Cinco de Mayo is Tuesday, and while New York City residents don’t necessarily need excuses to drink creatively flavored margaritas and indulge in dangerous amounts of guacamole and chips, May 5 is the perfect day to participate in both of these activities without feeling the slightest bit guilty about going into work late the next day. Wondering where to celebrate the Mexican holiday in the Big Apple? We’ve got you covered. Check out the best places to be on Cinco de Mayo:
1. Dos Caminos. There are four Dos Caminos locations in Manhattan -- one in Soho, the Meatpacking District, Murray Hill and east Midtown. The popular line of restaurants’ Meatpacking location may be the ideal spot for Cinco de Mayo because of its outdoor café and bar. Dos Caminos offers more than 100 different types of tequila, as well as menu items like fresh guacamole, a ceviche bar with tuna in soy and lime marinade and tacos served on warm, handmade tortillas.
2. Empellon Cocina. This East Village eatery includes authentic Mexican fare, as well as a creative list of original margarita flavors. The restaurant’s spicy cucumber margarita is a must-have -- the popular cocktail includes tequila with cucumber, jalapeno and chile salt. Empellon’s tacos are also considered one of the restaurant’s staples – there are six delicious flavors. Oh, and there’s plenty of tequila. The staff says Cocina has the city’s largest selection of the Cinco de Mayo favorite.
3. The Black Ant. Besides its enticing and authentic Mexican food, the Black Ant runs a happy hour that includes $8 menu items -- guacamole, oyster tacos, duck tacos and gruyere cheese puffs. This East Village cantina also has crispy grasshoppers and an extensive array of tequilas -- everything one needs to properly celebrate the Mexican army's victory over France in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
4. La Palapa. The restaurant’s exterior may not look like anything special, but this cantina boasts one of the best margaritas in the city -- made with fresh lime juice and available in flavors like passion fruit, pomegranate, strawberry, blood orange, fresh ginger, mango and even hibiscus tamarind. La Palapa also has an extensive selection of all three tequila types -- blancos, repasados and anejos, as well as standard food choices like guacamole, tacos and quesadillas.
5. La Lucha NYC. Another East Village tacqueria, La Lucha’s premise is simple: Quick, affordable Mexican fare in the heart of the East Village. La Lucha’s appetizers start at $3.50 and its menu is printed on plain white paper. The restaurant is tiny, or what many Yelpers labeled as “unpretentious.” La Lucha doesn’t serve alcohol, but guests can partake in Mexican sodas, seasonal horchata water and seasonal fruit smoothies.