You shouldn’t have any problem finding a place to celebrate this Thursday. Cinco de Mayo, like St. Patrick’s Day, is one of those celebrations that everyone wants in on.
While our Mexican compatriots commemorate the Mexican army's victory over the French forces of Napoleon at the Battle of Puebla, the rest of us celebrate cheap beer, inexpensive margaritas, and food deals. Here are five spots that have you covered no matter where you are in the metro.
Minneapolis: Rosa Mexicano
If you’re looking for an upscale Cinco de Mayo celebration, head to Rosa Mexicano in downtown Minneapolis for the $30 fixed price menu. You get a choice of a shared appetizer, including the restaurant’s signature table-side guacamole, an entrée, and dessert. The guacamole presentation is a bit of food theater. Servers combine avocados with your choice of add-ins like onions, chiles, tomatoes, and cilantro in a traditional molcajete, creating your custom blend.
The restaurant boasts an impressive list of over 100 tequilas. If you want to try something new but aren’t sure where to start, servers are well-informed and happy to help you navigate the extensive offerings. What better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than finding a new favorite tequila?
609 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
St. Paul: El Burrito Mercado
It’s a restaurant. It’s a bar. It’s a grocery store. El Burrito Mercado is all that and more. A fixture on St. Paul’s West Side for 30 years, it has morphed from a small grocery store to include a deli, as well as a restaurant with a full bar.
The festivities here last all weekend. On Thursday and Friday, they’ll be selling tacos outside in the plaza from 4 to 9 p.m.. They'll have a mariachi band from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday and 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday. If you’re headed to the Cinco de Mayo parade on Saturday, celebrate at the restaurant, or visit the grocery store to get everything you need for an in-home fiesta.
El Burrito Mercado
175 Cesar Chavez St., St. Paul
North: Pancho Villa
Monticello may be a bit of a drive from the Twin Cities center, but people in the far north exurbs need a good celebration too. The restaurant has a wide and varied menu that encompasses all your favorites: tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and fajitas, as well as a large selection of seafood dishes.
Enjoy live music and toast Cinco de Mayo with special prices on beer and margaritas (hint: the organic margarita took the top honor in our recent Best of the Twin Cities issue. After a few margaritas, you’ll be ready to join in the karaoke. City dwellers can get their margaritas at the Pancho Villa outpost on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis.
100 W. 7th St., Monticello
South: Cantina Laredo
Ain’t no party like a Mall of America party. Or something like that. If you enjoy your Cinco de Mayo festivities with a side of shopping, the celebration at Cantina Laredo is for you. From 5 to 10 p.m., sip margaritas specially concocted for the occasion, including the Verde Infusion Rita and the Cinco ‘Rita, a mix of Silver Cabo Wabo, Hornitos, Cazadores, Herradura, Giro, Cointreau, lime juice, and agave nectar, both for a special price of $5. Beer drinkers can take advantage of $3 bottle or draft Mexican beers.
Pair your drinks with any your favorite Mexican dishes like tacos, empanadas, and flautas. Revelers will also enjoy live music from Salsa Havana. If you want to celebrate with a shot of tequila, you’re in luck – the bar stocks dozens.
Mall of America, third floor, outside of Macy’s
West: Lagos Tacos
If you’d rather not head to work with a Cinco de Mayo hangover on Friday, you can postpone your celebration until the weekend without missing out on the fun. Lagos Tacos in Excelsior hosts a tent party from noon until 10 p.m. Saturday.
In addition to special prices on beer, margaritas and tacos, the festivities include two bands, Rampant Roots from noon until 4 p.m. and American Bootleg from 6 until 10 p.m. Oh, and if you really want to see what you’re made of, there’s a burrito eating contest open to all. There’s also tent party going on at the Minneapolis location on Cinco de Mayo and over the weekend. Lagos Tacos’ sister restaurant in Uptown will also host a tent party on Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m.
30 Water St., Excelsior