The Las Vegas food guide to Cinco de Mayo
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at some of the best restaurants in Las Vegas. | By Matt Villano | April 19, 2022
Las Vegas knows how to party, which means celebrations on big holidays are especially grand. Such is the case on Cinco de Mayo, when restaurants all over town honor the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over France and pull out all the stops for memorable festivities that are second-to-none. Our favorite ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Las Vegas include:
Feasting on authentic fare: Sit down to traditional Mexican dishes and refreshing margaritas
Dancing the night away: Celebrate with live music performances across The Strip
Partying alfresco: Enjoy the warmth of Sin City at one of the city’s lavish open-air parties
Salute the original
The original Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, Mexico, claims that one of its bartenders invented the margarita back in 1941 (that’d be Don Carlos Orozco, for those of you scoring at home). The original comprised equal parts of tequila, damiana and lime, though the restaurant’s modern-day Vegas outposts have updated the recipe to include agave nectar and triple sec.
This year’s Cinco de Mayo party at the Hussong’s inside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Las Vegas will feature drink specials nodding to this history and a roving mariachi band. Hussong’s Cantina Boca Park also has a history of throwing family-friendly fiestas, complete with face painting and a small petting zoo.
Cheers with a margarita
Meanwhile, Resorts World Las Vegas' Mexican restaurant ¡Viva! by Ray Garcia, will celebrate with margarita flights and classic table snacks like chicharrones and tacos. If it’s not too hot, plan to enjoy the festivities on the open-air patio, complete with suspended greenery and festive lights.
Casa Calavera at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Curio Collection by Hilton is planning a major Cinco de Mayo bash. While the fresh menu won’t be finalized until closer to the day, the Day of the Dead-themed restaurant promises special happy hour cocktails, delicious bites and plenty of Instagram-worthy moments alongside its boldly colored murals.
Nacho average party
Take the bull by horns this Cinco de Mayo — literally. Located at The LINQ hotel, Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar has a mechanical bull that will be bucking all day long. Not to worry, though, as the bull is surrounded by padding, so it won’t hurt when you (inevitably) fall off. Add that to the mixed-drink specials and music, and the party is sure to be wild.
If you’re more interested in food than sporting activities, then consider Ghost Donkey and Nacho Daddy. Both venues are known for living it up on May 5 every year. Ghost Donkey, a tequila and mezcal lounge at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, serves up top-shelf margaritas and specialty nacho plates every night. Try the truffle nachos with white cheddar sauce, black truffles and chives, for an unusual twist on this fan-favorite dish. You can take your nacho dreams even further at Nacho Daddy, where nacho specials include filet mignon, lobster and crab.
There’s always action in downtown Las Vegas, and Cinco de Mayo is no exception. At the bar Lucky Day, patrons enjoy shots of a signature drink that incorporates tajin and watermelon chased down with beer and food specials, of course. Cinco de Mayo this year falls on a Thursday, which means it coincides with the bar’s “Sonidero” dance party featuring a mix of Latin, indie, rock and other music genres.
Meanwhile Downtown Container Park, an open-air shopping mall composed of shipping containers, will be celebrating with a live performance from the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts Mariachi band — and tacos and drink specials at Pinches Tacos.
Freelance writer and editor Matt Villano has covered Las Vegas for more than 20 years — he has authored and co-authored 13 guidebooks about the city.