Cinco de Mayo looks a little different this year, and while we won't miss drunken gringos in party-store sombreros doing Speedy Gonzales impressions, we will miss being able to settle in at our favorite neighborhood cantina to enjoy a platter full of great Den-Mex, Tex-Mex or Mex-Mex food — not to mention a paloma, michelada or margarita.
If you have a local taqueria you've been meaning to patronize, we encourage you to support it by getting takeout there on Tuesday, May 5. And if you need direction, here are nine virtual and curbside Cinco de Mayo events around town, some of which require ordering ahead.
Now go eat some comida Mexicana.
Bartaco1048 Pearl Street, Boulder
Take the day off (by that, we mean don't log into your Zoom meetings and skip your shirt in addition to your long-unworn pants), and instead spend it taking advantage of the Boulder taco bar's all-day programming. In addition to offering Cinco taco kits for takeout (comes with enough chicken and pork belly or vegetables to make sixteen tacos, plus three sides, salsa and chips for $38, or $65 if you include a carafe of four margs), the restaurant's Instagram page will be hosting a full day of live streams starting with a not-too-early yoga class at 8 a.m. Then there are food and cocktail demos at noon and 2 p.m., another fitness class at 3 p.m., and live music at 4 p.m. Order your grub no later than May 4.
The Bindery1817 Central Street
Just because you can't sit down at a table doesn't mean you shouldn't stop by the patio at the inventive Highland eatery on May 5. Baja-style tacos stuffed — or topped, if you prefer yours as a tostada — with pineapple, mezcal and scallop; barbecue shrimp; carne asada; octopus aguachile; or rabbit, cheddar and smoked pecans (to name a few) will be available in boxes of five ($25). Halibut ceviche, jicama cups with lime and mango, conchas, churros and mezcal margarita pie are also on the menu, and the side patio bar will be serving beer, tequila shots and five different margs to go. The Bindery is accepting walk-up orders, though you can also pre-order by calling the restaurant.
Cerveceria Colorado1635 Platte Street
The brewery specializing in Mexican-style suds is celebrating with to-go fiesta packs. For $45, you'll get two six-packs and a Crowler of beer (the selection includes Venga Mexican Lager, Señor Piña Pineapple Blonde and Poblano Pils), three housemade salsas (our mouths are watering over the pineapple and arbol chile version with fried onions and garlic) and a bag of chips. Upgrade to the $70 version and you'll also get a pair of horchata cupcakes and a piñata stuffed with goodies. Then visit the taproom's Facebook page for a live stream at 5 p.m., where piñatas will be smashed, beers will be sipped, and chips will be stuffed into your pastel hole. Visit sister brewery Denver Beer Co.'s website to place your order, then pick up your goods at either Cerveceria on Platte Street or DBC's Arvada taproom (5768 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard) between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday or Tuesday. Delivery is also available within ten miles of the taproom for $5.
Kachina Cantina1890 Wazee Street
Kachina is turning Cinco de Mayo into a family holiday — or a chosen-family holiday, or an asshole-roommates-I-am-stuck-with holiday, or an I-am-losing-it-in-this-apartment-by-myself-should-I-get-a-cat holiday — with its family meals available on May 5. Choose from chicken enchiladas with sour cream ($70) or a chicken and carne asada taco bar with onions, cilantro, cotija and two salsas ($80); both options serve four and include chips, salsa, guacamole, rice, beans and tres leches cake. You can also nab pitchers of margaritas for $25 and Tecates or Coronas for just a buck each. Call the restaurant to place your order no later than 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 3, then pick up the spread on Tuesday between 3 and 7 p.m. Before the night is done, hit parent company Sage Restaurant Concepts' Instagram page at 6 p.m. for a lesson from Kachina bartenders on how to create the eatery's house marg.
Lola Coastal Mexican1575 Boulder Street
Lola may be temporarily closed, but it's not letting Cinco de Mayo pass without popping up. The cantina is accepting pre-orders through Thursday, April 30 (that's today, so don't slack). You can order ceviche, Baja-style paella, taco kits to grill at home (with shrimp, skirt steak, chicken or — our choice — all three), plus Lola's famed guacamole, coin-style margaritas (a bargain at five for $30) and more on Toast for pick-up between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. Didn't get your order placed in time? Guacamole, ceviche and margaritas will be available for walk-up ordering on Tuesday; make sure you bring plastic for contactless payment (cash won't be accepted).
Rio GrandeThree Denver and Boulder locations
While self-isolation has hit some of us hard (resulting in eating, drinking, smoking, sexting and Netflix benders), for others it's brought back the glory days of college (which included eating, drinking, smoking, sexting and Netflix benders). Complete the circle by ordering takeout from any of the Rio's locations, which are offering happy-hour pricing on all single and double margaritas ($7 for a single Classic cocktail and $8 for the Big Tex version; $14 and $16, respectively, for doubles), as well as six-packs for $42 or $48. You can also get fajitas for four for $75 and enchilada dinners for $54. Visit the Rio's website to see its entire takeout menu and order online; alternately, call your closest location to order by phone. The best part of this deal? No pesky bartenders to cut you off after that three-marg limit.
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The Stanley Marketplace2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
The Aurora shopping center and a number of its tenants have a full slate of events planned for May 5, with music and dance rounding out the food and drink offerings and lending a bit of much-needed normalcy to the festivities. Visit Stanley's Facebook page at 4 p.m. to see traditional dance performances by children's dance troupe Raíces de Mi Tierra. Comida has taco packs that feed two to three people, micheladas and five different margs on the menu, and will have Tito Malaga performing Spanish guitar on the patio (and streaming on its Instagram page) from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.; pre-order on its website. Latin-owned Cheluna Brewing Co. is offering $5 off any order of four or more Crowlers or bombers (or combo) ordered on its website, and Create Cooking School will be teaching a 5:30 p.m. class on mixing margaritas and cooking up crispy shrimp tacos with salsa. Complete details are up on Facebook now.
State 38 Distilling400 Corporate Circle, Golden
Just a few of the boozy beverages that hail from Mexico include raicilla, tepache, pulque, sotol, mezcal and, of course, tequila. State 38 is highlighting its homegrown version of the last (which it calls "agave spirits," since the word tequila can only legally be used in Mexico) during its 4:30 p.m. Facebook Live stream, pairing it with something not at all Mexican (bacon) and renaming the commemorative day of a historic Mexican battle "Baco de Mayo" — which at least is better than showing up in a bar chugging Corona and sporting a fake Pancho Villa ’stache. Tune in for a thirty-minute lesson on how to make three cocktails with the liquor-that-must-not-be-named that you can make and savor any time of year: a Bloody Maria, an añejo Old Fashioned and a margarita. Each will be garnished with bacon, which will also make a starring appearance in bites created to accompany the drinks. And if you want your pesos to go further, order two bottles of any brown spirit for pick-up from the distillery between 3 and 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday (including its reposado or añejo agave spirits) and get a free bottle of vodka.
Steuben's523 East 17th Avenue
It doesn't get much more comforting than tacos and tequila, and that's what Steuben's is serving up for May 5. The day's specials include chips and salsa or guac ($5), carnitas tacos with rice and beans ($10), smothered breakfast burritos ($10) and green chile ($4). Wash it all down with $5 margs (regular or pineapple-jalapeño), Tequila Sunrise milkshakes, or a margarita kit that includes a full liter of Espolón tequila, a 750-milliliter bottle of the house marg mix, some rimming salt and (bonus!) a pair of branded Espolón hats (helpful as we're heading into the summer months). Call to order takeout, or text "Steubens" to 33733 for the restaurant's app that includes its daily menu and delivery options.