Culled from TripAdvisor, Yelp! and my own personal experience check out some the best Mexican restaurants in town, just in town for Cinco de Mayo—the celebration of the Mexican army’s victory over French forces in 1862—not Mexican Independence Day, which doesn’t happen until September.
My personal picks for Cinco de Mayo include the juicy pork carnitas tacos and cheese-filled chile relleno at El Toreo on Fair Oaks. The old-school spot is no frills but offers great food and plenty of spicy salsa and chips to accompany the intermittently blaring jukebox.
El Toreo 21 South Fair Oaks Avenue Pasadena, CA 91105 (626) 793-2577
If you’re having a party at home, or just want an excuse for take-out, then swing by Dona Rosa Bakery & Taqueria on Arroyo Parkway. The super salsa bar, fresh bakery and extensive menu filled with Mexican specialties including tacos, tortas, tamales, taquitos, burritos as well as beverages and desserts means that the party can come to you.
Dona Rosa Bakery & Taqueria 577 S Arroyo Pkwy Pasadena, CA 91105 Phone: (626) 449-2999 http://www.donarosabakerytaqueria.com
Over on TripAdvisor, visitors to Pasadena like El Portal on Green Street. Enchiladas, with mole or seafood are big favorites, as is dining on the patio. Intrepid diners enjoy the Yucatanian specials as well as the California-inspired Mexican cuisine.
El Portal Restaurant 695 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91101-2149 626-795-8553 http://www.elportalrestaurant.com/index.html
At Yelp! reviewers give a high rank to Lupita’s Comida Mexicana. Great service and great food from the chips and salsa to dishes like arroz con pollo and different fillings for enchiladas are all big hits and they even offer catering if you want to celebrate at home.
Lupita’s Comida Mexicana 2383 E Colorado Blvd Pasadena Ca, 91107 (626)795-3499 http://lupitascm.com
And of course, if you feel like making a night of it, many spots are offering in-house celebrations and specials, like iX tapa Cantina, which has Power106 broadcasting live all day, with music and specials. Find out all the details on the party at http://www.cantinaixtapa.com. Or head to the Yard House this weekend through May 5th for a special Cinco de Mayo menu of enchiladas, tacos and cocktails. More details can be found on the site here.
ix Tapa Cantina 119 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, Ca 91105 (626) 304-1000 http://www.cantinaixtapa.com
Yard House 300 East Colorado Blvd Pasadena, CA, 91101 (626) 577-9273 http://www.yardhouse.com/home