Cinco de Mayo commemorates General Zaragoza’s victory at the Battle of Puebla. Although not a federal holiday in Mexico, the United States marks this triumph celebrating Mexican culture and heritage with festivals, parties, traditional food and music. Find yourself celebrating at one or all of these Cinco de Mayo parties.

Photo Credit:

Cinco de Mayo Festival
Dolores Park
Dolores St and 18th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

Price: Free
Hours: Saturday, May 5th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Head to Dolores Park for San Francisco’s largest celebration of Mexican-American culture. The 2012 Cinco de Mayo Festival, now in its eighth year, will kickstart both the day and your heart rate with a Latin inspired Zumba-thon. The festival draws a sizable crowd of 5,000 attendees, so everyone get out there and shake that body. Soak up the cultural performances, mariachis, salsa ensembles, arts and craft booths and an array of food vendors. What’s a festival in this town without good eats anyway? Start the celebration here and then move on to one of the restaurants below as alcohol will not be served at the festival.

Photo Credit:

2317 Chestnut St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 346-8494

Hours: Daily – 5:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Picking up a fistful of awards in 2011, Mamacita was awarded the prestigious Bib Gourmand rating by Michelin Guide, indicating great food at reasonable prices. Clearly acclaimed for a reason, Mamacita adds the flare of its name with nightlife. The Cinco de Mayo celebration at this city favorite will provide authentic fun with a full crowd all accompanied by margaritas. Speaking of margaritas, Mamacita boasts a bar containing more than 60 tequilas and mescals, so you’re sure to toast to Cinco de Mayo with the best hand-crafted margarita available. Patrons tend to get loud, so keep your voice fresh with frequent bar refreshments.

Related: Best Place For A Shot of Tequila

Photo Credit:

Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant
5929 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 387-4747

Hours: Wed to Mon – 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.

You cannot say Tommy’s in San Francisco without uttering the word tequila. It’s basically common sense in the Bay Area that the Mexican restaurant, serving San Francisco since 1965, houses an extensive tequila bar. Carrying over 100 Reposados and 28 of the rarest and most expensive tequilas, pair a few premium margaritas with their authentic Yucatecan cuisine and you won’t remember what holiday your celebrating or how to spell ‘Puebla.’ Cinco de Mayo at Tommy’s will be a guaranteed good time, so factor it into your celebration.

Photo Credit: Puerto Alegre via Facebook

Puerto Alegre
546 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 255-8201

Hours:  Mon – 11 a.m to 10 p.m, Tues – 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Wed to Sun – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

It’s OK to be a little cliche on Cinco de Mayo and head to the Mission where every other restaurant vies for Mexican authenticity. Unless you’re making a mad dash for the border, Puerto Alegre, Spanish for “there will be a twenty minute wait,” has got you covered. Comfortable and kitschy the way La Rondalla used to be, sans the mariachis at 1 a.m., don’t be surprised when dropping a serious chunk of change at this cantina. The food, the drinks, the merriment – it all adds up to a fun evening.

Photo Credit:

130 Townsend St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 227-0500

Hours: Mon to Thurs, Sun – 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri and Sat – 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

It may have dropped the “Agaves” from the name, but Tres is still brimming with Blanco, Reposado and Ańejo tequila. The place lights up like a Christmas tree on Cinco de Mayo. Tres’ biggest celebration of the year booms with mariachi bands, food and drink specials. Not to mention, this restaurant is a stone’s throw away from AT&T Park, where the San Francisco Giants will take on the Milwaukee Brewers for an afternoon game. Arrive early when Tres opens up the back parking lot to special guests. You don’t want to be late.

Related: San Francisco’s Top 10 Outdoor Drinking Destinations

Robyn Chelsea-Seifert is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in The Miami Herald, Creem, Hit Parader, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel and International Musician. Her work can be found at