5/03/2012 02:04:00 PM

7 Cinco de Mayo Celebrations in Boston

Margaritas on Masa's patio
Boston’s love affair with Mexico continues its run with citywide Cinco de Mayo celebrations and, drum roll, the opening of Rosa Mexicano Boston in the Seaport District on May 8, making this at least the third major Mexican restaurant to open so far this year (others include The Painted Burro and Lone Star Taco Bar). For ideas of where to spend May 5, see below.

Barking Crab: Kick back on Boston’s waterfront at this seafooder, which doubles up with Kentucky Derby apps and Cinco de Mayo drink specials (as lowbrow as they might be: think Budweiser Lime-A-Ritas, bucket of beers). Special apps include burritos and nachos with... pecans. Live music by Gentleman Outfit (3 PM) and Dreadlocks (8-11 PM; 617-426-CRAB).

Bokx 109: Nothing like a $5 taco to get your Mexican on, and at this Newton steak place you’ll find beef, chicken or fish (6-9 PM), along with complimentary chips, salsa, guacamole and a selection of cervezas and cocktails, including watermelon, peach and regular margaritas ($11; 617-454-3399).

El Centro: This quaint South End eatery celebrates its first Cinco de Mayo by serving free appetizers with your brunch or dinner all weekend (617-262-5708).

Lolita Cocina: Save your margarita hankering for this Mexican Back Bay’s “Margarita Mania” - an inaugural competition between Boston bartenders for the best one. Among those participating: Michael Ray (Forum), Domingo Martin-Barreres (W Hotel/Market by Jean Georges), Bill Codman (Storyville) and Josh Jamison (Lolita Cocina). Taste samples during the competition and stick around for the after-party (competition 2-4 PM; party until 1 AM; 617-369-5609).

Masa: The South End iteration parties all day long, starting with their regular Saturday Fiesta Brunch (10 AM-3:30 PM; two courses for $7.95). The Cazadores Tequila girls (3-6 PM) will be handing out samples and giveaways. In the evening, the limited dinner menu features specials like lobster and short-rib “surf 'n' turf” and tapas are served until midnight. All day long order the Tres Chiles Margarita, jalapeño-infused blanco tequila with muddled anaheim and poblano peppers and fresh oranges and limes. Night owls, hang for Pablo Bencid’s Latin Jazz Trio performing from 10:30 PM until close (617-338-8884).

Sweet: We’re tossing in this cupcake emporium to give you a hot-and-sweet happy ending with the special chocolate jalapeño cupcake ($3.25), infused with fresh jalapeño peppers and frosted with Sweet’s signature chocolate buttercream laced with cayenne pepper (Back Bay locations include 49 Mass. Ave., 617-247-2253; and 225 Newbury St., 617-267-2253).

Woodward at Ames: Spend cinco dollars for apps, such as pork taco al pastor with pineapple, cilantro and red onions, at this New American in the Ames Hotel in the Financial District. When it comes to beverages, expect $12 cocktails and $6 Pacificos (617-979-8200).


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