Cinco de Mayo, otherwise known as Cinco de Drinko, is upon us. And while Baltimore may not be rich in Mexican culture, we are a celebratory city—meaning there are lots of events coming up over the next week.
But first, a little history to help you appear knowledgeable as you sip from your margarita...
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican war. A common misconception about the holiday is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day (that’s Sept. 16 if you want to schedule your drinking ahead of time). Somewhat surprisingly, Cinco de Mayo is primarily celebrated in the U.S. We love it so much that we consume 81 million pounds of avocados on Cinco de Mayo every year (and on any given day we consume double the amount of tequila as in Mexico!).
Alright, history lesson’s over. Let’s fiesta!
Cinco de Mayo Events
4th Annual Federal Hill Fiesta
When: Sunday, May 1 from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Where: Between Charles and Light Street
Start off the week with Mexican spirit (and spirits) in Federal Hill. The event, hosted by BMORE Around Town and the Federal Hill Hospitality Association will be bringing Mexico to the neighborhood with food and drink specials, live music and a taco eating championship (don’t be surprised if you see me up there). Tickets are $10 when purchased in advance. For more info, click here.
Cinco de Market
When: Thursday, May 5 from 5 – 11 p.m.
Where: Mount Vernon Marketplace
If you’re not familiar with Mount Vernon Marketplace then you’re in for a treat. It’s a foodie’s dream. The market is filled with a variety of local culinary experts who are seriously dedicated to their craft. With all that culinary talent in one place, you are sure to have one of the best Cinco de Mayo meals in Baltimore. Cinco de Market will feature a Mariachi band, tequila shots and a ton of traditional Mexican specialties. To learn more about Mount Vernon Marketplace, visit their website.
Cinco de Mayo Bar Crawl
When: Thursday, May 5 from 5 – 10 p.m.
Where: Federal Hill
I was hesitant to put this on the list because I have a serious issue with Lindy Promos charging me money to go into bars that I can typically get into for free just because it’s a holiday (i.e. Irish Stroll). But, if you’re going to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Fed you have to go to Bandito’s, No Way Jose and Blue Agave—and they’re all on the crawl. There are food and drink specials at each bar, and $3 Miller Light, $4 Blue Moon, $4 Summer Shandy at all the bars. Tickets are $10. For details, click here.
WTMD First Thursday
When: Thursday, May 5 (music starts at 6:30 p.m.)
Where: Canton Waterfront Park
So technically this event isn’t Cinco de Mayo-themed, but picture this—you’re drinking an ice cold beer from The Brewer’s Art, while looking at the sunset over the Chesapeake Bay, sitting in a lawn chair, listening to the sweet, sweet tunes of Ra Ra Riot—how could you not want to go? Plus it’s the inaugural First Thursday of the season, so that’s worth celebrating too. For details, click here.
Cinco de Mayo Restaurant Specials:
(I solemnly swear to grow this list as more restaurants get back to me/post deals).
1703 Aliceanna St.
Papi’s, one of my favorite taco joints in all of Baltimore, is offering specials all day, including $12 pitchers of Dos Equis and $3 shots of tequila.
1110 S. Charles St.
Mad River is hosting their first annual Cinco de Drinko Fiesta with some pretty sweet deals, including $2 Tacos, $6 Avion Margaritas, $10 Power Margaritas feat. an extra shot of Avion Tequila, $4 Corona & Corona Lt. and $20 Corona Buckets.
1032 Light St.
I don’t really know what they have as drink specials for Cinco de Mayo, but they make my favorite marg in Baltimore, so you should go.
MEX Tequila Bar
Power Plant Live! 26 Market Pl.
Mex is celebrating their 10 year anniversary and Cinco de Mayo May 5 – 7. Thursday, drink $4 margaritas all day, have your picture taken with a live donkey, hear from DJ Pablo Antonio Y La Firma and take a swing at a pinata. If you’re up for round two/three on Friday and Saturday, click here for more details.
2907 O'Donnell St.
They serve their margaritas in a hubcap for $18 everyday. I probably don't need to say more.