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Pollo Norte’s Mexican street-style rotisserie chicken
Mattie J. Bamman/EPDX

Where to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Portland

Your guide to 2017 food specials, parking lot parties, and pig racing

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Pollo Norte’s Mexican street-style rotisserie chicken
| Mattie J. Bamman/EPDX

There’s always plenty of things to do — and eat — on Cinco de Mayo in Portland. You can start by frequenting any of this city’s many worthy Mexican restaurants and taquerias, and if you’re looking for spots rolling out specials and extras on the special holiday itself, you can swing by the restaurants on this map. Here are some of the best meals and deals to celebrate Cinco de Mayo 2017 in Portland.

Looking for more ideas? Take these maps for a whirl:

(The points on this map guide are not ranked; rather, they're organized geographically.)

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Verde Cocina at Sylvan Highlands

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Verde Cocina is pulling no punches this Cinco de Mayo holiday. Each of its four locations will run food and margarita specials. The Pearl location will have a DJ and stay open till 11 p.m., and the Mississippi restaurant will be screening old-school silent Mexican movies. But things will really be cooking at the Sylvan Highlands location, which will feature family-friendly fun, like games of plinko and corn hole, as well as face painting for the wee ones. Those activities go down from 4 to 8 p.m. on Cinco de Mayo and resume the following day, from 1 to 6 p.m.

El Gallo

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This Cinco, El Gallo’s Jake Ray Brown will be offering pork, cheese, and, house-pickled jalapeño empanadas. Wash them down with homemade horchata, but don’t forget to save room for a choco taco dessert.

Xico’s introducing a new drink called the Mai Thai Chi Li, which is actually a chile Mai Tai made with dried pineapple and pasilla negro-infused rum. Food specials will include Dungeness crab tostada appetizers and a sharable pollo asado, which comes with salsas, tortillas, and other sides. And if the patio party gods are satisfied, the restaurant is hoping to seat guests on its secluded outdoor space.

Nuestra Cocina

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Also if the weather cooperates, the folks at the immensely popular Neustra Cocina hope to set up their Frogtown Taco cart in the parking lot. That way, you can get some relief while you wait for a table and that incredible queso fundido con chorizo verde.

Violeta Rubiani

Güero No. 1 Tortas

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Do you like margaritas? How about frozen, slushy margaritas? To ring in their first Cinco de Mayo in their brand-new brick-and-mortar digs, Güero’s Megan Sanchez and Alec Morrison are going full-on Cinco de Slushy: Find $5 slushy margaritas all day long. Keep your eyes peeled for food specials, too.

Facebook/Güero N. 1 Tortas

Pollo Norte

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The Mexican street food-style rotisserie chicken spot Pollo Norte is also serving slushy margaritas this Cinco de Mayo at its NE Glisan St. location: $5 boozy slushies all weekend.

Tamale Boy

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Tamale Boy’s celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a three-day party. On May 4 and 6, they’ll offer tequila drink specials, but the real action is on May 5, itself. On that day, the restaurant will offer paloma specials, tequila specials (with Tamale Boy’s homemade tepache), and beer and tequila shot specials. And from 6 to 9 p.m., it will host live music on the patio, featuring the local band Rats Gone to Rest. Pro-tip: Don’t sleep on that tableside guacamole.

Chalino

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Chalino, the new Mexican restaurant by experienced chefs Johnny Leach (Momofuku) and Dave Haddow (Xico), is celebrating its first Cinco de Mayo by delivering its house-made micheladas — made with Tecate, beef stock, tajin, Valentina salsa, and lime — at a solid discount for $5. Also on offer are its regular halibut ceviches, fried chicken pibils, and mezcal flights.

Taqueria Nueve (T9)

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For this year’s celebration, T9 is throwing a parking lot tent party, complete with carnitas tacos, chips and guacamole, T9 margaritas, Mexican beers, festive Jell-O shots, and a tune-spinning DJ.

Noraneko

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You might not think that the Japanese noodle shop Noraneko would be taking advantage of the Cinco de Mayo holiday, but on this day and this day only, sous chef Santos Gongora is cooking up some conchinita pibil. You can order as-is, or if you’re feeling adventurous, get it as a sandwich, ramen, or — dare we say it — ramen nachos.

River Pig Saloon

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Each Cinco de Mayo, River Pig shuts down its portion of NW 13th Avenue, brings in bales of hay, and creates a race track for a day of beer drinking and pig racing. And because Cinco falls on a Friday, the saloon will race pigs for three straight days to coincide with the Pearl District’s First Thursday art (ahem, wine) crawl and Sunday’s Kentucky Derby Day festivities.

Ramzy Hattar/River Pig Saloon

Verde Cocina at Sylvan Highlands

Verde Cocina is pulling no punches this Cinco de Mayo holiday. Each of its four locations will run food and margarita specials. The Pearl location will have a DJ and stay open till 11 p.m., and the Mississippi restaurant will be screening old-school silent Mexican movies. But things will really be cooking at the Sylvan Highlands location, which will feature family-friendly fun, like games of plinko and corn hole, as well as face painting for the wee ones. Those activities go down from 4 to 8 p.m. on Cinco de Mayo and resume the following day, from 1 to 6 p.m.

El Gallo

This Cinco, El Gallo’s Jake Ray Brown will be offering pork, cheese, and, house-pickled jalapeño empanadas. Wash them down with homemade horchata, but don’t forget to save room for a choco taco dessert.

Xico

Xico’s introducing a new drink called the Mai Thai Chi Li, which is actually a chile Mai Tai made with dried pineapple and pasilla negro-infused rum. Food specials will include Dungeness crab tostada appetizers and a sharable pollo asado, which comes with salsas, tortillas, and other sides. And if the patio party gods are satisfied, the restaurant is hoping to seat guests on its secluded outdoor space.

Nuestra Cocina

Violeta Rubiani

Also if the weather cooperates, the folks at the immensely popular Neustra Cocina hope to set up their Frogtown Taco cart in the parking lot. That way, you can get some relief while you wait for a table and that incredible queso fundido con chorizo verde.

Violeta Rubiani

Güero No. 1 Tortas

Facebook/Güero N. 1 Tortas

Do you like margaritas? How about frozen, slushy margaritas? To ring in their first Cinco de Mayo in their brand-new brick-and-mortar digs, Güero’s Megan Sanchez and Alec Morrison are going full-on Cinco de Slushy: Find $5 slushy margaritas all day long. Keep your eyes peeled for food specials, too.

Facebook/Güero N. 1 Tortas

Pollo Norte

The Mexican street food-style rotisserie chicken spot Pollo Norte is also serving slushy margaritas this Cinco de Mayo at its NE Glisan St. location: $5 boozy slushies all weekend.

Tamale Boy

Tamale Boy’s celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a three-day party. On May 4 and 6, they’ll offer tequila drink specials, but the real action is on May 5, itself. On that day, the restaurant will offer paloma specials, tequila specials (with Tamale Boy’s homemade tepache), and beer and tequila shot specials. And from 6 to 9 p.m., it will host live music on the patio, featuring the local band Rats Gone to Rest. Pro-tip: Don’t sleep on that tableside guacamole.

Chalino

Chalino, the new Mexican restaurant by experienced chefs Johnny Leach (Momofuku) and Dave Haddow (Xico), is celebrating its first Cinco de Mayo by delivering its house-made micheladas — made with Tecate, beef stock, tajin, Valentina salsa, and lime — at a solid discount for $5. Also on offer are its regular halibut ceviches, fried chicken pibils, and mezcal flights.

Taqueria Nueve (T9)

For this year’s celebration, T9 is throwing a parking lot tent party, complete with carnitas tacos, chips and guacamole, T9 margaritas, Mexican beers, festive Jell-O shots, and a tune-spinning DJ.

Noraneko

You might not think that the Japanese noodle shop Noraneko would be taking advantage of the Cinco de Mayo holiday, but on this day and this day only, sous chef Santos Gongora is cooking up some conchinita pibil. You can order as-is, or if you’re feeling adventurous, get it as a sandwich, ramen, or — dare we say it — ramen nachos.

River Pig Saloon

Ramzy Hattar/River Pig Saloon

Each Cinco de Mayo, River Pig shuts down its portion of NW 13th Avenue, brings in bales of hay, and creates a race track for a day of beer drinking and pig racing. And because Cinco falls on a Friday, the saloon will race pigs for three straight days to coincide with the Pearl District’s First Thursday art (ahem, wine) crawl and Sunday’s Kentucky Derby Day festivities.

Ramzy Hattar/River Pig Saloon

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