With 30% of Nevadans being of Mexican background, I suspect Cinco De Mayo is a larger festival in the Las Vegas Area then most other tourist destination.
Once again we would like to help the celebratory crowd enjoy their vacations and maximize the party experience (as we do).
Its not hard to find a Mexican, or a Mexican themed restaurant. So, It really shouldn't be hard to put together a Cinco De Mayo Pub-Crawl, but we like doing this so let us do it for you.
If its nostalgic Mexican restaurants your looking for, the first name on our list would be EL SOMBRERO. Located between the Strip and Downtown at 807 S Main, it's the oldest restaurant in Las Vegas.Not just Mexican restaurant, but oldest all around restaurant. If you've worked Downtown or just enjoy good Mexican you've been to El Sombrero. There isn't much of a party atmosphere here, but the food is excellent and the historic factor makes it a must visit, on Cinco De Mayo or not. Mayor Oscar Goodman was a regular at El Sombrero when in office. (His wife visits too, we're told).
Next would be Ricardo's, a family-owned restaurant started about 30 years ago and now located at Decatur and Flaming. The inside of this place is amazing, from the tiled floors, high ceilings, and massive murals. Its like a step back in time or into a different area of the world. The food is as authentic as it comes and always excellent. Prices are a bit on the high side but its worth it just for the experience, the same as if you pay top dollar for a great steak house or high-end seafood spot. Ive never been here during Cinco De Mayo but could see a great party breaking out, and they're no more then 2 miles from the strip up Flamingo.
Another long lived local favorite, Viva Mercado's, has been around for some 20 years. They started out on the corner of Jones and Flamingo, They now occupy a well needed, much larger, restaurant located on S. Rainbow in the Walmart Shopping center. I believe they have the very best (over a dozen) homemade salsas in town. The menu is in the average price range with nothing unexpected for this quality and authenticity. My favorite dish being the (over) a pound Burritos, at dinner this meal is about 13.95 and at lunch you can build your own combos at around $8-$9, and add a great margarita for $5. I almost forgot about their supply of over 60 Tequilas on the shelves and gaming at the bar.
One day while I was indulging at one of the divey-est bars in Las Vegas(name to remain anonymous) a friend and I were talking about previous trips to El Sombrero. We ended up talking with a local who wouldn't stop raving about this place called LINDO MICHOACAN and he gave me a card with their addresses and suggested I try it . Of course we did because I always listen to local suggestions. This place is amazing. I cant rave enough about it now either. They have a shuttle that will pick up "out of towners" at certain areas of the Strip and Convention center area. They serve authentic Mexican food in a traditionally Mexican themed restaurant. A live Mariachi band plays at two of the locations on Fri and Sat nights, and at the Henderson location they have live music Monday thru Friday nights. That reminds me........of their three locations, I've only been to the one on Desert Inn; so this review is mainly for that one. From 2-5p it's happy hour buy one Margarita or Beer and get one free.. The bar had a ton of Mexican imports to choose from, and lunch comes at around $8.50-$10.50 a plate. They're very proud of the catering room, which can do parties as small as you want or up to 125, but told us the Henderson location does weekly parties for up to 300 people. We ate at Lindo Michoacan on a Monday, and wondered why they had such a family crowd. We soon found out that kids 12 and under eat free on Mondays. They are having all day Cinco De Mayo festivities at all three locations and should be a blast, I would definitely make reservations they will be packed.
As far as Mexican on the strip..... We might as well start at one of the best if not the best,
Border Grill, they're located at the far end of the strip at Mandalay Bay and we are talking very high end food at high end prices, not exactly a spot to celebrate Cinco De Mayo but would make a great date before the festivities later. They serve modern Mexican with a healthy and lighter side to it. They serve very fresh flavorful food; crab nachos and chicken enchiladas are on my list of favorites.
If Border Grill isnt exactly what your looking for, Hussong's Cantina with a much louder party atmosphere is right in the same resort. The story goes (we have no way to back this up) that a bartender back in 1941 invented the Margarita everyone loves till this day at the original Hussong's Cantina. The drinks here are all up or on the rocks, so dont order blended Margaritas. I suspect they should have a great Cinco De Mayo party seeing as they always have a good time in there. Live Rock and Roll form of a Mariachi band Thur, Fri and Sat nights.
Tacos and Tequila is located at the Luxor casino, just up from Mandalay Bay. They promised a party happening on Cinco De Mayo with drink specials and prizes given away, LIVE music. Some specials include a bottle of Dos Equis Lager and a shot of Patron for $10 and $5 well drinks, house wine and sangria, and a $5 happy hour menu from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., featuring chicken quesadillas, habañero wings, flautas, guacamole and more. $5 Margaritas, Tecate, and Hornitos shots. They'll have airbrush tattoo artists, a Mariachi band all day as well as a DJ. Tacos and Tequila is over priced as are most places on the strip, but for Cinco Di Mayo it will be packed with festive tourists. I remember last year Erik Estrada was in attendance. This year they plan on having Lorena Peril from the adult revue, Fantasy, hosting the party. In our opinion a much better draw then Ponch.
MGM might be a fun property to be at on Cinco De Mayo. A dinning option much like Border Grill, DIEGOS is located here, also there will be a couple battles in the arena, one between Mayweather and Cotto, a 12-round fight for Cotto's WBA Super Welterweight World Championship and the vacant WBC Super Welterweight Diamond belt, and the other between Canelo Alvarez and Sugar Shane Mosley. Boxing fans and Cinco De Mayo generally bring out some excitement in Vegas.
Cabo Wabo is good ole, Sammy Hagar's joint at the Planet Hollywood shops. This place is expensive for anywhere but the location is perfect, they do have great music all the time and its a great atmosphere for a Cinco De Mayo party. They love to come around and snap pictures then sell them in a souvenir frame, for around 10 bucks I believe. The food is very.......... average especially for the price. They will give away prizes and have drink specials. If your staying at the Planet Hollywood i would suggest this place simply for the convenience of getting back to your room at the end of the night.
Diablo's sits acroos the street from Cabo Wabo and makes for just as good if not better party atmosphere. The food is way better and they have a great vibe at all times. Every half hour they spin the "WHEEL OF SIN " for great happy hour pricing. Later this week they said they would release Saturday's specials, but they wont be taking any reservations for that days events.
If you plan on doing some shopping before the party begins El Segundo Sol is out front of the Fasion Show mall and perfect for people watching, and throwing some Coronas back. Prices are medium to high for this style of restaurant, but go during Happy Hour and they are CHEAP! On Cinco De Mayo I am told they are having a 2 day party Fri and Sat with drink specials, shot girls running around with occasional free shots, DJ and prizes both days.
Then toward the top of the strip in Circus Circus is Rock and Rita's. An upbeat venue where constant music and flair bar-tending skills are displayed. Food is average but its all about the party at this point of the night.
On to the newest spots coming to the strip. Carlos and Charlies has recently opened and marketed as a lively spot with great happy hours and flair bartenders, if that's a must for you on Cinco De Mayo. Located at The Flamingo right by the sports book this is a huge Acapulco themed, well known 11 restaurant chain. They are open for lunch and dinners, reservations aren't needed usually. The bar terrace seats 40 and offers a great view of the pool area, and is PARTY central.
With a Grand Opening scheduled on Cinco Di Mayo, Senior Frog's is the older step brother to Carlos and Charlies and an original Mexico themed, Spring Break style party hot spot. They have opened their doors without a lot of attention in order to "figure out the clientele and learn the ropes" (actually said to me on the phone) Senior Frog's is also a well known chain with a college dorm party happening all day long. The bar over looks the pool here as well. Good nachos, burritos and other hangover comforts including Margaritas and specialty drinks. They have a interesting table side cart wheeling around where you can create your own guacamole the way you want it. They will be having a huge opening day blowout for Cinco De Mayo, as their theme demands it. I've not been there but hear the prices are expensive and the party is "corporate".
I tried to get party info from both Senior Frog's and Carlos and Charlies restaurants and in both cases I found the employees LESS then helpful. Both locations told me they have no Happy Hours scheduled. At Senior Frogs I even had the privilege of speaking to the (what seemed to be) teenage bar manager, and I quote "I think there will be some girls, there probably should be some jagamiester and margarita deals, You would think".
I was also called "BRO" about 6 times during each call. It is a party/college spring break atmosphere all the time, so if that's what your looking for that's your spot. I'm sure ill visit it if I'm in that area. I just wont go out of my way to get there. I did find out they're both run by the same parent company, and you could tell they have the same phone training course, when I tried senior Frog's again yesterday (Sunday). I think and hope she was kidding but maybe not when I asked "Whats the Cinco De Mayo party plans" and she asked "When is it?"
Guarduno's at Palm's is a little off the strip but it has a fun atmosphere and could easily turn into a great Cinco De Mayo hang out. They have a .99 Margaritas and taco special happening there Mon-Fri from 11a-6p, a really good salsa bar and bean dip as well. Prices are in the medium range not too overpriced. Saturday they offer a Mariachi band and drink specials 4-close. Another spot I personal enjoy a bit off strip is located at the former HILTON now LVH. TRES RIOS CANTINA, yep the one owned by rocker Vince Neil. Neil is known to indulge in a good tequila and actually has his own brand of the same name, Tres Rios. They have two happy hours every day featuring half priced appetizers, house margaritas, Mexican beers and tequila. The atmosphere is cool and casual offering great signature drinks like “Tres Girls” Coconut Rita or the “Red Hot” Apple Rita, the “Smokin” Purple Rita and the “FeelGood” Rita. They also offers a comprehensive list of tequilas (besides his own), beer and wine.
Happy Hours: 2-5pm and 9-11pm daily
I did keep this write up limited to Mexican themed bars and restaurants but one special party to not over look Saturday night will be the closing party at ROCKHOUSE. Rockhouse is located in front of Imperial Palace, directly across from Caesars Palace in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip. The daiquiri and main bar open daily at 10 a.m. and nightclub is open from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. They will be closing after the Cinco De Mayo party and relocating their property later in the year. Until close, starting at 10 p.m., drinks will be priced for $6 then drop down $1 after each hour until 4 a.m. when all drinks will be on the house until doors close for the last time. That would be worth checking out.
Have a fun and safe Cinco De Mayo
ADIOS for now.