On The Town

The 10 Best Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo 2017

Spice up your typical Friday night with margaritas and mariachi at these local bars.

By Lauren Cohen | May 3, 2017, 1:23 pm

On The Town

The 10 Best Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo 2017

Spice up your typical Friday night with margaritas and mariachi at these local bars.

By Lauren Cohen | May 3, 2017, 1:23 pm

Cinco de Mayo just so happens to fall on a Friday this year. That means there’s no excuse not to stroll over to your neighborhood bar, feast on spicy snacks, and sip salt-rimmed drinks to honor Mexico’s unlikely victory over France on the fifth of May in 1862.  A handful of bars and restaurants are putting their own spin on the tequila-themed holiday this year, offering everything from sombreros and sangria to piñatas and photos with donkeys. Here are our picks for the area’s most festive fiestas:

Clavel: It doesn’t get much more authentic than this modern tacqueria in Remington, which boasts a unique interior with strung lights and plenty of plants. From house-made tortillas to a lengthy mezcal menu, everything about the space is meant to mimic the vibe of owner Lane Harlan’s beloved Oaxaca. Not only is Cinco de Mayo an ideal time to honor the concept’s Mexican roots, but it also marks the restaurant’s (almost) two-year anniversary. To celebrate, Clavel is throwing down on May 5, offering roasted meats, sizzling salsas, classic vampiro cocktails (a tequila-based version of a Bloody Mary) and, of course, plenty of margaritas to go around. 225 W. 23rd St., 443-900-8983

El Bufalo: This O’Donnell Square favorite is a go-to party place no matter what the occasion. For Cinco de Mayo, the bar is going all out with bucket specials, family-style platters of nachos and tacos, and an all-day live music lineup. Get an early start (doors open at 11 a.m.) with discounted Mexican beers and Peligroso margaritas while jamming to music spun by DJ Mic L and performances by local singer-songwriters Steve Herrera and Steve Matthews. 2921 O’ Donnell St., 410-814-0594

Federal Hill Fiesta: Though this annual block party got rained out last year, locals are holding out hope for sunny skies this weekend. Gather with friends and neighbors on Sunday, May 7 to partake in the outdoor rager on East Cross Street, which will feature Modello and Corona Light specials, live entertainment, and Mexican street food from neighborhood mainstays Blue Agave, Bandito’s, and No Way Jose. Crowd around the stage to sway to the sounds of local headliners Chris Diller, Pressing Strings, and beloved rockers Pasadena. East Cross Street, $8-9

Jailbreak Brewing: Just in time for Cinco de Mayo—and summer sipping weather—this fan-favorite Laurel brewery is unveiling not one, but two new cervezas. Head to the taproom to enjoy a dual-purpose Cinco de Mayo celebration and release party for the citrusy Ephemeral Volume V and Dew Right, a new blonde ale brewed with honeydew. Plus, the Say Cheese food truck will be on site with its signature sammies to line your stomach before tipping back the fresh-poured pints. 9445 Washington Blvd., Ste. F., Laurel, 443-345-9699

Little Havana: Gather your crew and head to this outpost off of Key Highway to take advantage of a full-blown fiesta featuring live bands, local DJs, waterfront views, sizzling snacks, and an outdoor tent with fully stocked bars. Plus, we hear that the spot plans to have a visiting donkey onsite—so be sure to have your cameras ready. 1325 Key Highway, 410-837-9903

Nacho Mama’s: Both locations of this tried-and-true Tex-Mex hangout in Canton and Towson will be celebrating in style, serving up hearty burritos, fajitas, and quesadillas with the restaurant’s requisite hubcap margaritas for the table. Specials running from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. will include $5 Gracelands (Nacho Mama’s house margarita fused with homemade lime mix), $15 Graceland hubcaps, and $1-off specialty margaritas in flavors like Orange Crush, pomegranate, and black raspberry. Multiple locations including 2907 O’Donnell St., 410-675-0898

Papi’s: The annual festivities at this Fells Point taco joint are being extended this year. Throughout the two-day fiesta—which will keep the party going until Saturday, May 6—enjoy a slew of drink specials including $5 select tequila drinks, $12 pitchers of draft beer, and $25 pitchers of house margaritas. Pair the drinks with the menu’s authentic antojitos (small bites inspired by  Mexican street fairs) including braised corn on the cob, yucca fries, and DIY street tacos. 1703 Aliceanna St., 410-299-8480

Points South Latin Kitchen: Take a trip to South America by way of Fells Point at this spirited spot, which pairs its flavorful dishes with a selection of bottled house cocktails and classic piscos, palomas, and margaritas from the bar. This Friday, partake in the restaurant’s Cinco de Mayo party, which will feature specials like $3 glasses of sangria, $5 margaritas, and $3-6 tacos. 1640 Thames St., 443-563-2018

Power Plant Live: Throw on your most festive garb (think sombreros, ponchos, and fake mustaches) and head to this downtown nightlife district to enjoy live entertainment, piñata bashing, a nacho-eating contest, and food and drink specials at participating bars. At Mex Tequila Bar, for example, revelers are invited to sip $4 beers and $20 45-oz. margaritas, as well as enter to win a free trip to Mexico. 34 Market Place.

The Admiral’s Cup: While strolling around the Fells Point cobblestone, follow the sounds of live music to find this Thames Street staple, which will be hosting a full-blown cerveza celebration in honor of the holiday. The bash will highlight discounted drinks including $3 Miller Lites, $4 Blue Moons, and $5 tequila shots, as well as live happy hour tunes from resident rockers Bedtime for Jack. 1547 Thames St., 410-534-5555, $5

Meet The Author

Lauren Cohen is the digital senior editor at Baltimore, where she covers food, events, lifestyle, and community news.

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