Cinco de Mayo is this Saturday and plenty of D.C. bars and restaurants are capitalizing on the tequila-fueled festivities by offering specialty drink deals and taco specials galore.
FYI: the annual Mexican holiday coincides with another big drinking day in D.C. (the Kentucky Derby), so some spots are combining the two with all-day parties.
Bar Bao + Pamplona
3100 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington, Va.
The neighboring Clarendon restaurants will break into patio season with a big bash running from noon to 8 p.m. Expect $5 tequila shots, $7 margaritas, raffle prizes, and entertainment from DJ Pouria.
1309 Fifth Street NE
The Union Market restaurant will be slinging El Jimador margaritas at $8 a pop (and Old Forester mint juleps to rope in Kentucky Derby vibes). Its new taco truck on its outdoor patio will be serving five types of tacos from chef/owner John Mooney.
City Tap – Penn Quarter
901 Ninth Street NW
This regional chain has $10 beeritas made with Dogfish Head Seaquench Ale all day. Brunch deals include breakfast tacos with pico de gallo, avocado, and ranchero sauce, as well as pulled chicken nachos with beer cheese and guacamole.
1443 P Street NW
All-day specials at this Logan Circle eatery include $5 margaritas and frozen cocktails. Chef Madison Han’s also serving stuffed jalapeños and beer braised pork carnitas tacos.
1905 Ninth Street NW
A new El Silencio mezcal margarita dubbed Mezca-lay lay ($13) will be featured all weekend on the new Shaw bar’s menu and can be slurped in no time via a giant straw. All beers are $6 all day, while any three tacos cost $11 and frozen margaritas run $9 per glass and $35 for pitchers designed for five. After 10 p.m., the deals keep flowing: $10 for a Tecate or Pacifico and a shot of El Jimador Tequila.
1785 Florida Avenue NW
Mexican painter Frida Kahlo is inspiring a “Cinco de Kahlo” celebration — with Kahlo-themed cocktails topped with edible flowers and lots of music at the lively El Salvadorian eatery. Free to enter, with $5 margaritas until 4 p.m. This is one of the longest Cinco de Mayo parties around, kicking off at 11 a.m. and running all the way until 6 a.m. on Sunday morning.
606 Florida Avenue NW
The Shaw bar will be opening early at 10 a.m. for brunch and all-day partying on its open-air rooftop, which is losing its winter cover this weekend. New sips include a passionfruit basil snow cone and a guava coconut mojito, alongside its lineup of tacos and burritos. A live DJ joins the action at noon.
1606 20th Street NW
Specials from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. include $5 Coronas and $28 pitchers. Free shots are up for grabs for those who RSVP on Facebook. Its Mission at Navy Yard location is on tap to debut in July.
600 14th Street NW
Find five festive margaritas, five tacos, and five antojitos priced at $7 each from noon to 5 p.m. at celebrity chef Todd English’s D.C. eatery. Dinner service will be offered from 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
1320 14th Street NW
The multi-day celebration at the Pig spans from Friday, May 4 to Sunday, May 6. Look for a five-course tasting menu including elote and Oaxacan ribs with a plantain mash. The dinner is $45 per person (plus tax and gratuity) and dishes are also available a la carte. Drink pairings like an Oaxacan Bee Sting with Bruxo mezcal and honey syrup run an additional $20.
Provision No. 14
2100 14th Street NW
The neighborhood bar is serving specialty drinks — including micheladas ($9 each) and frozen margaritas ($11) — from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. The kitchen is preparing complementary dishes such as shrimp tacos, empanadas, and chips with guacamole. DJ Heat will handle the music.
1430 Rhode Island Avenue NW
The bar atop Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel is hosting a party with margaritas, Mexican beers, and taco specials from 5 p.m. to midnight, weather permitting.
1345 N. Courthouse Road, Arlington, Va.
This Arlington watering hole is hosting a dual-themed party for the Kentucky Derby and Cinco De Mayo. The race will be shown live alongside Southern-style bites like fried green tomatoes. After that, the venue will switch gears and offer specials on margaritas, Model Especial, and Corona bottles all night. D.C.-based band Internal Frontier will play from 10 p.m. to close.
3100 South Street NW
The hotel’s plush outdoor garden will host a bash starting at 5 p.m. complete with a diverse lineup of $10 margaritas (think: classic, pomegranate, chili mango, and lavender). Or guests can splurge on $50 margaritas by subbing in Grand Marnier 100 or Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia.
Ruta del Vino
800 Upshur Street NW
The Petworth eatery is pushing an order of fish tacos, a margarita, or a tequila shot for $6 each all day. And there’s also $50 bottles of Bichi — a popular natural wine from Tecate, Mexico.
928 U Street NW
The U Street hotspot is fusing both holidays with an all-day party dubbed ”A Horse Named Cinco De Mayo.” Look for classic and Cointreau margaritas on special, as well as whiskey juleps, “pop and ponies” with Makers Mark, and $7 mint juleps. A mariachi band is scheduled to play from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. — and there’s a pinata purportedly packed with racy “adult” prizes and candy.
Surfside – Glover Park
2444 Wisconsin Avenue NW
From 11 a.m. to close, the Glover Park rooftop bar is offering half-priced margarita pitchers, $20 beer buckets, $5 tequila shots, and $10 guacamole, cheese, and salsa platters, along with prizes from El Jimador Tequila. Carry-out platters of burritos and tacos are also available (email orders to firstname.lastname@example.org).
777 I Street NW
While the Eventbrite link says its rooftop party is sold out, here’s an inside tip: There are a limited number of walk-in tickets that will be available the day of. And a la carte drinks will still be available for all. The patio off of I Street will also be open all day.
Taqueria del Barrio
821 Upshur Street NW
The Petworth taqueria will offer happy hour prices all day for the holiday. Look for house margaritas on tap for $5, $1 off draft beers, wines by the glass for $6, and a mix of Mexican specialties including guacamole, mini tortas, queso, gringo (beef) tacos and mole nachos at discount prices.
The homegrown sandwich chain is kicking off the holiday early, with a Nacho Taco Trio at all area locations (except the airport) available from Monday, April 30 through the month of May. Three warm flour tortillas ($7.99), available for lunch and dinner, are packed with nacho cheese sauce, crispy chicken cutlets, shredded pepper jack cheese, grape tomatoes, diced red onion, shredded lettuce, and a drizzle of crema.
1926 14th Street NW
Chef/owner Michael Schlow’s Latin-inspired restaurant is throwing a multi-day party starting on Tuesday, May 1 with a Milagro Tequila happy hour. A May 5 all-day fiesta planned from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. is free to enter, with $8 tickets for beer, tacos, and appetizers as well as $15 tickets for margaritas (tax and tip included). Tico’s new beverage director Fidencio Rubio has created a spiked punch for the occasion, alongside themed draft cocktails and micheladas.
515 15th Street NW
From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on its patio, the hotel is featuring authentic Lucha Libre-themed wrestling acts, street tacos (including grasshopper varieties), $12 cocktail specials, and $5 beers. Guests can RSVP for free for the Patron-sponsored event at wwashingtondc.com/happenings.
2001 International Drive, McLean, Va.
On Friday, May 4, executive chefs Moreno Espinoza and Oscar Huerta will create a four-course menu of Cinco de Mayo-inspired food with sangria pairings. Think: crispy street corn fritters and lump crab and avocado crostini with Sriracha mayo. Starts at 6:30 p.m.; priced at $65 per person.