PHOENIX — Do you still need Cinco de Mayo plans? We have you covered!
Often confused with Mexico's Independence Day (that is September 16), Cinco de Mayo actually celebrates Mexico's defeat of the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. In the U.S., celebrations usually consist of live music, Mexican cuisine, beer and margaritas.
And, according to USA Today, Phoenix is home to one of the top ten Cinco de Mayo Festivals in the country.
Bars and restaurants around the Valley with be hosting their own specials and parties. We've rounded up a few of them below.
Cinco on Central with Lil Jon
Second Avenue in downtown Phoenix will shut down for the second "Cinco on Central" block party, May 5. Rapper Lil Jon will headline the 21-and-up event. There will be margaritas and food, live music, DJs, dancers, larger beer pong, and a hot chili pepper-eating contest. The event starts at 4 p.m. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $100 for VIP, which includes five drinks, a private hospitality area, snacks, and bathrooms. For those going, the event's security will follow a clear-bag policy. More information.
Cinco de Mayo Phoenix Festival: War and Tierra
The Valley's largest Cinco de Mayo Festival returns May 5 to downtown Phoenix. War and Tierra are this year's headliners. The annual event will have Lucha Libre, baile folklorico, live music, and food. USA Today named it one of the top ten festivals in the country. The gates open at noon. General admission is $5 before 5 p.m. and $10 after. VIP is $35 and includes stage access, private bathrooms, and a raised platform viewing area. Exclusive Lounge tickets are $75 and include two drinks, free food, private bar, and private restrooms. Kids 10 and younger are free with paid adult admission. More information.
ABC15 is the TV sponsor for this year's event.
Mexico food, Ballet folklorico, and mariachi music will be part of Avondale's annual Cinco de Mayo-inspired street festival. The free event takes place along Western Avenue in Historic Avondale, 495 E. Western Avenue. There will be Mexican food for sale, a beer garden, and a hot pepper-eating contest. The event from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. More information.
VALLEY PARTIES & SPECIALS
Several restaurants and bars around the Valley are hosting their own Cinco de Mayo parties and specials. We've collected a few below.
El Hefe and Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row
El Hefe and Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row in Tempe will have a Cinco de Mayo-themed weekend on Saturday and Sunday, May 4 & 5. Both bars will open at 10 a.m. with festive decorations, DJs and drink specials, including buckets of Dos XX and Tecate for $25 and $2 off Patron Silver and Jose Cuervo.
Address: 640 S. Mill Ave #110, Tempe, AZ 85281.
Both Scottsdale locations will also open early with drink and food specials.
El Hefe: 4425 N. Saddlebag Trail #101, Scottsdale, AZ 85251.
Dierks Bentley Whiskey Row in downtown Gilbert will have a live DJ and music at noon, plus buckets of Dox XX and Tecate for $25. On Sunday, they will host a corn hole tournament with a $500 prize.
Address: 323 N. Gilbert Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234.
Riot House will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday. There will be DJs, and food and drink specials.
Address: 4425 N. Saddlebag Trail #105, Scottsdale, AZ 85251.
The Tempe restaurant will have its Prickly Pear Frose for $5. It is made with Blanco tequila, Rose, prickly pear, and lime.
Address: 1006 E. Warner Rd #102-103, Tempe, AZ 85284.
The Scottsdale restaurant will be open all day with $4 Dos Equis, $5 margaritas and $2 street tacos.
Address: 4312 N. Brown Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251.
Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen
The Cinco de Mayo specials are $3 Baja blonde fish tacos and $5.05 build-your-own margaritas or daiquiris.
Address: 5813 N. 7th St #140, Phoenix, AZ 85014.
The steakhouse will have a $100 margarita served in a Baccarat diamond-cut tumbler throughout the month of May. The cocktail is made with Tequila Ocho Extra Anejo La Latilla, Grand Marnier Cuvee du Centenaire and garnished with a lime wheel and pineapple leaves. The glass is yours to take home. More information.
Hotel Valley Ho
Each month the Scottsdale hotel debuts an over-the-top shake combination. May's "Show Stopper" shake is Dulce de Leche-inspired. It has a Dulce de Leche base, a cinnamon sugar churro, a Mexican Wedding Cookie, Choco Taco ice cream, Tamarind sucker, De La Rosa Marzipan candy, and an espresso-chili truffle. It will be available through the end of the month.
Address: 6850 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251.
Rico's American Grill at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak
Rico's is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a build-your-own taco buffet. The cost is $12-$15.
Address: 7677 N. 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85020.
Yard House will have margarita specials on Cinco de Mayo. A house margarita will be $5. They will also have salted watermelon margaritas and pomegranate margaritas available all day. There are three locations in Glendale, Phoenix and Scottsdale.
The pizza chain will have one-topping pizzas for $5.55 on Cinco de Mayo. More information.
Old Town Gringos
The Scottsdale bar will have $3 tacos, $5 beers and $6 margaritas. There will also be live music and DJs all day and night.
Address: 4209 N. Craftsman Ct, Scottsdale, AZ 85251.
Blanco Tacos + Tequila
The Sam Fox restaurant will have $5 classic and skinny margaritas on Cinco de Mayo. There will also be a DJ from noon to 8 p.m.
Address: Biltmore: 2502 E. Camelback Rd. #122 Phoenix, AZ 85016, The Borgata: 6166 N. Scottsdale Rd. #601 Scottsdale, AZ 85253.
Serrano's Mexican Restaurants
The family-owned restaurant will be closed on Cinco de Mayo because it falls on a Sunday. However, they will have food and drink specials the week of Cinco de Mayo, April 29-May 4. More information.
While not normally open on Sundays, CRUjiente Tacos will open on Cinco de Mayo at noon. The restaurant will have specialty tacos and $5 "Premier CRU" margaritas.
Address: 3961 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018.
The Tempe pizzeria will be open on Cinco de Mayo with $6 Patron, $5 margaritas and $4 Dos Equis beer
Address: 420 S. Mill Ave #101, Tempe, AZ 85281.
Sierra Bonita Grill
Sierra Bonita Grill will have $5 margaritas during brunch, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., and will extend happy hour from 3 p.m. - close.
Address: 6933 N. 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85014.
Casa Terra, a newly-opened vegan fine-dining restaurant in Glendale, will have a special Cinco de Mayo menu. Dishes include table-side guacamole, enchiladas mole, and tacos trio.
Address: 6835 N. 58th Dr, Glendale, AZ 85301.