(credit: 99.7 [NOW!])
Cinco de Mayo means Mexican food, margaritas and mariachi bands. Mountain View has a weekend of fun in the sun — and plenty of international food — at the outdoor 18th Annual A La Carte & Art on Castro Street. Noting the long list of popular Mexican eateries in San Jose, Meghan Horrigan, director of public affairs and communications at Team San Jose says, “Cinco de Mayo is one of the cultural celebrations that reflects the diversity in the South Bay.” Check out these spots for great eats and drinks on Cinco de Mayo, all in the spirit of the celebration.
25 W. San Fernando St.
San Jose, CA 95113
It’s been five years since this family owned and operated spot joined the San Jose restaurant scene. Celebrated by the locals for its authentic Oaxacan cuisine, Mezcal throws a party in return on Cinco de Mayo. In 2014, the celebration will be on Friday, March 2, beginning at lunch and going until midnight. Stop in on a first-come, first-served basis for the mariachi band and the rich, smooth, barrel-aged Don Julio brand tequila. Try some fried grasshoppers with your drink as well.
3740 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Bienvenidos! Enjoy the sounds from a live mariachi band all day on Monday, the actual date of Cinco de Mayo. House specials on (secret handmade mix) margaritas by the pitcher and beers by the bucketful are available to enhance the homestyle Mexican food. Fresh guacamole made daily is a perennial crowd pleaser. Two more of Celia’s locations are in San Mateo, plus one in Menlo Park.
735 Villa St.
Mountain View, CA 94041
When it comes to fiestas, this family owned and operated group has you covered. Feel like family and experience love at first bite in one of the three sister locations: Fiesta del Mar on N. Shoreline Blvd. in Mountain View or at Agave on the corner of Villa St. and Castro St. In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, seafood lovers tip their sombreros to pairings with specials on margaritas and tequilas.
377 Santana Row, Suite 1125
San Jose, CA 95128
Stop in to check out Santana Row’s culinary scene for Cinco de Mayo and find a great happy hour spot to meet up with friends or go on a date. Make sure you bring someone who likes avocados and over-sized leather booths, as this spot is known for fixing your guacamole tableside the old-fashioned way, with mortar and pestle. If the weather feels more like south of the border than northern California, share your tacos or tequila flight seated at the outdoor patio. Since good things come in twos, carry on celebrating by checking out the sister bar across the way at El Jardin.
368 Santana Row
San Jose, CA 95128
Feel festive under the shade of a giant oak tree, sitting outdoors and celebrating spring on Cinco de Mayo. Expect strolling musicians, low-slung chairs and Mexican-style benches piled high with comfy cushions so you can settle into the outdoor living room. If you’re thinking that Cinco de Mayo means tequila, the only problem you’ll encounter here is making a choice: there are more than 200 brands of tequila to choose from to accompany small plate tacos, quesadillas, tostadas and tortillas.
Laurie JM Farr is a freelance writer covering all things in her adopted San Francisco. A dedicated urbanite, she’s a transplanted New Yorker by way of a couple of decades in London as a hotel sales and marketing manager. Follow her work on @ReferencePlease, USA Today, Yahoo! and on Examiner.com.