Margaritas, mojitos, tacos, oh my! Who doesn’t love a good Cinco de Mayo turn up? It’s one of the days out of the year where we can indulge in delicious Mexican cuisine. In Harlem there isn’t a shortage of Mexican-inspired bars and restaurants that serve up authentic South of the Border dishes and drinks (Ain’t no Taco Bell bih.) Whether you’re looking for a place to get burrito wasted or you’re in search of a spot that serves up delicious cocktails; there are several places throughout the neighborhood to satisfy your Mexican cravings. Gather your crew and get your after work plans in order. We’ve rounded up a list of the best Mexican bars and restaurants in Harlem to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
Cantina 1838 is the go-to Mexican bar and restaurant in Harlem. The eatery has made a name for itself through serving up some of the best tacos, burritos, and cocktails in the neighborhood. For Cinco de Mayo, the restaurant has created a customized menu. If you’re planning on calling in sick *cough cough* to get your Cinco de Mayo festivities started early, the restaurant opens at noon and will offer tacos for $3 and house margaritas for $7. For the after work crowd, shots of house tequila will be priced at $5, regular margaritas will be $5, and flavored margaritas will cost you six bucks. Happy hour at Cantina 1838 runs from 3 p.m. through 7:00 p.m. This place gets super packed on Cinco de Mayo so make sure you get there early! Learn more about Cantina 1838 here.
Calling all margarita lovers! If you’re about that tequila life, head on over to LuLu’s Taqueria for Cinco de Mayo. Aside from their delicious food, they’re known for serving up strong margaritas that give you bang for your buck. Some of the drinks that are featured on the menu include the “LuLu Rita” which is a mix of Tequila blanco, triple sec, fresh lime juice, agave, and orange juice; the “LuLu Flavor-Rita” which is a classic margarita that comes in strawberry, passion fruit, mango, coconut, cucumber, blood orange, and watermelon flavors; and the “Spicy Mexican,” which includes Tequila blanco, cucumber, lime, jalapeño and lemon lime soda. As far as food, go for the pork and pineapple tacos or if you want to keep it healthy try a delicious quinoa rice bowl with all of the fixings. Learn more about LuLu’s Taqueria here.
Sexy Taco/Dirty Cash
Don’t be alarmed by the name; it’s not a strip club. Sexy Taco/Dirty Cash is a super cute San Francisco street food-inspired restaurant that serves up delicious dishes influenced by Mexican cuisine. The eatery boasts pop-art inspired décor and has a laid back ambiance. The menu features very unique dishes including a beef taco with Rice-A-Roni and a Cheeseburger burrito. The names of the drinks on the menu are nothing short of interesting, with concoctions like “Sin on Wheels” which is a mix of Milagro tequila, muddled red pepper, chipotle, agave, and fresh lime with a smoked salt rim, and the “Latin Old-Fashioned” which includes El Dorado 12, island spiced molasses, and orange and grapefruit bitters. During happy hour, well drinks are $5, frozen margaritas are $6, glasses of wine and sangria are $6, beer is $5 and specialty cocktails are priced at $9. Learn more about Sexy Taco/Dirty Cash here.
El Porton is one of the best authentic Mexican restaurants in Harlem. If you want to feel like you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo in Mexico, this is the place to be. Aside from their delicious drink selection, that include sangria, margaritas, and mojitos, the main draw to this spot is their food. If Cinco de Mayo is more about the grub for you, come to El Porton. Their go-to dishes include the Enchiladas de Camaron, which is enchiladas with sautéed jumbo shrimp and tomato sauce and cheese, or the chicken fajita. If you’re looking for something a bit simpler but still tasty try their quesadillas or nachos. Learn more about El Porton here.
There’s nothing like celebrating Cinco de Mayo in the heart of Spanish Harlem. El Paso is one of New York City’s top rated Mexican spots. In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, they’re serving up $5 margaritas all day. The restaurant also created a delicious menu for the day that includes dishes like Aguachile de Camarón, Botana de Escabeche, and tacos with a selection of delicious meats. At 5:00 p.m., DJ Rico Suave will be on the 1s and 2s. Talk about a fiesta! Learn more about El Paso here.