Cinco de Mayo Celebrations in San Diego

Zack Garhart
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Want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in style? With events throughout the city, we’ve picked the best ways to experience Cinco de Mayo in San Diego!

San Diego knows how to party. If you’re adventurous and looking for a fun, exciting way to celebrate this Mexican holiday, we’ve got you covered with our best recommendations for the best places to go in downtown San Diego, Pacific Beach, and Mission Beach.

Exploring Downtown

The top destination for Cinco De Mayo celebrations is Old Town. This historic district is the perfect place to kick off your day. With rich ties to its Mexican culture, Old Town is filled with authentic restaurants, vibrant mariachi bands, and festive decorations. From Friday, May 3rd through Sunday, May 5th, this pocket of San Diego will be buzzing with entertainment, food, and artisanal markets.

One spot that we love and is known for its fish tacos and California-inspired Mexican fare is Miguel’s Cocina. With mouth-water favorites like grilled swordfish tacos and savory mole, this place has a menu that is fit for any taste! For more than four decades, Miguel’s Cocina has made an impression on San Diego with their homemade tortillas and refreshing margaritas. Make sure to stop by before leaving Old Town!

Once you’ve cruised through Old Town, head over to the Gaslamp district in downtown San Diego. This vibrant neighborhood is where people come to cut loose and enjoy some of the city’s top bars. Their bar crawl during Cinco De Mayo is one way to experience the area and take in all the Mexican culture you can! More than a dozen establishments participate in this bar crawl, giving you a taste of plenty of flavors and local favorites!

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Head Over to Pacific Beach

This popular beach town is known for its surfer vibes and lively atmosphere. If you’re looking for cheap but fresh eats, head over to Oscar’s Mexican Seafood for some of the best fish tacos in San Diego. Oscar’s sells alcohol, so you can wash them down with a cold beer or a tasty margarita.

Looking to hit the water for your Cinco De Mayo celebration? Check out this Yacht Tour on Shelter Island! It’s easily accessible from Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach. A ticket includes admission for the tour, plus tacos! The tour runs for 2 & 1/2 hours and tickets are going fast, so don’t wait around to buy yours!

Last but not least, Mission Beach.

This iconic beach town is the perfect place to soak up the sun and celebrate Cinco De Mayo with your friends. Check out Mavericks Beach Club, which is known for its lively atmosphere and great drink specials. Mission Beach is also close to many local Mexican restaurants, and we recommend making the walk down to La Playa Taco Shop! This little hole-in-the-wall taco joint serves up some of the best Mexican food in town, and their prices are fair.

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Want another look at Old Town and all that it has to offer? Watch this video!

Once you’ve had a chance to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in style, hop on over to our awesome Mission Beach Backpacker Hostel.

In conclusion, San Diego has plenty of options for celebrating Cinco De Mayo. Whether you’re looking for authentic Mexican cuisine or just a great place to grab a drink with friends, Old Town, Pacific Beach, and Mission Beach, we have got you covered. So put on your sombrero and get ready to party like a true local!


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