We all love celebrating Cinco de Mayo…the tacos, the margaritas, the festivities! But how much do you really know about the fun-filled holiday?
Here in the Southwest, we’re no stranger to Taco Tuesdays, and sipping on margaritas and tequila any day of the week.
But with Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, bars and restaurants are going all out with DJs, food and drink specials and, yes, plenty of tequila. Some spots will feature late-night dance parties, while others offer a more laid-back place to celebrate the culture and cuisine.
Here are 17 places for fun on and around Friday, May 5.
Ladera Taverna y Cocina
The Sunnyslope Mexican spot is planning a pre-Cinco de Mayo party on Thursday hosted by Sesion Mexican-style lager, a new beer from Full Sail Brewing. There will be specials including a pint of Sesion and a shot of Milagro tequila for $8, live music from Miguel Melgoza, specialty tequila cocktails, giveaways, sampling and games. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Circle the City.
Details: 5-9 p.m. Thursday, May 4. Ladera Taverna y Cocina, 8729 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-606-2258, laderaphx.com.
There’s three Dos Gringos across the Valley, and each one is packed for Cinco de Mayo. In Tempe, there’s no cover charge and DJ Hazardous will perform starting at 4 p.m., followed by DJ Eddie Lynn at 9 p.m. In Mesa, Mogollon will play an acoustic set starting at 4 p.m., and DJ Jeff Jones will be on the turntables at 8 p.m. The large back area, which used to be an extension of the bar, is now permanent so party-goers should have plenty of room. In Chandler, the bar will have an extended area and DJs from DropTop Entertainment will perform. All locations will feature lawn games, including giant Jenga; Four Square and bags; and a special Cinco de Mayo menu.
Details: Friday, May 5. All bars open 11 a.m.-2 a.m. 8000 S. Priest Drive, Tempe. No cover. 480-753-4577, dosgringosaz.com. 1361 N. Alma School Road, Chandler. Cover TBD and will increase throughout the night. 480-855-3303, dosgringosaz.com. 1958 S. Greenfield Road, Mesa. Cover TBD and will increase throughout the night. 480-633-5525, dosgringosaz.com.
All-female Phoenix group Las Chollas Peligrosas will perform, playing their unique blend of styles including cumbia, mariachi and old world gypsy folk. Nomada, a three-piece band, will also perform, mixing rock, cumbia, reggae and alternative.
Details: 6 p.m. Friday, May 5. Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Ave., Phoenix. Free. 602-716-2222, crescentphx.com.
Rock Bar Inc.
The Black Bottom Lighters headline this fiesta in the alley at Rockbar Inc., with support from Barefoot, Pride Through Strife and DJ Michael Hagen. Mexican Moonshine Tequila presents the “Best Sombrero Contest,” where the winner will receive two VIP tickets and a two-night stay during Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers’ Circus Mexicus.
Details: 7 p.m. Friday, May 5. Rockbar Inc., 4245 N. Craftsman Court, Scottsdale. $10. 480-947-3580.
The north-central Phoenix restaurant and bar hosts a big bash featuring live music from the Rhythm of the Sun salsa band at 4:30 p.m. and the Chris Parker Project at 8:30 p.m. A corn hole tournament will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Herradura tequila will feature double barrel tequila reposado from 4 to 6 p.m., and Hornitos tequila will be there with bikini-clad bartenders serving Paloma adult snow cones. Casamigos tequila will also be at the party from 7 to 9 p.m.
Details: 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday, May 5. Aunt Chilada’s, 7330 N. Dreamy Draw Drive, Phoenix. $10. 602-944-1286, auntchiladas.com.
Old Town Gringos
The two-story bar known for its ample patio space will celebrate “Gringo de Mayo,” with live music starting at 11 a.m. with Kung Fu Grip, Elvis Before Noon, Vintage Wednesday and DJ Transl8r. Beer specials include $1 off Pacifico, $5 draft Modelo Especial, $4 Pacifico and Model Especial cans, and buckets and pitchers of beer for $20. There’s also $6 house margaritas in seven different flavors. Taco platters are only $11, which include three tacos of your choice, served with rice and beans. Specialty a la carte tacos are $4 each.
Details: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday, May 5. 4209 N. Craftsman Court, Scottsdale. Free. 480-423-3800, oldtowngringos.com.
Enjoy all-day social hour pricing in the bar and a DJ all night. The first 100 people who bring 10 pesos can enjoy a Casamigos Sumorita.
Details: 11 a.m. Friday, May 5. Sumomaya, 6560 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. Free. 480-397-9520, sumomaya.com.
Cien Agaves Tacos & Tequila
The lively Mexican cantina hosts Mariachi Tierra Linda performing from 3 to 6 p.m. The party is sponsored by Milagro tequila, so there will be drink specials all day long. The Tecate Boxing Ring Girls will be at the restaurant on Saturday, May 6.
Details: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, May 5. 7228 E. First Ave., Scottsdale. Free. 480-970-9002, cienagaves.com.
Sandbar Mexican Grill
The beach cantina-inspired bars will feature live music and DJs for Cinco de Mayo, serving Mexican favorites including tacos, fajitas, burritos and margaritas. Sandbar Chandler will feature Metalhead, the Houseglass Cats and DJ Metcalf. Sandbar Desert Ridge will have performances from Vaughn Willis and Ear Candy.
Details: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday, May 5. Desert Ridge Marketplace, Loop 101 and Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix, 480-585-5900, sandbaraz.com. 7200 W. Ray Road, Chandler, 480-961-1700, sandbaraz.com. Cover charge may be in place later in the evening.
Tempe: El Hefe and Whiskey Row will join forces for the Cinco de Mayo Block Party, with local DJs playing top 40, house and hip-hop. Drink specials include $3 Dos XX beer before 5 p.m., and $6 El Jimador tequila drinks and shots, $8 Don Julio tequila drinks and shots, and $200 bottles of Don Julio before 9 p.m.
Scottsdale: Cinco de Hefe will be the place to party, with an appearance by Pancho the mini donkey for guests to meet and take photos with. The first 100 people will get a Cazadores Margarita for only one cent. Drink specials include $7 Cazadores drinks and shots, $9 Patron drinks and shots and $200 bottles of Patron until 9 pm.
Calico Jack’s hosts a big Cinco bash with family-friendly activities starting 10 a.m. with an extended patio featuring a dunk tank and patio games. Kids eat free with the purchase of adult entrees from 2 to 6 p.m. Specials include $2 tacos, $3 margaritas and $4 Mexican draft beers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. From 2 to 6 p.m., buckets of margaritas are half off. In the evening, the bar will be open to the 21 and older crown only with Power 98.3 hosting its late night show, and DJs Izzy and Madd Rich playing Latin, hip-hop and Top 40 tracks. Guests can enter contests for $1,000 in cash and prizes, including a trip to Mexico.
Details: 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday, May 5. Calico Jack’s, Westgate Entertainment District, Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue, Glendale. $5 for general admission, $15 for VIP (includes three margaritas, domestic drafts or well cocktails). 623-877-5225, calicojacksglendale.com.
Macayo’s Depot Cantina
The sprawling Tempe location will host “Cinco de Depot” on Friday, with a DJ from noon to 7 p.m., and Lady J & No Drama will perform from 7 to 11 p.m. Specials include $3 bottles of Dos XX, $4 Dos XX drafts, $6.50 for the beer and shot special, and $8.99 for 1800 tequila margaritas. Saturday is the “Cinco Patio Party” with $3 bottles of Dos XX, $4 Cinco Margaritas and $15 pitchers of Mexican Fresca and sangrias. There will be a taco and salsa bar featuring $3 tacos, and live entertainment.
Details: 11 a.m.-close. Friday, May 5. Patio party is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 6. 300 S. Ash Ave., Tempe. Free. 480-966-6677, macayo.com. ?
Both locations of Loco Patron will have beer and liquor specials and promotions going all day, and a donkey will pay a visit to to the Mexican bars for patrons to snap selfies with. In Tempe, Mob vs. Ballot Box will perform from 5 to 9 p.m., with DJs taking over after. The bar will also feature a Casamigos premium margarita and Patron Mule, and the beer and shot special is a bottle of Dos XX with a shot of Hornitos tequila, for $9.
Details: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Thursday, May 5. 4228 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480-874-0033. 222 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, 480-699-0922. Free. locopatron.com.
The sleek Mexican spot at north Phoenix’s High Street will host the Cinco de Modern Block Party with live entertainment, food and drink specials, raffle prizes each hour and backyard games. Admission includes a raffle ticket, and table reservations are available starting at $200.
Details: 3 p.m.-2 a.m. High Street, 5410 E. High St., Phoenix. $10. 602-795-8111, modernmargarita.com.
The laidback spot in downtown Scottsdale will feature $2 off all tacos, quesadillas and nachos, plus there will be specials on margaritas and beer.
Details: 3737 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. 480-945-3353, rnrscottsdale.com.
The casino will celebrate “Fiesta Weekend” with performances from PowerDrive, playing Latin dance hits, and “Vive! Selena: A Tribute to Selena Quintanilla,” a tribute to the late influential Mexican-American singer. On Saturday, the casino will show the Canelo Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fight. Drink specials will include $5 Tecate, Dos Equis and Corona.
Details: Selena tribute is 7:30 p.m., May 5 and 6, in the Showroom. Tickets are $15. Doors for the Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. viewing party open at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 6, in the Arizona Room. Tickets are $25. Casino Arizona, 524 N. 92nd St., Salt-River Pima Maricopa Indian Reservation. casinoarizona.com.
Salt Tacos y Tequila
The modern Mexican restaurant at Westgate will feature lunch specials including $10.99 carne asada plates and $2 tacos on Cinco de Mayo, as well as $5 Cazadores Margaritas. starting at noon. There will also be a mariachi performance from 5 to 9 p.m. and a photo booth. The restaurant will also celebrate on Saturday.
Details: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday, May 5. 6751 N. Sunset Blvd., Glendale. 623-772-7282, saltglendale.com.
Cinco De Mayo Festival
The 24th annual Cinco de Mayo Festival takes over downtown Phoenix on Sunday, celebrating the victory of Mexico over the French during the 1862 Battle of Puebla. The music line-up includes War, Tierra and Brenton Wood. Enjoy ballet folklorico, lucha libre, traditional Mexican cuisine and drinks, a kids area with interactive games and rides and a scholarship giveaway.
Details: Noon-10 p.m. Sunday, May 7. 200 W. Washington St., Phoenix. $5 for general admission before 5 p.m., $10 after. $25-$40 for VIP tickets. Free for children 12 and younger. cincophx.com.
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