Historically, Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico’s defeat of the French army in 1862— but popularly, it’s a day that celebrates Mexican culture, mostly with tacos and tequila. These are the most festive and authentic spots in Philadelphia to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

LOCO PEZ

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Loco Pez—a quirky, cash-only, LA-style taqueria in Fishtown —dishes out some of the best tacos in Philly. The burritos, quesadillas, and tacos are modeled after the simple deliciousness of taco-truck street favorites and are always made with the freshest ingredients. More than 25 types of tequila, paired with an extensive cocktail and cerveza list, make this is an authentic place to celebrate Mexican culture. Drink specials and sombrero giveaways are an added bonus.

Loco Pez
2401 E. Norris Street
(267) 886-8061

EL REY

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Stephen Starr’s El Rey is an upscale version of a Mexican dive, situated in the heart of Rittenhouse Square. But the real party happens outside, as Ranstead Street between 20th and 21st streets becomes a festival featuring mariachi bands, a piñata, Mexican street food, beer, cocktails, and more. From 2 to 10 p.m. on Cinco de Mayo, inside or outside, you can enjoy margaritas and savory dishes like tostadas with tinga chicken and chilaquiles with fried eggs at this celebration.

El Rey
2013 Chestnut Street
(215) 563-3330

LOLITA

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Located just two blocks from The Independent Hotel, Lolita is a chic Mexican restaurant that offers modern twists on traditional fare and fancy drink concoctions (like a subtly sweet pear and basil margarita or a gin cocktail with a cilantro-tomatillo-jalapeño syrup). Last year, the celebrations lasted for three days, with a boozy brunch, BBQ beer dinner, Margarita Monday, and a fiesta from noon to midnight.

Lolita
106 South 13th Street
(215) 546-7100

BAR VOLVÉR

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Head to this swanky, modernly-decorated Garces Group restaurant for a variety of drink specials and Mexican music. Bloody Marys with Mezcal, Pacificos, Milagro tequila tasting flights, and more inventive cocktails will flow at discounted prices on Cinco de Mayo. Enjoy your drinks with an array of exceptionally elegant small plates, such as a paella maki roll with shrimp, chorizo, peppers and ponzu, charcuterie, and corn croquettes with huitlacoche crema and pickled pearl onion.

Bar Volvér
300 South Broad Street
(215) 670-2303

CAFÉ YNEZ

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Chef JC Piña brings the tastes of his hometown, Mexico City, to Philly at this south-of-the-border-style diner. To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, enjoy Cochinita Pibil, or three pork tacos, for only $10. Or try the rack of lamb with creamy polenta and asparagus, or a large steak burrito with refried bean and manchego cheese. Bring your own booze to this BYOB spot, including tequila—a rotating mixes of fresh juices are available to mix margaritas.

Cafe Ynez
2025 Washington Ave
(215) 278-7579