TAMPA, FL – Officially, Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that celebrates the victory of the Mexican army on May 5, 1862 over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War.
But for most Americans, Cinco de Mayo is synonymous with margaritas and spicy Mexican dishes.
We asked Patch readers where their favorite spots are for dipping tortilla chips in queso and licking salt off the rim of their margarita glass. Here is what they said:
Come, beber y ser feliz!
Besito Mexican Restaurant at 205 Westshore Plaza will celebrate Cinco de Mayo from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. with live music from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., a DJ, dancing, tequila drink specials, giveaways
Authentic Mexican cuisine at Don Julio is having a double celebration. He just opened his new restaurant this week at Tampa Palms, 16023 Tampa Palms Blvd., New Tampa, and will be celebrating Cinco de Mayor at both the new Tampa Palms location and his popular West Tampa restaurant at 2808 E Bearss Ave., Tampa.
Green Lemon, 915 S Howard Ave., Tampa, rated hot red on the Patch foodie meter, for dishes such as Dang Quesadilla loaded with pico de gallo, queso fresco, black beans, corn, cheddar, queso blanco, cilantro and a choice of grilled or fried chicken, pulled pork, grilled shrimp, grilled steak or habanero beer. Green Lemon will celebrate Cinco de Mayo from 3-7 p.m. with specialty tacos, tequila, and margarita.
With its newly opened restaurant in Temple Terrace, Mexican food lovers can now choose from five Lolis Mexican Cravings locations at 8005 Benjamin Road, Tampa; 10011 W. Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa; 3324 W Gandy Blvd., Tampa; 11401 N 56th St., Temple Terrace; and 1824 N Westshore Blvd., Tampa. Menu favorites include authentic Mexican tacos, sopes, tortas, tamales, and quesadillas with ribeye, shrimp, chorizo, and pork in a Mexican anchiote sauce.
Sal Y Mar Rooftop Bar, 3650 Midtown Drive, Tampa, will celebrate Cinco de Mayo and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s birthday. Anyone purchasing a Teremana Tequila cocktail will receive “Guac on the Rock”, free guacamole. Click here for details. There will also be $22 Teremana Tequila flights, $4 chicken, fish, or steak tacos, $6 house beers, and 360-degree views of the Tampa and St. Petersburg skylines. The rooftop bar will celebrate Cinco de Mayo on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
For those who love both seafood and Mexican cuisine, Miguel’s Mexican Seafood & Grill, 3035 W Kennedy Blvd., creatively combines the two. Popular dishes include jalapenos stuffed with shrimp and cheese, lobster tacos, seafood enchiladas and chimichangas, and Seafood el Mario, combining shrimp and sea scallops sautéed with pico de gallo and mushrooms served on rice with sour cream, guacomole and handmade corn tortillas.
Bartaco, 1601 W. Snow Ave., Tampa, will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo from noon to midnight. Fill a corn tortilla or go low carb and fill a bibb lettuce shell with spicy tempura coated cod with chipotle salad; chilli-spiced chicken verde, herb marinade and aguacate salsa; pan-fried chorizo with cilantro, smoky red chimichurri sauce; or Roasted Wild Mushrooms with Roasted Poblano Chili Sauce and Queso Fresco.
Catrina’s Tacos and Tequila Bar, 1611 N. Howard Ave., Tampa, will celebrate Cinco de Mayo and its 10th anniversary Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. with DJ Diana Castillo spinning tunes from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Catrina’s award-winning guacamole and the largest tequila selection in the Tampa Bay area with over 350 tequilas to create craft cocktails.
Urban Cantina, 200 E Madison St., Tampa, will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with $5 shots and specialty tacos. Favorites include the Super Chimichanga stuffed with ranchero chicken, beans, cheese then topped with queso and guacamole and Urban Carnitas with chunks of braised pork, guacamole salad and freshly made corn tortillas.
Additionally, Busch Gardens will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo Thursday through Sunday. The mariachi group, Mariachi Bravo, will perform at the Coke Canopy.
Concerts on the festival grounds will feature Latin musicians.
- Friday May 6: Latin Explosion: Selena, Santana and Gloria Estefan Tribute
- Saturday May 7: Jenny & The Mexicos
- Sunday May 8: Grupo Cañaveral De Humberto Pabón
And visitors can indulge in spicy margaritas with Milagro Reposada, sour lime, triple sec and jalapeno, and foods like Birria de Res Taco with onions, cilantro, lime and roasted tomatillo.