8 Places to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
Tacos and margaritas might be a staple for you when it comes to dining out, but if you need another reason to dig in this week, we’ve got one! Cinco de Mayo (May 5), commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla and is celebrated throughout parts of Mexico and largely across the United States. And in honor of this holiday, we’re celebrating Mexican culture with tacos, margaritas and everything in between. Check out this list of the best Mexican restaurants in Newport Beach to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!
With its pup-friendly patio, handcrafted margaritas and premium Mexican beer, this local taproom on the Balboa Peninsula is the perfect spot to sip and savor. Grab a seat at the bar or enjoy a cerveza al-fresco style on the covered patio. But whatever you do, be sure to order a pair of their Drunken Shrimp Tacos filled with cheese, shrimp, pico, fajitas, Baja sauce and green crack sauce.
If Cinco de Mayo is going to be a family affair this year, snag a table at Avila’s El Ranchito—a family-owned restaurant with locations in both Newport Beach and Corona del Mar. For more than 55 years, Avila’s has served up authentic Mexican dishes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Start with an order of the Mahi Mahi Ceviche, then move on to mains like the Sizzling Fajitas, Fresco Chile Relleno or the Grilled Fiesta Platter (perfect for sharing)!
Nothing beats Baja-style eats and marina views on Cinco de Mayo! SOL Mexican Cocina, located just off Mariner’s Mile, whips up south-of-the-border bites and specialty cocktails in a snazzy setting. Go for a Cinco de Mayo date night, and order a pair of horchata martinis to get the evening started! Then, feast on a few apps, like the Guacamole SOL and Coconut Calamari as you take in views of the sparkling bay.
Located in the shopping mecca that is Fashion Island, Red O features a menu of elevated Mexican eats that is sure to cure your cravings this May. Come in for brunch with the girls and dig into morning favorites like the Lobster Benedict, Chorizo Skillet and Chilaquiles, or stop by for happy hour and enjoy $12 cocktails and wines, $10 draft beers and a discounted selection of small plates and street tacos!
Tacos and tequila on the bay? Name a better duo. This Cinco de Mayo, GuacAmigos will be serving up authentic Mexican cuisine and their signature Mega-Ritas! Grab a table outside and watch the boats cruise by as you revel in the vibrant ambiance of this local hotspot! Pro tip: try the Braised Carnitas Tostadas with slow-braised pork carnitas, cilantro lime aioli, cranberry caramelized onions and fresh cilantro.
If you’re looking to keep things healthy this Cinco de Mayo, there’s no better place to dine than Gracias Madre! Mexican food isn’t known for being low-cal, but Gracias Madre does a fantastic job of delivering all the flavor without the guilt. The menu is chock-full of plant-based proteins and gluten-free options like the Burrito Bowl, Fajitas and Pozole. And did we mention how Insta-worthy the interior is? Bring your phone—you’ll want to capture the cuteness!
With family recipes that date back to 1923, El Cholo is a well-established gem when it comes to Mexican cuisine. The interior of the restaurant features vibrant decor, including colorful murals and traditional Mexican artwork—a festive atmosphere that captures the spirit of Mexico. Cure your Cinco de Mayo cravings this year with a plate of sizzling fajitas or a bowl of zesty ceviche! And in honor of the restaurant’s 100th anniversary, Mole Chicken Enchiladas have been added to the menu! Made with slow-braised shredded chicken, jack cheese, roasted chile and chocolate Mole, this dish is a must-try!
Feeling fancy this year? Tucked along Pacific Coast Hwy, Javier’s combines ocean views with an upscale ambiance for a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Grab a seat on the expansive patio and enjoy succulent grilled meats and fresh seafood dishes as you sip margaritas and enjoy an ocean breeze. Here, you’ll discover authentic Mexican flavors prepared with the finest ingredients—something Javier’s takes great pride in.
Written by: Kaylin Waizinger