Where to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

By Heidi Patalano on May 3, 2013 6:28am 

Slideshow
 Celebrate the Mexican holiday at points north, south, east and west in the city.
Cinco de Mayo in the City
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NEW YORK CITY — New Yorkers looking for a reason to party will had a good one Sunday — Cinco de Mayo.

Let's get one thing straight — Cinco de Mayo is not the Mexican Independence Day. That would be September 16th — and the fall holiday is technically more important than Cinco de Mayo, much in the same way that Easter is the biggest Christian holiday though most people make a bigger deal about Christmas.

Cinco de Mayo is more formally known as El Día de la Batalla de Puebla — The Day of the Battle of Puebla — which celebrates a Mexican victory over French forces in 1862.

Now, armed with that knowledge, go forth to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in a grand fashion, just like these pups.

Here are a few suggestions to the best parties:

Hit the Parade and Festival

Though an East Harlem parade was cancelled this year due to organizer Sandra Perez's illness, another street celebration will go on from 110th Street to 97th Street on Central Park West. A day-long festival in Flushing Meadow Corona Park in Queens will celebrate Mexican heritage with plenty of music, dancing, food and contest giveaways.

Drink the Firewater 

If Cinco de Mayo was a cause, tequila would be its patron saint (or Patrón saint, if you will). Fitting, then, that a new bar dedicated to the Mexican liquor is opening just in time for the holiday. With over 40 varieties of tequila and a dozen mezcals (another agave-derived spirit), the Hudson Hotel’s Tequila Park serves up a margarita for every stripe — from the classic recipe to bubblegum bacon and bourbon-hibiscus. The drinks are paired with a variety of traditional tacos or more adventurous fare like the Sriracha cheese steak and kimchi shrimp nachos. Tequila Park will start the Cinco de Mayo party at 2 pm and last until closing time, with a live performance from City of the Sun.

Take It Easy

Prefer your Cinco de Mayo celebration low-key and quickly dispatched? Head over to a Chipotle, where the Mexican chain has begun serving freshly poured premium margaritas alongside its burritos, tacos, bowls and pre-made regular margaritas. The made-to-order Patrón margaritas will cost between $6.50 and $8 depending on size. Chipotle will continue to serve its regular Sauza tequilas and Mexican beers.

Gorge on Guac

The centerpiece for any self-respecting platter of nachos is guacamole and the creators of Sunday’s Guactacular are well aware of that fact. For the fifth year in a row, Nachos NY will throw its celebration for all things avocado at The Bell House in the Gowanus. For tickets costing between $15 and $28, you can attend in the afternoon, in the evening, or all day long. Enjoy home and restaurant-made samples of the green stuff while watching a live taping of Dan Pashman’s always-entertaining snack podcast, The Sporkful

Get the Real Thing 

Sometimes the best Mexican food comes without all the bells and whistles but with plenty of heart as the main ingredient. Try out the unsung heroes of authentic local Mexican cuisine from La Espiguita in Astoria, La Flor in Woodside, Yola’s Café in Williamsburg, Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos in Bushwick and Estrellita Poblana III in the Bronx.

Soak Up the Sun

Bask in the sun at DUMBO’s Gran Electrica, where outdoor seating will accommodate revelers there to enjoy the day with their specialty drink, the Margarita de Remolacha (made with fresh beet juice, Pueblo Viejo blanco tequila, triple sec, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup). In their garden overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge, listen to Latin music while noshing on locally sourced Mexican fare.

Go Green in Ethos, Not in the Face

Whether you’re on your way out to the ‘burbs or you’re just feeling the spirit of the holiday while two blocks from Grand Central Station, The LCL: Bar and Kitchen will serve up the tipples that’ll help you celebrate. Since the restaurant makes natural products a focus, they’ll serve up the 1, 2, 3, Organic Tequila Flight, which includes three one-ounce servings of tequilas made from ingredients grown in ancient volcanic soils. They’ve also concocted the Smoke and Heat cocktail especially for the occasion: Mezcal, agave syrup, fresh lime juice, pineapple juice and egg white.

Party in a Box

Too lazy to go out? Too lazy to even shop for a celebration at home? Since this is New York, there is naturally someone you can pay to do that for you. A special holiday package from Boozecarriage.com includes two 24-pack cases of any Mexican beer, a bag of tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole, a sombrero and maracas for $99. The first 40 people to order will also get a lifesize cutout of "the world's most interesting man" from those Dos Equis commercials.

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