Marking Mexico’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, Cinco De Mayo marks the ultimate celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. Literally translating to the ‘fifth of May’ – hence the reason it’s celebrated on that day – it’s a major event celebrated across the globe often via tasty authentic food, music and bucketloads of tequila of course! Of course, our beloved capital loves to get in on the action, so without further ado, here’s our rundown of ten ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year:
1. Get Lost at Hacha with The Lost Explorer
From Tuesday April 25 to Saturday May 13, Hacha, the acclaimed London Agaveria, will be partnering with The Lost Explorer Mezcal in both Dalston and Brixton in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. The fully immersive experience will take place at both venues, where a unique selection of The Lost Explorer flights will highlight the three expressions as well as mini classic margaritas to showcase the unique characteristics and versatility of each spirit.
Delicious, authentic Mexican dishes will also be available from Hacha’s outstanding kitchen residencies – Tigre Tacos in Hacha Dalston and Nopalito in Hacha Brixton – which will be paired with each individual cocktail. Salud! Get involved here.
2. Dine on food from Chef Fernando Hernández at Decimo
To celebrate this year’s Cinco de Mayo, acclaimed chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias from Decimo, The Standard, London welcomes chef Fernando Hernández from Moyuelo in Puebla, Mexico for an exclusive one-night dinner. The evening will include a collaborative five-course menu mixing traditional Pueblan dishes with Spanish flavours, Casamigos tequila cocktails, live salsa music and dancing as the room descends into a steamy salsa nightclub.
3. Celebrate at Los Mochis in Notting Hill
The ultimate Pan-Pacific pairing of Mexican and Japanese cuisine, Los Mochis are pulling out all the stops with their week-long Cinco de Mayo celebrations running from Tuesday May 2 to May 8. For the occasion, they’ll be flamboyantly and vibrantly decorated, and will have also created two special dishes, the soft-shell crab taco – crispy soft-shell crab, avocado, cabbage, jalapeño aioli, fried capers, and for those with a sweet tooth – the tres leches cake – a traditional Mexican three milk sponge cake, with dulce de leche, fresh cream and mango marmalade.
In terms of drinks, frozen tequila-infused palomas and Tommy’s margaritas will also be served alongside to cool you down throughout the celebrations. Even better, on the actual Cinco de May itself, they will be turning the heat up with live performances from a traditional mariachi band, bringing the passion and heat of Mexico to Notting Hill from 8-10pm. Find out more here.
4. Sip on a cheeky cocktail at Wahaca
The start of May will see Mexican-inspired restaurant Wahaca all set for celebrating not just the crowning of the new King, but also the annual fiesta of Cinco de Mayo. To mark this momentous double celebration, the very special ‘Charlie’s Cheeky Coronita’ can be enjoyed over the long weekend – an irresistible combination of Wahaca’s classic margarita and Corona beers that are perfect to share with a group of mates. A jug of it costs £32 – it serves four and is topped off with fresh lime and served in a specially-decorated sharing jug to honour the occasion.
5. Indulge in tacos and mezcal margs at The Buxton
On Friday May 5, Brick Lane’s fashionable bistro and hotel The Buxton will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a special menu featuring mouth-watering Mexican dishes and cocktails. In true fiesta style, the menu includes sharing plates of roasted tomato and pepper salsa and homemade tortilla chips with a white cheese sauce. They’ve also got traditional tender cochinita pibil tacos with pickled red onions, fish tacos with lime creme, bavette beef tacos with pico de gallo and spicy black bean tacos with sides of refried beans and tasty Mexican rice.
Finishing off the feast, the legendary Mexican dessert, a tres leches cake, will be served, and they’ll also have an array of Mexican cocktails such as mezcal margaritas, palomas and sangria on the menu along with a torreador – a tequila-based cocktail with apricot brandy and lime juice. Book yourself in to the experience here.
6. Get into the fiesta spirit at Canteen
To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Canteen Food Hall in Greenwich are partnering with their street food trader Hermanos Taco House for an evening to celebrate Mexican food, music and culture. Get ready for what promises to be an unforgettable celebration at Canteen and indulge in Hermanos’ mouthwatering Tacos al Pastor, featuring succulent pork shoulder seasoned with achiote and guajiro chilli, served with onion, coriander, and a slice of pineapple. And that’s just the beginning!
You can also join in with tequila and mezcal tasting masterclasses, which will take you on a journey through the rich heritage, cultural significance, and unique flavours of these two famous Mexican spirits. As the night heats up, a professional mariachi band will take the stage, bringing their authentic instruments and over a decade of performance experience to add to the festive atmosphere. Find out more here.
7. Join in the party at Jalisco in Brixton
Brixton Village – South London’s favourite foodie destination, will be throwing an all-day party at the delicious family-run restaurant Jalisco on Friday May 5 to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Located in Brixton Village’s courtyard, expect live music and lots of thirst-quenching margaritas in the sun throughout the course of the day.
They’ll be offering jugs of Paloma cocktails – a heavenly concoction of tequila, lime juice and grapefruit soda – for just £15, and they’re also doing four tequila shots for a tenner. They’ll also have their delicious tacos on offer, so this is one you really don’t want to miss out on! Let the party commence.
Learn how to cook up a variety of authentic Mexican favourites including the best fish tacos you’ve ever tasted — all served with a side of bottomless wine! This fun, upbeat Mexican street food class will begin with a short demonstration on how to make some delicious dishes. Then it’s over to you to give it a go from your designated cooking table!
The chefs from Avenue Cookery School will be on hand to help, and will be more than happy to provide you with some useful kitchen tips. At the end of the class, sit back and tuck into your creations (and plenty of vino too) with friends old and new. Get your tickets now here.
9. Celebrate the event with Cazcabel in Islington
Recently named the UK’s bestselling 100% agave tequila, Cazcabel is fast becoming a world-leading tequila brand and was recently voted Master in this year’s ‘Tequila & Mezcal Master Awards’. On Cinco de Mayo, they’ll be hosting an official Cinco de Mayo party, where guests will be treated to a five cocktail-strong special menu, which was created by Cazcabel Global Brand Ambassador, Nate Sorby, and with tunes spun by DJ Mike Foster.
On the week of Cinco de Mayo itself Cazcabel will also be teaming up with Meztizo Chelsea for a cocktail masterclass La Loteria event, while members of Ronnie Scott’s in Soho can enjoy a bespoke masterclass courtesy of the Cazcabel team.
10. Tuck into tasty food and tequila at a brand-new Mexican restaurant
Rounding off this list of the best things to do this Cinco de Mayo is a visit to brand-new restaurant 1910, which only opened its doors earlier this month. An independent, Mexican-owned restaurant, it has been designed to bring all the authentic tastes and traditions of Mexico City to Parsons Green. The menu itself is built around dishes inspired by owner and chef Mauricio’s original family recipes. The cantina also offers an almost-entirely gluten-free menu, by using corn – a staple of Mexican cuisine – wherever possible.
1910 celebrates traditional Mexican fiestas throughout the year with live mariachi, face painting, dancing, tacos and tequila galore of course. That’s a given for Cinco de Mayo, and they’re currently taking bookings now. You can find out more here.
So there you have it – a roundup of the best things to do this Cinco de Mayo. So get ready for a real fiesta with plenty of tequila, tacos and all the more Mexican goodies!