Plaza Blog

Cinco de Mayo: A Culinary Journey Through History and the Best Mexican Restaurants in LA to Celebrate

A Fun Celebration:

Cinco de Mayo, celebrated on the 5th of May, is a vibrant and colorful holiday commemorating Mexican heritage and culture. While the origins of the holiday are rooted in the historical Battle of Puebla, food has played a central role in the way people observe and honor the occasion. In this post, we'll delve into the history of Cinco de Mayo from a culinary standpoint, and then recommend some of the best Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles to experience authentic and delicious Mexican cuisine.

The History of Cinco de Mayo:

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army's victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The holiday has since evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture, heritage, and cuisine, particularly in the United States. While it is not a federal holiday in Mexico, it has gained significant popularity in the US, especially among Mexican-American communities.

Cinco de Mayo Food Traditions:

Food plays a significant role in Cinco de Mayo celebrations, with traditional Mexican dishes taking center stage. Some popular culinary choices for the holiday include:

  1. Tacos: A staple of Mexican cuisine, tacos are enjoyed in various forms during Cinco de Mayo, with an array of fillings, such as carne asada, al pastor, and carnitas.
  2. Guacamole: This creamy avocado-based dip is a favorite accompaniment to many Mexican dishes and is often served with tortilla chips at celebrations.
  3. Chiles Rellenos: A classic Mexican dish featuring large, mild chiles stuffed with cheese, meat, or vegetables, then battered and fried to perfection.
  4. Tamales: A traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa (corn dough) filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables, wrapped in a corn husk, and steamed until tender.
  5. Margaritas: No Cinco de Mayo celebration is complete without this iconic Mexican cocktail made from tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur, served over ice or blended with ice.

Best Mexican Restaurants in LA to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo:

If you're in Los Angeles and looking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with authentic and mouthwatering Mexican cuisine, here are some of the best Mexican restaurants to celebrate at in the city:

  1. Guelaguetza: Known for its Oaxacan specialties, Guelaguetza offers a unique and flavorful dining experience with dishes like mole negro and tlayudas.
  2. Guisados: With a focus on homestyle braises served on handmade tortillas, Guisados is the perfect spot for a satisfying taco feast.
  3. Cilantro Lime: This downtown spot has unique twists on Mexican favorites, and food that will make your mouth water. Pop in and pick up some great food to celebrate with!
  4. Casablanca Santa Monica: Transport yourself to a Mexican oasis at Casablanca in Santa Monica, where you can indulge in delicious dishes like carne asada, seafood fajitas, and homemade tortillas. With its unique atmosphere inspired by the classic film "Casablanca" and a tequila bar offering an extensive selection, this restaurant is an ideal spot to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in style.
  5. Salsa & Beer: Renowned for its lively atmosphere and mouthwatering Mexican cuisine, Salsa & Beer in North Hollywood is a must-visit destination for Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Don't miss their famous salsa, generously portioned burritos, and refreshing micheladas, all served in a vibrant and welcoming setting.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in style by visiting one of these exceptional Los Angeles restaurants and immersing yourself in the rich culinary traditions of this vibrant holiday.