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With some of the country’s best Mexican food, most interesting tequila bars, and most diverse people, there’s no better place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than in NYC. Today we’re going to break down everything you need to know about finding the perfect Cinco de Mayo fiesta in the Big Apple.
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So let’s get into the fiesta-tivities! From out of town visiting New York on Cinco de Mayo? A local looking for the best spots in the five boroughs for a very NY fiesta? Read on to see how you can celebrate in the best city on earth!
We’re biased, of course, but we think New York celebrates Cinco de Mayo as well as any other city in the US. Because New York has the biggest Latino population in the US with over 2 million, this Cinco de Mayo 2023 will be filled with events. Check back as we get closer to the date, since we’ll be updating this with all the must-see, must-do, and must-taste events!
What exactly is Cinco de Mayo?
May 5th, 1862 marks the day of Mexico’s victory over the French army in the Battle of Puebla. That means Cinco de Mayo 2023 is the 161st anniversary! In that time, Cinco de Mayo has become the holiday that we love to celebrate here in the United States.
Though many people still believe Cinco de Mayo is when we celebrate Mexican independence day, that’s actually September 16th.
When is Cinco de Mayo celebrated?
This year, Cinco de Mayo will take place on Friday, May 5th, 2023.
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Is there a Cinco de Mayo parade in NYC?
In New York, there is normally a Cinco de Mayo parade that occurs either the weekend before – if Cinco de Mayo is early in the week – or the weekend after.
In 2021, the Cinco de Mayo parade was unfortunately canceled due to COVID restrictions. As we write this, there are still restrictions in place regarding public gatherings, so be sure to check regularly for events as we get closer to the big day.
Apart from the big Cinco de Mayo parade, there are plenty of local celebrations. This typically includes going to Mexican restaurants, indulging in Mexican food, and spending time with friends.
My recommendation? Use Cinco de Mayo as the perfect reason to celebrate New York’s unbelievable Mexican cuisine!
The Best Mexican Restaurants and Bars for Cinco de Mayo in New York
Wondering how best to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in New York? There are plenty of traditional ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in NYC. You can grab tacos from Los Tacos No. 1, taste one of the best margaritas in Manhattan at ATLA, before meeting up with your friends to dance the night away at one of the best Mexican dance spots and bars in New York at Cantina Rooftop (have you seen that view?). Or work your way through 21 different taco restaurants (map included!), then have a toast to the culture at one of the city’s best tequila and mezcal bars.
Here are some of our favorites for some of the best tacos and tequila in New York:
The 37 Best Mexican Restaurants in NYC Right Now
The 20 Best Mexican Restaurants in Manhattan Right Now
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Where is Cinco de Mayo celebrated in NYC?
You can find Cinco de Mayo celebrations in each of NYC’s five boroughs. We’ve listed a few of our favorite Mexican restaurants from each borough below, where we’re sure you’ll find a great meal and a great Cinco de Mayo celebration.
If you’re looking for great resources to see just what’s happening where you’re staying, keep an eye on this regularly updated calendar for Cinco de Mayo 2023 events near you in New York.
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Harriet's Rooftop BarRooftop Bar in DumboOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
Harriet’s Rooftop Bar belongs to the 1 Hotel in Brooklyn. You can enjoy a fantastic view of the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge. This year there will be a rooftop party for Cinco de Mayo!
Join this FREE event for live performances by the artistic organization Mazarte Dance Company. With a live flute and traditional Mexican dance performances they expose the history of Mexican culture. Moreover DJ Mickey Perez will entertain you with some nice beats.
- When? May 5th, 2023 from 6 PM – 10 PM
Haab TaqueriaMexican Restaurant in Park SlopeOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
Haab Taqueria emphasizes on the quality of ingredients compared to many other Mexican restaurants in New York. Everything is freshly prepared and the sauces are made in-house. With plant-based diets on the rise, Haab Taqueria has a vegan-friendly menu to accommodate non-meat eaters. You have choices between 12 different tacos: there is everything from fish to duck. Our personal favorites are the classic grilled chicken tacos!
Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & LoungeRooftop Bar in Garment DistrictAdd to myNY added
The Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge is located on the 18th floor of the Moxy Times Square Hotel and offers magnificent views over the city. The entrance hall resembles a gallery, with a few whimsical animal figures in naughty positions. The style of the small indoor lounge is urban-industrial, while the two outdoor areas have an almost contrasting design: If you like to enjoy the view of the Empire State Building, you should have a drink on the elegantly designed east side. If you prefer something fancier, head to the western area of the bar, as it features rotating seating, reminiscent of an antique carousel.
To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Magic Hour Rooftop Bar will have a few specials starting at 3 p.m. on May 5, 2023:
- $10 Sip Margs Cans (classic or spicy)
- $50 buckets of Sip Margs Cans (choose classic, spicy, or a mix of both!)
- 20% off Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Grilled Pineapple, Avocado, and Salsa Verde
- 20% off Chips & Guacamole with Tortilla Chips and Radish
Dos CaminosMexican Restaurant in SoHo
Special Cinco de Mayo offer at Rooftop RedsOther Attraction in DumboOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
Rooftop Reds is a really nice rooftop bar in Brooklyn. For Cinco de Mayo they have a special offer. Each guest gets two tacos (with chicken or veggies) plus sides, chips & salsa and a glass of wine for a fixed price. You’ll definitely need to make a reservation in advance. Tickets for the Cinco de Mayo menu at Rooftop Reds are available here.
Dos Toros TaqueriaMexican Restaurant in WilliamsburgAdd to myNY added
Dos Casminos is especially known for its spicy guacamole and the very good sangria. The charm that the restaurant exudes in each of the 5 locations is absolutely authentic Mexican and provides a successful change after a long working day or a strenuous sightseeing day.
Where will you celebrate Cinco de Mayo in New York?
With parades, events, festivals, bar crawls, taco deals, and more, Cinco de Mayo 2023 is sure to be a delicious celebration of the vibrant Mexican culture. Keep in mind that with the ever-changing health restrictions, being flexible with your plans is the key to having an unforgettable Cinco de Mayo in New York.
Now it’s your turn! This guide to Cinco de Mayo is just the beginning! Where will you go? What will you do? And how many tacos will you eat? Leave your reply below!
How does New York celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
Because Cinco de Mayo is not a federal holiday, all businesses, transportation, and government buildings are open as usual.
While this means you may not get the day off, it also means all your favorite spots will be open! Plan on the festivities starting Wednesday, May 4th, 2022 since you’ll be able to officially say it’s Cinco de Mayo at midnight.
Then from Friday, the official Cinco de Mayo 2023 through Saturday night, you’re sure to find plenty of restaurants and bars offering events to celebrate the season.
Why do US cities celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
There are a few important reasons why US cities celebrate Cinco de Mayo, including the large number of cities with significant Hispanic populations and because we share a border with Mexico.
It began to be celebrated in the US as a way of sharing solidarity with Mexico against the French. It’s since become a day where we celebrate Mexican culture and heritage, especially in those areas with large Latino populations.
Just as an example, New York City has a Hispanic population of 2.27 million, which is 27.4% of its total population, making it the city with the largest Hispanic population. Los Angeles comes in 2nd with 1.8 million, and Houston has 908,000.
Which US city celebrates Cinco de Mayo the most?
There are plenty of great places all across the world to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Of course, if you can make it to Puebla, Mexico, you’ve got to! Otherwise, look toward cities that have sizable Latino populations. Denver, Colorado and St. Paul, Minnesota are big ones, as well as ones more in the Southwest like Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, San Antonio, Phoenix, Albuquerque, and El Paso, too.
Where is the biggest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the US?
Speaking of Los Angeles, One of the biggest Cinco de Mayo celebrations each year happens in Los Angeles at the Fiesta Broadway celebration which brings in crowds of up to 500,000 people.
With the streets shut down, you can spend the whole day walking around, enjoying mariachi bands, eating street foods, and embracing the history and culture of the event at the Mexican Marketplace on Olvera street.
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