While there are many holidays worthy of celebration, one stands out among the rest for its tribute to culture, art and cuisine. Cinco de Mayo historically commemorates the Mexican Army’s unlikely and victorious triumph against the French Empire in 1862 and, as the years have progressed, Cinco de Mayo has spread from an observance strictly celebrated in Mexico to a fiesta for citizens across the globe. And (luckily for you and me) just 20 minutes north of the Mexican border, San Diego stands as one of the best cities to commemorate the holiday short of Mexico itself with food, fun and festivities spanning across the city!
San Diego’s historic Old Town district is one of the city’s most notable and well-known areas to indulge in authentic Mexican culture and cuisine. Come join the local vendors and restaurants this May 5th at the Old Town Cinco De Mayo Festival, featuring live music and entertainment, lucha libre matches and exclusive food and drink specials. An Old Town staple, Cafe Coyote, is serving up an all-encompassing Cinco de Mayo spread with $6 Dos Equis, $8 Frida Kahlo Margaritas and $3 tacos. Take advantage of this awesome special and try their Carne Asada Tacos, a classic combination of grilled and chopped marinated steak, guacamole and salsa fresca served up in a soft corn tortilla.
After you’ve fully exhausted all of the culture that Old Town has to offer, the next stop on your Cinco de Mayo fueled weekend is located in Pacific Beach, San Diego’s unofficial college party town guaranteed to deliver a good time and even better food. Located just a few blocks from the beach, Maverick’s Beach Club has opened its doors to welcome locals and visitors alike. With an expansive 15,000 square-foot property optimized for day and nighttime fun, Maverick’s Beach Club has quickly become Pacific Beach’s number one destination for a good time. Stop by this ‘Cinco de Drinko’ and grab a Maverick’s Cerveza Cooler for you and your friends, a signature Maverick’s Cooler filled with any six beer cans of your choice.
A Cinco de Mayo celebration wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Del Sur Mexican Cantina. Located in the heart of South Park, Del Sur Mexican Cantina strives to bring guests authentic and quality Mexican cuisine at a reasonable price. Creating a warm and inviting atmosphere while curating a menu filled with diverse and unique cuisine, Del Sur Mexican Cantina is the ideal local hot spot for all of your Cinco de Mayo festivities. This May 5th enjoy live music and drink specials as well as brunch served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Take this opportunity to try their Mango Chili Margarita, made with 100% agave tequila reposado, mango, pineapple, lime, triple sec and housemade serrano shrub.
With a name translating into “sandy place”, Jalisco Cantina truly embodies coastal-Mexican culture and cuisine with innovative menu items that go hand in hand with their extensive tequila collection and list of handcrafted cocktails. The Jalisco Cantina dining experience is one that can’t be beat and will undoubtedly make you feel like you’re spending Cinco de Mayo on the sandy beaches of Mexico sipping on their CaliFuego Margarita. A fusion of CaliFino reposado tequila, fresh lime and orange, orange curacao, rose syrup, bell pepper and jalapeno mentally transports you to the picturesque landscapes and rolling hillsides of Mexico.
Bursting onto the Gaslamp Quarter dining scene, Volcano Rabbit focuses on one of the most important parts of Cinco de Mayo; tequila. Known for their creative and entertaining atmosphere, Volcano Rabbit marries great food, great libations and a great time into one mysterious and stylish landmark location. Boasting Downtown San Diego’s largest tequila selection, test their repertoire while sipping on their Be Bold Margarita. Volcano Rabbit’s giant margarita is made with Sauza blue reposado tequila, lime and agave and has become the staple signature cocktail that’s made for sharing.
Cinco de Mayo is a day of celebration filled with the culture and vibrance of Mexico. Celebrate accordingly (and responsibly) at some of these fun and festive San Diego hot spots!