Many Americans think Cinco de Mayo is the same as Mexican Independence Day but that's actually in September. Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates the Battle of Puebla when the Mexican army defeated the French in 1862.
Cinco De Mayo Miami Style
Although it's more widely celebrated in the United States than in Mexico, it's still a good excuse to honor Mexican culture. Miami has lots of places to grab a taco and a margarita to celebrate.
If you want chill vibes, bright colors, and delicious food then Tacocraft in south Miami is the place for you. Unlike your average taqueria, Tacocraft has a raw bar serving delicious ceviche and poke tacos with tuna, avocado, ponzu, and crispy wontons. All of the tacos come on handmade corn masa tortillas but guests can go gringo-style and get flour tortillas or protein-style for lettuce wraps. With the taco platter, guests can mix and match any three tacos and also receive a side of rice and refried beans. Taco stuffings are super creative and include options like key lime grouper, pork belly, Korean short rib, and mushroom confit. The cocktail menu is just as creative and features 10 different margaritas. Embrace spring with the strawberry basil margarita or the "Rosalita" with rose syrup, rose petals, and pink sea salt.
Tequiztlan is open for Cinco de Mayo and practicing COVID-safe procedures to keep guests and staff safe. Take a tour of Mexico with the "Plato Mexicano" which includes mole poblano (Puebla), cochinita pibil (Merida), beef chile relleno (Guanajuato), enchilada Suiza (San Luis Potosi), and rice with refried beans, tortillas. The taco deal is great for those dining on a budget. Get four tacos for only $20 with delicious flavors like chorizo, lengua (tongue), and al pastor. Save room for dessert because the Tequiztlan twist on an ice cream sandwich involves vanilla ice cream between two cinnamon covered churro spirals with dulce de leche, strawberries and cream. There are more than 10 signature margaritas to choose from including the "Hola Frida" with torched cinnamon and tamarind.
If you're planning to visit Wynwood Walls, make a reservation at Bakan. The indoor/outdoor, cacti-lined space is airy, earthy, and wonderfully chill. The open plan kitchen allows guests a front row view to the tortilla making process and the bar boasts of more than 500 agave spirits. Start with an octopus tostada with avocado and cactus before moving on the mains. Bakan is a vegetarian's paradise with seven meat-free main course options. The zucchini flower quesadilla is a stand out. Try the whole red snapper which is grilled over oak and cherry then served with the house rice and black beans. There are four house margaritas including one frozen option that can be customized by adding mango, guava, passion fruit, or strawberry. There are also three kinds of micheladas: classic, clamato, and sangrita.
Lolo's Surf Cantina
Take in the coastal, relaxing ambiance and delicious Mexican food at Lolo's Surf Cantina. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner it has everything you need for an all day Cinco de Mayo celebration. On the all day menu there are 10 different tacos including the budget-friendly refrito taco which will only cost you $1.50 (bonus: vegetarian and gluten-free). The spicy shrimp taco is drench in agave bbq sauce, pineapple salsa, pickled onions, and chipotle mayo. The margarita de la casa comes fresh or frozen and for an additional charge you can make it mango, watermelon, passion fruit, guava, or blood orange flavored. Another house specialty beverage is the fresh coconut water that comes in a Lolo's coconut shell.
Talavera blends old and new world Mexican cooking in Coral Gables. The name comes from a style of Puebla pottery that is frequently hand painted in white and blue. The fresh fish or shrimp ceviches are refreshing ways to start the meal. The mango and avocado salad with quinoa, pickled cabbage and kale with a tomato dressing is a seasonal specialty. Visit now before it leaves the menu! The huaraches (corn masa flatbreads shaped like a sandal) come with a variety of toppings including carnitas, the fish of the day, and cochinita pibil. The three chile octopus, a truly Instagrammable dish, is a whole ocotpus tentacle that is boiled in an aromatic broth until golden and served with a spicy three chile sauce.
Cantina La Veinte
The menu at Cantina La Veinte has representative dishes from every state in Mexico. It has been named the best Mexican restaurant in Miami by the Miami Times and one of the best Mexican restaurants in the U.S. by Thrillist. Definitely start with the lobster tacos served in a flour tortilla with yellow rice, black beans, and chipotle sauce. The "Make Your Own Taco" menu brings the fun right to your table. Stuff your own tortilla with octopus carnitas, queso fundido, or cochinita pibil. For dessert get either the churros with chocolate sauce of the traditional tres leches cake garnished with edible flowers. Pair all of that with a "Mezcalita" made with mezcal, passion fruit liqueur, lime, agave, and a red salt rim. The passion fruit margarita is also a great Cinco de Mayo celebratory beverage.