If you’re one of the people who has made Cinco de Mayo synonymous with partying in your mind, do you know the reason you’re partying? Sure, it’s because everyone else is being festive and the local bars are giving specials, right? But for many, the day has more significance than that. Instead of being Mexico’s Independence Day – which is a common misconception – Cinco de Mayo actually celebrates the Mexican militia beating the French in 1862 during The Battle of Puebla.

Surprisingly, America tends to celebrate this holiday more than Mexico (outside of Puebla)! Here in The States, it has become more than just a commemoration of a battle, expanding into a celebration of Mexican culture. The fun includes customs, music, and of course, food! If you’re looking forward to the last part the most (we’re right there with you), hit up one or more of the following spots in New York City. They’re sure to delight you with cultural cuisine, and plenty of drink and food specials to boot!

Past Cinco De Mayo Hotspots

The Ainsworth

Come to this Chelsea restaurant on the fifth of May and you’re likely to save some money off the high-end gastro pub fare. For past years, this site has offered its tacos – opt for fish, shrimp or buffalo chicken – for half price, so check for what they have in store this year. And be sure to wash down your tasty tacos with discounted Mexican beer!

La Cerveceria

This restaurant in the East Village tends to acknowledge this day’s importance with Latin American food and drink specials. Its past promotions included a two-hour open bar for $29 a person. See how much you can drink in that time while you scarf down the restaurant’s tapas choices! The cuisine goes beyond Mexico to include various influences of Latin America. We’ll let that slide this once!

Anejo Tribeca

While other restaurants pose as Mexican for the night, this Tribeca restaurant is a true Mexican site where you’ll get the flavors you’re after with a bit of novelty and experimentation mixed in. This restaurant is not even satisfied with Cinco de Mayo – instead, it tends to turn the holiday into a week-long celebration! If years past are any indication, Anejo should have specials during the week before Cinco de Mayo with an explosion of specials on the day itself. Expect tacos, tequila and fancier fare in an upscale venue – what could be better?

Casa Enrique

For more authentic Mexican cuisine on this special day of celebrating Mexico, head to Casa Enrique. Its chefs create traditional Mexican meals based on food from the town of Cintalapa in the southern part of the country. This one is in Queens, but it’s worth it for its guacamole, tacos, enchiladas and much more. This is where you’ll feel like you’re in the heart of Mexico, perfect for celebrating the country’s culture!

All About the Drinks?

If you care more about the drinking than the cuisine during this once-a-year extravaganza, don’t worry, there are plenty of venues for you! In this case, you probably won’t care if you’re heading to a Mexican, Italian or even American restaurant. Some sites that tend to offer margaritas and more for a Cinco de Mayo fiesta include Agave in the West Village, Agozar Cuban Restaurant in the East Village, Barrio 47 in the West Village, Confessional in the East Village and DBGB in the East Village.

Some of these bars and restaurants are Mexican, while others just want to join in the fun on this one special day. Who can blame them? So do we! Let us know in the comments if you plan to visit one of these festive venues on Cinco de Mayo or if you have another spot in mind!

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About The Author

Chief Eating Officer

I see food - Everywhere. I eat, sleep, and drink up NYC as much as possible. It isn't always about what you see but how you see it - A brain that has seen the inside of the corporate world, the back rooms of the legal world, but prefers the comfort of a walk in cooler - Not everyone can appreciate the smell of a supermarket freezer.