Grab your sombreros and get your livers ready because Cinco de Mayo is sweeping the streets of New York City this week!
Although it brings about a party day all about Mexican food and frivolity, it commemorates the day the Mexican army defeated France in unprecedented fashion at the Battle of Pueblo in 1862.
Over a century later, we are still celebrating this legendary underdog victory and there’s nowhere else (maybe other than Mexico) that knows how to throw a Cinco de Mayo bash like the Big Apple.
Venues across the city are already prepping their piñatas for the swarms of revelers that come out to celebrate this iconic day.
Whether you’re proud of your heritage or just using it as an excuse to booze, here are the top spots where you can get your drink on this Thursday.
1. Hudson Terrace (621 West 46th Street)
Aside from the sweeping panoramic views of the NYC waterfront, Hudson Terrace has solidified itself as a serious party mecca of midtown. They’ve decided to launch into their new season with a massive Cinco de Mayo bash, a veritable fiesta for all.
Just one word: piñatas. That’s right. In addition to all the drink specials they’re having, like 2 for 1 Don Julio margaritas or $5 Bud Light Limes and Modelos, they’re actually hanging real piñatas for guests to take a swing at, not to mention the music, Mexican dishes and giveaways going all night long.
2. Gabriela’s Restaurant and Tequila Bar (688 Columbus Avenue)
Looking for an authentic Mexican experience for Cinco de Mayo? Then head to the Upper West Side to Gabriela’s, an exotic escape set alongside the bustling Columbus Avenue. Grab a table outside and soak up the (hopefully) springtime weather while you pick out your gastronomic dish for the evening.
A word of warning to margarita lovers: A frozen marg from Gabby’s will most likely ruin margaritas for the rest of your life, only because you might never have one as good as theirs. Their signature concoctions range from pear to passion fruit, or try out their 3-flavor rainbow creation!
3. Howl at the Moon (240 West 52nd Street)
This NYC concert bar has a piñata full of reasons to grab your esés and chug down one of their 86oz Blue Cuervo margaritas, a feat that can earn you some serious cred among the venue’s staff. That is, if you can remember the night after downing it.
$7 margaritas and Curevo shots set the night up to be a blast for you and not on your wallet. For an extra kick, try out the complimentary nacho bar buffet with all the fixin’s before heading to the Howl’s live house band to request any song all night long.
4. Pedro’s (73 Jay Street - Brooklyn)
What looks like a boarded and tagged up shack on the corner of Jay and Front Streets in DUMBO might be the Cinco de Mayo experience you never knew you wanted. Littered with colorful graffiti art and cultural murals, there’s something to check out everywhere you turn.
Although the cuisine here is a fusion of traditional Mexican and Dominican foods, the drinks here all scream for Mother Mexico. The best example is their Bulldog Margarita, an extra boozy marg that has an upside down Corona in it with a happy little sombrero fixed right on the bottle.
5. Arriba Arriba (40-15 Queens Blvd - Queens)
Cue the plate of sizzling fajitas! (C’mon, you know you want them) This cool and casual cantina attracts a younger crowd and doesn’t disappoint when it comes to variety. From the traditional to the innovative, this Sunnyside spot has something for all taste buds.
For Cinco de Mayo, they’re calling upon their beloved Margarita Madness special and serving up $6 12oz frozen margaritas all day along with $5 sangria and well drinks and $3 Coors Light, Bud and Bud Light. You might want to bring along your donkey to get you back home though.
6. Campeón (9 East 16th Street)
Just steps away from Union Square lies Campeón, a den of Mexican-inspired inebriation with over 50 different types of tequila and just about every type, style and flavor of margarita your booze-fueled brain can imagine.
Aside from the tapas and tequila, the other element this Mexican sports bar flaunts is the sheer amount of HDTVs they have mounted all over the place, including a few 80-inch whoppers that command your attention no matter what’s playing. Happy drinking!
7. Bar San Miguel (307 Smith Street - Brooklyn)
Taking cues from the historic town San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, this authentic eatery and bar pulls out all the stops to make you feel like you’re much farther away from its colorful Carroll Garden walls. After a few drinks, you might forget you're still in the city at all.
The bar stocks over 200 tequilas and mezcals, perfect for starter agave drinkers and the seasoned tequila connoisseurs alike. Try one of their craft cocktails like the Aldama with jalapeño-infused tequila, avocado and lime, or the Mesones with blanco tequila and chipotle brown sugar syrup.
8. Patron (608 9th Avenue)
Renowned for their 8-hour margarita ‘happy hours,” Patron brings an authentic Mexican vibe to Hell’s Kitchen and sets up the perfect ambiance, not to mention drink menu, to take your Cinco de Mayo to the next level.
With everything grande-sized here, like their 22 oz house margaritas, you won’t be short on bites or booze come this Thursday. Coming with your amigos? Order up a pitcher of margarita for all! The only thing you might need to plan in advance is which of the ten flavors to try first.
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