Though Cinco de Mayo’s origins date to 1862 and the Battle of Puebla, it has become quite clear that food and drink specials have become an add-on the holiday traditions. And the Phoenix area’s many Mexican – and some non-Mexican – eateries have some impressive menu items geared to Saturday's holiday. Get ready for some house margaritas, street tacos at the ready, and even a Cinco de Mayo Match Cooking Class, because it's just about Cinco de Mayo 2018 here in the Valley.
It probably isn't your first thought when thinking Cinco de Mayo specials, but this German-leaning Scottsdale eatery is offering Cinco de Sausage from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Food specials include the al pastor sausage with charred pineapple mint salsa for $12, a pork chorizo verde sausage with blackened shrimp for $14, and the Mexican street corn with Haus hot sauce, cotija, cilantro, and lime for $6. To drink? Some $7 Mexican mules, New Belgium’s Mural Agua Fresca Cerveza for $6, or berry margaritas. Call 480-947-4006 or see the Brat Haus website for details.
It’s time for Campo de Mayo at Camp Social with servings of Chef Esteban Contreras’ tacos. They come with your choice of chicken, shrimp, or even octopus. There will be alcohol, including $3 Modelo drafts, $3 Pacifico bottles, $5 house margaritas, $8 Casamigos shots or Casamigos margaritas, and $20 buckets of Corona or Corona Premier. The party runs from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. For reservations, call 480-750-0506 or visit the Camp Social website.
For lunch, happy hour, dinner, and then a late-night happy hour, CRUjiente Tacos in Arcadia will be hooking up food and drink for the holiday. The bar will be serving Premier Cru margaritas for $5 from noon to 11 p.m., while both happy hours include specials like the Korean fried chicken taco for $3.50 and the Tacos Crujientes for $5. For details, call 602-687-7777 or see the CRUjiente Tacos website.
Elly's Brunch + Café
This Uptown Plaza breakfast spot is serving a “buy one, get one-half off Mexican-inspired dishes” deal on the big day. Think chilaquiles verdes and huevos rancheros There’s also a dish called Migas Frittata, which comes complete with spicy chorizo, avocado, jalapeno, tomato, queso fresco, and cilantro with chips, salsa, and sour cream. This is in addition to $4 margaritas and $6 breakfast burritos. Cinco de Mayo specials run from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 602-603-9600 or see the Elly's Brunch + Café website.
Gallo Blanco is celebrating the holiday with five days of deals. From Tuesday, May 1 to Saturday, May 5, take advantage of daily specials like $10 La Parillada platters on May 1, $5 bowls of posole on May 2, all-day happy hour on May 3, $4 sangrias on May 4, and free churros with every order over $20 on the big day. And because you’ll need it, there will be $4 Bloody Marys on Sunday, May 6. See the Gallo Blanco website for details.
Kelly’s at Southbridge
Cinco parties that will also be acknowledging the Kentucky Derby in a big way (both are Saturday) are not few and far between in Scottsdale. So to help narrow things down, we recommend Kelly’s at Southbridge for margs and the race. Kelly's is hosting a party from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on the big day. The place will be serving $5 margs and $9 mint juleps (plus they’ll be handing out prizes for best hat and best-dressed Kentucky Derby couple, and offering live music). Find more information at 480-393-3205 or the Kelly’s at Southbridge Facebook page.
Macayo’s Mexican Restaurants
They’re taking the Cinco thing seriously over at Macayo's Mexican Restaurants. Food specials and events run all day from Tuesday, May 1, to Saturday, May 5, and include drink specials like $3 Modelo Especial cans, $5 house margaritas, $8 1800 Reposado margaritas, and a $6 beer and shot combo – meaning a Modelo can and shot of 1800 Reposado. Specials also include food like the $8.99 Mexican Flag Chimi topped with three kinds of sauce (relleno, fire-roasted green enchilada, and Baja), and sided with Mexican rice or refried beans.
Match Restaurant & Lounge
Sometimes food just tastes better when you cook it yourself. That’s the idea behind the Cinco de Mayo Match Cooking Class with Chef Alex Stratta at the Found:RE Hotel. The Cinco de Mayo-themed class focuses on recipes for ceviche Acapulqueno (shrimp and white fish in ceviche with cucumber and avocado) and huachinango Veracruzana (red snapper in a spicy tomato sauce with olives and capers). Cost is $50 per person, and the class goes from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Reserve a spot at 602-875-8080. See the Match website for details.
Nothing like killing two holidays with one stone. Better yet, two different cocktails. Ocean Prime also is celebrating Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby (yes, both happening May 5) and calling it Cinco de Derby. There will be two unique cocktails on deck. First, a signature tequila cocktail with Corzo Silver Tequila, squeezed orange and lime juice, and house-infused agave nectar. Next, the Ocean Prime mint julep with Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon, simple syrup, Disaronno amaretto liqueur, some Angostura bitter, and mint leaves. The party starts at 5 p.m. Make reservations by calling 480-347-1313 or visit the Ocean Prime website.
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Old Town Gringos
The Cinco de Mayo celebration is happening at Old Town Gringos in Scottsdale. Food options include the Mamas and Papas Nachos with ground beef, steak, green chile chicken, or blackened shrimp, and fajitas with steak, shrimp, chicken, chorizo, barbacoa, or ground beef. There’s also the house burrito with ground beef, refried beans, rice, pico de gallo, a three-cheese blend and ancho sour cream, and taco platters with a choice of french fries or tater tots. And to drink, there’ll be $5 Pacifico, Modelo Especial drafts, and $6 OTG house margaritas with Jose Cuervo Tradicional. The party is free and runs from 11 to 2 a.m., but for more information, call 480-423-3800 or see the Old Town Gringos website.
From 3 to 7 p.m. on the big day, Tavern Americana in Scottsdale is offering food specials like their spicy chicharon for $6, street corn for $8, Taco Pizza for $14, and Mexican street tacos with choice of pork, carne Aasada, or chicken for $12. And since it’s Cinco de Mayo, expect $3 Corona and Corona Light beers, and house margaritas, either traditional or prickly pear, for $6. For more information, call 480-502-6740 or see the Tavern Americana website.
With three locations (hint: Tempe, Scottsdale, and Gilbert), Thirsty Lion is more than ready to host Cinco de Mayo. Hungry guests may select a number of South of the Border menu items, including smoked chicken nachos, pork carnitas tacos, green chili chicken sandwich, and more. If you’re looking for craft cocktails, they’ve got a spicy grapefruit margarita, blood orange margarita, and a fresh squeezed margarita. Beer drinker? There’s plenty of Dos Equis Special Lager. Saturday hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Find more information at the Thirsty Lion website.