Cinco de Mayo: Miami's Ten Best Places to Celebrate

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Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day (which is September 16, by the way).

Cinco de Mayo is actually the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, when the Mexican army kicked France's butt May 5,1862. In any event, Cinco de Mayo (or Cinco de Drinko) is celebrated in the United States and parts of Mexico as a day of heritage and pride.

Somehow, it has also turned into a day to consume mass quantities of tacos and tequila -- and we won't argue with that. Want to show your pride? Here are the ten best places to raise a glass and say, ¡Viva México!

Radio Bar will start its celebration at 1 p.m. with free chips and salsa, served in sombreros; adult piñatas filled with mini liquor bottles (here's hoping they're plastic) and condoms; a cactus ring toss, drunken pin the tail on the donkey, and a live themed DJ. Margarita punch bowls serve eight and cost $55.

Toro Toro will celebrate Cinco de Mayo for three days. From Friday, May 3, through Sunday, May 5, enjoy a "spiced up" happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m., with $2 tacos and blood-orange margaritas ($6). Stay for the three-course dinner ($39), which includes chiles en nogada (poblano chilies, savory beef picadillo, and walnut cream); pollo con mole; and sopapillas con chocolate y cajeta.

Mercadito Midtown is hosting a two-day celebration. The fiesta begins Saturday, May 4, at 9 p.m. with authentic Mexican mariachis. Sunday, May 5, enjoy a special Cinco de Mayo brunch. Beginning at 11:30 a.m., try enchiladas, carnitas hash, (crispy potato, braised pork, fried egg, and sautéed onion), and coles de bruselas (Brussels sprouts, roasted tomato salsa, crema fresca, homemade chorizo, and crisp tortilla chips). Brunch buffet is $35 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 786-369-0430.

Villa Azur is hosting a Cinco de Mayo barbeque beginning at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy lobster, steak, surf 'n' turf, and other items alfresco, paired with tequila cocktails.

Rosa Mexicano Brickell is having an all-day celebration, starting with a special brunch at 11:30 a.m. Special tequila-infused cocktails, live music, mariachis, and a party in the courtyard with taco stations, bars, a DJ, and dancers.

Tobacco Road celebrates Cinco de Mayo beginning at noon and going for 12 hours. Music by Nino Valdes, Dennis Fernandez, Dnotes, Brian Aimisma, CB, Lex Debiasi, White Star, Lex Fine, and Duivan.

Sandbar Lounge celebrates with $2 tequila shots, $8 margaritas, beer specials, and free Mexican food, starting at 1 p.m.

The Village at Gulfstream Park celebrates Cinco de Mayo with a family fiesta by day and a party at the park by night. Beginning at noon, free kid-friendly activities include a taco-building station, face painting, arts and crafts, and live entertainment. From 5 to 11 p.m., Gulfstream's walking ring will be transformed into a Mexican block party featuring food and drink specials, live music, giveaways, and free rides on a mechanical bull.

Jaguar Ceviche Sppon Bar & Latam Grill will serve a special Mexican menu starting at 5 p.m. Mariachis and a parade will entertain while you dine.

Cinco de Mayo Brickell Fest (1001 S. Miami Ave.) will feature mariachis, a mechanical bull, live music, and food. Tickets cost $28 for GA and $56 for VIP. Purchase them at brickellfestival.com/cinco-de-mayo.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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