5 Best Things To Do for Cinco de Mayo in NYC

A photo of women celebrating Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo has long been celebrated throughout Mexico and the USA. It means “the fifth of May” in Spanish; this year, it falls on a Sunday.


What is Cinco de Mayo?

According to The Columbus Dispatch, Cinco de Mayo is known as the Battle of Puebla Day. It is a way to celebrate the Mexican Army’s triumph against France at the Battle of Puebla, dated May 5th, 1862. This battle happened because Mexico wasn’t able to pay its debts to other nations, such as Spain, Britain, and France. After a couple of negotiations, the then-president of Mexico at that time, Benito Juarez, got Spain and Britain to pull out after promising repayment once the Mexican economy was stable again. However, France remained still with their decision and aimed to colonize Mexico.

Though Cinco de Mayo isn’t the biggest and most prestigious holiday in Mexico, it is universally celebrated in Mexican-American culture. It is a form of resistance to any foreign invaders and a way to acknowledge the civil rights of all Mexicans in the USA.


Enough about history; here are 5 best things to do for Cinco de Mayo if you live in NYC:

1. Indulge in tacos and cocktails at North America’s 2nd best bar, Superbueno, in East Village. With innovative flavors like Roasted Corn Sour and Mushroom Margarita, paired with their Dorilocos w/ Ceviche del Dia, it’s a Cinco de Mayo feast you won’t want to miss! Find them at 13 1st Avenue.

A photo of the Superbueno restaurant in NYC

2. Explore Astoria’s bustling food scene and discover hidden gems like Los Portales for delicious tacos, guacamole, and margaritas. Or head to Tacuba Cantina Mexicana for mouthwatering enchiladas and traditional Mexican dishes in a festive atmosphere.

A photo if the Tacuba Cantina Mexicana in NYC

3. Check out local bars and restaurants hosting Cinco de Mayo celebrations with live music, dance performances, and special drink menus.

4. Cruise into the new season at NYC’s only floating Mexican restaurant, La Barca Cantina. Enjoy Mexican street food and plenty of tequila while soaking in views from Pier 81 (W 41 Street & 12th Avenue).

A photo of the cruise at NYC's only floating Mexican restaurant, La Barca Cantina

5. Dive into Cinco de Mayo festivities at Pier 17 in The Seaport, with margaritas, mariachi music, brunch at Malibu Farm New York, and an all-day dance party at Koko by Pearl Alley. Don’t miss live music and food demos at the Tin Building!

Delicious The Seaport menu at Pier 17

6. Take advantage of Queens’ outdoor dining options and enjoy al fresco meals at restaurants like De Mole in Woodside or Casa Enrique in Long Island City. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with flavorful dishes and refreshing beverages in a charming outdoor setting.

A photo of de Mole in Woodside

7. Experience Stone Street’s Cinco de Mayo Street Festival in the Financial District, featuring Mexican street food, tequila tastings, live music, mariachi bands, dance performances, and more from May 3 to May 5, noon to midnight.

A photo of Stone Street

8. Discover unique Mexican crafts and souvenirs at local markets and shops in Queens. Places like Puebla Mini Market in Corona offer a variety of handmade goods, from pottery to textiles, perfect for adding a touch of Mexico to your home decor.

9. Head to The Ready Rooftop for $1 tacos and $9 margaritas during their happy hour. Enjoy the lively atmosphere and stunning Manhattan views at 112 E 11th St.

A photo of The Ready Rooftop in NYC

10. Keep an eye out for cultural events happening in Queens for Cinco de Mayo. Check out community centers like the Queens Museum or local parks for family-friendly activities, art exhibitions, and performances celebrating Mexican culture.


Cinco de Mayo in NYC is a vibrant and diverse celebration that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re savoring authentic Mexican cuisine, dancing in a parade, exploring cultural institutions, or enjoying a rooftop fiesta, the spirit of Cinco de Mayo shines bright in the Big Apple. So grab your sombrero, gather your friends and family, and join the festivities to honor Mexican heritage and enjoy a day filled with joy, flavor, and cultural appreciation. ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!