The fifth of May is quickly approaching, and if you’re a local San Diegan that means celebrating Cinco de Mayo in full-force. Our city is thriving with an abundance of Mexican culture and heritage, not to mention our legit, near-the-border Mexican food and margaritas.
If you’re not sure where to go or what to do just yet to celebrate the colorful holiday, here are a few diverse events to get to all across town.
Here’s where the party’s at
Cinco de Mayo at the Casbah — May 5
Craving some killer tunes for a fiesta on the dance floor? Hit The Casbah to catch La Diabla, Thee Commons, The Sleepwalkers, Chicano Playboy, Cisco Kid, Latin Lovers and more take the stage. Doors are at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at ticketfly.com.
2501 Kettner Blvd., Middletown. casbah.com
Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Fundraiser at Firehouse — May 5
To get into this celebration, all you have to do is donate $10 for a good cause. Win-win, right? The $10 donation at this Friday night event goes toward MANA de San Diego, an organization that empowers Latinas through education, leadership development, community service and advocacy. In turn, you’ll get access to the VIP lounge on the Firehouse’s rooftop patio, complete with a live mariachi performance, samples of mezcal, pin the tail on the donkey, prizes, goodie bags, Mexican food for purchase and more. This fiesta kicks off at 5 p.m. and goes until 8 p.m. and is hosted by Firehouse and Artlexia. Tickets can be purchased at eventbrite.com.
722 Grand Ave., Pacific Beach. firehousepb.com
Old Town Fiesta Cinco de Mayo — May 5-7
Get prepared to party! One of the most historic Cinco de Mayo events is the annual Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo celebration. In its 34th year, this weekend festival keeps the party going from Friday, May 5 through Sunday, May 7 and is free to attend for all ages. There will be a mercado to shop for authentic Mexican goods, live Mexican bands playing throughout the weekend, lucha libre wrestling, low riders cruising through the streets, more than 20 different vendors, authentic Mexican cuisine and a ton of cerveza, of course.
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, 4002 Wallace St., Old Town. cincodemayooldtown.com
Cinco de Mayo Trail Run — May 6
For those who would rather keep it healthy for Cinco, head to Poway for the annual Cinco de Mayo trail run. Participants can sign up for the 5K, 10K or the kids race. The top three winners in each age division will receive a medal to take home. All runners also will receive a race t-shirt. Registration costs $45 for adults for the 5k or 10k; $35 for ages 11-17 for the 5k or 10k; $15 for the 10-and-under kids race. Those interested can register here.
Lake Poway, 14644 Lake Poway Rd., Poway. cincodemayotrailrun.org
Restaurants to stop by if you’re in the mood for food
This Mexican eatery and cantina is ideal for drinking and dancing on Cinco de Mayo. If you want to start the weekend off early, enjoy Cerveza Jack’s day drinking specials from 3-7 p.m. on Friday, May 5. Get your fiesta on with $4 well drinks, $6 house margaritas, 2 for 1 Buena Cerveza, $3 off specialty cocktails or buckets and half off all appetizers. After all that yummy eating and drinking, guests can move to the concert venue to Moonshine Beach and enjoy live music from Chris Bandi.
1165 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach. cervezajacks.com
Escape the Cinco de Mayo madness and chill out at the newly opened Curadero and Arriba Room at Hotel Palomar. On street level at Curadero, order up a specialty cocktail made with the Mexican spirit of your choice. Patrons can also grab a bite of ceviche, a variety of tacos and platos fuertos, to boot. The restaurant’s Arriba Room upstairs will be open from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., serving up tasty street tacos from their “taco window,” and of course, Mexican cervezas, too. The Arriba Room also boasts a game lounge, so you can sip and munch on snacks while playing arcade games and shuffleboard all night long.
Curadero at Hotel Palomar, 1047 Fifth Ave., downtown. curadero.com
Pacifica Del Mar
The Ocean Bar at Pacifica is throwing a big Cinco de Mayo bash for those in the Del Mar area. All night, the bar will be slinging $8 margaritas, including their PDM fresh margarita and sweet-meets-spicy pineapple-chipotle margarita. Grab a bite off the happy hour menu, which includes half-off the price of all small plates such as their pork taco, peppered ahi takoshimi and Pacifica oyster shooter from 6-10 p.m.
1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar. pacificadelmar.com
Puesto (The Headquarters and La Jolla)
If you’re looking for a fresh take on Mexican street food for your Cinco de Mayo celebration, head to Puesto. The restaurant is offering deals at both of its locations, with a 3-5 p.m. happy hour including Casa Noble tequila specials, shareable special plates, $3.50 tacos and $6 Puesto perfect margaritas. You can even groove while sipping on your marg at The Headquarters location, with DJ Mention spinning from 5-10 p.m.
789 W. Harbor Dr., or 1026 Wall St., La Jolla. eatpuesto.com