If you like Mexican food, margaritas, and any reason to celebrate with them, this list is for you! We’ve curated some great Latin-inspired restaurants and food trucks throughout Portland, so you can celebrate everyday like it’s Cinco de Mayo – because why save all the fun for just one day? That being said, we do love any reason for a party, so we’ve thrown in some specific Cinco de Mayo events as well, for good measure.
The 5th of May is a commemorative date honoring the Battle of Puebla, Mexico’s victory over the French in 1862. Interestingly enough, this holiday is more widely celebrated in the United States than Mexico, as a date of commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage.
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Bayside Bowl – 58 Alder St
Get over to Bayside Bowl and spend Cinco de Mayo with some of the best musicians Portland has to offer (and some of the best tacos too!) Gina & The Red-Eye Flight Crew is a collection of former Boston-based vocalist Gina Alibrio, and veterans from well-known Portland bands such as Rustic Overtones, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, Jaw Gems and more, and they are all ready to party with you in their Cinco de Mayo Throw Down. Show starts at 8:30PM. Click here for full details and ticket information.
Disco Jalisco – 135 Washington Ave
The taco truck will be kicking off its second season with a dance party at Root Wild Kombucha from 1-8PM. Music kicks off at 6PM, but they’ll be dancing and slinging tacos all afternoon and hope you’ll come and join in too! Cinco de Mayo Friday and Fridays going forward the team will be cooking up a special Al Pastor using Root Wild’s Pineapple Jalapeño Kombucha in the bringing/marinating process.
Coals Bayside: Coals Bayside is pulling out all the stops with a mini tap takeover by Liquid Riot featuring $5 draft beers and special cocktails to get you in the festive spirit. But that’s not all – don’t miss the chance to try their mouth-watering nacho pizza, a delicious fusion of two classic favorites.
And if that’s not enough to get you excited, Liquid Riot will also be giving away some awesome prizes to lucky party-goers. So grab your friends and head down to Coals Bayside for a night of great drinks, amazing food, and all the Cinco de Mayo festivities you could ask for!
Harbor Bistro + Terrace – 468 Fore St
If you’re looking for for some Latin-inspired foods you won’t see every day, head to Harbor Bistro + Terrace at the Portland Harbor Hotel for some great food specials only available on the 5th. Start your meal with their Mojo Pork Belly, or Guac & Queso for the table. For your entrée, try their Carne Asada, Crispy Barbacoa Tacos, or Fried Fish Tostadas. Finally, wash it all down with flavored margaritas, specialty cocktails, or, for the more adventurous, the Ranch Water Sno Cone.
Mexican + Latin Inspired Restaurants:
Amigos Mexican Restaurant – 9 Dana St
Amigos has long been king of the Old Port party scene of Wharf Street. It’s no surprise that this no frills bar and restaurant is a local favorite, offering a jukebox, darts, pool table and outdoor patio that often has a band playing. But what many forget is that Amigos is also a bon a fide Mexican restaurant offering classic fare like chimichangas, burritos, and tacos. Top off your meal with a house margarita or draft beer.
Bird & Co – 539 Deering Ave
Bird & Co. is a great neighborhood taco bar just outside of downtown. Their menu features a diverse selection of tasty tacos, ranging from vegan options like crispy tofu to more traditional options like their house taco with carnitas. No taco is complete without a margarita – and don’t worry, the Bird has some of the best in town! Bird and Co is open for lunch, dinner, and delivery, as well as brunch on the weekends. Pop in, or hang outside on their patio this Spring and Summer! For Cinco de Mayo, Bird & Co. will have Rambler Flower Truck on site from 3PM – 7PM selling fresh beautiful boutiques for spring season.
Cabana: – 111 Middle St
Cabana is a vibrant restaurant and bar with a tropical vibe! They serve up delicious shareable tapas inspired by Latin American cuisine, with a focus on the flavors of the Dominican Republic. You can enjoy tasty cocktails and Afro/Samba/Latin music until late into the night, making Cabana the perfect spot for a fun and lively evening out!
El Rayo – 26 Free St
A Portland staple since its days located on the corner of York Street, El Rayo never fails when you’re craving Mexican food. Their menu offers yummy appetizers like golden jet pineapple skewers dusted with chili powder, as well as classic tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and salad. Their drink menu is no joke either, presenting a wide array of tequilas for tasting (including flights), mixed drinks, and of course margaritas. Try the Snake Bite if you’re looking to add some spice this Cinco de Mayo.
Jefe Juans – 47 Wharf St
We love a family affair at Portland Old Port, especially sister restaurants! Jefe Juan’s features a delicious menu inspired by Boss Juan’s favorite recipes, the head chef of sister restaurant Mash Tun. Their menu features traditional Mexican fare, as well as some classic Maine food like lobster rolls. Jefe Juans offer late night eats from 10pm to close – which may mean it’s a great last stop for your Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
La Bodega Latina Grocery Store: 863 Congress St
If you’re looking to enhance your cooking with some added spice, or seeking out specialty products you won’t find elsewhere, look no further than La Bodega Latina. Open daily for in-person shopping, or pop online to CarHop and get everything on your list, including cerveza, delivered to your door!
Lenora – 2 Portland Sq
A new addition to our Cinco de Mayo list, Lenora serves a Mexican street food-inspired menu with options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Start your day with a delicious bodega sandwich, or eat a late dinner featuring several taco options, tostadas or tortas. Don’t skip out on their drink menu, either. They’ve got a great cocktail menu including margaritas, specialty cocktails, as well as refreshing and creative mocktails for those trying to avoid alcohol.
Maiz – 621 Forest Ave
Maiz is a fun and family-friendly eatery that specializes in Colombian arepas, empanadas, and other tasty treats. Maiz offers a variety of fillings to suit all tastes. Whether you’re in the mood for something savory or sweet, you’re sure to find something delicious on the menu. So head on over to Maiz and enjoy some authentic Colombian cuisine in a lively and upbeat atmosphere.
Quiero Cafe – 3 Deering Ave
Quiero Cafe is most known for their incredible empanadas that feature a range of Latin flavors like sweet plantains and chorizo. In addition to their hand pies, Quiero Cafe offers appetizers, hearty sandwiches, dessert, and a full drink menu featuring margaritas (of course), daiquiris, smoothies, limeade, and soda. Whether indulging in tequila, or keeping it non alcoholic, Quiero Cafe is definitely a restaurant that should be added to your “must visit” list.
Restaurante El Corazon – 190 State St
If you love tacos, but want to add a bit more variety to your plate, El Corazon has a large menu of traditional Mexican fare. Go hard with your Cinco crew with appetizers like Cocteles de Marisco (Seafood Cocktails), queso fundido, and grilled Mexican corn, or indulge in larger portions like a smothered burrito, specialty plates, or enchiladas. In addition to clinking cervezas and margaritas, treat the table to something sweet like their churros.
Taco Escobarr – 548 Congress St
It’s debatable whether Taco Escobarr is most known for their puffy taco, or their funky atmosphere complete with bright colored chili lights and luchadores mural. If you’re in the mood to get festive, Taco Escobarr is a great place for casual, affordable, and authentic Mexican food and beverage. Unique to Taco Escobarr is their diversity of tacos, offering your favorite treat three ways – soft, crispy, or puffy. Why try one, when you can have all three!?
Terlingua – 40 Washington Ave
Terlingua combines flavors of the Southwest to have a barbecue/Tex-Mex vibe at their restaurant located on Washington Ave. Featuring one of the biggest deck/patios in Portland, Terlingua is a great spot for Cinco de Mayo celebrations, or any day the sun is out (including winter). What you can come to expect are top notch margaritas with a chili rim, smoked-meat stuffed tacos, BBQ boards, and more. Even better, Terlingua offers a marketplace where you can take home their delicious meats and pretend you’re a top chef.
Tic Taco – 1 City Center
Looking for lunch on the run? Look no further than Tic Taco – a to-the-point Mexican restaurant located in City Center. If you can’t make it out for a rowdy Cinco de Mayo, Tic Taco can still fulfill your need to indulge in Mexican food.
Sal de la Tierra – 581 Congress St
Sal de la Tierra serves an exquisite mixture of Latin cuisine, featuring flavors of Mexico, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Colombia and more! This restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner for dine in or take out; if you’re grabbing take out, go down the block and bask in the sun in Congress Square Park. Some favorites on the menu include pupusa, tacos, and burritos.
Their tag line tells you everything you need to know, “a food truck serving metal-ass tacos all over Maine” Go hard this Cinco de Mayo with tasty bites from Ironclad Eats. The team will be at Belleflower Brewing Co. from about 1 PM – 7 PM and will definitely have some specials going on!
Tacos la Poblanita
For authentic Mexican food be sure to check out Tacos la Poblanita for tacos, burritos, quesadillas and more this Cinco de Mayo. Usually out on the Eastern Promenade during the season but you can stay up to date on their location via social media.