New York

The Best Cinco de Mayo Celebrations in NYC

Peter Wintersteller
Peter Wintersteller
Peter Wintersteller

If Easter is the Christmas of spring, then Cinco de Mayo may be its New Year’s Eve: the peppy follow-up event characterized by booze, dance music, colorful streamers, and parties that rage on long after the sun folds into the Hudson. Every fifth of May, New Yorkers rally to celebrate Mexican culture through food, music, and — most notably — drinks. While mass intoxication isn’t exactly the reason for the season, it’s certainly enticing.

This year in NYC, May’s liveliest holiday takes flight with rooftop parties, taco-tasting competitions, a live donkey, and enough drink deals to keep you dancing through the weekend. So squeeze in a siesta before you fiesta, and maybe set aside some time to understand why you’re drinking in the first place. You’ve got a busy weekend ahead.

FOOD AND DRINK SPECIALS

Molly Tavoletti
Molly Tavoletti
Molly Tavoletti

Infamous Bistro

Upper West Side
Stroll out of the park and onto a patio for open-air drinking at Infamous Bistro. All day long, they’re serving mezcal palomas for a painless $8. The featured cocktail pairs fresh grapefruit and chili salt with the smoky liquor to create a unique, warm weather concoction. It’s smoke and spice at an affordable price.
Cost: $8 per paloma

Courtesy of Clinton Hall
Courtesy of Clinton Hall
Courtesy of Clinton Hall

Clinton Hall

Williamsburg, Midtown, Midtown East, FiDi, and Belmont
Reward your appetite at any of Clinton Hill’s locations on Sunday. If you’re looking for discounts, get three tacos and three margaritas for $25 total, or order a bucket of Coronas for the same price. At 4pm, customers at the Williamsburg and 36th Street locations can also whack piñatas to score mini tequila bottles.
Cost: $25 taco and tequila flights; $25 buckets of Corona; standard menu prices vary

Courtesy of Bodega Negra
Courtesy of Bodega Negra
Courtesy of Bodega Negra

Bodega Negra

Chelsea
Dream Downtown’s resident Mexican hotspot vows to spice things up with the Habanero Hot Box, a pair of tacos packed with four types of chiles, four cheeses, and a smattering of salsas, habanero cream, jalapeno chorizo, and cotija on top. The flaming dish, available from May 1 through the summer, arrives in a smoke-filled glass dome, and until Cinco de Mayo, brave patrons can get the new, creamy El Medico cocktail at half-price to soften the blow.
Cost: The Habanero Hot Box (two tacos) costs $16; the El Medico is $8 from May 1-5

Courtesy of Bar Hugo
Courtesy of Bar Hugo
Courtesy of Bar Hugo

Bar Hugo

SoHo
Elevated drinking adds pizzazz to any boozy fiesta, so when Hotel Hugo’s classy rooftop bar promises Cinco de Mayo discounts on a whole roster of drinks, you know you’re in for a good time. All Sunday night, take in Lower Manhattan views and reasonably priced liquor at a beloved SoHo spot. May 5’s must-try is the El Tapatio, a tequila-based cocktail with flavors of orange, cucumber, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime.
Cost: Select beers are $6; house wine is $8; well cocktails are $9; specialty cocktails (including the El Tapatio) are $10

Courtesy of The Hummus & Pita Co.
Courtesy of The Hummus & Pita Co.
Courtesy of The Hummus & Pita Co.

The Hummus & Pita Co.

Chelsea, Tribeca, and Midtown
For one week only, you’ll find Cinco-inspired pita tacos at all Hummus & Pita Co. locations. From Friday, May 3, to Friday, May 10, fill fried pita “taco shells” with any combination of their usual ingredients. Falafel? Toss it in the taco. Turkish meatballs? Go for it. Chicken tabun? It’s holiday chicken now. Top with veggies, salads, and a signature hummus for a well-rounded celebratory bite.
Cost: $9.95 for a set of three tacos

Courtesy of Brooklyn Cider House
Courtesy of Brooklyn Cider House
Courtesy of Brooklyn Cider House

Brooklyn Cider House

Bushwick
When cideries and Mexican holidays overlap, amazing things happen. Brooklyn Cider House just reopened its outdoor deck, and Cinco de Mayo weekend offers the perfect excuse to break it in. On Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5, you’ll find Cider-Ritas, chips & guac, and $2 tacos on the menu. BCH has plenty of other Cinco-friendly options, too, like the shareable Cider House Nachos, complete with your choice of pulled pork, chicken, or veggies.
Cost: $2 tacos; $10 Cider-Ritas; $9 chips & guac; prices for standard menu items vary

Ed's Lobster Bar
Ed’s Lobster Bar
Ed’s Lobster Bar

Ed’s Lobster

Nolita
Ed is keeping it simple this year, but when a seafood joint decides to take part in the fun at all, who’s to say it’s not enough? Cut to the chase with half-priced mojitos and margs between 3 and 7pm on May 5. It may not be the most traditional Cinco destination, but celebrations are what you make of them — plus, their fish tacos are plenty on-theme.
Cost: Cocktails normally run around $12-13; cut in half, you’re looking at less-than-$7 drinks

Courtesy of The Flying Cock
Courtesy of The Flying Cock
Courtesy of The Flying Cock

The Flying Cock & The Horny Ram

Kips Bay & Midtown East
On May 5, customers at sister bars The Flying Cock and The Horny Ram can expect ice cold beer buckets ($36) and regular happy hour specials from 4-7pm. The Horny Ram will also serve freshly made margaritas ($13) all day long, marked down to $7 at happy hour.
Cost: An ice bucket with six beers runs $36; margaritas at The Horny Ram are $13 for most of the day, $7 during happy hour

PARTIES AND EVENTS

Peter Wintersteller
Peter Wintersteller
Peter Wintersteller

Thrillist Taco Knockout

Thursday, May 2
Union Square
Help Thrillist find the best taco in town at this year’s Taco Knockout, where 15 taquerias will serve up their most prized recipes in an attempt to win your vote. Between sampling, stop by the Michelada bar for a custom drink, listen to live music, and snap a pic at the photo booth. That’s living life to the Thrillist.
Cost: $65

Rochelle's NYC
Rochelle’s NYC
Rochelle’s NYC

NYC Cinco de Mayo Bar Crawl

Saturday, May 4
Lower East Side
Slink between five watering holes at this holiday bar crawl. Register at Libation between 2 and 6pm and set on your way. Most spots have food and drink promotions until 10, but if it’s a mariachi band you seek, drop into Casa Mezcal before they pack up at 5. Consider tonight a pregame for Sunday’s main events.
Cost: $10 wristbands ($7.50 each for groups of four or more) get you discounted drinks at participating bars

Cinco de Mayo Penthouse Party

Saturday, May 4
NoMad
Take Cuatro de Mayo up 20 levels at one of NYC’s best rooftop bars, 230 Fifth. The 20th-floor penthouse comes to life at 8pm, and for the first hour, drinks are 2-for-1, and apps are free throughout the evening. Of course, no skyline-adjacent party’s complete without DJs and dancing, so come prepared to break a sweat as you ring in the month’s booziest day.
Cost: $20 admission; 2-for-1 drink specials for the first hour

Courtesy of Ghost Donkey
Courtesy of Ghost Donkey
Courtesy of Ghost Donkey

Ghost Donkey’s Cinco de Mayo Party

Sunday, May 5
NoHo
Bleecker Street’s Ghost Donkey and Saxon + Parole are bringing extravagance this Cinco season. Their joint party begins at 1pm, when guests can feast at a whole roasted pig taco bar, order a variety of Mexican drinks, dance to a hip-hop mariachi band, see a pro nacho eating contest, and pose for a pic with a live donkey. It’ll be a celebration to remember, minus the hefty entrance fee.
Cost: No tickets necessary, but come prepared to pay standard menu prices for food and drinks; table reservations can be made for groups of 10+

Tequila 101

Sunday, May 5
Chelsea
Yeah it makes your clothes fall off, but like, what is it? Gain a deeper knowledge of your favorite agave spirit at Tequila 101 in the Chelsea Market. Learn what goes into making tequila and how to best use it while sampling four hand-crafted variations, plus its smoky sister spirit, mezcal. The afternoon course is a perfect precursor to your evening festivities, and an excellent day drinking justification.
Cost: $50

TAO Group
TAO Group
TAO Group

Taco Celebration at Vandal

Sunday, May 5
Lower East Side
Open bar, all-you-can-eat tacos, margarita tastings, and guacamole? The Taco Celebration has it all. From 6-8:30pm, soak up the party in Vandal‘s Secret Garden, an art-forward indoor/outdoor dining space perfect for celebrating.
Cost: $60

Kenny Rodriguez
Kenny Rodriguez
Kenny Rodriguez

CINCO

Sunday, May 5
Bushwick
House of Yes shimmies the extra mile for holiday celebrations, and CINCO has all the markings of another successful Bushwick rager. Let tequila take control as two Brooklyn musicians set the dancefloor mood from 3pm till around 10. Unlike most HoY parties, CINCO is free to enter. Come ready to dance the day away — this just might be NYC’s wildest May 5 fiesta.
Cost: FreeSign up here for our daily NYC email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun New York has to offer.

Kyler Alvord is a travel editorial assistant at Thrillist. Keep up with him on Twitter and Instagram.

New York

Scavenge for Peeps Cookies and More Fun Treats in NYC This Easter

The best Easter desserts in NYC this spring include Easter Bunny Churros and Carrot Cake Macarons.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.

With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Throughout April
Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

Funny Face Bakery

Through Easter Sunday
NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.

The Doughnut Project

Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday
West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.

Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour

The Fragile Flour

Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday
East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.

Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Through mid April
Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.

La Churreria

Throughout April
Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.

Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci

Lafayette

Throughout April
NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Supr√™mes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.

Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain

Levain

Seasonal
Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.

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Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.

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