The exciting yearly festival of Cinco De Mayo in San Diego is on the horizon, and we’re here to tell you all about it.
Every year on May 5th, locals and tourists come together to remember Mexico’s insane triumph against the French Empire in the Battle of Puebla. Celebrated throughout Mexico and across the USA, there’s no better time to be in San Diego to see the chaos that unfolds on the city’s streets.
With the festival only around the corner, we have compiled a list of the top San Diego Cinco De Mayo events so you don’t miss out on anything.
Old Town Fiesta Cinco de Mayo
Location: San Diego Old Town
When: May 5th – May 7th
Brace yourself for a Cinco De Mayo celebration like the Mexicans do at the free annual historic Old Town Fiesta.
One of San Diego’s charming districts will transform into a huge fiesta. Watch lively street performers march through bustling mercados with specialty shops and past vibrant colored buildings displaying authentic artwork, blaring traditional Hispanic tunes. Indulge in countless amounts of street eats while giving your set of maracas a shake. Twenty Latin bands are lined up for the big event, from Mariachis to Ballet Folklorico; you don’t want to miss this.
This is Greg and I’s favorite place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in San Diego. We take the trolley, watch the performances and live music, and grab a bite to eat. Make reservations or get your name on the list at your favorite Old Town restaurant immediately, as the wait can be VERY long.
The Old Town Fiesta is a party for people of all ages and is absolutely free to enter, but make sure you bring some extra dollars for a couple of Margaritas throughout the day.
All funds raised through the event will be donated to the Historic Old Town Community Foundation, so the money you spend will go towards a good cause.
2023 Cinco De Mayo SD
Location: Gaslamp Quarter
When: May 5th – 5:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Are you ready for the ultimate way to celebrate Cinco De Mayo? The wild Cinco De Mayo SD promises plenty of tequila, tacos, and the best of tunes.
Kick things off by grabbing your passes at the American Junkie San Diego, which gives you access to 15 of the city’s best bars, restaurants, and clubs with some cheeky surprises along the way. Soak up some vibrant live entertainment and take advantage of eight welcome shots along the way. The bartender will choose your poison.
Tickets for this event cost $30 and must be purchased beforehand, and all visitors must be over 21.
Cinco de Mayo Sunset San Salvador Sail
Location: Maritime Museum of San Diego
When: May 5th – 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Yes, you heard it, the Cinco De Mayo Sunset San Salvador Sail is returning this year, and it promises to be better than ever.
Sail through the waves of the Pacific onboard a 16th-century galleon replica with tonnes of entertainment for ticket holders. Listen to the sound of traditional Spanish guitar music while drinking some crafty tequila-infused cocktails.
Tickets cost $140 per person and include entry to the two-hour cruise, a light Mexican appetizer, and a complimentary cocktail. Just so nobody goes thirsty, there will be a cash bar onboard with plenty of Mexican lagers.
San Diego Cinco De Drinko Friday Pub Crawl Party
Location – Taste & Thirst 715 4th Ave San Diego
When: May 5th – 5 PM – 2 AM
What better way to celebrate Mexico’s famous festival than by joining a pub crawl?
It’s time to get loco! Grab your sombrero and head to Taste and Thirst to join hundreds of other like-minded people to drink copious amounts of cervezas and tequilas. Stop by almost a dozen best bars and clubs in the city, where plenty of drink specials and paid-for cover charges await.
A guide who knows San Diego’s nightlife scene better than anyone will look after your group. They’ll navigate the city and work their magic to ensure everyone reaps the benefits of VIP entry to certain venues. Get your tickets online beforehand in case they run out.
The Cinco De Mayo Friday Pub Crawl is strictly 21+. Bring your ID with you to avoid being refused by one of the venues.
Tacos and Beers Brews Cruise with Stone Brewing and Flagship Cruises
Where: Flagship Cruises & Events 990 North Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101
When: May 4th 7 – 10:30 PM
A party bay cruise with Flagship Cruises is always a good idea, but even more fun on a themed night and sponsored by one of San Diego’s most popular San Diego Breweries.
So hop on board and enjoy a brewsy cruise with tasty tacos while enjoying the beautiful views of downtown from the water.
Cant Even Comedy x Lola 55 Cinco De Mayo Comedy Show In San Diego
Location – Idea1 Apartments 899 Park Boulevard San Diego
When: May 5th – 5 PM
Have a good chuckle during Cinco De Mayo at the Cant Even Comedy Show hosted by one of our favorite San Diego Taco Shops: Lola 55
Laugh out loud to a five-star lineup, including massive names such as Caitlin Benson, Malik B, Ken Flores, Tacarra Williams, and Willie Mac. Before the giggling begins, there will be a DJ playing some great Mexican beats to get the crowd in a festive mood. Food and drinks specials provided by Lola 55 will be up for grabs, too, so make sure you arrive hungry.
Every ticket purchase has a minimum two-item purchase. You may as well get some margaritas for the day that’s in it. This is an adults-only event, so leave the kiddos at home.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar Cinco de Mayo Events
Where: Fairmont Grand Del Mar
When: May 5th – May 7th
The Fairmont Grand Del Mar has some fun events planned for Cinco de Mayo this year! If you want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in San Diego in style, this is a great choice!
The Art of Tequila Tasting Event:
The Cinco de Mayo festivities start off with a Tequila Tasting Event on Friday, May 5 from 4-5:30pm on the Amaya Terrace. You’ll taste your way through all varieties of tequila (Blanco, Reposado, Anejo, Crystalino, Smoke and the newest release, XA). You’ll learn about the differences and flavor profiles and food pairings while nibbeling on a variety of Mexican tapas. ($75/person, plus tax and gratuity). To reserve, click HERE.
The Art of Tequila Pairing Dinner:
Who doesn’t love Mexican food? Especially an elevated 6-course tasting menu and tequila-based cocktail pairing at 6:30pm on Friday, May 5 with renowned Volcan de Mi Tierra, Dos Hombres, and Clase Azul Tequila houses. ($175/person, plus tax and gratuity). To reserve, clickHERE.
Cinco de Mayo Weekend Brunch:
Weekend Brunch is always a good idea. You can celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a special Baja brunch on Saturday and Sunday mornings on May 6th – May 7th from 11am-2pm at Amaya. Delight in a three-course Mexican-inspired brunch with dishes such as chilaquiles or huevos rancheros complete with bottomless margaritas! ($70/person, plus tax and gratuity). To reserve, click HERE.
Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Escondido
Where: 141 E Grand Ave 141 East Grand Avenue Escondido
When: May 5th – 7 PM
It wouldn’t be Cinco De Mayo without some live Lucha Libre wrestling.
The four-hour Best Nation Wrestling event will have multiple in-ring Lucha Libre fights, live music, burlesque dancing, and vendors selling various food and drinks, including fish tacos for fighting lovers to enjoy.
Doors open to watch the fiery fun at 7 PM sharp, and tickets are available at the door, but they’re cheaper if you get them online beforehand.
Cinco de Mayo Festival Escondido
Where: Grape Day Park Escondido
When: May 5th 11 AM – 4 PM
This family friendly event has something for everyone. Cultural dances and performances, food and street vendors and of course plenty of live music. Perfect for families!
Cinco De Mayo Salsa Night Temecula
Where: Bastards Canteen Temecula
27717 Jefferson Avenue Temecula
When: May 5th – 8 PM
Get your groove on at the Temecula Bastards Canteen’s Cinco De Mayo Salsa Night.
Learn how to dance as the Mexicans do through free lessons provided by the Salsa Lab while DJ Juan Ramirez looks after the music. Once you’ve learned the basics, Rene Latin Soul will do a live performance to keep the party going.
Bring your pals along or go solo and meet some new people at this free entry event. It’s first come, first served, so get there as early as you can to avoid disappointment.
And that’s our list of Cinco De Mayo celebrations in San Diego. It’s lining up to be a day we’ll never forget. Don’t forget to purchase the tickets for the events you want to attend, as they sell out faster than you think.
Last Updated on May 3, 2023 by Maria Haase
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