Entertainment & Events
Join these Cinco de Mayo Celebrations Near You
The Cinco de Mayo Celebration in Balboa Park is emerging as another signature community-driven event, co-produced by the Balboa Park Conservancy and the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department. Head to Balboa Park this Saturday from 11am-6pm. People of all ages are invited to experience one of the region’s largest free Cinco de Mayo events at the first annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration in Balboa Park, featuring Mexican-themed music and dance performances, colorful horseback riders, strolling mariachis, hands-on activity booths for kids, arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, and more.
4105 Taylor Street, San Diego, 619-295-5111
Head to the “Two for Cinco” street taco bar in the Garden Room and enjoy drink specials in the lively Cantina, including cans of Tecate and Dos Equis for $5.50. Mariachis and ballet folklorico dancers will perform throughout the restaurant.
Old Town Cinco de Mayo Celebrates its 35th Year
Grab your amigos and head over to historic Old Town to spice up your weekend at the FREE annual Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo happening all weekend. Fiesta Old Town is sure to be muy caliente as it transforms the historic Old Town, creating bustling mercado, non-stop music, live entertainment, lucha libre wrestling, and a huge display of lowriders and other incredible autos. Get ready to shake your maracas to over 40 live Latin bands and groups on the Cafe Coyote Stage, Mariachis and the Ballet Folklorico competition in the historic state park. Between the music, feed your curiosity and love for history by exploring the museums, specialty shops and the lively streets where you can purchase an array of merchandise.
Osetra Seafood & Steaks
904 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Searching for a sophisticated spot for your Cinco de Mayo? Snag a seat at Osetra Seafood & Steaks, the Gaslamp Quarter’s premier dining destination. Known for its elegant yet modern dining space, a three-story wine tower, and gourmet seafood and hand-cut steaks, Osetra’s upscale menu is complemented by a full selection of hand-crafted cocktails. Sip on the Piñata, a mix of Azuñia Blanco organic tequila, tangy blood orange, a squeeze of lime juice, organic habanero-infused agave, and black salt for an unmatched Mexican drinking experience.
416 Third Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Let’s taco ‘bout the signature staple of a Cinco de Mayo celebration – the tacos! The Gaslamp’s newest brunch spot boasts an organic menu bursting with cultural flavors, featuring an extensive selection of taco plates for every discerning palate. Take your choice of the Fish Tacos, the light Jicama Tacos, the vegetarian-friendly Veggie Tacos, and even the vegan-friendly Jicama Soyrizo Tacos, all offered at 20% off all day on Cinco de Mayo.
The Smoking Gun
555 Market St, San Diego, CA 92101
This retro cocktail bar and eatery will transform into The Smoking Pistola on Cinco de Mayo. Come for all-day tasty taco specials and Patron drink specials, starting at 11:00 a.m. Party-goers can don their free sombreros and fiesta the day away – Ay-ay-ay!
Union Kitchen & Tap Gaslamp
333 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in San Diego’s energetic Gaslamp District with a trip to Union Kitchen & Tap. This downtown location will feature $5 Pacifico all day in addition to their brunch specialty, Mole Chicken Enchilada Plate, served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner specials will be served from 2 p.m. to close and will include a Carnitas Taco Plate and TJ Dogs served with fries. Follow this with a live DJ from 10 p.m. to close.
600 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
The downtown iconic restaurant and bar is hosting a one-of-a-kind Cinco de Mayo and Kentucky Derby Party, as the two both fall on Saturday, May 5th this year. Come in early and grab a table to catch all the action of the horse race and sip on Mint Juleps and Mumms Champagne. Afterwards, barleymash will be serving specialty Espolòn Tequila Margaritas in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. There will be live music throughout the day and prizes for the best dressed and the best hat.
The Whiskey House
420 Third Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Don’t let the name of this whiskey-centric bar fool you – although they feature the largest whiskey collection in all of California with over 2,500 different bottles, they also have an immense list of diverse craft cocktails for all occasions, mixed with premier ingredients. Tame your thirst for tequila with the Yellow Jacket, made with El Charo Reposado tequila, St. Germain, yellow chartreuse, and The Whiskey House’s house orange bitters.
The Duck Dive
4650 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92109
Steps from the sand in Pacific Beach, The Duck Dive is celebrating Cinco de Mayo a few days early with their Battle of the Beach Bartenders on May 2nd. Come watch local bartenders concoct any cocktail they chose using Los Sundays Tequila, a delicious coconut-flavored tequila. Enjoy $5 Los Sunday Tequila specials, along with beer and taco specials starting at 6:00 p.m. There will also be guest judges and live music throughout the evening, so come watch some of San Diego’s finest bartenders work their magic behind the bar.
Mavericks Beach Club
860 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA 92109
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Pacific Beach’s newest hotspot, Mavericks Beach Club. The 15,000 sq.-foot indoor outdoor venue will be turning up the heat but keeping your drinks cool with their Mavericks Six Packs of Pacifico and Modelo. Carry your cooler around while you check out the dance floor, upstairs DJ or play games like cornhole or Giant Jenga. Nosh on puffy tacos, quesadilla crisps piled high with guac, pico, lime crema, and queso, or their famous Wahoo tostadas! Cinco de Drinko should not be missed at Mavericks!
Bub’s @ The Beach
1030 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
Catch all the tequila-fueled action at Bub’s @ The Beach, a local favorite found in the heart of lively Pacific Beach. Fans flock to this wood-and-brick dive bar for football, shuffleboard, and great grub – the killer cocktail list doesn’t hurt either. Think outside the box with your traditional tequila drinking with the El Caliente Mule, made with Espolón Blanco tequila and topped with a house made pineapple-jalapeno syrup, then mixed with ginger beer, soda water, and bitters for distinctive Southern California flair.
4325 Ocean Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109
If ocean-front dining is on the docket this Cinco de Mayo, Waterbar in Pacific Beach will be offering $7 Don Julio Margaritas, Homemade Churros, featured taco specials such as one for $2, three for $5, and six for $9, a blended margarita bar, and their Street Taco Special made with your choice of grilled rockfish, chipotle-braised beef, shredded chicken, veggie or shrimp, salsa roja, ancho crema, shredded cabbage and salsa vinaigrette.
Pacific Beach AleHouse
721 Grand Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
Get hoppy this Cinco de Mayo at Pacific Beach AleHouse and enjoy $5 14-ounce Pacificos all day, $13.95 Fish Tacos, and $11.95 Gringo Tacos. Pair this with the restaurant’s stunning ocean views from their second-story patio, and you won’t regret spending the day at this local gem.
3796 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
After a full day of Cinco de Mayo festivities, skip the siesta and cap off your evening with a visit to The Rail, Hillcrest’s iconic nightlife destination. Dishing up modern versions of artisanal cocktails to pair with their post-Prohibition era décor, The Rail will be celebrating the holiday with a Cinco de Mayo themed City Royals Drag Showcase. Starting at 8:00 P.M., a $5 cover will earn you access to the best show in town, complete with drink specials all night long for a fiesta that’s loud and proud.
1735 Hancock St., San Diego, CA 92101
Curb your south-of-the-border cravings with a seafood escape at Fishmonger’s Market, San Diego’s European-style seafood market and dining destination. Home to a multicultural flavor experience through delicate crudo plates and fresh-from-the-case fish, Fishmonger’s Market is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a special of 12 Local Baja Oysters coupled with an ice-cold Corona or Pacifico beer for only $20 at their crudo bar, transporting you to a Mexican beachside cabana without ever leaving San Diego.
Del Sur Mexican Cantina
2310 30th Street, South Park, San Diego, CA 92104
Fiesta over to South Park for a special Cinco de Mayo celebration at Del Sur Mexican Cantina. The lively and vibrant bar and eatery will be offering drink specials on their one-of-a-kind margaritas, which will pair nicely with any of Del Sur’s authentic Mexican dishes including taco plates, enchiladas and burritos, among others. After a few margaritas, let loose and dance the afternoon and evening away to beats spun by a live DJ. Specials include: $6 house margaritas, $6 red or white sangrias, $7 mules and palomas, $4 select Mexican draft beers. If you’re celebrating early, come between 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. for a delicious brunch menu along with $20 bottles of champagne with choice of juice: watermelon, pineapple, OJ or grapefruit.
Casa de Pico, Grossmont Center, La Mesa
5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa, 619-463-3267
Celebrate with carnitas tacos and Corona beer buckets. Additional drink specials will be offered both days, including hourly margarita specials featuring Tres Generaciones, Cabo Wabo and Don Julio tequilas. Mariachis, troubadours and ballet folklorico dancers will provide live entertainment throughout the restaurant.
5157 College Ave. Ste B, San Diego, CA 92115
Recently re-opened near SDSU, CREAM is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with delicious, discounted ice cream creations. From April 30 – May 5, all guests will receive a $1.50 off the following three innovative ice cream treats:
CREAM Taco: The over-the-top, indulgent “taco” contains three giant scoops of ice cream and two toppings placed inside a freshly baked, taco-shaped waffle cone.
Cin-ful Churro Milkshake: CREAM’s super-premium Cin-Ful Churro milkshake contains actual churro chunks and cinnamon spices.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Milkshake: The brand-new item contains rich and creamy Chocoholic ice cream with added spices to give the shake some added heat.
Ebullition Beer Works
2449 Cades Way, Suite D, Vista, 92081
BBack on tap for a limited time is Habanero Ale. There’ll be food by Screaming Pete’s Barbecue, including both barbecue and Mexican food. DJ Tone will be mixing a number of musical genres.
Casa de Bandini, The Forum, Carlsbad
1901 Calle Barcelona, Carlsbad, 760-634-3443
Spice up your fiesta with the Carnitas Taco Sampler and wash them down with Casa de Bandini’s new Cazadores Palomas. Sip on specialty cocktails with drink specials by the hour, offered Friday and Saturday. The fiesta wouldn’t be complete without live mariachi music and dancers.
Casa Sol y Mar, Del Mar Highlands Town Center, Del Mar
12865 El Camino Real, 858-792-4100
Festive Cantina specials include “Tour of Mexico” beer buckets or Hornitos tequila flights for $20. Enjoy with the choice of a taco sampler, cantina tostada or jalisco wings. Music and folkloric performances will take place throughout the weekend.
Wokou Ramen & Yakitori, Pacific Highlands Ranch
5965 Village Way, San Diego, CA 92130
Think outside the box with your Cinco de Mayo celebrations at Wokou Ramen & Yakitori. Urban and unexpected, this ramen spot is making waves in San Diego for their distinctive SoCal flair, bringing together a culture shock of two diverse dining favorites with the Spicy Carnitas Ramen. Combining a tasty Asian-inspired dish with slow-braised carnitas, shredded chili, green onion, soft egg, and a wedge of lime, this unique dish will be offered for only $10 for your one-of-a-kind Cinco de Mayo feast.
Union Kitchen & Tap Encinitas
1108 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Union Kitchen & Tap Encinitas is geared up to celebrate the occasion with a slew of specials including their Mezcal el Chappo specialty margarita, $5 Pacifico/Tequila Flights and live music from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Quell your cravings with a specialty brunch until 2 p.m., featuring Mexican Chorizo Huevos Ranchero, in addition to all-day food specials such as Crawfish Popcorn Tacos with Habanero Crema, Guajillo-Rubbed Carne Asada with Fire-Roasted Tomato and Serrano Salsa, and Achiote Marinated Chicken Tacos with Salsa Verde. Shared plates include Carne Asada Fries, as well as Opah Belly & Ono Ceviche.
Jalisco Cantina, Oceanside
213 N Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054
Raise a glass to the vibrant Mexican culture at Jalisco Cantina, Oceanside’s first popularly-acclaimed tequila bar. Named for the home region of the magnificence blue agave plant, Jalisco carries an exclusive selection of some of the finest tequilas and mezcals in the world – and what Cinco de Mayo is complete without tequila? Sip on tasting flights of tequila and mezcal or toast with house specialty margaritas including the Cilantro Smash, the Mango Serrano, and the Pineapple Jalapeno, served with unmatched flavor and flair all day and night to take your Cinco de Mayo to the new heights.
The Taco Stand, Encinitas
642 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Looking for a low-key celebration filled with the best tacos in town? Head to The Taco Stand to indulge in Tijuana-taco inspired menu items, including their Al Pastor, filled with rotisserie-marinated pork, cilantro, onions, cilantro sauce, and pineapple strips. Don’t forget to end your Cinco with something sweet; Hot Churros, made fresh each order, are available at some locations, or locally made paletas from La Palmita Paleteria. They have locations in Downtown, Northpark, and La Jolla as well.