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Here is our guide to the 10 best places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in New York City (NYC) on and around the first weekend in May. From music and dance to special meals at restaurants all over town, Gotham has everything you need for a festive celebration this year.

The 10 best places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in New York City (NYC)

Cinco de Mayo is coming up on – when else – the fifth of May. For those who don’t know, this annual holiday honors the anniversary of Mexico’s victory in the Battle of Puebla; an 1862 triumph over the Second French Empire. It is not Mexico’s Independence Day – which is celebrated on September 16th.

The best places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in New York City (NYC)

The best places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in New York City (NYC).

If you happen to find yourself in New York during this year’s holiday, you may be looking for ways to celebrate Mexican and Mexican-American culture. Well, you’ve come to the right place: these ten spots are offering food, music, and community in honor of Cinco de Mayo, and we are proud to send you their way. Best of all, the party doesn’t stop – or start – on May 5th; there are more than enough events to keep you entertained all weekend long.

The 10 best places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in New York City (NYC)

1.Viva El Cinco De Mayo: Festival Del Son

This is the Cinco de Mayo event for 2023. And since it’s happening on Saturday afternoon – May 6th, the day after Cinco de Mayo – everyone should be able to attend. Sometime before the starting hour of 3 pm, make your way to Queens’ Kupferberg Center for the Arts for a special music and dance festival, presented with support from the Consulate General of Mexico in New York and the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York. On deck for the day are Ensemble Huasteco, Mariachi Real De Mexico, Tlen Huicani, and Ballet Folklorico Mexicano De Nueva York. We know this show is going to be fun for the whole family, and the perfect way to spend the holiday. Tickets are $20.

2. Frida on Cinco de Mayo

And if you’re celebrating with kids, here’s a second great way to mark the weekend.  On May 5th at 3 pm, the Woodlawn Heights Library is hosting an afternoon story-time that’s all about artistic icon, Frida Kahlo. In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the children will listen to a book about Kahlo’s life – and then have a chance to create their own art, in the hopes of emulating her legendary talent.

3. Time Out Market Presents: Cinco de Mayo in Brooklyn Bridge Park

Head to the most beautiful spot in the five boroughs – Brooklyn Bridge Park – for a lively Friday night celebration on May 5th. As well as food from several of Time Out Market’s vendors, there will be margaritas from Maestro Dobel Tequila, live music, prize giveaways, and more. Snap some pictures of the Brooklyn bridge – the kinds that you’d usually find on tourists’ Instagram stories – and make the most of Cinco de Mayo. From 4 to 8 pm.

The best places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in New York City (NYC)

The best places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in New York City (NYC).

4. Cinco de Mayo With a Puerto Rican Twist: Cooking Class

We love Essex Market, and we love the event they are hosting in honor of Cinco de Mayo. On Thursday, May 4th at 6:30 pm, come to La Cocina de Loisaida for a culinary lesson with Maria Bido, Lower East Side resident and local caterer. Bido will be sharing her abuela’s recipes and techniques with the class, and together you will prepare a holiday feast: pulled garlic chicken, arepa de maiz, guacamole with pickled red onions, and – best of all – churros. And don’t worry, before class is over you will of course have the chance to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

5. Alma Negra

If you’re here because you’re trying to figure out where to have dinner on May 5th, look no further than Park Slope’s Alma Negra – just make sure you’re ready for dinner and a party.  There will be DJs, specialty cocktails, happy hour, and more, plus all the items off Alma Negra’s always-delicious menu. We love this place, and we know they’re going to do the holiday right. Book your tickets now, because they’re selling fast.

6. Cinco de Maya

Richard Sandoval’s Maya is offering a special Cinco de Maya menu, starting at 11 am on May 5th. The restaurant’s dinner menu will be offered all day long – from eleven am to eleven am – along with two specials: an El Cinco Margarita made with reposado tequila, and rib eye tacos. If you’d like to kick off your celebrations with Friday brunch on the Upper East Side, this is the place. And as an added bonus, happy hour runs from eleven am to four pm in the restaurant, and from four pm to seven pm in the bar.

The best places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in New York City (NYC).

7. Destinee Aaliyah Entertainment Presents Cinco de Mayo

On May 5th at four pm, Destinee Aaliyah Entertainment presents a Cinco de Mayo event at 3 Dollar Bill, Brooklyn’s premiere queer bar and performance space. With appearances by Crystal Methyd (from season twelve of RuPaul’s Drag Race!), Sergio, Freeda Kulo, Roxie Chanel, and Privilege, this is sure to be a night to remember – and you can also expect raffles, mariachi music, and more. The party goes till ten pm.

8. Brooklyn Bowl

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Bowl will host a performance by the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra, featuring Solange Prat and DJ John John. On May 5th at 6 pm, the 11-piece salsa group will take the stage with a set list of the songs you know and love. Hear your favorite tunes as you’ve never heard them before, arranged with the thrilling sounds of salsa.

9. Live Afro-Cuban Funk: Cinco de Mayo with Casa Mantequilla

If you’ve never been to The Porch – the exceptional venue for live entertainment in Sugar Hill, Harlem – now’s your chance. On May 5th, they’re hosting Harlem-based collective Casa Mantequilla; the multilingual band plays an electric fusion of West African, Funk, and Latin music, and we know this is going to be one show-stopping performance. The night start at 8 pm, and there will be food and drinks available. Advanced tickets ($15) are highly recommended.

The best places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in New York City (NYC).

10. Casa de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is over, but you want to keep celebrating. Well, on May 6th, head to this belated Cinco de Mayo party, hosted by Goldie Harris, Leigh Paris, Boye & Ggwavee at Brooklyn’s Rebel Café. Casa de Mayo is going to be the ultimate dance experience, with places to play both indoors and outdoors. From 3 pm to 10 pm.

The 10 best places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in New York City (NYC)

Those are the recommendations of a native New Yorker on how to spend May 5 feeling festive (and full of good food). The best places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in New York City this year. Have fun!

Abbie Martin Greenbaum

Abbie Martin Greenbaum is a writer, reader, and pop culture connoisseur, who loves storytelling, coffee, and dessert. Her work has also appeared in Playbill.