Any excuse to kick back with a margarita and some speciality tacos is a good one, and Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican food lover’s dream. Here are a dozen places to find the coldest cervezas, most inspired menus, and the friendliest fiestas. ¡Salud!
Don’t fill up on complimentary chips and salsa, because chef Jason Heard’s two-for-$5 taco menu has selections like grilled shrimp with chili glaze, refritos, and tomato salsa; and crispy sweet plantains with guacamole and West Indian hot sauce. There are also pulled pork nachos with Grandma Clarice’s Carolina mustard, and a gazpacho with cornbread croutons. The springtime soup is a collaboration with Elmer Sanchez, East Coast Grille’s first-ever cook, who made the move to Coppersmith with Heard.
Thursday, May 5, items priced a la carte, 4o W. 3rd St., South Boston, 617-658-3452, coppersmithboston.com.
For a dual culinary and educational experience, grab a ticket to Cinco de Mayo! The Cuisine of Mexico at Formaggio Kitchen. With Conor Dennehy, Formaggio’s cheesemonger and a former chef de cuisine at T.W. Food, and Menton captain Danielle Ayer, attendees will have a five-course tasting of both traditional and modern Mexican dishes. And don’t forget the booze: Ayer will pair all the dishes with a wine or beer, and share her insights. Eat, drink, and learn.
Thursday, May 5, 6:30 p.m., $65 for tickets, 67 Smith Place, Cambridge, Eventbrite.
The annual Don Julio Tequila dinner is upon us once again, with a festive menu and a series of different cocktails. Try one with Don Julio Blanco, Lillet Rose, raspberry shrub, and mint; Don Julio Añejo, Del Maguey Chichicapa mezcal, chocolate bitters, agave nectar, and orange; and more.
1230 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-497-0400, graftonstreetcambridge.com.
Hope for nice weather for the inaugural Indo Patio Party, a new series bringing a craft brewery and complementing food to the heart of Union Square every Thursday in May. On Cinco de Mayo, New Hampshire’s Banded Horn Brewing and Colorado outfit Oskar Blues offer their takes on crushable, Mexican-style lagers, alongside a duo of chalupas poblanas. Plus, you’ll have front row seats to the Somerville Arts Council’s Cinco de Mayo celebration going on in the neighborhood.
Thursday, May 5, with new specials every Thursday in May, 6 p.m., featured beers $5-8, food pairings $5, 75 Union Square, Somerville, 617-440-6022, theindo.com.
Kane’s Handcrafted Donuts
Doughnuts may not necessarily come to mind when envisioning Mexican food, but the innovators at Kane’s are getting in on the Cinco de Mayo spirit with a margarita version. The glaze starts with fresh-squeezed lemon, lime, and orange juices, it’s sweetened with honey and confectioner’s sugar, and a pinch of sea salt makes you want another bite. The best part is, you don’t need to wait until 5 p.m. to indulge. It debuts Sunday-Thursday in Saugus, and it’s available Monday-Thursday in Boston.
Available Monday, May 2-Thursday, May 5, $3.25, Two International Place, 90 Oliver St., Boston, 857-317-2654, kaneshandcrafted.com.
Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar
If Cinco de Mayo is your favorite day of the year, you’re in luck: In South Boston, the fiesta continues for cinco days. Beginning Sunday, May 1, with a green tea peach margarita and duck empanadas, there’s a new food and drink special every day at Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar. Caught in Southie has the full lineup, including tequila snow cones on the day itself. The fun extends beyond comestibles, with daily raffles, and an ongoing Instagram contest to win a tequila dinner for you and cinco friends.
Sunday, May 1-Thursday, May 5, items priced a la carte, 412 West Broadway, South Boston, 617-917-5626, locosouthboston.com.
Lulu’s Allston is getting festive with a Cinco de Mayo menu takeover. There will be taco-spiced tots, pineapple jalapeño guacamole, carnitas mac and cheese, churro-style doughnut holes, and much more. For drinks, there’s El Burro, with tequila, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur, and fresh-squeezed lime.
Thursday, May 5, items priced a la carte, 421 Cambridge St., Allston, 617-787-1117, lulusallston.com.
The Middle Gray
Here’s an alternative to the traditional tacos and margaritas: As part of ArtWeek Boston, a 10-day creative festival April 29-May 8, OperaHub and Opera on Tap are serving up Spanish and Latin arias alongside the Middle Gray’s South American cuisine.
Thursday, May 5, 7:30-9:30 p.m., no cover charge, regular menu pricing, 6 Station St., Brookline, 617-608-3480, themiddlegray.com.
The Painted Burro
A weeklong fiesta is going down at the Painted Burro. Maybe you’ll win a gift card during a round of lotería, a Mexican game of chance, on Sunday, or perhaps you’ll showcase your pipes with some karaoke on Tuesday. Doors open early at 11 a.m. on Cinco de Mayo, and food and drink specials like lobster tacos with sliced avocado and chipotle aioli, and a toasted coconut margarita join the regular menu.
Various activities Sunday, May 1-Sunday, May 8, no cover charge, 219 Elm St., Somerville, 617-776-0005, thepaintedburro.com
On a patio overlooking the Mystic River sounds like an optimal place to fiesta, especially considering specials like carnitas tacos with chicharones, and the Bulldog Paloma—a twist on the classic Mexican cocktail with Stiegl Radler grapefruit beer—are on the menu.
Thursday, May 5, items priced a la carte, 661 Assembly Row, Somerville, 617-616-5561, river-bar.com.
Temazcal Tequila Cantina
Tequila lovers, treat yourselves with El Presidente. It’s a DeLeón Extra Añejo margarita, served alongside a half-ounce of DeLeón Extra Añejo, Temazcal’s signature Sangria Rojo to pair with it, and garnishes to make it your own. And guacamole and chips, of course.
Thursday, May 5, $50, 250 Northern Ave., Boston or 500 Market St., Lynnfield, 617-439-3502, 781-334-2500, temazcalcantina.com
Two words—Free. Tacos. Chef and owner Michael Schlow has specials all day, and the complimentary tacos come out from 4:30-5:30 p.m. A trio of margaritas is also on the table, including blood orange, a ghost chile infused variety, and a traditional version. A DJ is spinning from 5:30-9 p.m. Tacos, margaritas, and music are really all you need to celebrate this holiday.
Thursday, May 5, items priced a la carte, 222 Berkeley St., Boston, 617-351-0400, ticoboston.com.
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