Where to find Cinco de Mayo food and drink specials near you

Few foods are more popular on May 5, or Cinco de Mayo, in the United States than enchiladas, tacos, guacamole or margaritas.

Thursday will mark the anniversary of the Mexican army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Although it’s a small holiday in Mexico, it’s become a big day in the United States, including in the Mohawk Valley, where people celebrate with food, drink and entertainment.

Here are some local restaurants and bars that join in the fun of Cinco de Mayo with food and drink offerings:

El Buen Gusto Restaurant

El Buen Gusto on James Street will offer Mexican enchiladas with rice, beans, salad and horchata for $8 on Cinco de Mayo.

El Buen Gusto, which offers a combination of Mexican dishes and Salvadoran flavors on James Street in Utica, will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a special of Mexican enchiladas with horchata, a sweet drink made from water-soaked white rice and cinnamon, half price at $8 instead of $16.

  • Address: 322, rue James, Utique
  • Phone: 315-922-7761
  • Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday to Monday

El Jarocho Mexican Restaurant and Bar

El Jarocho means “someone from Veracruz” in Mexico, as does the owners, who have been serving food straight from Mexico to Rome, NY for the past four years.

This Thursday, May 5, the restaurant will be offering fajitas, a stripped-down grilled meat dish that can be chicken, beef, or shrimp with peppers and onions. You almost can’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo without enchiladas, which El Jarocho will serve with chicken, rice, beans, cheese sauce and green tomato sauce. Fajitas and enchiladas will be available at 15% off for Cinco de Mayo.

Enchiladas with rice, beans on a green cheese and tomato sauce with fajitas and nachos with pico de gallo from El Jarocho in Rome.

Margaritas will be served for $3.50 and beers including Corona, Dos Equis or Modelo for $2.50.

  • Address: 1305 Floyd Avenue, Rome
  • Phone: 315-533-5964
  • Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays.

Rio Grande Tex Mex and Grill

Because Cinco de Mayo “is the day,” Rio Grande will have a special menu with dishes they don’t normally have every day. Some of them will be tamales, chile rellenos, Mexican lamb meatballs, and shrimp-stuffed jalapeño peppers. The menu will range from $12 to $19 and people can order a combo plate if they want to try a bit of everything on the menu.

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With so much food, people might get thirsty, so Rio Grande will have special margaritas for $10 and sangria wine for $6. For dessert, the restaurant offers a homemade tres leches cake and flan for $5.

Besides food and drink, Rio Grande will also be celebrating the day with a DJ playing music outside.

  • Address: 3913 Oneida Street, New Hartford
  • Phone: 315-737-1010
  • Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday

The Pearl Restaurant

La Perla, a recently opened Mexican, Salvadoran and Mexican restaurant on James Street in Utica, joins the Cinco de Mayo fun with several offerings. Some of them include chicken or beef tacos, which will be $8, bean enchiladas, rice, cheese for $8. Burritos with fries included will also be priced at $8.

Customers can also enjoy camarones a la diabla, which are spicy shrimp with rice, salad and beans for $14. This also includes pineapple, cantaloupe, or tamarind juice, which is homemade. The quesadillas will cost $9 and come served with guacamole, sour cream and nachos.

Mojarra al ajillo, which is a type of fish, will include rice, salad, beans, and corn tortillas with a free drink for $13. Make it spicy with Mojarra a la diabla for the same price.

  • Address: 202, rue James, Utique
  • Phone: 315-507-2050
  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Sunday

Saloon Killabrew

This sports bar has been celebrating Cinco de Mayo for several years and this time it will be no different. Killabrew Saloon will feature a chef’s specialty, which will include tacos, quesadillas and more. The price will vary from $8 to $12. Tequilas, margaritas and beers such as Corona or Modelo will also be available.

To make it a party, Killabrew Saloon will be providing live entertainment with a band playing from 7pm to 10pm.

  • Address: 10 Clinton Road, New Hartford
  • Phone: 315-732-9733
  • Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 2 a.m. Sunday

Irwin’s Fine Dining

Right on Genesee Street in Utica, people can enjoy a special Cinco de Mayo menu at Irwin’s Fine Food. For $12, guests can have Mexican street corn soup, a chicken burrito with rice and mango salsa, and a watermelon salad with cucumbers, pumpkin seeds, and citrus dressing.

  • Address: 240 Genesee Street, Utica
  • Phone: 315-724-3845
  • Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday

Frank Sazon

Don’t be confused by Sazón Frank’s Dominican and Caribbean cuisine, for Cinco de Mayo they are also joining in the fun. Open since February 2021, the restaurant will serve a two-taco special for $5 and owner Nieves Núñez will bake pupusas, a flat, round corn cake filled with cheese, pork and beans, which will be available for $5.

In addition to these special offers, Sazón Frank will also offer a 20% discount on its regular buffet.

  • Address: 657, rue Bleecker, Utique
  • Phone: 315-507-3234
  • Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday

Maria M. Silva covers food, drink and culture in the Mohawk Valley for the Observer-Dispatch. Email him at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter.