Where to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in San Diego

Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is one of many San Diego spots offering specials for Cinco de Mayo.
Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is one of many San Diego spots offering specials for Cinco de Mayo.
(Courtesy of Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa.)

Cinco de Mayo 2021 might not be the raging party we’re used to here in San Diego, but anything is better than Cinco de Mayo 2020, right?

In a sign that San Diego is slowly reopening following the coronavirus shutdown, this year, several restaurants around town are offering specials for Cinco de Mayo. COVID safety orders are still in place, but here’s where you can celebrate Mexico’s victorious Battle of Puebla.

Tacos from 619 Spirits.
(Courtesy of 619 Spirits.

619 Spirits, North Park
The North Park restaurant and distillery is going big for Cinco, with two tacos (including carnitas, pollo asado and fish) and a margarita (choose from blueberry, honey, pineapple, rhubarb and blackberry lavender) for only $13.

The Sublime Mexican Lager for AleSmith Brewing Company.
(Courtesy of Alternative Strategies.)

AleSmith Brewing Company, Miramar
Get your Mexican food and drink fix at AleSmith Brewing Company’s Miramar Tasting Room. They’re debuting their new Sublime Micheladas (in addition to their 30+ beers on tap) and will have tacos, burritos and Mexican seafood from Zoe’s Place Food Truck all day.

Bub’s @ the Beach, Pacific Beach
If you’re in the PB area on Cinco de Mayo, hit up Bub’s @ the Beach for $6 pints, $22 Kona Big Wave pitchers, $7 High West Bourbon & Captain Morgan and $5 Bud Light Seltzers. They’ll also have food specials and patio dining, limited indoor dining and carry-out and delivery options.

Casa de Bandini, Carlsbad
Located at The Forum Shopping Center in Carlsbad, Casa de Bandini isn’t holding back this Cinco de Mayo. Enjoy hourly drink specials, like Don Julio Cadillac margaritas for $12.95 (from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.), Casamigos Cadillac margaritas for $10.95 (from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) and $2 off Sauza Hornitos Reposado shots (from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.). Food specials like the taco sampler, Cinco surf & turf, spicy shrimp enchiladas and more are available, in addition to mariachis and Mexican Ballet Folkloric dancers starting at 4 p.m.

Casa de Pico, La Mesa
Casa de Pico is raising a glass (or two) all day in honor of Cinco de Mayo. Enjoy their “Cincorita” margarita, made with strawberry, Midori and lime in green, white and red layers. A mariachi band will perform from noon to closing.

Carnitas Street Tacos from Casa Guadalajara.
(Casa Guadalajara)

Casa Guadalajara, Old Town
There’s no place better than Old Town to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Casa Guadalajara will be marking the day with mariachis, ballet folklorico, the Tinku Latin Duo, plus food and drink specials, giveaways and more.

El Chingon
Azunia Tequilia will offer $5 cocktail specials with biodegradable straws from Nubis Global at the bar crawl’s second stop, El Chingon.
(Courtesy photo)

El Chingon, Gaslamp
The Gaslamp hot spot is spreading the cheer this Cinco de Mayo with drink specials like a complimentary Chingon candy skull companion with any upgraded drink order. To make sure your whole day is sweet, they’re opening their doors early on Cinco de Mayo, from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, La Jolla
This year, Estancia is celebrating Cinco de Mayo all week long. On Wednesday, May 5, enjoy the 5 DE MAYO Mexican party at Mustangs & Burros, a restaurant within the hotel. Guest will enjoy live music and ceviche flight specials, plus Michelada and agave flights. Other Cinco-themed events are planned each night until May 8.

Operacaffe, Gaslamp
Just because it’s Cinco de Mayo doesn’t mean Italian restaurants can’t join in on the fun. Operacaffe will offer $5 Corona and Dos Equis Ambar beers, $5 shots of Anejo house tequila and $10 Corona Sunrise cocktails made with Corona, tequila, orange juice and grenadine.

Rustic Root, Gaslamp
For one night only, one of the Gaslamp’s chicest eateries, Rustic Root, becomes Rustic Cantina, with a paleta cart (free paleta with every Cazadores cocktail or tequila purchase), a DJ, tequila shots and delicious food, of course.

The Gluten-Free Baking Co., North Park
If you prefer your alcohol in the form of a baked good, look no further than North Park’s Gluten-Free Baking Co. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, they’re serving up boozy cupcakes in flavors like Tequila Sunrise, Strawberry Margarita, Mexican Hot Chocolate and Rum-chata.

Tacos from The Original 40 Brewing Company.
(Courtesy of Alternative Strategies.)

The Original 40 Brewing Company, North Park
Enjoy $5 drafts of Corn Hub light Mexican lager, Oscuridad dark Mexican lager, plus $3 beer-battered fish tacos all day at this North Park brewery and restaurant.

Union Kitchen & Tap, Encinitas
The party doesn’t stop in North County, with Union in Encinitas offering live music from Zach Churchill and tequila specials to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.