It's Cinco de Mayo! To celebrate, here are 5 new Mexican restaurants

The marg-fueled, taco-stuffed celebration is finally here! Do up el día right at one of these spanking-new South of the Border eateries.

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Chile en nogada at El Vez

Chile en nogada at El Vez Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

El Vez

Prolific Philly restaurateur Stephen Starr added this splashy Mexican crowd-pleaser to his growing New York empire in April. Get in the fiesta spirit with pistachio-studded guacamole, oxtail enchiladas with salsa guajillo and mescal-laced cocktails like Sangre y Humo (Fidencio Clásico, Cherry Heering, Dolin Rouge, blood orange) and the El Fácil Grande (Scorpion Reposado, Peychaud’s, Vieux Carré absinthe).

Soft-shell-crab taco at Bodega Negra

Soft-shell-crab taco at Bodega Negra Photograph: Filip Wolak

Bodega Negra

London’s popular Mexican cantina made its NYC debut in January, courtesy of nightlife impresario Serge Becker (La Esquina, Melvin’s Juice Box). Tucked inside the Dream Downtown, the amber-lit spot features street-food–inspired plates from Morimoto alum Michael Armstrong: Tuck into lobster tostaditas with mango-cucumber salsa, carne asada with mole negro and chipotle-glazed ribs with pico de gallo. A frozen guava marg should make everything go down even easier.

Tacos at Cafe El Presidente

Tacos at Cafe El Presidente Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Café El Presidente

A Mexican-food lover’s playground, this multipurpose market and restaurant from the Tacombi team spotlights everything we love about our South of the Border amigos. There are killer seafood tacos, like shrimp in mojo de ajo or lobster with mint and corn, house-made aguas frescas and horchata, locally roasted Mexican coffees and boozy sips like a classic Paloma or a Smoked Coke (Mexican coke with mescal and bitters).

Ceviche de jurel at Ofrenda

Ceviche de jurel at Ofrenda Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

The Black Ant

Take your more adventurous Cinco de Mayo comrades to this modern Mayan joint from Ofrenda owners Jorge Guzman and Cliff Freid, and La Esquina alum Mario Hernandez. Bugs do make more than one appearance on the menu: The dehydrated, imported critters are used to salt the rim of the mescal-and-corn-juice Yum Kaax and adds a protein punch to the house guac, the yellowtail ceviche and the braised-rabbit enchiladas.

Pozole Soup at Lucky Luna

Pozole Soup at Lucky Luna Photograph: Erica Gannett

Lucky Luna

For a nouveau take on Mexican, look to this Greenpoint haunt from San Francisco transplants, Boulevard alums Howard Jang and Ken Ho, along with Marisa Cadena (Palomino). Here, classic South of the Border fare is given a Taiwanese jolt: that means tacos filled with sautéed shiitake mushrooms, bao loaded with chicharrones and Peking duck, and a beer list that includes both Bohemia and Taiwan.



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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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