Nothing says Cinco de Mayo more than great tacos and a refreshing beverage. While Cinco de Mayo is not widely celebrated in Mexico, it has become a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage in the United States. Here is a list of the best places to get your Mexican fix in the Triangle.
Gonza Tacos y Tequila– Cary, Downtown Raleigh, North Raleigh, Wake Forest
Gonza has been the winner of several INDY Week awards and WRAL Out And About accolades, thanks to their delicious cocktails and an interesting menu that features a fusion of Mexican and Columbian flavors. Not only is the food spectacular, but each location has an amazing outdoor patio and intricate decor.
El Tapatio- East Raleigh, North Raleigh and Wilson
Looking for a more casual joint that feels like abuelita’s home kitchen? Try El Tapatio for a relaxing, authentic Mexican dining experience. The portions are huge and the food is very flavorful. They also have fresh Sangria for $2.99 a glass to wash down your meal.
Gringo A Go Go– Downtown Raleigh
Located in an old gas station, Gringo A Go Go is serving up fresh traditional Mexican cuisine, with a wide selection of vegan options available. The decor is very quirky, but the food never disappoints and includes some authentic offerings that you cannot find everywhere, including buñuelos, horchata and chilaquiles.
Tacos La Gringas– Food Truck
Named for its signature dish, Tacos Las Gringas serves up Oaxacan traditional dishes, a part of Mexico known for their open-air markets and variety of spices. Every dish on the menu is flavorful and very delicious, especially the Las Gringas and Nachos Borrachos.
El Jefecito- Food Truck
Looking for tacos? Try out this food truck, with tacos perfected by Chef Laureano. This truck focuses on making delicious tacos for everyone, including vegetarian options, however they also serve burritos, pupusas and quesadillas. All of the toppings are fresh and there are some unique offerings, like the Bulgogi taco (with kimchi and Sriracha sauce).
Birriera El Patron– southeast Raleigh and Food Truck
For anyone who is a fan of Birria tacos (popular in Los Angeles), this place is for you. This family-owned food truck and now restaurant offers delicious, high-quality Birria tacos, which are tacos filled with braised beef and served with a side of stew for dipping. The newly opened restaurant has a large selection of authentic seafood offerings, with a huge selection of fish and shrimp dishes.
The Original Flying Burrito – northwest Raleigh
While The Original Flying Burrito offers Tex-Mex food instead of the traditional Mexican flare, they have a varied, eclectic menu, with options for everyone, including gluten-free and vegan. There are plenty of different, interesting dishes to try, which will keep you coming back for more. If you are planning on staying and ordering take-out for the night, they also sell their refreshing cocktail mixer.
For those seeking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with some Mexican cuisine, be sure to call ahead for reservations, as many restaurants are expecting a large crowd and several are opening early to accommodate the crowds. Wanting to avoid a busy restaurant? Get your take-out order in early.