You don’t have to wait until Cinco de Mayo to enjoy a refreshing margarita and some Mexican cuisine, but the anniversary of the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over Napoleon III’s French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 means lots of bars and restaurants are bringing out special dishes, drinks, and events to celebrate. Here are 10 places in the Boston area to get your fiesta on.
1. Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar
412 W Broadway Ave., South Boston, Boston
This South Boston spot will be finishing their five days of Cinco de Mayo celebrations with a blowout featuring bomb pork tacos ($11) and Tequila Snow Cones ($10). The bar will be decked out in festive decor and will have piñatas filled with fun prizes and gifts.
2. Temazcal Tequila Cantina
250 Northern Ave., Seaport, Boston
If you’re looking to treat yourself and splash a little cash this Cinco, the “El Presidente” at this Seaport spot could be just the ticket. The $50 spread is comprised of a margarita made with Deleon Extra Anejo tequila, which can run you almost $300 a bottle in stores, and features a side of 0.5 oz of Deleon, 1 oz of Temazcal’s house sangria, and of course chips and guacamole.
3. Cinco de Mayo with the Somerville Arts Council
70 Union Square, Somerville
For those looking for a more family-friendly Cinco, the Somerville Arts Council will be putting on a free celebration in Union Square from 6-8:30 p.m. featuring mariachi music, dancers, and hands-on activities for the kids like making maracas and a giant piñata.
4. The Painted Burro
219 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville
Davis Square’s preeminent Mexican restaurant will be opening its doors at 11 a.m. Thursday to get the fiesta started early. Along with their impressive array of margaritas, the Burro is offering a toasted coconut margarita and lobster tacos, and will keep the celebration going until 1 a.m.
5. Besito Mexican Restaurant
199 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, Newton
Lobster is on the menu at this Chestnut Hill eatery as well, with the restaurant serving up queso fundido con langosta, a lobster-filled twist on their standard appetizer. For drinks, Besito is El Pepito Margarita, which features jalapeno for a little Cinco heat.
222 Berkeley St., Back Bay, Boston
Two words: free tacos. Chef/owner Michael Schlow is dishing out complimentary tacos from 4:30-5:30 at this Back Bay eatery, as well as specialty margaritas like the Blood Orange and the Hot and Skinny, which is infused with ghost chili for an extra kick. Even if you miss the happy hour freebies, the bar will be open until 2 a.m., with a DJ spinning tunes from 5:30-9 p.m.
7. The Independent
75 Union Square, Somerville
The first edition of this Somerville bar’s new “Indo Patio Party” series is a Cinco de-Mayo-themed celebration featuring a pairing of chalupas poblanas and an Oskar Blues Beerito or a Banded Horn Wicked Bueno. The combo will run you between $10-13.
8. Faneuil Hall Cinco de Mayo Pub Crawl
22 Clinton St., Downtown, Boston
For the heartiest of partiers, the Cinco de Mayo pub crawl from Pubcrawls.com could be just the ticket. According to the crawl’s event page, registration is open from 5-9 p.m. at the Hard Rock Cafe, and will take a tour of the Faneuil Hall area’s best bars. Tickets cost $6, and you can buy a sombrero for an additional $7.
9. Loretta’s Last Call
1 Lansdowne St., Fenway, Boston
If tequila is your spirit of choice but you don’t want to break the bank, this Fenway spot is doing a tequila tasting featuring Maestro Dobel Diamante, Gran Centenario Silver, Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado, 1800 Anejo and 1800 Coconut for $15. The restaurant will also feature music from Los Texicanos from 6:30-9:30 p.m.
10. River Bar
661 Assembly Row, Assembly Square, Somerville
This Assembly Row spot has both plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, so the party will go on rain or shine. The restaurant will be offering up Carnitas or braised pork butt or chicken ($13), and the specialty cocktail is the Bulldog Paloma, with silver tequila, lime, agave and Stiegl Radler with a salted rim ($10).