It's fiesta time. Cinco de Mayo, which falls on a Sunday this year, commemorates an important moment in Mexico's history, when its army defeated France in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla, a turning point in the war between the two countries. The victory was short-lived and France occupied Mexico for years after that, but the date continues to be commemorated in Puebla and by Mexican-Americans north of the border.
It's celebrated in a decidedly less-serious way by many other Americans, who use the day as an excuse to down tequila shots and party to the sounds of mariachi bands. To that end, many South Florida bars and restaurants are joining in on the fun with special menus, drink specials and raucous parties.
Here are the best places to party in South Florida on Cinco de Mayo.
Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach 801 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Head to this Florida resort and yachting complex nestled between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a bevy of drink specials. Its Breezes tavern, Waves eatery, and new rooftop pool, High Tide Lounge, will offer 5 for $25 Corona buckets, $6 micheladas, and $8 tequila shots alongside a menu of chipotle shrimp and mojo chicken tacos, queso fresco, pico de gallo, black bean, corn salsa, and flour tortillas. There will also be complimentary instructional food demos poolside beginning at noon.
Bar Rita 401 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale
Bar Rita, Fort Lauderdale's vibrant Mexican restaurant from the owners of Tap 42, will host a Cinco de Mayo block party on Sunday, May 5, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Highlights include
Beach House Pompano
270 N. Pompano Beach Blvd., Pompano Beach
Located directly on the beach near the Pompano pier, this two-story restaurant's panoramic second-floor bar will serve up a special, made-from-scratch Cinco de Mayo egg burrito during brunch from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ($12). Guests can also enjoy unlimited bubbly with a rooftop view followed by half-priced margaritas from 4 to 7 p.m.
14575 SW Fifth St., Pembroke Pines
Brimstone Woodfire Grill in the Shops at Pembroke Pines will be serving a special Cinco de Mayo brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Menu items include chicken chilaquiles ($15), huevos rancheros ($18), and an egg burrito ($16). Guests are welcome to stay late and drink half price House Margaritas from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. ($7).
452 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale
In honor of Cinco de Mayo, Doc B's Restaurant + Bar is slashing the prices of its tequila drinks in half. The Avión Silver will be priced at $6, Don Julio Blanco and Casamigos Reposado at $7, and its special tequila drink, the salted and on the rocks Internal Affair made with tequila, jalapeño, pineapple, and basil will be a steal at just $7.
15 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach
817 E Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
El Camino Mezcal & Tequila Bar offers an authentic Mexican dining experience, from its decor to food and cocktails. For Cinco De Mayo, its Las Olas location will host the Los Viajeros mariachi band from noon to 4 p.m., followed by a set by DJ Angelo, who will hit the decks from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. The Delray Beach location will host DJ Savage
401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr’s El Vez restaurant is celebrating its first anniversary just in time for Cinco de Mayo. A vintage Don Julio pickup truck will be handing out samples of the signature tequila at the corner of Bayshore Drive. At the beachfront
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Lona Cocina y Tequileria
321 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Gather your friends for a lively fiesta at Mexican chef Pablo Salas' Lona Cocina y Tequileria, where you'll find an unlimited guacamole bar for $10 per person, tacos al pastor, and barbacoa tacos made to order at two for $12 from 3 to 11 p.m. The eatery will also have beer and tequila specials.
1313 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale