8 Places to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo Like a Grown-up
You’ve outgrown the days of sugary margaritas served in fluorescent buckets. But you’ll still take any excuse to dive into a bowl of guac…and sip a well-mixed cocktail while you’re at it. Here’s where to spend the day honoring Mexican heritage and feasting on top-notch eats without a neon sombrero in sight.
We can’t get enough of chef Alex Stupak’s whimsical take on Mexican fare (like the insane avocado dessert that broke Instagram), so Saturday’s fiesta is sure to be just as delightful. Reserve a spot for the leisurely rosé lunch or the festive evening party, complete with unlimited custom cocktails, a raw bar, those famous tacos (like the pastrami and mustard seed beauties) and live entertainment.
510 Madison Ave.; empellon.com
OK, we know we said no buckets, but the ’Gram-worthy punch bowls at this stylish cocktail den are another story. And this weekend, the restaurant is launching Brunchacha, a bottomless brunch featuring dishes like Mexican poutine, scrambled-egg quesadillas and a drink served in a burro-shaped mug.
248 W. 55th St.; vidaverdeny.com
The new taco speakeasy (yep) inside the Garret East just made our summer-drinking dreams come true with its paleta cerveza floats: Tecate poured over homemade ice pops (in strawberry-cilantro or pineapple-mescal), served in a salt-rimmed glass. Add a burrata taco—yes, you heard us—and prepare to experience true bliss.
206 Ave. A; borrachitonyc.com
This LIC gem doesn’t have anything specific planned, but really, feasting on Michelin-starred Mexican fare is celebration enough. Order the mole de Piaxtla (made with a traditional recipe of chocolate, almonds and sesame), a cucumber-serrano pepper margarita and the tres leches cake, and congratulate yourself on a Saturday well spent.
5-48 49th Ave., Queens; henri.com/casa-enrique
A lush, leafy patio isn’t the only draw at this Dumbo mainstay (though it certainly helps). You’ll also find bubbling skillets of queso fundido and a spicy grapefruit margarita that will haunt your dreams.
5 Front St., Brooklyn; granelectrica.com
This brand-spanking-new spot (seriously, it opened yesterday) is pulling out all the stops for its first Cinco de Mayo with a mescal brunch party. For $40 a pop, you'll be treated to two hours of unlimited share plates, up to five cocktails, live dancers and a DJ. Quite possibly the best reason we can think of to go to FiDi on a weekend.
15 Stone St.; toroloconyc.com
This Bushwick newcomer honors the historical significance behind the holiday—the Mexican army’s victory at the Battle of Puebla—by showcasing ingredients native to the region. The Pueblan cemita piles marinated rib-eye onto pan de agua (a fluffy bread) and spices it up with chipotle and papalo, a Pueblan herb that’s like a zesty cross between cilantro and arugula. (Tastiest history lesson ever.)
41 Wilson Ave., Brooklyn; laloncheriabk.com