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6 Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in San Diego

The best places to eat, drink, dance, and watch Lucha Libre wrestlers duke it out this May 5



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Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo

Naturally, some of the biggest fiestas outside of Mexico celebrating Cinco de Mayo are right here in San Diego. Though we love our tacos, tequila, and Mexican culture every day of the year, May 5 is a chance to double down with food and drink specials all over the city. From happenings at swanky bars to free music in Balboa Park, there’s a lot going on. Look no further for the best places to eat, drink, dance, and celebrate this Saturday. 

 

Old Town Fiesta Cinco de Mayo

Where: Old Town
When: May 4 to 6

Every year Old Town plays host to a little Cinco de Mayo celebration—a three-day extravaganza drawing 100,000 visitors to what is purportedly the biggest fiesta of its kind on this side of the border. It’s not just margaritas and mariachi either (although mariachis will be frequently serenading attendees on Saturday and Sunday). The weekend boasts a constant stream of live entertainment, demonstrations of Lucha Libre wrestling, Aztec dancers, rope trick performances, and a fleet of lowrider cars. Look for specials at neighborhood restaurants like Casa Guadalajara’s “two for cinco” deal pairing street tacos and beer cans for low prices.

In the state historic park, folkloric ballet dancers of all ages will battle it out in Cinco de Mayo Folklorico Festival competitions while onlookers enjoy margarita and tequila specials.

 

Balboa Park Cinco de Mayo

Where: Balboa Park, various locations
When: May 5

The day of free Mexican music and dance starts at 11:20 a.m. with a performance from La Fiesta Danzantes de San Diego in Plaza de Panama. Following that, City Heights Mariachi and Pacific will take the stage. Then the San Diego State University Marching Aztecs Drumline will lead a procession to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, for the final performance. At 5 p.m., traditional band Jarabe Mexicano will strum their guitarróns, vihuelas, and requintos. Food trucks and arts and crafts vendors will be available all day.

 

Volcano Rabbit's Disco de Mayo

WhereVolcano Rabbit
When: May 5

The former Don Chido restaurant in the Gaslamp District, now called the Volcano Rabbit, with 175 agave spirits, Insta-worthy tacos, and DJ sets, makes for a no-brainer Cinco de Mayo destination. For this year's disco-themed celebration, they’re offering all-you-can-eat brunch for $20, bottomless mimosa’s and Bloody Mary’s for $20, plus DJ sets from noon until the wee hours.

 

Nason's Beer Hall

Where: Nason’s Beer Hall at the Pendry Hotel
When: May 5

Moët Hennessy’s lauded new line of tequila’s—Volcan Tequila—will be mixed into cocktails from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., while The Mariachi Divinas strum the day away at this haven for international craft beer, bar games, and Mexican-inspired eats—like the bacon-wrapped TJ dog with avocado cream. Tacos, churros, and Choco Tacos will also be on hand for fortification.

 

Cinco by the Bay

Where: Embarcadero Marina Park South
When: May 5

​Mariachi Diamante and Way Cool Jr. are among the bands performing during this event at the bayside park from noon to 5 p.m. Expect tequila flights and demonstrations, Mexican cuisine demos from chefs, a live Mexican art show, and a street food market. Proceeds benefit Mana de San Diego.

 

Tacos, Tequila, and Beer Festival

Where: Liberty Station
When: May 5

Indulge in a perfect blend of San Diego's cross-border influences at Liberty Station during this afternoon Cinco de Mayo celebration featuring local craft beer, tequila samples, signature tacos, plus two stages of bands and DJs. 

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