Celebrating Cinco de Mayo seems to become a bigger deal every year in the United States. Although the shared Mexican-American holiday's U.S. roots extend as far back as the 1940s in California, it did not gain the kind of nationwide relevance it enjoys today until beer companies began taking advantage of its marketing potential in the 1980s. Although many of us are still under the false impression that we're celebrating Mexico's Independence Day (actually September 16th), the truth is there's no such thing as a bad excuse to eat chips and salsa and drink margaritas so dispensing with historical accuracy and focusing on having a great time is fine by everyone.
Luckily most cities come well-equipped with Mexican Restaurants, so finding a spot to celebrate the Battle of Puebla is typically muy facil. We went out and found the cities that have the absolute maximum potential for Cinco de Mayo celebrations. We'd love to measure this in terms of most concurrent chips being crunched or Coronas being sipped, but that data is incomplete. (We would never accurately report our own chip intake statistics.) However, with the help of data from Factual.com and Yelp, we can at least narrow in on the top 10 US cities ranked by number of Mexican Restaurants, and Holy Guacamole that should be good enough.
If you're looking for a place to live and you're a big, big Cinco de Mayo fan, this is the list for you! Ole!
The capital of Texas is primarily known for great 'cue but also boasts a wide and varied assortment of Mexican eating and drinking options.
– Known for its amazing happy hour and featuring less traditional options such as chipotle mac & cheese, tilapia nachos and jalapeno crab dip.
Spider House Cafe
– Year-round Christmas lights, a large outdoor patio and frito pies. What could be more Cinco de Mayo than that combo?
New York City's most populous borough might be a surprising entrant in this top 10 list but an area with such an eclectic mix of neighborhoods and food scenes was bound to create a diversity of Mexican choices.
- Incredible view from the rooftop patio, super fresh food and pomegranate margaritas. The best spot for Cinco if the weather is beautiful!
You won't be saying "What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas" after eating at some of these top Mexican restaurants. Take your casino winnings, bring some amigos, and dive into some salsa at these top spots.
El Dorado Cantina
– When you're able to partake in Happy Hour twice in one day from 3pm-6pm & 11pm-2am we're ready for another round of their delicious jalapeno margaritas & table side guacamole.
Mariscos Playa Escondida
– Specializing in seafood, this restaurant located off the beaten path allows you to enjoy the Riviera Maya experience without a passport.
Located a few miles north of the Mexican border it's quite evident there will be a good selection of spicy menus throughout the city, plus you'll never run out of choices to find a California style burrito (meat and potatoes stuffed into a flour tortilla).
– Enjoy some carne asada fries on Taco Tuesday in the Gaslamp District or maybe a 1 pound burrito is more your style. Regardless we know you'll be ready to wash it down with one of their Mexperience Libation.
Lolita's Taco Shop
– When a favorite menu item is a "2 in 1 burrito" which begins with two deep fried tacos put inside a hearty carne asada burrito all rolled together for a combination of soft and crunchy tortilla for $6.75.
Dallas is home of the world's first frozen margarita machine. Be careful of the number of frozen drinks you guzzle, with many Mexican restaurants throughout the city it's easy to stumble into the wrong one.
– Enjoy a wide range of margaritas from a Serrano Berry to Avocado and then fill your belly with creative authentic Mexican dishes.
E Bar Tex Mex
– In the mood for some Tex Mex? This should be your go-to spot. The Jorge's Tacos gives you the ability to have four tacos each a different type of meat. Should you not be able to eat onsite they offer delivery for tacos in bed.
With a city's cuisine influenced with a history of immigration it's not a surprise you have an abundance of options for Mexican ambiance from a food trucks to at a high-end restaurant.
– In the mood for California style burritos, but find yourself miles from the West Coast? This is your location. With Mexican wrestling masks serving as decor on the walls what else do you need...maybe a Nacho Libre impersonator.
Los Tacos No. 1
– A wait in a line is worth it for these great priced tacos on homemade corn tortillas. Where carne asada and adobada tacos melt in your mouth and burst with flavor.
Chicago as a food scene conjures images of torso-sized steaks, massive deep dish pizza and Ditka-strangling sausages. Perhaps it became a top-5 Mexican market out of a necessity for "lighter" food options.
- Not the outdoor seating or party atmosphere you might expect for Cinco but with over 60 tequilas, a half-dozen unique guacamoles and more creative taco and entree options than we can count, it's the foodie spot for the 5th.
Home of the the Alamo and so much more history, any foodie who visits will be able to experience a burrito and a mariachi band either on River Walk or few steps off the road less traveled.
Rosario's Mexican Cafe Y Cantina
– New York Times to Southern Living have awarded this restaurant a few blocks from Riverwalk as one of the best. An extensive menu of south-of-the-border goodness gives you plenty to fill your belly, which you'll need as you dive into the lengthy tequila menu.
Guajillos The Shortcut to Mexico
– If you want real authentic Mexican food this place is for you. Menu highlights include tortilla soup and cochinita pibil which is a spicy tender stewed pork.
With a taqueria on every corner, Los Angeles is home to plenty of South of the Border establishments. In a city with many good looking señors and señoritas you'll find plenty of establishments to satisfy your cravings.
Taqueria Los Anaya
– In the mood for a fiesta? This place has a party vibe with small pinatas and colorful decor. Brothers Juan, Manuel, and Gerardo Anaya make these authentic dishes all day long so you can get your fill from breakfast to dinner.
– A simple menu full of flavor. Try the Taco Sampler to learn which taco (alright tacos you know you just can't eat one) is your favorite. As the love for the tacos has grown so have the number of locations throughout LA so visit the one nearest you.
It's no surprise the largest city in Texas is home to the most Mexican restaurants in the US. With 21% of the city's residents born outside the US (nearly two-thirds born in Mexico) the culture is heavily influential on the food scene.
Luna Y Sol Mexican Grill
– After a full meal of street tacos, enchiladas, and burritos enjoy the horchata which is made fresh in house.
El Tiempo Cantina
– Sizzling fajita platters are a work of art with your choice of meat and a variety of toppings.
After all that food we are entering a deep food coma and ready for a siesta. Let us know which Mexican restaurant in your local neighborhood you'll be celebrating Cinco de Mayo.