Where to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Key West
Every Cinco de Mayo, Key Westers rally to celebrate Mexican culture through food, music, and - most notably - drinks. Though we love our fish tacos, tequila, and fiestas every day of the year, May 5 is a chance to double down with tasty Mexican eats and drinks all over the island. Here’s where to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Key West.
Although we strive to provide the most current information, due to COVID-19, events mentioned may be cancelled without notice. We recommend checking individual websites for updates and social distancing measures before visiting.
For the Cinco de Mayo Food:
I think it’s safe to say that Cinco de Mayo is a favorite ‘food holiday’. We love to go loco with a sampling of chips and guac, ceviche, and of course, tacos. Fortunately for us, Key West is home to a variety of restaurants serving authentic Mexican cuisine. The Gates Hotel offers food from The Blind Pig, a new Key West food truck parked permanently at the hotel. Try the skirt steak, pork belly, or firecracker shrimp tacos with yucca fries, or the conch ceviche marinated in key lime juice. If you find yourself in Old Town, give your tongue a South of the Border searing at Old Town Mexican Café, Bad Boy Burrito, Chico’s Cantina, or Amigos Tortilla Bar on Greene Street for their signature square street tacos.
For the Cinco de Mayo Drinks:
To commemorate Mexico’s victory in the Battle of Puebla against France in 1862, Cinco de Mayo brings out massive crowds of partygoers for a night of revelry with cerveza and tequila-based drinks. Now that we know why we’re drinking in the first place, it’s time to find the drinks to keep us dancing through the night. Visit Rum Row’s bar and lounge at The Gates for specialty cocktails like ‘Kiss the Bootlegger’, made with Cabo Wabo Tequila, Canton Ginger Liqueur, mango nectar, and a dash of Bittermens Hellfire Shrub shaken with fresh lime juice and basil leaves, or the ‘Spanish Marie’, a lime juice and ginger beer swirl topped with Partida Tequila and a float of Hum Botanical Spirit. Find some of the best margaritas on the island at Margaritaville, Willie T’s, and Pepe’s Café, plus Hard Rock Café on Duval Street is introducing three new jumbo margaritas (Rocksberry Rita, Sweet Chili Rita, and Cadillac Rita) for a limited time in the days leading up to the holiday.
For the Cinco de Mayo Scene:
Taverns along the waterfront and Duval Street wave the red-white-and-green flags, summoning passersby inside for an epic Cinco de Mayo celebration. Find nightly live salsa music at El Meson de Pepe’s in Mallory Square, or, for a memorable fiesta, join Schooner Wharf Bar for their annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration. The family-friendly event has been a Cinco de Mayo staple in Key West for over 25 years and features live salsa music, taco eating competitions, a hot pepper eating contest, and prizes for the best Mexican hat.
Want to squeeze in a siesta before you fiesta? The Gates Hotel offers comfortable guest rooms, hourly shuttle services to Mallory Square, onsite food and beverage options, and a spectacular swimming pool. Choose from our best rates and special offers when you book direct with The Gates Hotel, a Conde Nast award-winning Key West destination.