Cinco de Mayo in London: Where to celebrate in the capital on May 5

·4-min read
Drink up: Nola’s Bar at Goods Way will host two Cinco de Mayo supper clubs  (Handout)
Drink up: Nola’s Bar at Goods Way will host two Cinco de Mayo supper clubs (Handout)

Over in the United States, Cinco de Mayo is a big deal. Although the occasion harks bark to Mexico’s victory over the French Empire in the Battle of Puebla, on May 5 1862, it has since become a bigger deal north of the border — many see it as a celebration of Mexican heritage within American culture.

On this side of the Atlantic, things are rather more lowkey. But as is always the case in London, seek and you shall find: and in this case, the prize at the end of this quest will be free-flowing tequila, tremendous tacos and more than one mariachi band.

Taking place both on May 5 itself, and the days before and after, here’s our pick of the action, from mezcal masterclasses to Mexican-inspired supper clubs.

La Piñata

 (Handout)
(Handout)

More than 20 tequila and mezcal producers will convene on Tobacco Dock in Wapping for this one, celebrating Mexican culture via the medium of agave spirits. There will be cocktails at the bar, from margaritas to micheladas, as well as tutored tastings and panel discussions. Each producer will be selling their wares, too, meaning you can take home any new discoveries. Fans of Dalston’s Hacha bar should look out for the Mirror Margarita bar, too — it’s serving a range of beers and spirits that Hacha has supplied.

From £20, May 7, Tobacco Dock, E1W 2SF, tobaccodocklondon.com

Pergola Paraíso

 (Handout)
(Handout)

The Pergola Paddington rooftop is turning itself into a Tulum-inspired beach club for the summer, complete with palm trees and cabanas. Drinks come in the form of margaritas, tequila and frozen cocktails, while Corona will look after the beers. On the food front, it’ll be ceviche and Latin American-inspired grub from Crudo Cevicheria and tacos from Dos Mas. Bookings are being taken, but space is always kept for walk-ins.

From April 28, 4 Kingdom Street, W2 6PY, pergolapaddington.com/paraiso

Goods Way

 (Handout)
(Handout)

There’s a new series of bi-monthly supper clubs coming to the (relatively) new King’s Cross spot Goods Way, and it’s kicking off with a two-day Cinco de Mayo celebration. Tequila favourites Casamigos and taco supremos Breddos will be taking charge of proceedings down in Nola’s, a speakeasy-style bar, with a five-course menu on each night. Tickets are limited, to 20 per night, so be quick if you fancy going.

From £60, May 5-6, 11 Goods Way, King’s Cross, N1C 4DP, designmynight.com

Temper

Temper, the mini-chain of restaurants known for its expertise in cooking meats over a roaring flame, is getting in on the Cinco de Mayo act; there’ll be £5 margaritas from 5pm until close at its Soho and City spots, but the main event will be over in Covent Garden. Those cut-price cocktails will still be on offer, in addition to five Mexican-inspired dishes, and a mariachi band.

May 5, W1F, EC2, WC2, temperrestaurant.com

Kraft Dalston

East London spot Kraft Dalston will be elongating the Cinco de Mayo festivities across a whole week, kicking off on the Monday before and running until the Sunday after. Swing by during that time to sample a range of Mexican-inspired cocktails, tackle a tequila flight or cool down with a frozen margarita.

May 2-8, 130a Kingsland High Street, E8 2LQ, kraftdalston.com

Lyre’s Margarita Roadshow

 (Handout)
(Handout)

If you’re avoiding alcohol, you don’t have to swerve tequila entirely on Cinco de Mayo. Lyre’s, the non-alcoholic spirits brand, is launching a new booze-less tequila variant and celebrating the fact with a roving margarita truck. It’ll roll into Spitalfields Market on May 5, handing out alcohol-free cocktails all day and with teetotal DJ Fat Tony spinning tracks from 6pm, before heading to Liverpool Street, Old Street, Covent Garden, Soho, Clapham and Chelsea over the weekend.

From 6pm, May 5, Spitalfields Market, lyres.co.uk

And not forgetting…

Kol (Press handout)
Kol (Press handout)

…London’s Mexican restaurants and bars. The capital did once have a reputation for pretty underwhelming Mexican food, but thankfully, that has improved in recent years. You can find Michelin-starred dishes at Kol (W1H, kolrestaurant.com), with the likes of Decimo at the Standard Hotel (WC1, decimo.london) and Santo Remedio (SE1, santoremedio.co.uk) both reliably good.

Top-notch tacos can be guzzled down at El Pastor (various locations, tacoselpastor.co.uk), La Chingada (SE16, lachingada.co.uk), Sonora (E8, sonorataqueria.com), Tacos Padre (SE1, tacospadre.com) and Del 74 (E8, tacosdel74.com), while for something to drink, head to agaveria Hacha Bar (E8, hachabar.com) or Mezcalito (SW3, mezcalitochelsea.com).

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