Cinco de Mayo is the day when everyone channels their inner Mexican spirit. The commemoration popularized by Mexican-American immigrants now is celebrated by Alabamians from all cultures.

Greater Birmingham is a great place to get in the Cinco de Mayo mood. The metro area is filled with food trucks and eateries specializing in Mexican street fare, restaurants devoted to regional cooking from Oaxaca to Nayarit, as well as places offering the more familiar tasty mashup known as Tex-Mex.

Mexican tienda markets dot the region, including supermarkets with bakeries and large specialty butcher stands. Several area bars specialize in tequila and mezcal drinks.

The only limitation is that May 5 falls on a Sunday this year, an off day at many of these establishments, especially taco trucks.

Now, maybe you subscribe to the theory that no fun-time holiday worth its salt should ever be confined to one day. By making a weekend out of it, your options expand considerably.

A Friday or Saturday start puts back in play taco trucks all over the metro area like Los Valedores in Homewood and Taqueria Juarez in Hoover. The same applies to brick-and-mortar taquerias like Gordo’s in Homewood, and agave bars like Pilcrow in downtown Birmingham. All are normally closed on Sundays.

But if you’re a purist, here are parties and places open on Cinco de Mayo itself.


Party at Adios

Adios, the Birmingham agave bar run by Mexican natives and Birmingham restaurant mainstays Jesus Mendez and Jose Medina Camacho will throw an all-day fest on Cinco de Mayo featuring a dance party and a pop-up preview of their next project, Salud Taqueria.

Mendez (Unos Tacos, The Louie Bar) and Camacho (Automatic Seafood and Oysters, Little Donkey) will serve street tacos, quesadillas, and burritos for brunch and dinner. DJ Nemo provides the music from noon until 5 p.m. when Tony Rodio takes over for the evening.

Located on First Avenue North in Birmingham, Adios was listed last year among the 15 best places in the country to drink tequila by “Food and Wine” magazine. Recently, the industry group, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, named Adios one of the region’s best cocktail bars.

Mendez and his parents are the culinary forces behind Salud Taqueria, which the business partners plan to open this summer with another Birmingham restaurateur, Vinh Tran (Ono Poke). Food planned for the Cinco de Mayo pop-up includes tacos and other snacks filled with asada beef, chorizo sausage, or suadero.

Suadero is thin-cut brisket, salt-rubbed, and boiled with aromatic seasonings. The resulting broth, enhanced with onions, garlic, duck fat, and filtered water, is used to slow-simmer all the meats for the menu, ribeyes, sausage, and suadero. With each taco order, portions are seared and folded into softened handmade corn tortillas.

The fare also is featured in monthly third-Sunday brunches at Adios, which started in April.



Restaurants serving the cross-border culinary creation, Tex-Mex food, abound throughout the Birmingham area and many are open on Sundays. But if you’re craving a selection of the snacks collectively known as antojitos—tacos and related handheld food like sopes, gorditas, burritos, and quesadillas—you want a nearby taqueria restaurant or a food truck. Both are remarkably plentiful in the Birmingham area—except on Sundays.

But you’ll find your faves on Cinco de Mayo at places like La Tia Paisa in Homewood, Taco Morro Loco in Avondale, and Taqueria Los Primos in Hoover. El ZunZun in Cahaba Heights specializes in food from the Oaxaca state in southern Mexico; as a bonus, its bar serves nearly a dozen flavors of margaritas and stocks a large inventory of premium tequila and mezcal. You’ll find a similar situation at the Birmingham agave bar Mayawell and its regular food truck, Mezon, which normally are closed on Sundays but will celebrate on the fifth of May.

Don’t overlook markets with in-house eateries like Tienda y Taqueria Fiesta near Pinson. The muy-popular food truck in Homewood, Dos Hermanos (located outside the gas station at 211 West Valley Avenue) also is open on Sundays.



Join revelers on a ticketed pub crawl on Saturday, May 4, or on Cinco de Mayo itself. Offered by, participants will have access to drink discounts at four venues, plus an afterparty. Saturday’s event has a “tacos and tequila” theme; tickets are available here. Sunday tickets are sold here. Tequila shots are predicted at both events, so organizers ask that revelers arrange safe passage back home.


Be Merry (En Casa)

Mexican tienda markets are the best launching point for a do-it-yourself Cinco de Mayo party. The largest—like El Mercado in Hoover, Tienda y Taqueria Fiesta near Pinson, and the Mi Pueblo stores in Homewood and Pelham—have all the basic supplies, including carnicerias where butchers prepare meat for tacos and tortillas that are made fresh in-house. They’re also open on Sundays. Colorful decorations like Mexican-style banners are easily found at these Mexican markets and mainstream stores like Party City, which has locations in Huntsville, greater Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Opelika, Montgomery, Mobile, and Spanish Fort.