Cinco de Mayo may be an Americanized festivity based on a Mexican victory, but who doesn’t like a good excuse to make merry with margaritas and music? Whatever your inspiration, Houston has plenty of spaces to enjoy the party with entertainment, food and drink specials from casual lounges to pandemic-friendly patios.
El Big Bad, 419 Travis: Take part in an 11-year tradition at this popular cantina in downtown Houston known for its extensive selection of house-infused tequilas (30 and counting). This year, the 21+ party takes place April 30 through May 5 on the bar’s spacious rooftop. Festivities include live entertainment, DJs, face painting, tequila samples and cocktail specials. For more information and to RSVP (the event is free to attend but tickets are required), visit the event page. Masks are required to enter and requested when not seated or not outside.
Xochi, 1777 Walker: Like its sister restaurants Caracol and Hugo’s, this swanky downtown locale also has holiday drinks and bites. Expect half-priced the Greatest Margarita Ever Sold (normally $29), made with Gran Centenario Añejo Tequila, 25-year-aged Grand Marnier, tangerine, lime, ginger and agave nectar with a sea salt rim., $8 house margaritas and a three-course agave cocktail-paired menu for $60.
8th Wonder + Eatsie Boys, 2202 Dallas: If the weather holds, soak up the sun and spread out in the brewery’s spacious backyard. Order special Micheladas from inside, and get bites from the onsite food truck. The waffle-cut Elote Fries are $1 off for the holiday and come topped with buttered corn, cotija cheese, hot sauce, mayo, lime, green onion, Hot Cheetos and fresh lime. Stick around for live performances by Bombón and DJ Gracie Chavez from 4 to 9 p.m.
East End Backyard, 1105 Sampson: Food and music are highlights of a special event co-hosted by the University of Houston Hispanic Alumni Association and Bauer College Alumni Association. Festivities begin at noon with bites from Maria’s Kitchen and Caluma Tacos along with live music and mariachi performances.
Caracol, 2200 Post Oak Blvd.: Choose from a three-course agave cocktail-paired menu for $60 or opt for the Cinco de Mayo Takeout Kit For Two that costs $85. The kit comes with guacamole, salsa and tortilla chips, aguachile (lime-cured shrimp, mango-habanero aguachile, cucumber, red onion and cilantro) and corn tortillas with choice of taco filling: wood-grilled skirt steak, achiote-rubbed pork or roasted chicken with costeño peppers adobo. It also has tres leches cake and a pint of Caracol Ritas made with Hornitos Blanco Tequila. Guests can also order the Greatest Margarita Ever Sold, normally $29, at half price. It is made with Gran Centenario Añejo Tequila, 25-year-aged Grand Marnier, tangerine, lime, ginger and agave nectar with a sea salt rim. Finally, house margaritas are only $8.
The Annie Café & Bar, Party on the posh patio of this Galleria-area favorite with a festive event from 4 to 6 p.m. on May 5 full of food, drink and surprise entertainment. Passed appetizers include Crab Tostaditas, Mini Campechana, Chicken Flautitas, Mushroom Quesadillas, The Annie Nachos and Churritos. There will also be Dos Equis, Ranch Water and Highlands Old Fashioned. Tickets are $75 per person and include unlimited hors d’oeuvres and cocktails during the event. You can purchase tickets online and find more information at the event website.
TRIBUTE at The Houstonian, 111 North Post Oak Lane: Experience an authentic Cinco de Mayo meal created by Executive Sous Gonzalo Campos who is a native of Puebla, Mexico, the site of the Battle of Puebla that Cinco de Mayo honors. The multi-course dinner is at 6 p.m. on May 5, and includes appetizers such as Seafood Tostadas and Molotes, followed by a four-course feast paired with cocktails: red snapper with a paloma; pan-seared chicken with a michelada; braised short rib with a Mexican Cabernet Sauvignon; pork loin with a Mexican shiraz; and churros with four flavors of raspados (sauce). View the full menu online and email [email protected] to make reservations. The cost is $99 plus tax and gratuity for club members, and $109 plus tax and gratuity for non-members. Cancellations are non-refundable.
Bobcat Teddy’s Ice House, 2803 White Oak: Combine good vibes from two cultures with a Mexican-inspired crawfish boil prepared by Clutch City Crawfish plus specials on buckets of Mexican beer. Crawfish is $4.99 per pound and beer buckets are $20 each.
Traveler’s Table, 520 Westheimer: Celebrate with five Mexican-inspired tequila and mezcal-based cocktails for $8 each such as Happy Wife, Happy Life (tequila, triple sec, tepache, pineapple juice and charred pineapple) and Tierra del Fuego (mezcal, Ancho Reyes, Oaxacan old fashioned syrup, orange bitters, habanero). Have one alongside Mexican Spiced Flourless Chocolate Cake for a festive end to the day. It features Mayan dark chocolate ganache, pumpkin-peanut palanqueta, tequila crème-anglaise, chocolate “soil” and horchata gelato.
Cowboy Surfer, 827 Frostwood: This cool lounge in Memorial City has two $5 margarita specials for Cinco de Mayo available frozen or on the rocks: the Pura Vida Almeda Margarita and Cowboy Pura Vida Almeda Margarita. Beer specials include $4 Dos Equis and Corona Premier. Soak it all up with regular food selections from the menu such as cheeseburgers, stuffed crust pizza slices, Griddled Beef Hot Dog, Dorito Chili Pie and Salt and Pepper Pretzel Sticks. Entertainment will be provided by the guests — Wednesdays are open mic night from 6 to 9 p.m.! Drink deals are 4 to 11 p.m., and capacity is limited in keeping with social distance guidelines.
The General Public, 797 Sorella Court: This hip restaurant in west Houston’s CityCentre complex is serving a fun deal on May 5 with specially-priced house and premium margaritas. Visit during the 3, 4 and 5 p.m. Happy Hourly when the cost is the same as the hour in which it is ordered ($3 at 3, $4 at 4 and $5 at 5). Pair with tasty noshes such as hand cut fries, Crab Hushpuppies and Green Chile Grilled Cheese Bites.
Treebeards, 9655 Katy Freeway: This popular spot for Gulf Coast fare has South-of-the-Border fun, too. On May 5, sip margaritas 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for just $5 each, and visit during happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. for additional specials. The latter include $2 off Blackberry Ginger Margaritas and $1 off signature Crab and Shrimp Queso.
Cuchara, 214 Fairview: Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at this neighborhood favorite where holiday food specials include arrachera tacos, white pozole, beef barbacoa, mole poblano and margarita-marinated shrimp ceviche. The drink special is a Mangonada del Luchador, a fresh mango margarita in collaboration with Altos Tequila, that comes with a mini wrestler figure keepsake. DJ Tuzzo will perform during the Lucha Libre-themed patio party.
Hugo’s, 1600 Westheimer: House margaritas are $8 and the Greatest Margarita Ever Sold is half-priced (normally $29). It is made with Gran Centenario Añejo Tequila, 25-year-aged Grand Marnier, tangerine, lime, ginger and agave nectar with a sea salt rim. There is also a three-course, agave cocktail-paired menu for $60 and Hugo’s Cinco de Mayo Takeout Kit For Two is $85. The kit includes housemade guacamole, salsa and tortilla chips, campechana, corn tortillas with choice from three taco fillings: slow-cooked pork, skirt steak or achiote-rubbed chicken, and tres leches for dessert. It also comes with a pint of Hugoritas made with Hornitos Blanco Tequila.
Revelry on Richmond, 1613 Richmond: Customize your celebratory feast with a build-your-own taco bar complete with all the trimmings and wash it down with $5 house margaritas, palomas and ranch waters. Groups can take advantage of $20 buckets of Mexican beer.
Rice Village Area
Fajitas A Go Go, 5404 Kirby: Order Family Packs for takeout and delivery filled with flavorful fun. These feed four or more people and start at $58. Choose the hearty Pack Royale that starts at $68 and comes with beef sirloin, chicken, pulled pork, boar sausage, grilled shrimp and seasonal vegetables. Add housemade margarita agave mix made with fresh-squeezed limes for $15. It makes one liter and is enough for 8 to 10 margaritas. Delivery drivers don luchador masks for all pre-orders so keep cameras handy — or surprise a friend!
Woodshed Smokehouse, 3728 Wakeforest: Enjoy a Tacos & Tequila deal with specialty tacos and half-priced house and jalapeño margaritas.
Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House, San Leon: Head to the water for a festive shindig and plenty of drink deals. All-day discounts include $1 off Corona beers, $6 El Jimador ‘Ritas (rocks or frozen) and a Frozen Flight for $12. It comes with smaller sizes of the House Margarita (reposado tequila, citrus and agave), Ocean Water (rum, coconut and lime), Watermelon Slush (silver tequila, mezcal, watermelon, citrus and Tajin) and Mangonada (rum, orange vodka, mango, citrus and spice).
Jax Grill, Multiple locations: Drinks and tacos are on special or Cinco de Mayo at all three Jax Grill locations. Frozen margaritas, bottles of Dos Equis, and shots of Cuervo Tradicional tequila are all $2 each. Pair with $2 street soft tacos stuffed with choice of beef or chicken.
Molina’s Cantina, Multiple locations: This locally-owned and operated family mainstay has served quintessential frozen margaritas for decades. Get your fix on Cinco de Mayo with happy hour pricing all day — $6.50 each for frozen and on the rocks. They are crafted with 100% agave tequila, triple sec and fresh lime juice. In addition, look for other drink specials, giveaways and live mariachi music from 6 to 8 p.m. at all three locations.
Tacos A Go Go, Multiple locations: Add housemade margaritas and palomas to your taco order from this Houston staple. Half-gallons of house margaritas are $20 and paloma margaritas are $25. Order online from the location of your choice, or at any restaurant location.
Taco Cabana, Multiple locations: It’s MargaritaPalooza at Taco Cabana, and this year the franchise is introducing a limited-time “La Bandera” Margarita on May 5. The frozen concoction is layered with lime, strawberry, mango and blue curacao flavors and costs $3 at participating Texas locations. On the same day, guests can order limited-time food bundles that contain a half-order of Taco Cabana’s Kickin’ Nachos and 12 signature chicken flautas for $19.99. MargaritaPalooza features three daily lime, strawberry and mango flavors plus nine limited-time flavors such as dragonfruit, violet, pickle and pineapple banana. All 12 are available daily for $2 each. The full menu of food and beverages is available for dine-in, drive-through and curbside pick-up. Order via the website or the MYTC app.