Cinco de Mayo is known throughout the United States as an excuse to drink. However, in Mexico, the holiday actually commemorates the army’s surprise victory over the battle-hardened French. Las Vegas is more than happy to join the celebration with restaurants and tequila bars up and down the Strip. After toned-down celebrations during the pandemic, expect the festivities to be bigger than ever in 2022 with lots of Mexican-themed bars, restaurants and specials to check out. Cinco de Mayo falls on a Thursday this year, offering the perfect excuse for a long holiday weekend
Virgin Hotels Las Vegas
Casa Calavera at Virgin Hotels is one of the best places in Las Vegas for a mix of style, sizzle and Mexican culture. Operated by the Hakkasan Group, the Mexican restaurant has a Day of the Dead theme with skulls and murals featured throughout the dining room. Of course, there will be plenty of tacos and tequila to enjoy on Cinco de Mayo. The Mi Casa Su Casa happy hour runs 3-6 p.m. and includes $7 bites, $20 buckets of beer and discounts on Patron Silver cocktails. Casa Calavera is also featuring a Taco Poblano dinner with roasted potatoes for $25 and a Rojo Posole for $18. A live mariachi band performs 8-9:30 p.m.
A true piece of Baja California’s heritage, the original Hussong’s Cantina in the Mexican town of Ensenada claims to be the birthplace of the Margarita. So you could argue Hussong’s is the best place to get a strong, authentic version of the cocktail. Feel free to try a fun variation. The bartenders mix versions with blackberries, jalapeños and cucumber to enhance the natural flavor of the tequila. The Mangonero is a sweet-and-spicy combination of muddled mangoes, habanero peppers and lime.
Famous for Spring Break parties in Mexico and the Caribbean, Señor Frog’s celebrates a strong fiesta spirit at the Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas. Cinco de Mayo is the perfect time to check it out with dancing and beer-chugging contests. Ask for a seat on the outdoor deck overlooking the Strip. Sign up in advance for a one-hour open bar for $35, available between 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Enjoy Cinco de Mayo with fantastic views of Las Vegas. 108 Drinks near the top of 1,149-foot-tall Strat tower is offering a special Cucumber Watermelon Fresca with Casamigos tequila, muddled cucumber and watermelon, lime juice, mint and agave nectar for $12. The drink is also available downstairs at View Lounge and Remix Lounge. A live mariachi band performs throughout the casino 6-9 p.m.
Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville
Featuring three levels of tiki bars, tropical drinks and Jimmy Buffet classics playing loud on the sound system, Margaritaville is a Parrothead’s dream. The centrally located Volcano Bar is named in honor of a tall “volcano” that erupts hourly, spilling margarita mix into two 300-gallon blenders. According to the Flamingo, “a virgin is sacrificed to the blender gods” as part of the ritual.
Diablo’s Cantina is putting a fresh spin on its Mexican-inspired cuisine for Cinco de Mayo. The menu by Executive Chef Saul Ortiz takes inspiration from the traditions and flavors of Mexico City. Stop by and try Alambre Tacos (prepared with tender filet mignon) or slow-roasted beef barbacoa enchiladas. If you’re planning a big celebration for Cinco de Mayo, Diablo’s has a private dining room for larger parties. Just book well in advance!
The best spot for agave spirits on Fremont Street is Lucky Day. The bar has an exceptional rotating collection of tequila and mezcal. Eight different flights give you plenty of opportunities to try unique small-batch selections. The space has lots of charm with an elaborate overhead light fixture that changes color throughout the evening. Otherwise, munch on house-made tortilla chips, guacamole and salsa with a seat on the patio overlooking the party crowds of Fremont East.
Cabo Wabo Cantina
Cabo Wabo has great Mexican food, a superb tequila collection and a newly renovated outdoor patio overlooking the Strip at the Miracle Mile Shops. The restaurant is traditionally a busy spot for Cinco de Mayo and throwing a fiesta all weekend long from Thursday to Sunday, so ask about the latest holiday specials. Of course, there will be plenty of Cabo Wabo tequila (made famous by Sammy Hagar), whether served straight as a shot or part of a Mexican-inspired cocktail.
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