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Cinco de Mayo in Atlanta

Cinco de Mayo in Atlanta

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Atlanta is one of the Southeast's largest urban areas, and there are plenty of opportunities for Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Here are a few places worth checking out:

Suave and swank with a modern edge, this relatively new establishment features an outdoor cabana with top-notch cocktails and great Mexican cuisine.

"For Cinco de Mayo, we've built a Miami-style cabana lounge outdoors, with private alcoves and plush drapery, a full soundstage, a custom-built rectangular bar made of reclaimed materials, and lots of beach balls," explains partner Josh Ahlzadeh.

To help absorb the amazing flavors and spices of chef Ignacio "Nacho" Barquera’s contemporary take on Mexican classics, they will serve pint-sized margaritas, or "Cinco-Ritas," made with Don Julio tequila, Grand Marnier, agave, fresh lime, basil, and cilantro.

Mi Cocina
Mi Cocina is home of the legendary "Mambo Taxi," a classic frozen margarita featuring Sauza Blanco tequila with Mi Cocina house-made sangria. This spot also happens to be a new brunch hot spot in the city.

The new Tex-Mex-style brunch menu includes brunch tacos, breakfast quesadillas, and breakfast classics on Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The eggs with brisket tacos come with slow-roasted brisket, scrambled eggs, and Cheddar cheese, while the eggs with chorizo tacos are served with beans and crispy potatoes. Other traditional favorites are served with beans, fresh fruit, sweet crema, and warm tortillas. The newest creation on the brunch menu is the Omelette Mexicana: a three-egg omelette stuffed with chorizo, poblano peppers, onions, tomatoes, Monterey Jack, and Cheddar cheese.

This regionally inspired Mexican tequila bar and cantina from chef-owner Riccardo Ullio vows to ring in the celebration by capturing the authentic tastes and ingredients of Mexico.

Cinco de Mayo festivities include live Mariachi music on both Saturday and Sunday, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday's menu features El Jimador and Herradurra tequila and Dos XX beer specials, as well as special fajita combos.

Food Trucks
"Cinco de Maybe" is the theme of the Cinco de Mayo celebration at the Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market on Saturday, May 4, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Specials include $2 tacos and other delights from the Sweet Auburn, Yumbii, and Texas Tacos food trucks. There will also be live music from The Band Benefield. Mexican beer and virgin margaritas are expected to make this a BYOT (bring your own tequila) Cinco de Mayo to remember!

Taqueria del Sol
At all three of its Atlanta locations, Taqueria del Sol's chef Eddie Hernandez and owner Mike Klank (multiple James Beard Award nominees) put a Southern twist on Mexican cuisine. The Memphis taco (chopped smoked pork with a spicy jalapeño coleslaw and tequila BBQ sauce), the fried chicken taco (strips of fried chicken breast, lime jalapeño mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato) are two perfect examples. Think cheeseburger taco, or the recent "blue plate" special: a shrimp and grits taco.

If you're planning on celebrating Cinco de Mayo here, do so either on Saturday or Monday, as the restaurants are closed on Sundays.

30 Mexican Recipes for Cinco de Mayo

Is it even Cinco de Mayo without an epic spread of delicious Mexican recipes? It certainly is not. The food might just be the highlight of the day, so you want to get it right. If you are wondering what to make for a Cinco de Mayo Mexican fiesta, then you have come to the right place. Today, I am sharing over 30 of the best and most popular Mexican recipes including all the classics from tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, nachos, dips, salads, and more.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Traditional foods eaten on this holiday vary from family to family and region to region in Mexico. For that reason pretty much any Mexican food has become part of the festivities. Start with some spicy or mild salsa, feast on tacos or tamales, save room for flan, and wash it all down with a margarita (or two!)

A beef version of Mexican carnitas made with chuck roast, salsa, garlic, oregano, cumin, and stewed tomatoes. Both oven and crock pot instructions are.

Method: stovetop, oven
Time: 2-5 hours

Margs, definitely. Tacos, standard. But a bowl of this crispy tortilla topped soup would really take your Mexican feast over the top.

Method: stovetop
Time: 30-60 minutes

A simple and refreshing limeade made with Mexican limes and simple syrup.

Method: stovetop
Time: under 30 minutes

The burst of citrus from lemon zest, orange zest, and lime juice, countered by the kick of a classic Mexican spice blend makes for some magnifico chicken.

Method: outdoor grill
Time: over 5 hours

Made with tequila, frozen limeade, ice, beer

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Made with sugar, white rice, milk, lime, cinnamon stick

Method: stovetop
Time: 30-60 minutes

Mexican style scrambled eggs with onions, green chiles, cheese, and crispy tortillas.

Method: stovetop
Time: under 30 minutes

Made with lemon juice, lime juice, ice, drink mix, water, tequila

Tequila in the marinade gives these tender skirt steak fajitas a little extra punch.

Method: outdoor grill, stovetop
Time: 2-5 hours

A Mexican one-two punch: the fajita quesadilla! Sauteed chicken, peppers, and onions pressed with cheese in flour tortillas is genius. Great with sour cream or salsa.

Method: stovetop
Time: under 30 minutes

Made with vegetable oil, sea salt, lime zest, corn tortillas

Method: stovetop, deep fryer
Time: under 30 minutes

A different kind of margarita! It's made with beer, frozen limeade, and tequila.

Made with red pepper flakes, salt, boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, apple juice, sugar, mint, cinnamon sticks, dry white wine, peaches

Method: oven, stovetop
Time: over 5 hours

Made with black beans, whole wheat tortillas, vegetable oil, green onions, garlic, tomatillos, green chiles, fresh cilantro, dried oregano, chicken broth

Method: oven, stovetop
Time: 1-2 hours

Made with garlic, avocados, goat cheese, pistachio nuts, fresh cilantro, crushed red pepper flakes

Made with diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro, green onions, serrano chiles, salt, pepper, garlic

Made with onion, garlic, cooked chicken, salsa, water, black beans, lime juice, salt, fresh cilantro, flour tortillas

Method: stovetop
Time: 30-60 minutes

Made with salt, sugar, white wine vinegar, corn on the cob, tomatillos, red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, garlic, cilantro, olive oil

Method: outdoor grill
Time: 2-5 hours

Made with grapefruit, lime, orange, ice, orange juice, lime juice, grapefruit juice, tequila, orange liqueur

Made with pickled jalapenos, hot sauce, tomato juice, horseradish, tequila, Worcestershire sauce, salt, lime, black pepper

Made with white onion, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, ground coriander, chili powder, kosher salt, black pepper, pork loin chops, pineapple

Method: stovetop
Time: under 30 minutes

Made with rice, mussels, white wine, salsa

Method: stovetop
Time: under 30 minutes

Made with lemon, oranges, burgundy wine, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, brandy, Cointreau liqueur, club soda

5 ways to celebrate Cinco De Mayo at home

Cinco de Mayo celebrations will look much different this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. While Americans may look forward to the May 5th holiday each year, it’s not that way in Mexico. Despite being tied to the country, it’s more popular in the United States than it is south of the border.

The holiday is meant to celebrate the victory of the Mexican army over Napoleon III's troops at the 1862 Battle of Puebla. Historians believe the first Cinco de Mayo celebrations — which Time magazine reported were more about "taking a side in a then-ongoing geopolitical conflict" than indulging in food and drinks — were held by Latinos living in California, Nevada and Oregon in the civil war era.

With that in mind, you may still wish to celebrate the holiday with food and fun. So here are five ways you can do so virtually at home.

Learn to make margaritas

The tequila-based cocktail is usually linked to Cinco De Mayo celebrations, so why not learn to make your own? Mobile bartending service Sassy Shots is hosting a virtual class to instruct people on how to make specialty margaritas Tuesday. Limited spaces are available for the 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. class so get $15 tickets here.

Make it a party by turning to playlists on Spotify, Amazon, or Apple Music and bust a move at home. Looking to make your own playlist? Billboard has a set of must-have songs to put on your list.

Learn a traditional Mexican dance

With the playlist going, it's a good time to put some traditional moves to the test. Visit YouTube to get an idea of how to perform the Jarabe Tapatío, known as the Mexican Hat Dance in English. Style Caster suggests the Los Voladores de Papantla dance in which participants climb a 30-foot pole.

Described as the "first-ever Cinco de Mayo 5K," this Virtual Run Events race allows you to walk, run or jog anywhere you choose. The popularity of the event has led organizers to order more medals, which will be shipped out beginning June 5. Register for $22 and race any time you like in May or June.

Buy a DIY Cinco de Mayo kit from a local restaurant

Just because many metro Atlanta restaurants aren't hosting their usual dine-in operations doesn't mean you can't still have a similar experience. Bring it home by purchasing a do-it-yourself taco and cocktail kits, as What Now Atlanta reported.

8. Chicken Enchilada Verde Skillet

Quick and easy, yet utterly unforgettable, this skillet meal packs in nutritious zucchini and kale with lots of cheesy, saucy goodness to dazzle everyone at your table. Layers of green veggies, pinto beans, chihuahua cheese, cilantro, tortillas, and Frontera Green Chile Enchilada Saucemake this comforting dish the perfect choice if you’re short on time—it combines all the things you love about Cinco de Mayo food with hardly any effort.

2 authentic Mexican recipes for Cinco de Mayo that tie in trend and tradition

Plus, a look at what Mexican food trends resonate with eaters.

A brief history of Cinco de Mayo

As people of all backgrounds come together to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year, they are doing so with a sense of appreciation for the culture's rich culinary history and finding ways to tie trends into traditions.

Authentic Mexican food is much more complex, flavorful and exciting than oversimplified Americanized versions of tacos and burritos that people tend to gravitate toward on the trendy food-forward holiday.

So one brand rooted in the country's staple ingredients and flavors, Cacique, tapped a panel of culinary experts to help uncover which of the top Mexican food trends are breaking through in 2021.

Martita Jara-Ferrer, a first-generation, mostly self-taught Mexican American cook who honed her culinary skills after years of cooking her mother's authentic dishes and dedicating part of her career to her family's restaurants, was one of the panelists who worked with Cacique to look at those trends.

"People are looking for comfort food -- the foods that I grew up with -- like enchiladas, tacos and sopa de fideo," Jara-Ferrer said. "They’re also looking for staple ingredients like pork chorizo, queso fresco and crema Mexicana, and they’re interested in learning the history behind beloved dishes."

In working with Cacique, the former "Food Network Star" contestant said the two recipes below are a couple of of her all-time favorites to enjoy on Cinco de Mayo

Top Mexican food trend takeaways

Nearly two-thirds of Mexican cuisine fans are reaching for traditional Mexican staples like dried beans and masa -- also known as masa de maíz, which is a dough made of ground nixtamalized corn to make the dough for corn tortillas and tamales -- along with traditional Mexican cheeses, creams and meats.

Around 72% of Mexican cuisine fans are interested in preparing “homemade” style Mexican comfort foods this year, and 67% of those who enjoy cooking Mexican food express a greater desire to learn the history behind beloved dishes.

Authentic, trend-inspired Cinco de Mayo recipes


Enchiladas are a traditional Mexican street food, and this variation of the dish, popularized in Puebla and Oaxaca, is smothered in a savory mole sauce for a rich, comforting dish.

1/2 package (6 oz.) Ranchero Queso Fresco, crumbled
1/2 package regular or soy chorizo
1/4 cup Cacique Crema Mexicana
12 ounces mole (purchase concentrated, prepared mole and follow instructions, or make your favorite authentic recipe)
1 small potato, scrubbed but unpeeled, diced small
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 can pinto beans, drained
1/2 of an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
1 can ( 4.5 ounces) green chilies chopped
1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped
8 corn tortillas
Sesame seeds for garnish

In a medium skillet, cook the chorizo according to instructions (varies for soy vs. fresh pork), add potatoes and sauté 10 minutes over medium heat. Add onions, and cook for 5 minutes more. Add beans, green onions and tomato sauce. Sauté for another 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Set aside.
Prepare mole by following package instructions or according to recipe if making from scratch.
Heat the corn tortillas on a griddle one by one until pliable. Carefully dip each tortilla into mole sauce. Use spatula to place dipped tortilla on a work surface. Fill with chorizo mixture and roll tortilla, then carefully place on the serving platter seam down. Repeat with all tortillas.
To serve: Spoon extra mole sauce over enchiladas, drizzle crema Mexicana and top with crumbled queso fresco and sesame seeds.

Fideos with shrimp and queso fresco

This simple Mexican noodle dish is made with a few staple Mexican ingredients and comes together in just 25 minutes.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 pound fideos (or vermicelli or other thin spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 28­-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
6 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds small shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 10-ounce package Cacique Queso Fresco Ranchero
Fresh cilantro, chopped

In a large stewpot over medium heat, add the olive oil and the onions, and cook until softened and slightly golden, about 6 minutes.
Stir in the fideos or spaghetti pieces and the cumin. Cook, stirring, until the pasta is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Pour in the tomatoes and chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.
Add the shrimp, and stir to distribute. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes until the shrimp are pink and opaque. Taste and adjust seasoning. Spoon the fideos onto a serving platter and sprinkle with queso fresco and chopped fresh cilantro.

Ten Easy Cinco de Mayo Casserole Recipes

These Cinco de Mayo Casseroles would also be a great alternative to Taco Tuesday. There are also a few different options that made the list including low carb, gluten free and vegetarian, and many are easy to customize.

1. Salsa Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole

These easy Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas pack a lot of flavor. You can use flour tortillas or corn tortillas as a gluten free option.

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2. Simple Mexican Lasagna Recipe

A lot of Mexican lasagna recipes call for tortillas. However, this Easy Mexican lasagna recipe actually calls for lasagna noodles and sauce, along with some key ingredients to give it some Mexican flare.

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3. Mexican Ravioli Lasagna

How about a Cinco de Mayo casserole recipe that calls for just 5 ingredients, and no chopping or other prep?

Just layer everything in the casserole dish for a delicious Mexican ravioli casserole (lasagna). I like that the base starts with beef ravioli so you don’t even have to brown the meat first.

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4. Crock Pot Layered Bean Burritos

If you are looking for a yummy crock pot Mexican casserole recipe then this layered burrito casserole is a great option. It’s also meatless, making it perfect for vegetarians. Just make sure you choose vegetarian refried beans since some brands are prepared with animal lard.

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5. Three Bean Tamale Pie

The complete name of this recipe is Three Bean Tamale Pie with Sweet Potato Cornbread Topping. This recipe will take a little more time to put together than the other ones on the list but you can use canned sweet potato puree as a short cut and also make the filling in advance. This tamale recipe is also a healthy vegetarian option.

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6. Mexican Tater Tot Casserole

If you like tater tot casseroles (sometimes referred to as a hot dish) then you will love this Mexican version that is the perfect Cinco de Mayo casserole recipe. It has both queso and cheddar cheese for some extra cheesy goodness.

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7. Mexican Turkey Tortilla Casserole

This lightened up ground turkey tortilla casserole recipe is easy to customize. It features delicious layers of seasoned ground turkey along with whole wheat tortillas and cheese.

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8. Mexican layered casserole ground beef recipe

Here is another layered casserole that is easy to customize with your favorite ingredients. For example, you could easily substitute pinto or black beans for the corn.

9. Gluten Free Tamale Pie

This easy tamale pie casserole recipe is perfect for those that are looking for gluten free options. It also happens to be low carb.

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10. 7 Layer Black Bean Dip

Okay, so this one doesn’t qualify as a casserole but since it’s nice to have an appetizer (and it’s also assembled in a casserole dish) it made the list! This 7 Layer Black Bean Dip recipe is perfect for your party and also quite filling! It’s always nice to add a few appetizers to your Cinco de Mayo recipe menu.

How to prepare a Cinco de Mayo celebration feast

If you're like us, you know there are few days that are more fun to celebrate than Cinco de Mayo. Being that we're Southern, it's only natural that we light up the kitchen (well, without the fireworks, of course) with some of the deliciously vibrant dishes our neighbors in the deeper South have mastered and shared.

We do, of course, want you to be properly prepared, so we've curated 20 surprisingly simple recipes that you'll have no trouble pulling off for your fiesta. Especially if, like us, you also enjoy a Cinco de Mayo margarita or two. Don't worry — we wouldn't dare give you a Cinco recipe roundup without including a margarita recipe too. Enjoy!

Yucatan-Style Ceviche with Avocado
It's not as tricky as you might think to make ceviche, but don't take any shortcuts with your fish. You’ll want to find the freshest fish of the highest quality available, such as bass, snapper, grouper or halibut. This is also not the time to cut corners with bottled citrus juices. Buy your own limes and juice them — the difference is very noticeable.
Get the recipe
Shrimp Ceviche
If you want to steer away from fish and keep it pretty simple, this shrimp based ceviche is perfect. Made with a combination of sweet, juicy shrimp, citrus juices, ripe mango pieces and sliced avocado, this ceviche variation will make you feel like you're on a tropical beach.
Get the recipe
Grilled Pineapple Salsa
While we are huge fans of tradition salsa, this grilled pineapple version kicks it up a notch. Made with red bell peppers, jalapeño and an almost absurd amount of lime juice, this is the recipe to pull out when you want to make an impression. The sweetness and acidity of pineapple makes it a perfect partner for grilled meats, poultry and fish. Try this salsa on tacos, pulled pork sandwiches, burgers or with your favorite seafood.
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Chipotle Cauliflower Tacos
Want in on all the festive fun but prefer to keep it meatless? These incredible smokey chipotle roasted cauliflower tacos will do the trick. For this dish, cauliflower florets are roasted at a high temperature, coated in a thick chipotle and garlic paste. Corn tortillas and charred poblano peppers help round out the tacos and give them a flavorful kick. A squeeze of lime ties all these flavors together, and in 25 minutes tops, you have a mouthwatering meal fit for a fiesta.
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Bourbon Lime Chicken Tacos
Bourbon can provide a potent kick to marinade, and this recipe will liven up your chicken with rich flavors that blend superbly with sweet honey and fresh lime juice. By adding a memorable zest to simple street tacos — topped off with diced onion, cilantro and lime — this bourbon-based dish is sure to become a fast favorite.
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Campfire Burritos
Burritos are such an easy food to prepare for a camping trip if you're headed to the great outdoors this weekend. Everything inside them is already cooked, they require no utensils or cooking equipment, and you can easily customize them to your liking. Just tightly wrap them in aluminum foil and throw them in the fire until hot throughout.
Get the recipe Guacamole
Nothing's too difficult about stirring up all the ingredients it takes to turn avocados into guac. It takes five minutes and limited effort other than a wooden spoon and moderately strong wrist for stirring. You will want to allow a brief amount of time for the included vegetables to macerate (i.e., let them break down by soaking to remove some of the bitterness), and serve immediately, or the avocados will begin to turn brown. If you want to make the recipe a little ahead of time, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole to minimize oxygen exposure, and store in the refrigerator for a maximum of two hours.
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Agave Margarita
Here's our take on a classic margarita, no sour mix needed. The bright tartness from the lime plus the sweetness of the agave nectar blend to make a perfectly-balanced cocktail. The best thing about this margarita — aside from its simplicity — is that you can riff off of this basic formula. Add fruit juice or swap in some mezcal for a smokier taste. The possibilities are endless!
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Frozen Strawberry Margaritas
This perfect twist on the classic is just in time for the season's favorite fruit — strawberries. Here you can use either fresh or frozen strawberries to help create a sweet and tart cocktail that is perfect alongside some salsa.
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Prickly Pear Margarita
Not to be superficial, but the color of this cocktail alone is reason enough to want to try it. Made with prickly pear syrup and all the other traditional fixings, this recipe should definitely be in your arsenal.
Get the recipe Grapefruit Margarita
This citrus-centric mixture refreshes the thirst just as nicely as the tequila it contains relaxes and rejuvenates the soul. And if you truly want to elevate your margarita game, ditching the store-bought sour mix in favor of making your own is a great start. We've included the sour mix recipe with the margarita instructions, and it will last for about ten days in the refrigerator, so you'll have plenty in the event that the fiesta doesn't end on Seis de Mayo.
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Photos (shrimp ceviche, pineapple salsa, campfire burritos, agave margarita, strawberry margarita): Ramona King
Photo (cauliflower tacos): Ryan Hughley
Photos (guacamole, grapefruit margarita): Ranji McMillan

Chef Jeffrey Gardner is a native of Natchez, Miss., and a graduate of Millsaps College and Johnson & Wales University. He lives in Atlanta and has served as sous chef for popular restaurants South City Kitchen Midtown and Alma Cocina. In 2013 he became executive chef for East Cobb restaurant Common Quarter and was named one of ten &ldquoNext Generation of Chefs to Watch&rdquo by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. He has appeared on TV shows including Food Network&rsquos Chopped and Cooking Channel&rsquos How to Live to 100, and also filmed a series of healthy cooking videos with retired pro wrestler and fitness guru Diamond Dallas Page. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling the world with his wife Wendy, watching game shows and &ldquospending all his money on Bruce Springsteen concerts.&rdquo

Watch the video: Cinco de Mayo Atlanta (July 2022).


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