Cinco de Mayo, which recalls the victory at the Battle of Puebla, is honored each year on May 5 in several celebratory ways, through festive foods, lively libations, performances, dance, music, art, the making of crafts, and more.
The lime-lovely, tequila-famous sip is a major sight (and taste) on the historical holiday, indeed, but so are tacos, and rellenos, and enchiladas, and an amazing and appetizing array of Mexican staples.
Where can you connect with this cuisine, and mariachi music, and lowrider displays, and dance performances, not just on May 5 but throughout the weekend to follow?
Take a look at a few of the salt-rimmed celebrations around Southern California, including...
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Fuego at Hotel Maya will be throwing a "Cinco de Maya" party on May 5, complete with an appearance by Grammy-winning Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea, "the official mariachi band of Disneyland." The Long Beach hotel also has a stay-over package, starting at $299, which includes two gratis drinks.
Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Company, in Boyle Heights, will offer a "Battle of the Flights" from May 5 through 8. The special tequila and mezcal offerings complement Chef Jorge Sandoval's creative pies well; go with the Mole Pizza or another terrific pizza.
Cinco de Mayan, Lucha VaVOOM's annual wrestling and burlesque spectacular, "rides again" at The Mayan in DTLA over two thrill-a-minute nights. Our city's "longest-running, most celebrated variety show" is also known for its comedic interludes and fabulous flair. Tickets for May 5 and/or 6? Right here.
Want to find new things to do in Los Angeles? The Scene's lifestyle stories have you covered. Here's your go-to source on where the fun is across SoCal and for the weekend.
The City of San Gabriel will host a large and lovely Cinco de Mayo mercado, in the Mission District, on the evening of Friday, May 6. A tribute to Selena is a moving centerpiece, while Folkorico Sol de Fuego will perform. Look for craft activities (hurray, mini piñatas), a margarita and beer garden, and other holiday-sweet happenings.
The Pacific Wheel at Pacific Park will be displaying a 90-foot Mexican flag in honor of the victory at the 1862 battle. Red, white, and green patterns will also festoon the side of the massive attraction, which can be seen in person or via its webcam.
Nueva, in Venice, will keep it going late — or perhaps we mean early — on May 5. The destination will stay open through 2 a.m., and special appearances are in store, including live sets from Mariachi Alta California. DJs, too, will lend the evening a soundfully Cinco air.
El Carmen, the starry tequila bar located on West Third, is celebrating its 25th anniversary on May 6 (that's right, Friday, May 6) with mariachis and merry doings. But wait: There's a Cinco de Mayo party unfolding on May 5, with $10 house margaritas and other specials.
Petersen Automotive Museum will wait to honor Cinco, but the Miracle Mile car destination won't wait long. A "community block party featuring the very best of Mexican and Latin American cultures" will take place on Saturday, May 7 outside the museum, with spotlight parking reserved for lowriders and custom vehicles.
El Pollo Loco has partnered with Tapatío on a special bottle of hot sauce. This caliente customization officially launches on May 5, and if you'd like one? They'll be available for purchase on the company's site or at your local El Pollo Loco. Adding to the Cinco savoriness? You can enjoy two tacos for five bucks on May 5.
La Granjero Cantina, located on the Plaza at the Original Farmers Market, will have mariachis from 5 to 7 p.m., as well as a line-up of luscious dishes, including Lobster Tacos and Fry-chos. Inside the landmark public market? Trejo's Tacos will also be celebrating with music (and look for a special cameo later in the afternoon).
The Bamboo Club, in Long Beach, is doing a tiki-Cinco mash-up on May 5, with a host of one-day-only cocktails that feature agave as a central player. The festive foods, too, will reflect the day, with Tiki Ceviche and a Kahula Pork Queso-Taco on the menu.
El Portal in Pasadena is always a hub of delicious drinks with tequila-tasty oomph, and on Cinco de Mayo? The celebratory spirit will be strong, with three hours of live mariachi music. There's more fun to follow on May 6 and 7, so check out the schedule for the Pasadena Playhouse District restaurant now.
Randy's Donuts is baking a Mango Tajin Doughnut especially for Cinco de Mayo. The goodie, which debuted in 2021, became an instant hit, so, you bet: It is back for a yummy return engagement. The price is $3.35 per doughnut.