What is Cinco de Mayo?
Cinco de Mayo is an annual celebration held on May 5, which commemorates the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. (It is not the Mexican Independence Day, as commonly believed by many.) In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is widely interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican American populations, and Detroit is not an exception. Southwest Detroit has an abundance of small businesses located in different corridors, such as Bagley Street, Vernor Highway, Lawndale Street, Springwells Street and Michigan Avenue.
Want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year but don’t know where to start? Visit one of TechTown Detroit’s clients or alumni located in Southwest Detroit!
Cafecito Alvarez pop-up at Batch Brewing Co.
1400 Porter St., Detroit
Cafecito Alvarez is a traveling coffee bar specializing in pop-up events and catering. For Cinco de Mayo, they will participate in a pop-up from noon to 10 p.m. at Batch Brewing Co., alongside other pop-up food vendors and organizations. There will also be live entertainment from The Mariachi Mexico and DJ Ejay starting at 3 p.m.
El Asador Steakhouse
1312 Springwells St., Detroit
The philosophy of Chef Luis Garza, owner and chef of El Asador Steakhouse, is that when you love what you do, it shows. His regional inspirations come primarily from Puebla, Hidalgo, Nuevo Leon and the coastal regions of Veracruz and Tamaulipas. El Asador Steakhouse’s most popular dishes are the ribeye con rajas and salmon al horno (baked salmon). Food is a universal love language; to make theirs inclusive, the eatery offers halal dishes as an ethical way to invite the Muslim community to enjoy Mexican cuisine.
El Salpicon Restaurant
8600 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit
Visit El Salpicon Restaurant if you want to enjoy a meal while recovering from a fun night out. With an extensive menu, you’ll find what your taste buds are craving. A fan-favorite dish is their seafood stuffed lobster. They are also known for their salsa sarandeada, a homemade sauce typical to the state of Nayarit in Mexico. Another highlight — El Salpicon offers karaoke every Friday!
3923 Vernor Hwy., Detroit
La Jaliscience’s dishes and sauces are cooked with the freshest ingredients and the Mexican touch they are characterized by. Their dishes are tasty; the birria de chivo (marinated goat meat) and trozos de chicharron frito (fried greaves) are excellent. The most popular dishes are the chilaquiles verdes (tortilla chips with green tomatoes and cilantro sauce, topped with an egg, sour cream, onions and fresh cheese), quesadillas with chicarron (fried greaves) and sopes de cecina (a specialty dry meat).
1930 Springwells St., Detroit
La Posada offers regional goods from Jalisco at affordable prices. Originally starting off as a market, the business evolved into a restaurant that offers everything from tacos and chiles rellenos (green chile pepper stuffed with minced meat and coated with eggs) to home-cooked breakfasts and full-catered dinners. Their best dish is la parrillada posada, which is their house platter featuring grilled steak, chicken breast and chorizo.
7849 McGraw St., Detroit
La Rosita’s mission is to create a family-friendly environment where both Detroiters and tourists alike can enjoy authentic Mexican food and groceries. Stop by and try their famous gorditas and pick up tortillas and spices to cook at home. They also have a great meat selection and, of course, the best chorizo.
8445 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit
La Terraza is a fine Mexican dining and entertainment establishment that makes various traditional Mexican dishes, seafood, soups and desserts. Some of their main dishes are the shrimp cocktail and ceviche de pescado (fish), in addition to other traditional Mexican dishes. They are also known for their entertainment, offering all kinds of Mexican/Latinx music.
Mangonadas del Barrio
1210 Lawndale St., Detroit
Primarily focused on delicious snacks and desserts, the traditional flare is found in every bite at Mangonadas del Barrio. This is the best place in the area to savor snacks such as the mangonadas (a delicious mango drink and the restaurant’s signature treat), aguas frescas (a non-alcoholic Mexican drink), cueritos (pickled pork skin), dorilocos (a street snack made with Doritos and other flavors) and more. Mangonadas del Barrio was recognized for their accomplishments as part of TechTown’s annual benefit, Toast of the Town.
3443 Bagley St., Detroit
Taqueria Lupitas is in the heart of Detroit’s Mexicantown and specializes in comfort street food with a diverse offering of meats and soups. Enjoy a selection of daily made salsas, aguas frescas and the well-known traditional Mexican tacos that are known as “street-style tacos” in the U.S.