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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Philadelphia at the South Street Spring Festival.
Photograph: HughE Dillon

Where to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Philadelphia this year

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Philadelphia right with our list of the best parties and food and drink specials. Margs up!

By Caroline Coral

Cinco de Mayo in Philadelphia is going to be hype this year, thanks to the fact that the fifth of May falls on a Saturday in 2018. That means you can gorge on all the guacamole and margaritas you want, and still have a day to recover before the alarm rings Monday morning. Here we lay out the best Cinco de Mayo Philadelphia events happening this weekend, including block parties, awesome deals on South of the Border-style grub at Mexican restaurants in Philadelphia and cheap tequila-based drinks at some of the best bars in Philadelphia.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Philadelphia this weekend

Best Cinco de Mayo events in Philadelphia

Barbuzzo brings back its Frozen Budino Choco Taco for a limited time.
Photograph: Courtesy Barbuzzo

1. Stuff your face with a Choco Taco

Restaurants Mediterranean Center City

For two days only, Barbuzzo, the Mediterannean kitchen in Midtown Village, is bringing back one of its most popular limited-edition desserts: the Frozen Salted Caramel Budino-Stuffed Choco Taco. The dessert is a Mexican-inspired take on the restaurant’s frozen budino pop, and is made with a homemade waffle cone taco shell that’s dipped in dark chocolate, filled with frozen salted caramel budino pudding and topped with pecan toffee crunch and a sprinkling of Fleur de Sel sea salt. Take our word for it when we say these things will go FAST—so plan accordingly. You can get yours on Friday and Saturday, May 4 and 5, starting at 11am. They’re going for $6.50 each and are available while supplies last, which, again, won’t be long.

Ornella Ridone's art will be shown at Philadelphia's Magic Garden.
Photograph: Ornella Ridone

2. Mexican folk art at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Art Folk art

Isaiah Zagar’s mosaicked wonderland on South Street hosts a grand-opening party for its latest special art exhibition. If you think embroidery is a fusty medium reserved for silver-haired ladies in rocking chairs, Mexican artist Ornella Ridone’s 50 hand-embroidered works will set you straight. Taking a traditional folk art and adapting it to her own contemporary practice, Ridone has created pieces specifically PMG, based on a two-week visit to our fair city last year. Think of it as a calmer precursor to your weekend’s more rollicking Cinco de Mayo festivities. Fri May 4 6pm; $10

Mad Rex is a post-apocalyptic restaurant in Philadelphia.
Photograph: Courtesy Mad Rex

4. Mad Rex

Restaurants American creative Fishtown

Fishtown’s premier destination for post-apocalyptic cocktails gets into the Cinco game big time with large-format margaritas finished with a ghost-pepper-salt rim. Snacks wise, the kitchen is firing up black lava rocks for guests to grill their own salmon, beef or tofu tacos. Sat May 5 noon–2pm

garage bar philadelphia
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp Jason H.

5. Garage Passyunk

Bars Beer bars Bella Vista

The folks at this canned-beer mecca (with locations in South Philly and Fishtown) have a menu full of Cinco de Mayo specials that are guaranteed to have you feeling festive. A quartet of Mexican beers (think Corona, Corona Light, Pacifico and Modelo) and tequila sunrise Jell-O shots are going for $5, Bacardi Oakheart and Coke is $6 and frozen margaritas and pina coladas are $9 and $10, respectively. Sat May 5 11am–2am

PHS Pop-Up Gardens offer the chance to drink in a lush urban oasis.
Photograph: Albert Yee

6. PHS Pop-Up Garden grand opening

Bars Beer bars Hawthorne

After doing a soft opening last weekend, this seasonal South Street beer garden is officially opening the season with a Mexican-themed celebration, compete with a mariachi performance at 4pm sharp. This spring and summer’s food lineup is filled with Cinco-appropriate cocktails, such as a grapefruit paloma, made with Quaker City mercantile spirits, and cinnamon sugar-topped churro popcorn. Sat May 5 2pm–midnight

tiki philly
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Rachel O.

7. Tiki

Bars Cocktail bars Center City

Looking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo on one of the many rooftop bars in Philadelphia? With weekend temps slated to hit the balmy mid-70s mark, the second-floor roof deck of this Midtown Village tropical paradise is an ideal locale to get your day drinking on under the sun. DJ Fluffronix is kicking off the party at 2pm, and the bar is slinging beers, tequila shots and frozen margs, all for under $7. Sat May 5 2pm–2am

A bartender pours a margarita at El Rey, a Stephen Starr joint near Rittenhouse Square.
Photograph: Courtesy El Rey

8. El Rey's Cinco de Mayo Street Festival

Restaurants Mexican Center City West

Stephen Starr’s Mexican diner off of Rittenhouse Square is taking the party alfresco with an all-day street festival featuring nachos, guac and tacos, and classic and mango margaritas. Toting kids along? Sip on your drinks while they’re entertained with a host of activities including arts and crafts and face painting. Sat May 5 noon–11pm

South Street Spring Festival
Photograph: HughE Dillon

9. South Street Spring Festival

Things to do Festivals

While this annual fest isn’t exactly an homage to all things South of the Border, the spring Saturday party is always a good time. Think dozens of restaurants setting up street side, live music and loads of vendors. Beer and tequila specials are on offer up and down South Street, and those with a penchant for competitive eating can sign up for an all-too-appropriate Philly taco-eating contest. Sat May 5 11am–8pm

uptown beer garden
Photograph: Uptown Beer Garden

10. Uptown Beer Garden

Bars Beer bars Financial District

Center City’s go-to beer garden is gearing up for its fourth season with an all-day Cinco de Mayo party. Foregoing the typical Coronas and Modelos, this year the draft list is featuring Becky Beer, a Mexican-style lager brewed with coconut from Aston’s 2SP. Mexican corn, tacos and frozen margaritas are on the 2018 menu along with a mezcal-spiked pink sangria. Sat May 5 noon–2am

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