Where to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in London – the best spots for tacos and tequila

Here are the capital’s top spots for tacos, tequila and mariachi music on the fifth of the fifth

Natalie Wilson
Wednesday 01 May 2024 17:59 BST
Cinco de Mayo falls on a bank holiday Sunday in 2024
Cinco de Mayo falls on a bank holiday Sunday in 2024 (Getty Images)

This year, the first May bank holiday Sunday has aligned with Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

Contrary to popular belief, the annual festivities do not mark Mexican Independence Day – this is commemorated on 16 September. Instead, the 5 May fiesta marks the unexpected victory of the Battle of Puebla by the Mexican Republic over France in 1862.

Mainly celebrated in Mexico’s eastern Puebla state, a colourful combination of festivals, street parties, food and folk dancing is commonplace to ring in the military victory.

In the US, the 5 May is widely celebrated as a carnival praising Mexican cultural heritage. In the UK? It’s more of an excuse to indulge in tequila, guacamole and tacos while dancing to the music of mariachi bands or taking a mezcal masterclass.

Here are the restaurants and bars in London honouring the holiday where salt-rimmed shots and filled tortillas will be flowing.

Read more on London travel:

Los Mochis, Notting Hill

For a weeklong fiesta of bespoke cocktails, agave flights and live mariachi bands, Los Mochis’ Pan-Pacific blend of Mexican and Japanese cuisine in Notting Hill is a big hitter in the Cinco de Mayo arena. From 2 to 9 May unique offerings extend the party beyond the main event on 5 May – music and dancing from 6pm to 9pm and a host of mighty Mexican dishes from crab tostaditos to shrimp guacamole.

Book now

Cinco de Mayo Fest, Covent Garden

This Sunday from 11am to 6pm Covent Garden and Rotary Square will come to life with artisan vendors, face painting and live music for a family-friendly Cinco de Mayo Fest. A bouncy castle, street food vendors – including La Burreria, La Parrillada and Qbites – and handmade jewellery and candle stands are all set to spice up the iconic market.

Cost: Free

Wahaca, London

If a menu of on-the-rocks margaritas, mezcal cocktails and a catalogue of tequila shots for less than £10 takes your fancy, visit one of Mexican-inspired Wahaca’s 11 London locations. Small plate streetfood, quesadillas and churros promise an affordable flavour of Mexico, and there are even extensive vegan and vegetarian options for everyone to enjoy the Cinco de Mayo long weekend.

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Jalisco, Brixton

At Jalisco in the heart of Brixton Village, “there’s always time for tequila” and this sentiment alone should cement your Cinco de Mayo plans in South London. Expect a lively Latin atmosphere, mean margaritas and Paloma cocktails by the jug as you feast on burritos, chipotle chicken and slow-cooked pulled pork this Sunday.

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1910 Cantina, Parsons Green

A Cinco de Mayo fiesta is taking Parsons Green’s 1910 Cantina by storm on Sunday with a special menu of flavoured margaritas and buckets of beers with lychee on ice, just as they celebrate in Northern Mexico. Opening late for the bank holiday, think taco-sharing boards and upbeat Latino tunes that can be enjoyed by the whole table.

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Temper, Covent Garden

Temper smokehouse in Covent Garden has all the ingredients for a Mexican bank holiday bonanza this Sunday. There are £5 margaritas, specials – including specials brisket chilaquiles and crab and corn enchiladas – and two sets of live music performed by the Mariachi Amigo band on the itinerary. Can’t make it to Covent Garden? The Soho, Paddington and Shoreditch branches will also be shaking up £5 margs come 5 May.

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Hacha, Dalston

With an agaveria bar, crystal clear ‘Mirror Margarita’ and an award-winning Paloma, Hacha’s Dalston destination will come in handy for a taste of Mexico this Cinco de Mayo. Over 25 agave spirits and street food by Tigre Tacos create a menu teeming with tequila, mezcal and tacos bursting with pico de gallo.

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El Pastor, Battersea

El Pastor’s Mexican offerings have migrated into a brand new Battersea Power Station location that’s ideal for Cinco de Mayo festivities. Better still, to enjoy their homemade tortillas and flavours from the comfort of your flat, El Pastor’s Mexican sharing feasts are delivered nationwide. It’s ‘drunken chicken’ or 12-hour braised short rib in the supper club offering this May.

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Walk London’s ‘Margarita Mile’

If all else fails, you’re bound to get your tequila fix at one of 26 bars along London’s ‘Margarita Mile’. Having swept the capital with salt rims in February for National Margarita Day, an unofficial two-foot tour from the Red Hand in Stoke Newington to Star by Liverpool Street is easily revived for Cinco de Mayo.

After the real deal? Read our Mexico travel guide for everything you need to know before you go

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