Mexico defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla 160 years ago. The victory is celebrated on Cinco de Mayo. Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on September 16, the day Mexico won its independence from Spain. That information isn’t often served with a deeply discounted margarita.
Over the years, the celebration migrated to the United States, where the liberation transformed into an inauthentic day of frozen margaritas and Tex-Mex specials. As much as I love the sizzle of a fajita plate or tickle of a tajin-covered tequila shot, May 5 is not the day for that.
It is a day to support Latinx-owned businesses in Dallas, to learn about the history of Mexico with a purchase from an operation like The Wild Detectives. And to eat at locally-owned restaurants instead of a chain.
Here are a few recommendations on how to celebrate Cinco De Mayo in Dallas.
Del Sur Tacos on May 5
Xaman Cafe and Ayahuasca Cantina on May 5
The hybrid coffee shop and bar on Jefferson Boulevard is celebrating Cinco De Mayo with drink specials (elenita and tequila shots) and assorted tacos (beef, pork, or veggies). At 7:30 p.m., DJ Elkin Pautt will perform a Latin dance set until midnight.
Los Tlacuaches on May 5 at Ruins
Honor the courageous heroes of Batalla de Puebla at this historic pop-up at Ruins. Four years ago, Saul Avil Hernandez, Jose Gonzalez, and Orlando Trejo started the pop-up as a way to educate guests through Mexican cocktails. “I was done with Drinko de Mayo or Cinco de Drinko, whatever you call it, and [wanted to] reclaim the actual celebratory victory that it was,” Gonzalez told us last year. This year, it’s moved from Ayahuasca’s dimly lit, intimate backroom into bigger digs at Ruins in Deep Ellum. The pop-up starts at 6 p.m.
Cinco De Mayo Showcase on May 7 at Dated Faded Worn Store, 2924 Main Street
This Deep Ellum vintage store is celebrating Cinco De Mayo with a food and drink, music, and fashion event from 8 to midnight. Margaritas on Tap & Maracas Cocina will provide tacos and margaritas. Come early to grab an exclusive shirt from the Malcriadas Collective collaboration with local artists Felipe Velez and Kris Piña. Local designers Casa Vintage, Quick Strike Vintage, Different Paths, and Rear Love will have apparel available for purchase. Stay for a live screening of the Canelo vs. Bivol fight.
Puro Party on May 7
Bring the family to Oak Cliff Coalition for the Arts 30th anniversary parade. The arts and culture nonprofit kicks off the celebration with a parade at 10 a.m. Along the parade route will be DJs to keep the crowd moving and celebrate the neighborhood’s rich Latinx culture and heritage. Rocket Radio, Faded Deejays, Nosocial For DENUMUG, Tejano to the Bone Radio, Debbie Does Disco, TRU Sound Coalition Deejays, Tejano Jams Radio, and Empire DJs will be the featured DJs for the day. Flamenco Fever and Teatro Dallas will perform for the crowd at 1 p.m. RSVP.