hugo’s, 1600 Westheimer
Montrose’s celebrated Mexican restaurant will be offering $5 margaritas and palomas during lunch service alongside a menu of daily specials. Happy hour will run from lunch to 6:30 p.m.; and during dinner and happy hour, expect specials with featured producers, including Casa Nobles, El Tesoro, Gran Centenario and Espolón. Live music goes from 5:30 to 10 p.m.
Le Bistro at Culinary Institute LeNôtre, 7070 Allensby
Celebrate Mexican heritage with a Fine Dinner and live music from a mariachi band. Guests can enjoy five chef stations and Casa Madero fine wines and Mexican beer, with a menu including dishes like aguachile de vieras (like a scallop ceviche), carnitas de pato (braised duck carnitas) and tres leches. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. and costs $45 per person and includes the meal and three drinks (half price for kids 12 and under, free for kids under five).
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Molina’s Cantina, 7901 Westheimer; 4720 Washington; 3801 Bellaire
Houston’s oldest Tex-Mex restaurant is going big by offering patrons at all three locations fiesta specials all day long, plus live music at each location from 6 to 10 p.m. Guests can sip on $5 house margaritas, made on the rocks or frozen with 100 percent agave tequila, triple sec and fresh lime juice, plus $3 12-ounce draft beer, $3.25 domestic bottles, $3.75 imported bottles and FREE chips and queso at the bar.
Pistoleros, 1517 Westheimer
The taco and tequila titan is throwing its annual parking-lot fiesta, complete with $4 margaritas, $1 off all drafts, $4 sangria and $6 appetizers — including elote, tamales, nachos, taquitos, chicken quesadillas and stuffed jalapeños — from 2 to 8 p.m. The party runs all night, and revelers can also expect margarita Jell-O shot specials, a DJ and tacos from the kitchen.
Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen, 6401 Woodway; 12637 Westheimer; 1140 Eldridge
In honor of Cinco de Mayo (which also happens to be National Enchilada Day), the enchilada eatery will be celebrating with all-day margarita specials, including $6.50 house margs, $9 Demetrio Blanco skinny margaritas and Z Tequila margaritas, and Patrón margaritas for $10.
Xochi, 1777 Walker
Downtown’s hottest new Mexican eatery will be offering $5 margaritas and palomas during lunch service alongside a menu of daily specials. Happy hour will run from lunch to 6:30 p.m.; and during dinner and happy hour, expect specials with featured producers, including Casa Nobles, El Tesoro, Gran Centenario and Espolón. Live music goes from 7 to 9 p.m.