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L.A.’s best Cinco de Mayo specials

Did someone say mezcal margarita? Celebrate the Mexican holiday with these Cinco de Mayo specials around Los Angeles.
Photograph: Courtesy Pink Dot

Cinco de Mayo is so much more than the old “one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor” adage: It’s a holiday that celebrates the Mexican army’s win at the Battle of Puebla, against the French in 1862 (but hey, celebrate it with tequila). In honor of the victory, Mexican restaurants and mezcal bars throw open their doors, usually with food and drink specials throughout the day and, if you’re lucky, live music and full-on parties. Translation? Tacos, margaritas and mariachi bands are about to dominate your weekend. Whether you’re settling in for an afternoon of eating or a morning of on-theme live drag performances, here’s how to tap into your Mexican pride—or, you know, just your love of tequila. 

RECOMMENDED: Our guide to Cinco de Mayo in Los Angeles

Best Cinco de Mayo specials

Mariachi at the Abbey
Photograph: Courtesy the Abbey Food & Bar
Nightlife, Alternative nightlife

The Abbey Food & Bar

icon-location-pin West Hollywood

Leave it to the Abbey to go all-in with an all-day celebration including but not limited to: drag performances, dancing, drink specials and live music from Arcoiris de Los Angeles, the world’s first LGBTQ mariachi band. The fun runs from 9am to 2am, and we can just about guarantee it’ll be packed and magnificent the whole day and night.

Photograph: Matt Armendariz
Restaurants, Mexican

Border Grill

icon-location-pin Downtown

Border Grill’s amping up this year’s festivities, extending its Cinco party all day long. Stop by from 11am to 10pm for $3.50 tacos—we’re talking carnitas, fish, rajas, alambre and more—as well as $5 bites (hello, queso fundido), $5 beers and margaritas, all set to DJ sets.

Lobster enchiladas
Photo courtesy Casa Vega
Restaurants, Mexican

Casa Vega

icon-location-pin Sherman Oaks

The Valley’s beloved Mexican staple is throwing a Cinco de Mayo party on Saturday, complete with a live mariachi band in the evening, $7 margaritas all day and night, plus the one-day-only Pink Señorits cocktail, made with Patrón Silver, fresh grapefruit juice, cranberry juice and mint. That’s enough to make us drive to Sherman Oaks.

Photograph: Courtesy Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Restaurants, Steakhouse

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

icon-location-pin Downtown

This is, undeniably, the most baller of Cinco specials: Find a $100 margarita—yep, $100 for a solitary margarita—at all locations, for one day only. It comes served in a special Baccarat “Diamant Highball” glass, which you get to keep and normally retails for $280 a set. The margarita itself is a blend of Tequila Herradura Seleccioón Suprema, an ultra-premium 100-percent agave tequila that’s typically around $350 per bottle, and Grand Marnier Centenaire, usually around $200. This is one to savor.

Margarita from Gracias Madre
Photograph: Courtesy Gracias Madre
Restaurants, Mexican

Gracias Madre

icon-location-pin West Hollywood

Nothing screams “spring” like a garden party, and Gracias Madre’s got one comin’ right up for Cinco de Mayo. Enjoy that great patio from noon to 10pm while also enjoying $5 vegan street tacos—such as BBQ jackfruit and mole mushroom—plus $10 margaritas and $5 beers. The best part? No reservations necessary. Just roll through. Get thee to WeHo.

Bars, Mezcalerias

Las Perlas

icon-location-pin Downtown

Las Perlas fans already know that the Downtown drinking den has one of L.A.’s best mezcal and tequila selections. But for those who have yet to step foot inside the bar, Cinco de Mayo is the perfect time to pay a visit. Starting at 11am, there will be a special Cinco de Mayo food menu running all day long (hello, tacos on the patio), and from noon to 4pm, Spaghetti Cumbia will keep the party going with live music. Sip on $11 draft cocktails featuring Sino tequila and El Silencio mezcal—or keep your eyes on the collection of nearly 600 other agave spirits.

Photograph: Courtesy Mi Corazon
Restaurants, Mexican

Mi Corazon

icon-location-pin Los Feliz

Mi Corazon is celebrating its first Cinco de Mayo in Silver Lake with a bang, or, we should say, a blowout: Expect margarita bowls, $20 sangria pitchers, rumchata, $8 boilermakers, $8 Banderita shots (made with sangrita, lime and tequila—red, green and white, like the Mexican flag), plus margaritas, palomas and more specialty cocktails galore. And, oh yeah, there’s a live mariachi band.

Cinco de Mayo tacos at The Morrison
Photograph: Courtesy the Morrison
Bars, Pubs

The Morrison

icon-location-pin Atwater Village

Sure, it’s a Scottish-themed bar, but that doesn’t mean the Morrison can’t get in on the action. This pub’s food specials are going all Mexican with tacos, ceviches, flautas, fajitas and even tres leches cake, all between $8 and $15, and don’t forget the drinks: They’ve got Modelo and Corona on tap, plus Dos Equiis and Tecate all for $5 a pop, and then there’s the handful of tequila cocktail specials for around $9.

Walter Manzke's Petty Cash Taqueria
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Restaurants, Mexican

Petty Cash Taqueria

icon-location-pin Fairfax/Beverly/La Brea/Third St.

Petty Cash will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with an all-day party that runs beyond their normal hours, so you know they're taking this holiday seriously. The party start at noon and continues until 1am with music, food and drink specials and more; when it comes time to pad your stomach after all that mezcal, we recommend the cauliflower nachos and, like, six of their tacos. (Bonus: Much of the menu's local and sustainable.) If you're interested in attending during the day, you'll have to make a reservation; walk-ins are only welcome after 5pm. 

Photograph: Courtesy Pink Dot
Shopping, Grocery stores

Pink Dot

icon-location-pin West Hollywood

I’ve been saying it for years: This grocery store on wheels was ahead of its time. On Saturday, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the iconic delivery system is offering yet another service more people should be providing: cocktails to your door. Simply click on “craft cocktails on-demand,” and pick your drink set—you’ll be receiving everything you need to build your cocktail in no time. And, because it’s Cinco de Mayo, you’ll be able to order a “Pink-a-rita” kit, of which $1 from every order benefits the National Immigration Law Center, which helps defend and protect low-income immigrants.

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