Where to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Houston for 2023
Let’s get the history lesson and reminder out of the way: Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day but rather the holiday commemorating Mexico’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Not widely celebrated in Mexico, in the United States it has become a festive day to celebrate Mexican culture and cuisine — particularly in Texas. Margaritas, tacos and live music with family and friends is always a great idea, and we’ve rounded up some of the tasty drinks and food specials that restaurants around the city have to offer.
Caracol, 2200 Post Oak: The Mexican coastal kitchen is celebrating with cocktails, small bites and music during a walk-around event. It will have multiple food and drink stations throughout the restaurant, a DJ and live mariachis from 8:45 to 9:45 p.m. Tickets are required and can be purchased on the website.
Williams Price Distilling, 970 Wakefield: The family-owned and operated distillery is debuting its newly upgraded patio and production floor just in time Cinco de Mayo fun. Celebrate with $5.50 shots, frozen drinks, and each customer’s first Not A Ranch Water cocktail. It isn’t a party without food, Mr. Coolerman will be on-site with some good eats.
Heights & Co., 1343 Yale: The neighborhood patio bar is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with live music, $6 margaritas all day and happy hour specials from 2to 6 p.m. Try specialty margaritas, such as the Jala-Piña Margarita with tequila, pineapple-guava, lime, agave and spicy tincture, or the Watermelon Cooler Margarita with reposado tequila, watermelon, lemon, agave and tajin.
The Heights Social, 1213 West 20th: The new cocktail bar in the Heights will be celebrating with its inaugural “Celebrate Cinco” party, which will include drink specials, a DJ, and a kitchen takeover. There will be specialty themed drinks including a Herradura Reposado Paloma and watermelon margarita. Fill up on Mexican cuisine from Herson Samayoa, owner and executive chef of the MADE-N-L.A. food truck. Celebrate Cinco will also feature special prices on tequila bottle service, as well as a Cinco de Mayo-themed flight of four different tequilas paired with a fresh orange slice, lime wedge, pineapple or piece of dark chocolate for $50. Doors open from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m.
Cadillac Bar, 1802 Shepherd: Join this Houston Tex-Mex institution at its Cinco de Mayo outdoor fiesta starting at 4:00 p.m. Festivities will include a live DJ, a mariachi band, raffles, $6 house margaritas all day, a special appearance by the Rockets dancers and mascot and the annual taco-eating contest. The event is free to attend, and tickets and reservations are not required.
Home Run Dugout, 1220 Grand West: For those looking to do something a little different on Cinco de Mayo, the new indoor, soft-toss baseball entertainment venue and sports bar will have specials all night long. Enjoy $4 Mexican beers, $4 Mexican candy shots and $12 margarita flights. There will be live music by Los Cool Arrows and surprise contests with chances to win a Home Run Dugout gift card.
The Union Kitchen, 12538 Memorial, This neighborhood eatery is joining in on the fun with a special three-course dinner that celebrates the flavors of Mexico. Start off with a watermelon salad with mixed greens, watermelon, strawberries, feta cheese, cucumber, mint and Tajin lemon oil paired with a pineapple-infused margarita. For the main course, choose from beef, chicken or shrimp enchiladas stuffed with potatoes, pico de gallo and cheese, and served with beans and rice. The entrée will be paired with a Mijenta Tequila margarita. For dessert, indulge in tres leches cake paired with a Patrón Mexican coffee. The dinner is $60 per person; reservations are not required, but are recommended and can be made on Opentable.
Brennan’s of Houston ,3300 Smith: Start the celebration early at this longstanding Creole destination. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, it is hosting a Spirit Round Table. Bar Manager Thomas Cordes will share with guests the history, tasting notes and cocktail suggestions for five different pours of tequila and mezcal, and guests will partake in a side-by-side tasting. The special event takes place on May 3 at 6 p.m. Tickets are required and can be purchased on the website.
Candente, 4306 Yoakum: Celebrate at this Montrose Tex-Mex spot known for its smoky mesquite fajitas. The family-friendly event from 3 to 6:00 p.m. will include music from a Mariachi band, a selfie photo booth, and happy hour specials on margaritas, palomas, frozen drinks, and other classics. Reservations are not required.
Nobie’s, 2048 Colquitt: If margaritas just aren’t your thing, celebrate with the “Margarita Fatigue” event at this cozy Montrose bungalow. Andalusia Whiskey Co. will be debuting a four-week-aged Vieux Carre in a five-liter oak barrel made with Andalusia Triple-Distilled Single Malt Whiskey, Andalusia Texas Brandy, Cocchi Torino, Peychaud’s and Angostura. There will be happy-hour prices on all Andalusia Whiskey drinks, and a representative will be available to talk about all things whiskey and handing out samples from 5 to 7 p.m. Reservations are not required, but are recommended and can be made on the website.
Flora, 3422 Allen Pkwy: Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the stunning “glass treehouse” nestled in Buffalo Bayou Park. Diners will be surrounded by festive decor as they feast on the menu of classic Mexican fare. The private room patio will be transformed into a patio bar for the evening, with drinks, live music, entertainment and free pours of Santanera Tequila from 6 to 10 p.m. Reservations are not required but are recommended and can be made on the website.
Hugo’s, 1600 Westheimer: Chef Hugo Ortega and his team are taking you on a virtual trip to Jalisco, the home of tequila. Experience the food, flavors and culture of the region at the walk around event that will include passed bites and multiple food and drink stations. A Mariachi band will add to the festivities from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tickets are required and can be purchased on the website.
Monkey’s Tail, 5802 Fulton: The Lindale Park bar and cantina will be celebrating all day with festive décor, DJs, live music, door prizes, a crawfish boil, and an outdoor taco and burrito stand from 3 p.m. to midnight. Specialty drinks will include the Frozen Chile Mangonada and housemade canned seltzers. The popular brunch menu will also be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the party going until 2 a.m.
Bar Louie, 16089 City Walk: This neighborhood “gastrobar” is kicking off the weekend with drink specials from 4 to 7:00 p.m., including $7 Dos Sauza Margaritas. It will also debut a twist on the margarita, the Rock & Rita, made with Teremana Reposado, Grand Marnier, orange, agave, lime and a salted rim. Pair these refreshing drinks with 50% off bar bites such as the Trio Dips and Chips and the chicken quesadilla.
Urbe, 1101 Uptown Park: Chef Hugo Ortega’s Mexican street food concept is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a special walkaround event that will include multiple cocktail and food stations, a DJ and a live mariachi band. Tickets are required and can be purchased on the website.
Cyclone Anaya’s: The local Tex-Mex chain will be offering happy hour drink specials all day at all of its locations across the city, starting from when they open at 11 a.m. Specials include $5 house margaritas, $10 jumbo house margaritas and food options such as the empanadas, flautas and mini ceviche.
Tacos A Go Go: The fun, casual, local chain is offering specials at all of its locations (Greenway, Midtown, Heights and Oak Forest). Choose from elote street corn for $5, Mexican Candy shots for just $2, a Ranch Water cocktail for $5 or a bucket of 6 cervezas for $25. Guests who want to take the party home can grab a quart of margaritas to go for $10. For those looking for a fiesta, the Greenway Plaza location will have a fun atmosphere and music from DJ Yung Hiram from 5to 10 p.m.
Los Tios: This Houston-favorite Tex-Mex chain will have giveaways and all-day happy hour specials at each of its locations. These include $5 house margaritas, $6 gold margaritas and $1 off beers. Also, the flagship San Felipe location is hosting its Cinco de Mayo Parking Lot Party from 2 p.m. to close. The festivities include a DJ, mariachi band, picture opportunities, and an outdoor cash bar serving up margaritas, street tacos and chips and salsa.
Minh Truong is an avid lover of the Houston food scene and has written about it since 2011, starting as a freelance contributor for the Houston Press. She never stops exploring all that Houston has to offer.