Where to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in New Orleans

*This post was updated in February 2019!

Did you know that Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the United States than it is in Mexico?

While many foreigners think that Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican Independence from Spain (which was won in 1810), it is actually a celebration of Mexico’s heroic 1862 defeat of the French in the Franco-Mexican War. Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of The Battle of Puebla, and today, is celebrated largely in the state of Puebla, but is a very minor holiday in the rest of the country. In the United States, however, this holiday has been adopted as a celebration of Mexican culture.

If you need an excuse to eat Mexican food, here’s your chance! Whether you're celebrating all day long or just grabbing a margarita before heading to the Fair Grounds for another weekend of New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, there are plenty of places to celebrate in New Orleans. Here are some of the ways we suggest celebrating Cinco de Mayo!

Dine at one of the many Mexican Restaurants in New Orleans

Here are a few of our favorite Mexican restaurants broken down by New Orleans neighborhoods!


  • Casa Borrega: an old house that’s been converted into a lively, quaint and very colorful restaurant

  • Juan’s Flying Burrito (four locations across the city): has an extensive menu with a number of Lousiana-inspired dishes

  • Taqueria Corona: has a charming neighborhood feel with home-grown cooking!

  • Superior Grill: Watch the streetcar go by on St. Charles and grab one of Superior Grill’s famous margaritas. Beware: they’re strong!

  • Araña Taqueria Y Cantina: “Yucatan-inspired” modern Mexican cuisine


  • Juan’s Flying Burrito: see above

  • El Gato Negro: claims to be “New Orleans’ most authentic Mexican kitchen”; casual and warm

  • Felipe’s Mexican Taqueria: fresh, quick, quirky and fun!

Mid City

  • Juan’s Flying Burrito: see above

  • Felipe's Mexican Taqueria: see above


  • The Velvet Cactus: a nice outdoor courtyard; a hip Mexican-inspired place

  • El Gato Negro: see above

  • Felipe’s Mexican Taqueria: see above


  • Los Jefes Tortilleria: authentic Mexican food made from fine, fresh ingredients

For more, check out list of New Orleans' best tacos

Listen to some live music

Many local performers, including some salsa & merengue bands, put on a festive celebration at a handful of the many Mexican restaurants around town. Typically, you can count on Casa Borrega, The Velvet Cactus, and Felipe’s to have live music!

If you know of any top-notch Mexican restaurants in New Orleans or things to do on Cinco de Mayo, let us know in the comments section below!

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