¡Salud! Check Out Boston’s Top Cinco de Mayo 2015 Fiestas

These nine Cinco de Mayo parties celebrate Mexico with specialty tacos, sriracha-rimmed tequila cocktails, and more.

Pork Belly taco at Ole. Photo by Chelsea Kyle, for “A Chef’s Guide to Mexican Food

While we’ll embrace pretty much any excuse to drink tequila in the middle of the week, we’ll also be the first to admit that not all Cinco de Mayo bashes are created equal. Leave the Cuervo-soaked bar crawls to the amateurs; we’re going to spend the evening feasting on corn smut quesadillas, tacos al pastor, and conejo en mole instead. Care to join us?

Eat, drink, and be feliz at these nine Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

Beat Hotel

If you’re expecting a somber affair at Beat Hotel this Cinco de Mayo, you’re in the wrong place: You’ll be getting a sombrero affair instead. Chow down on a special Mexican-inspired menu offerings while enjoying a raucous show from Veronica Robles and her mariachi band.

May 5, 4 p.m.-1 a.m., 13 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-499-0001, beathotel.com.

East Coast Grill and Raw Bar

In preparation for this Cinco de Mayo party, “We’ve been revisiting some of Chris [Schlesinger’s] old cookbooks from his time in the Yucatan as well as other regional favorites,” East Coast Grill proclaims. Celebrate with a pitcher of ECG’s house margaritas and such Mexican fare as queso frito with spicy guava glaze and crispy catfish tacos.

May 5, 5:30-10 p.m., 1271 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-491-6568, eastcoastgrill.net.

Formaggio Kitchen Classroom Annex

Foods from the New World changed European cooking forever. Italian cuisine without tomato sauce or polenta is almost unthinkable—and yet that’s what it was pre-1492. The Italians embraced corn right away, but they eventually learned that a diet of maize, without proper preparation, can be deadly. This year, Formaggio Kitchen is teaming up with La Niña Tortilleria to teach you something Columbus and his ilk didn’t know, as they show you how—and why—tortillas are made the way they are. Come hungry from traditional Mexican specialties and cultural history; you’ll be receiving heaps of both.

$55, May 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 67 Smith Pl., #13a, Cambridge, 888-212-3224, formaggiokitchen.com.

Grafton Street

Grafton Street salutes the Mexican flag with their four-course Don Julio tequila dinner, featuring menu items such as steak tacos and costillas de cordero (rack of lamb), plus tequila cocktails. Sample tipple: Don Julio Reposado with Cointreau, honey-avocado ice (avocado pureed with clover honey, lime juice, and water, then frozen into cubes), and sriracha salt.

$45, May 5, 7:30 p.m., 1230 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, 617-497-0400, graftonstreetcambridge.com.

Lulu’s Allston

For Lulu’s Cinco de Mayo menu takeover, diners can fill their estómagos with Mexican street corn, pozole, chicken mole, ribeye chimichurri, sopapilla donuts, and much more.

May 5, 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m., 421 Cambridge St., Allston, 617-787-1117, lulusallston.com.

Ole Restaurant Group

Over in Inman, the Ole crew packs an uno-dos punch of Cinco de Mayo fiesta-ing: Ole Mexican Grill has a four-course dinner and drinks, while its neighboring Olecito has sangria, beer, tacos, and a mariachi bandeach ticket gets you three tacos and two drinks.

May 5, 4-9 p.m., Olecito Street Fest: $25 advance, $32 at door, 12 Springfield St., Cambridge, 617-876-1374; Olé four-course dinner: $45, Olé Mexican Grill, 11 Springfield St., Cambridge, 617-492-4495; olerestaurantgroup.com.


“153 years ago the Mexican army beat the French army, and the morale boost of that day is celebrated each May by all who love warm weather, margaritas and endless baskets of tortilla chips,” Newton bistro Sycamore tells us. And so, on Monday, May 4, “the Mexican army plans to take over the French fare of the kitchen at Sycamore.” On the menu: shrimp ceviche, queso fundido, flautas, tacos al pastor, and conejo en mole.

May 4, 5-10 p.m., 755 Beacon St., Newton, 617-244-4445, sycamorenewton.com.

Tico Boston

At Back Bay’s tony taqueria-and-Latin-tapas joint, you can get five tacos for $10 with the purchase of any pitcher of margaritas. Other special à la carte menu items include lobster tostadas and—for the more adventurous—huitlacoche duck confit quesadillas.

May 5, 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m., 222 Berkeley St., Boston, 617-351-0400, ticoboston.com.


At Tryst, hoist a glass to the victory of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín at the battle Puebla. To honor Cinco de Mayo, Tryst has created a special spicy raspberry margarita, made with habanero-lime-infused Espolón tequila and muddled raspberries. Considering that every margarita order comes with a complimentary chicken empanada, the winner of the Puebla battle is you.

May 5, 5-10 p.m., 689 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 781-641-2227, trystrestaurant.com.