May the Fifth be with you: Brooklyn’s best spots for Cinco de Mayo

May the Fifth be with you: Brooklyn’s best spots for Cinco de Mayo
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

It is not just drinko de Mayo!

On Cinco de Mayo, Brooklyn offers plenty of exciting ways to celebrate the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. We have mariachi bands, great Mexican food — but if you want to use this as an excuse to celebrate with tequila, we cannot argue with that. Here are some of the best spots for Cinco de Mayo!

Red, white, and green

Named for Mexico City’s hippest neighborhood, Mesa Coyoacan in Williamsburg throws a fiesta for Cinco de Mayo every year! The party starts as soon as the Mexican restaurant and bar opens at noon, and will last until midnight. Groove to Mexican music all day, including contemporary Latin indie rock, salsa, and merengue. And the night’s drink special is the Mexican-flag margarita — red, white, and green — using tropical latin fruits like the sour guanabana.

Mesa Coyoacan [372 Graham Ave. between Skillman and Conselyea avenues in Williamsburg, (718) 782–8171, www.mesacoyoacan.com]. Noon–midnight.

Mi casa es su casa

At Park Slope restaurant Fonda, the band Mariachi Guadalajara will keep things hopping between 7 pm and 8 pm, but you should show up earlier — to make sure you get an seat, and to take advantage of the happy hour, which starts at 3 pm! Milagro tequila and Montelobos mezcal will be served all night long. (mezcal, for those new to the spirit, is a smoky liquor distilled from agave, and made mostly in Oaxaca, Mexico). “Su Casa” is the night’s $9 drink special, made with equal amounts tequila and mezcal, along with pineapple, and cinnamon syrup. Yum!

Fonda [434 Seventh Ave. between 14th and 15th streets in Park Slope, (718) 369–3144, www.fondarestaurant.com]. 3 pm.

Spirits of Mexico

Pan-Latin cocktail bar Leyenda will put its focus on tequila and mezcal tonight, starting at 7 pm. Cocktails featuring Del Maguey mezcal and Partida tequila will be $10 all night (that’s cheap for drinks this good). The night will feature 1 oz. copitas, little clay saucers you can use to take shots of Del Mageuy and Partida spirits. The bar is hoping to bring in a band, but Latin music will be in the air one way or another.

Leyenda [221 Smith St. between Baltic and Butler streets in Cobble Hill, (347) 987-3260, leyendabk.com]. 7 pm–1 am.

Thirsty like the wolf

La Loba Cantina just opened up in January, so come christen the bar for its first ever Cinco de Mayo bash! It will feature drink specials all night long, including $8 margaritas, $6 micheladas, and $8 Ilegal Mezcal pours. The restaurant and bar also offers a long list of sipping mezcals, each served with sliced orange and “Sal de Gusano” the agave worm salt prized by serious connoisseurs.

La Loba Cantina [709 Church Ave. between E. Seventh and E. Eighth streets in Kensington, (347) 295–1141, lalobacantina.com] 4 pm–1 am.

Do it yourself!

Try making your own delicious Mexican food during the Brooklyn Kitchen’s Cinco de Mayo Party cooking class. Sign up quick — there are only a few spots left! The room will be divided into four stations for building pozole (a traditional Mexcian stew), tacos, tortillas, and a hands-on salsa-making workshop with Smorgasburg roasted salsa-maker Jalapa Jar, which will also showcase its signature breakfast tacos (because it is never too late to enjoy a breakfast taco). While you wait for your food to finish cooking, enjoy some beer and margaritas!

Cinco de Mayo Party at the Brooklyn Kitchen [100 Frost St. between Manhattan Avenue and Leonard Street in Williamsburg, (718) 389–2982, www.thebrooklynkitchen.com]. 6:30 pm. $75.

South of the Coney border

Head down to the southernmost tip of Brooklyn to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Margarita Island. The Coney Island outdoor party spot will throw a giant bash for the occasion, with two-for-one margaritas from 7 pm to 9 pm, and disc jockeys keeping the party thumping. Use the drink special to work your way as far as you can through the bar’s vast menu of margarita flavors, which includes peach, sour apple, strawberry, mango, watermelon, pomegranate, agave nectar, and two new tastes for the occasion: passion fruit and wild berry.

Margarita Island [1105 Bowery St. between Jones Walk and W. 12th Street in Coney Island, (917) 723–3232, www.margaritaislandci.com]. 7 pm.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Shrine to tequila: Mesa Coyoacan will feature a special red, white, and green margarita for Cinco de Mayo.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini