Cinco de Mayo is today on May 5th, and restaurants offering everything from Mexican food to pizza are using the holiday to offer deals and promotions. The annual holiday celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over France in 1862’s Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. Americans have interpreted the holiday differently over the years — sometimes confusing it with Mexican Independence Day — and often celebrate it with margaritas and parties each year.
After you have finished guzzling margaritas and scarfing down tacos, go check out the Cinco de Mayo Parade this Sunday, May 7, which steps off at noon and runs on Cermak Road from Damen Avenue to Marshall Boulevard. Commemorate Mexico’s victory over the French Army in the Battle of Puebla with a stroll through Little Village for the Cinco de Mayo Festival happening Friday through Sunday, May 5-7, in Douglas Park.
Back to the freebies….. Restaurants across the U.S. enjoy getting in on the celebration with special deals on drinks and food. Cinco de Mayo – the May 5 holiday in honor of the Mexican army’s defeat of French forces in 1862- is a time for food and fun. There are several Cinco de Mayo deals, discounts and freebies available this year. Not all deals are offered at every location; always check ahead with your favorite place. Here are some of the top picks:
- Avacados from Mexico – Enter to win one of up to $750 in gift cards from Avacados from Mexico’s #avosweepstakes.
- Bahama Breeze: The Caribbean restaurant is offering $5 margaritas for the holiday. Start the holiday early: The restaurant has offered the deal since May 1. You can see if you live near a Bahama Breeze location here.
- Baja Fresh – Get a free taco with any purchase with signup for Club Baja.
- California Pizza Kitchen – Get a fresh agave lime margarita for $5.
- Cantina Laredo – Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with $5 Tajin watermelon margaritas, $5 La Favoritas and $3 bottle or draft Mexican beers.
- Chevy’s Fresh Mex – Sign up for eClub and get free appetizer with two adult entrees. Chevy’s is also hosting a special Cinco de Mayo party.
- Chili’s – The restaurant chain has $5 margaritas or $5 beers on draft — served in a commemorative Cinco de Mayo cup that you can take home with you. The deal is only good for May 5.
- Chuy’s – The Tex-Mex restaurant is offering a variety of deals on drinks from May 4-6. On May 4, customers can get $1 Floaters and $1 off Coronas. For Cinco de Mayo, an all-day happy hour and variety of specials will be offered. And on May 6, the restaurant’s offering a “hangover cure combo” and $5 Bloody Mary’s.
- El Pollo Loco: The Western restaurant chain with locations in Arizona, California, Texas, Nevada and Utah is selling Cinco de Mayo coupons from May 5-7. The deals include a $5 chicken leg and thigh combo and $5 off a 12-piece family meal, among other offers.
- Hungry Howie’s – Get a large one-topping pizza (online carryout only) for $5.55 using promocode 555LARGE on May 5. OR The pizza chain is selling large pizzas for just $5.55 through May 5. Interested patrons can use the coupon promo code CINCO for a one-topping large pizza for takeout or online orders to get the deal.
- Marie Callender’s: The restaurant and bakery will offer $4 margaritas from May 5-7. Customers can also purchase $6 ultimate margaritas. You can find a Marie Callender’s location near you here.
- Moe’s Southwest Grill – Celebrate CincodeMoes with a Moe-Rita. The drink is a family friendly take on the margarita, made of limeade, lemonade, orange flavors from Coca Cola Freestyle. Moe’s is hosting a Moe-Rita Mixers Summer Catering Contest. You can go here for more information.
- On The Border – The Tex-Mex chain is selling its Cinco ‘Ritas margaritas for $4 on Cinco de Mayo. Find a location near you here.
- Papa Murphy’s Pizza – Use code 5FS online to save $5 on any family size pizza.
- PF Changs – Get a free Street Fare appetizer with any entree purchase on May 5.
- Schlotzsky’s -Get a $5 Fiesta Meal Deal, including small Fiesta Chicken Sandwich, chips and small drink on May 5.
Here are some awesome local deals:
- Montrose Saloon, 2933 W. Montrose Ave., will have beer specials from 5 Rabbits Cerveceria and Mexican-inspired barbecue from Rubicon BBQ. Belly up to the buffet from 6 p.m. til close for $12 per person.
- SafeHouse Chicago, 60 E. Ontario St., will be offering Cinco de Mayo specials all day on Friday, May 5. The featured items are Street Tacos ( $5 each ), Corona bottles ( $5 each ) and a nachos combo ( $20 ) that includes SafeHouse Camp Stanley Nachos and four Coronas.
- Cactus Bar & Grill (404 S. Wells St., 312-922-3830): Don Julio tequila representatives will be on hand to sample spirits 5-7 p.m. Featured cocktails include Don Julio margaritas ($8), paloma supremas ($8) and blanco mojitos ($10). Draft specials ($6) include Ska Mexican Logger, Tocayo Hominy White Ale, 21st Amendment El Sully and Oskar Blues Beerito.
- Free margarita cupcakes at Sprinkles Cupcakes: Hey, we’re not above free cupcakes—especially when they’re spiked with booze. The first 100 customers to arrive at Sprinkles Cupcakes on Friday will receive one free Casamigos margarita cupcake, which is made with tequila-laden key lime cake and key lime frosting.
- Free Dos Equis Cinco De Mayo Trolley Crawl from Pioneer Tavern Group: Check out the FREE Dos Equis trolley crawl that goes between between Lottie’s Pub (1925 W. Cortland St.), The Pony Inn (1638 W. Belmont Ave.), and Frontier (1072 N Milwaukee Ave.) Each stop features variety of food and drink specials like $3.50 Dos Equis, $6 Dos-Aritas, and $3 tacos, as well as giveaways and live music. The Cinco de Mayo Trolley Crawl is free to ride and begins at 7pm at Lottie’s Pub (1925 W Cortland) on Friday, May 5, running every 30 minutes between all three locations.
- Rhyme or Reason, 1938 W. Division St. in Wicker Park, features taco “flights” with four different kinds of tacos (chicken, grilled steak, carnitas, grilled shrimp or roasted poblano for vegetarians). The $12 flight includes a “margarita shooter” to augment a special frozen “Rhyme-Arita” Mezcal cocktail, which costs $10 per glass or $70 per table.
- Beatrix (519 N Clark St.; 671 N St Clair St.): At Beatrix’s Streeterville location, we like the pineapple habanero margarita and make sure to visit its taco bar for $15.
- Rockit Bar & Grill (22 W Hubbard St.): will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo for five days leading up to the holiday with “Cinco Days of Cinco,” May 1-May 5. The restaurant will offer a selection of five different chef-driven tacos for $4 each or three for $10. The selection of taco fillings include: Al Pastor with braised pineapple, jicama, cilantro and lime; Barbaco with pico de gallo and lime; Ongo Y Renos (Mushroom, Peppers and Cheese) with creme fresca and pickled onions; Beef Tongue with escabeche (pickled vegetables), corn nuts and ranch dressing; and, Fried Squid with naraja salsa (orange and chili de arbol salsa), radish, green chorizo, avocate (tomatillo-avocado salsa) and fresh cucumber. Drink specials include $5 margaritas and $5 Coronas. Rockit Bar & Grill suggests their Strawberry Habenero Margarita.
- Free mini-tacos at Brando’s Speakeasy: 343 S Dearborn St Chicago Sip $4 Palomas while noshing on free mini-tacos, which are available at the bar all night on Friday.
- Tallboy Taco (325 W. Huron St. 312-488-4917) celebrates Cinco de Mayo with $8 margaritas, spicy palomas and Mi Casa Su Casa cocktails (Casamigos blanco, triple sec, agave, pineapple, mango, serrano peppers and lime) from 5-7 p.m.
- Commonwealth Tavern (2000 W. Roscoe St.): From 3 to 8 p.m., Commonwealth will offer $2 pork tacos, half-price nachos, $3 Tecate, $6 margaritas, and $5 Dos Equis tallboys, Corona, Corona Light and Negra Modelo.
- Carnivale (702 W. Fulton St.): A pig roast on the patio, $3 tacos from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., a specialty Cinco de Mayo menu, margarita and tequila specials, and live performances by Mariachi Monumental de Mexico and traditional Chinelos dancers.
- Bar Takito (201 N. Morgan St.): $18 Chela buckets, $45 Jimador margarita pitchers, $36 Herradura Blanco shot tray (serves 6), $15 Cororita
- Brando’s Speakeasy with the Essaness Room (343 S. Dearborn St.): $4 palomas and free mini tacos from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.
- Big Star (1531 N Damen Ave.): Big Star will be serving free breakfast tacos for walk-up guests from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday through Sunday.
- Taco Joint (1969 N Halsted St.; 158 W Ontario St.): $5 off bottles of Taco Joint margaritas, $5 Black ‘N’ Green margaritas (Negra Modelo beer over frozen Taco Joint margarita).
- Cantina Laredo (508 N State St.): Cantina Laredo is throwing a Cinco de Mayo party in its upstairs lounge, with prizes and music from DJ Matt Rochford starting at noon. All day long, celebrate the holiday with $3 bottle or draft Mexican beers, $5 La Favorita, $5 Watermelon ‘Ritas.
- Mercadito (108 W Kinzie St.): Eat your way through a $45 five-course pre-fixe Cinco de Mayo menu, or “dare to try” the restaurant’s “hottest drink on earth” for $15. It’s so hot, those willing to give it a taste have to sign a waiver beforehand.
- Timothy O’Toole’s Pub (622 N. Fairbanks Ct.): $5 Modelo drafts, $7 O’Toole’s signature margarita featuring Casa Noble Crystal, $8 perfect Patron margarita featuring Patron Citronge & Reposado, $18 Patron flight of Anejo, Reposado, and Roca Silver, $7 Prickly Pear Margarita with Casamigos Blanco