Where to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo 2016 in NYC

by Jessica Klein on May 2, 2016 in Roundups
Though May 5 signifies the Mexican defeat of the French army on that day in 1862, it’s margaritas and Coronas that most people will be thinking about on this Cinco de Mayo in New York. Here’s where to go to celebrate with margaritas and Mexican cuisine.
 
Situated in Hell’s Kitchen and offering serene views of the city, Cantina Rooftop offers both delicious Mexican food and inspired cocktails. The tequila and mezcal cocktails are must tries, especially the Oaxaca Smash (mezcal mixed with spicy agave, chai sweet vermouth, citrus, and bitters) and the Frida (blanco tequila base with flavors of elderflower, pear, rosemary, and citrus). If you’re not in the mood for something sweet, the regular tequila and mezcal list is extensive. (605 W 48th St.; 212-957-1700)
 
A divey bar with a performance venue, Don Pedro will help you celebrate Cinco de Mayo with regular drink specials (a beer and a shot for $5 seems to be available most evenings) and a generally upbeat, young crowd. Bar food includes $6 tacos, nachos, and arepas, with cinnamon sugar churros for dessert. (90 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn; 347-689-3163)
 
If you want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a sit down dinner, Añejo has an affordable menu with dishes that still feel high end. Taco options include short rib, Berkshire pork, and wild mushroom, while the house cocktail list features a solid Michelada and a Mexican take on a Pimm’s Cup (yes, the latter includes Jarritos). (301 Church St.; 212-920-6270)
 
Though the alcoholic options are beer and wine only, you won’t feel limited once you tuck into the food. You can tell it’s good because people of actual Mexican descent eat here… oh, and because of the taste. The food is incredibly affordable, and even the non-alcoholic drinks are worth trying (especially the sangria soda and mango/guava juice). (503 Jackson Ave., Bronx; 347-498-1055)
 
Though it is a restaurant, food isn’t exactly the main draw at Papasito’s, which is located way uptown in Washington Heights. If you sit outside and stick to appetizers and margaritas, you’ll be set for the evening. The drinks are strong, the music is fun, and the rainbow margaritas are something special. (223 Dyckman St.; 212-544-0001)
 
Meant to showcase the cuisine and culture of Oaxaca, Casa Mezcal is not only a restaurant/bar, but is also a gallery space. Dishes taste fresh and are filled with vegetables, with many being vegetarian friendly. Meanwhile, the star beverage is Los Amantes, a mezcal variety that comes from Oaxaca and is distilled by hand. (86 Orchard St.; 212-777-2661)
 
Cantina Royal serves plenty of Mexican beers on tap and in the bottle. This includes the obvious, like Tecate and Corona, but it does include some offerings you won’t find at most NYC bars, like Sol, Victoria, Carte Blanca, and Bohemia. Other beer options hail from Argentina, Costa Rica, and Peru. There’s also a performance space in the back room, and the décor is pretty lovely. (58 N 3rd St.; Brooklyn; 347-763-2938)

Photo via Flickr user timsackton
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