Where to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Houston for 2019
As if this weekend wasn’t busy enough with Derby Day and May The Fourth Star Wars parties on Saturday, the fun continues on Sunday, May 5, with Cinco de Mayo festivities. After all, what better way to commemorate the Mexican army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla than parties with specials on margaritas and Mexican fare?
Alicia’s Mexican Grille, multiple locations: From now through May 5, Alicia’s is serving its Piña Fresca Margarita for $10. It’s made with tequila, lime juice, agave nectar, pineapple and muddled cucumber. It’s not made with just any tequila, though. The Herrera family traveled to Guadalajara and selected three barrels of Herradura Double Barrel Reposado. The tequila spends 11 months in oak and then moves to charred oak for a month. Whiskey barrel picks are now common in Houston, but tequila barrels don’t make their way to town often. This special Herradura won’t last forever, so don’t miss it. Alicia’s is also offering four street tacos for $10.95 through May 5.
Arnaldo Richards’ Picos Restaurant, 3601 Kirby: It’s a weekend of fun at Picos with Zydeco de Mayo, a crawfish boil on Saturday. One pound is $7.99 and three pounds are $21. Other Saturday specials include Bacon-Wrapped Sonora Hot Dogs, tacos, tamales and bigger-than-your-face quesadillas. For Sunday, there are breakfast specials as well as Picos’ popular brunch buffet. There are plenty of drink specials all weekend, too, including The Perfect Margarita with Herradura Silver for $11, shaker margaritas with Don Julio for $12, Jose Cuervo Palomas for $10, Oaxaca Rita with the smoked Maestro Dobel Humito tequila for $10 and the sweeter La Cristalina margarita with Don Julio 70th anniversary tequila with Framboise and strawberry for $11.
El Big Bad, 419 Travis: This is the ninth year that El Big Bad has hosted one of the city’s the biggest Cinco de Mayo events. Try to work your way through the huge selection of infused tequilas (which have had anything from hot peppers to churros added, then filtered) or mix them into a custom margarita. There are a limited amount of free tickets and once those are gone, entry is only $10. There’s also a limited-edition slap bracelet for additional $10. Tickets can be purchased online.
Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen and Jimmy Changas, multiple locations: Want to celebrate in Mexico? Guests who celebrate Cinco de Mayo at any Gringo’s or Jimmy Changas can enter to win one of four trips for two to Cancun, Cabo or Puerto Vallarta. Pair that with $3 imported beer, $5 house margaritas and $24.99 chicken fajitas for two, and that’s the recipe for a wallet-friendly celebration.
The Hay Merchant, 1100 Westheimer: Did someone say “Mexican Crawfish“? You now have our attention. For this spin, Hay Merchant is boiling mudbugs with Mexican spices, corn and chorizo. Besides the amazing beer selection, there are margaritas — both frozen and on the rocks — and palomas.
Molina’s Cantina, multiple locations: It’s cocktails aplenty at Molina’s — and at good prices, too. House Margaritas are only $6.50. Spicy Margaritas and Hibiscus Margaritas are only $10 while the Blackberry Mint Margarita with Hornitos Cristalino, blackberry syrup, Angostura bitters and ginger beer is $11.
The Pastry War, 310 Main: Any day is a good day to grab a seat at Bobby Heugel’s mezcaleria. Happy hour is from 4 to 6:30 p.m. every day and features half-price mezcals and tequilas. With four cocktails on the menu between $8 and $10, there are always specials available.
Radio Milano and Milano Bar, 800 Sorella: This west-side establishment has decided to turn Cinco de Mayo into an entire weekend of specials, including many cocktails featuring Tesoro Tequila that are discounted from Thursday, May 2 through the weekend. Milano Bar is also serving food and drink happy hour specials for the entire weekend. Milano Bar is first-come, first-served, while Radio Milano accepts both walk-ins and reservations, which can be made by calling (713) 827-3545.
Superica, 1801 North Shepherd: Start the day with a Tex-Mex brunch featuring migas, huevos rancheros, chilaquiles and more. The El Frio (house margarita) and O.G (classic margarita) are popular and available all day.
Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen, multiple locations: May 5 is also National Enchilada Day and Sylvia Casares made a special one for the occasion. The Cinco de Mayo Enchilada salutes the region in which the famed Battle of Puebla took place. It’s a grilled chicken enchilada with Sylvia’s mole sauce. It’s yours for $3.50 all day long. Sylvia’s house margarita is $6.50 until 3 p.m.
Whiskey River Richmond, 6535 South Peek, Richmond: Starting at 12 noon, the dancehall is having a family-friendly crawfish boil. The cost is $5.99 per pound until sold out and a full slate of smoked barbecue is also available. To drink alongside, there are $5 Margaritas, $5 Patron and $4 Mexican Beers. Attendees can also get $1 off all beer, $2 off all cocktails and $3 Fireball shots. Grownups-only hours start at 9 p.m. when the dance hall gets into full motion. Get there early and brush up those two-steppin’ skills with D’Amico Dance’s free lessons from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Josh Armendariz is Houston Food Finder’s lead freelance beer and cocktail writer. He can often be found on a stool at your favorite bar, sipping a hoppy craft beer and talking about the Astros with anyone who’ll lend an ear. Follow him on Instagram at @drinkwithjosh.
Disclosure: Whiskey River Richmond is a current Houston Food Finder sponsor.