4 Crowd-Pleasing Menus for Cinco de Mayo

All the inspiration you need for a Mexican-themed fiesta!
Published April 25, 2022

It’s time to gather your amigos y familia and enjoy these delicious menus inspired by Mexican culture and the celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Mexican food is one of many ways to learn more about this festival, which commemorates the unlikely defeat of French military troops by Mexican forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. To further set the scene, consider learning more about Cinco de Mayo and Latin culture by listening to Mexican music, decorating your home with traditional Mexican decorations, and reading more about the importance of this historic event.

A Build-Your-Own Taco Menu for Cinco de Mayo

Tacos have long been a staple in Mexico and are thought to predate the arrival of Spanish conquistadors by several centuries. Depending on how much time and help you have to prepare this menu, you can choose to make one or all of the suggested taco fillings below (or any other number that works for your celebration.) If you don’t have the equipment to make corn tortillas by hand, you can buy good quality fresh or frozen tortillas from your local Mexican or Latin American grocery store.

A Mexican Street Food-Inspired Cinco de Mayo Menu

Mexico street food is world-renowned, particularly in Mexico City and Los Angeles — where Latin American culture continues to have a huge influence on popular cuisine. In Mexico, the foods sold from street vendors are called antojitos, which translates from Spanish to mean “little cravings.” If you can’t find fresh corn-on-the-cob to make Mexican street corn, try this recipe for esquite salad instead, which calls for frozen corn. Serve these menu items with an ice-cold lager and a wedge of lime or glass of homemade lemonade.

Baja-Style Menu for Cinco de Mayo

The secret to a successful Baja-style Cinco de Mayo menu is an abundance of fresh ingredients and a selection of quality seafood (opt for frozen if fresh is unavailable). Baja borders the state of California and is famous for its shrimp cocktail, called a Coctel de Camarones estilo Mexicano. We’ve included a zippy Key lime-version below — for added texture and authenticity, feel free to add finely diced cucumber, celery, Spanish onion, or jalapeno peppers to the cocktail sauce before serving.

Cinco de Mayo Breakfast or Brunch Menu

Begin your Cinco de Mayo festivities first thing with this menu inspired by classic Mexican breakfast recipes. We’ve included two options to choose from for the main dish, either Huevos Mexicanos or Nacho Chilaquiles. Jicama is becoming more readily available at grocery stores, but if you’re unable to find it, sweet potatoes or yams can be used in its place.

Looking for more Cinco de Mayo-themed meal ideas?

Don’t forget these classic sides and dips, all of which are perfect for serving with many of the recipes listed above.