Cinco de Mayo in LA

Cinco de Mayo is on a Tuesday this year, but that just means you’ll be partying all weekend AND through the next week. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s unexpected victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, but here in the States it’s really just an excuse to excessively eat and drink and wear sombreros. Here’s my list of celebrations to check out around SoCal.

Cinco de Mayo Festival @ Olvera Street
MAY 2-3: If you’re going to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, you may as well do it at the birth site of Los Angeles. The family festivities take place daily from 10am to 10pm with live entertainment including mariachis, folklorico and food all weekend. More info:

Cinco de Mayo Festival @ Museum of Latin American Art
MAY 3: Celebrate Cinco on the 3rd at this museum in Long Beach dedicated to contemporary Latin art. Target Free Sundays features free art workshops, live music, dancing, zumba workouts and museum tours with food for purchase and live mariachi music. More info:

Cinco de Mayo Festival – Santa Ana
MAy 1-3: The largest Mexican-American community in Orange County is celebrating Cinco for three days on 4th Street in Downtown Santa Ana with a full-on street fair that includes food vendors, live entertainment, carnival rides, games and plenty of family fun. More info:

Metalachi @ The Roxy – West Hollywood
MAY 9: It’ll be four days after Cinco, but it’s never too late to rock out to the world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band. These wild & crazy guys crank out metal jams from “Crazy Train” to “Breaking the Law” in full-blown mariachi style. Catch them if you can at the Whiskey. More info:

Frida Restaurant – Beverly Hills & Westwood
From the margaritas and micheladas to the fresh ceviche, tasty tacos and handmade guacamole, it’s no wonder Frida Restaurant has been a longtime LA favorite. Make sure to stop by on Cinco de Mayo when it’s sure to be a blast. More info:

Avila’s El Ranchito – LA & OC
With 11 locations throughout SoCal, there’s no excuse not to hit up Avila’s El Ranchito on Cinco de Mayo. All locations will be celebrating from 11am to close with food and drink specials including tacos, Chingolingas (an Avila’s exclusive), Jose Cuervo margaritas, Corralejo premium tequila shots, Schwinn bike raffles and lots of other giveaways. Arriba! More info:

Mi Casa – Costa Mesa
This family-owned OC favorite invites you to “Fiesta Like There’s No Mañana” on Cinco de Mayo with food and drink specials all day long including $4 house margaritas, $7 Dobel margarita specials and $4 crispy tacos. Ole! More info:

Amor Y Tacos – Cerritos
For a laidback Cinco spot, this Latin-Mex find from two-time “Hell’s Kitchen” judge Thomas Ortega is where you can get delish margaritas and American comfort classics with a South-of-the-border twist … like Doritos chilaquiles and the South East Dog made with short rib chile Colorado, queso fresco and crispy chicharron. Twisted indeed. More info:

Mercado – Santa Monica, Mid-City, Hollywood
All three  locations of Mercado will be celebrating Cinco with drink specials and their carnitas tacos for $8 and nachos for the table for $10. More info:

Cascabel – Toluca Lake
Food and cocktail specials, live mariachi, a new outdoor dining patio and a little “hair of the dog” the day after? Si, senor! Cascabel isn’t just celebrating on May 5, but the following day you can stop by for ‘Hair-O de Perro’ for the same Cinco specials from 5-7pm like $5 micheladas. Don’t worry — the lights will be dimmed with music slightly lower in volume to help ease that pounding headache. More info:

Casa Sanchez – West LA
This spacious hacienda is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with margarita specials and great mariachi shows at 7pm, 9pm and 11pm. More info:

Malo – Silver Lake & Downtown LA
Cinco de Malo! Two locations, lots of tequila and pickle tacos, plus the only vegan menudo in town. Sound good? Thought so. More info:

Casa Vega – Sherman Oaks
This old-school Valley hangout will brighten up a bit with festive decor and special margaritas for Cinco de Mayo. All the traditional Mexican dishes and never-ending menu of cocktails will be available, just remember to show up early if you can–this place gets packed. More info:

Ortega 120 – Redondo Beach
Those in the South Bay know to head to this tequila and taco haven on Cinco or any day of the year. Ortega 120 will be pouring plenty of their tasty margaritas (the “best in LA”) and Mexican eats along with live entertainment throughout the weekend. More info:

Sol Cocina – Newport Beach
Offering a more sophisticated scene than the typical tequila-slinging party on Cinco de Drinko, this Mexican eatery is where to enjoy modern Mexican fare with a patio overlooking Balboa Marina. More info:


There are 4 comments for this article
  1. mrs elizabeth taylor at 3:09 am

    I go to olivera st each year they invite to place my booth and sell my spiritual service iys traditional but I go mostly to be in the celebration the middle of all the best mexican food the music and dancing and the shopping old fasion items from mex or mexican inspired
    ppl are great and so is the vibe, im sure all will be pleased! Hope to see you there today! Elizabeth ann Taylor


  2. Megan at 9:21 am

    Calling all adventure diners: Vegan Cinco de Mayo pop-up restaurant in Atwater on Sunday, May 5 offers a four course, $25 prix fixe dinner with avocado mango salad, vegan ceviche, three kinds of tacos, and chocolate cinnamon ice cream. This menu is all vegan, whole-food, and artisan crafted.

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