By Denise Ortuno

Check out my top 5 Cinco de Mayo party picks, where margaritas, mariachis and Mexican food favorites will abound throughout the Coachella Valley for this festive holiday.

Cinco de Mayo is kind of like St. Patrick’s Day, where everyone becomes Irish for one day, but instead, everyone becomes Mexican. All in the name of having the right to celebrate and throw backs large quantities of alcohol. The holiday actually commemorates the Mexican army’s defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The reason why it is celebrated with such zeal in the United States can be attributed in part to the fact that there is a huge population of Mexican-Americans. And of course, the more shallow explanation could be that it’s another reason to party.

There are many places to enjoy Cinco de Mayo in the Coachella Valley, and it’s a solid fact that we have some of the best Mexican restaurants around. Here are 5 top picks to enjoy some great food, and fun on Cinco de Mayo:


Fresh Agave-Palm Desert- This is one of my favorite restaurants in the desert. It’s a combination of their ultra-friendly service, cozy ambiance, excellent food and their infamous margarita’s that keeps me as a loyal patron. For Cinco de Mayo Fresh Agave will holding hourly raffles, where prizes such as shot glasses (alcohol not included), t-shirts and gift cards will be given out. It’s always a party at this popular bar & grill, and certainly a special place to enjoy the holiday.

Casuelas Café-Palm Desert– After being closed for seven months to renovate, Casuelas Café re-opened this past March to rave reviews in response to their new look. The restaurant added a large scale patio, complete with an area for entertainment, as well as other aesthetic upgrades. For Cinco de Mayo, they will be having a Trio band from 12:30 until mid-afternoon, and starting again at 5:30. It’s sure to be a party at Casuelas Café, and they’re new patio will definitely be put to good use. (760)-568-0011

The River-Rancho Mirage- The deserts premier outdoor shopping mall will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with entertainment, food and drinks. The party runs from 5pm to 10pm and features music by the Delgados, street tacos from Merchain Catering, Sangria provided by Coachella Winery and desserts by MediCi. This Cinco de Mayo fun is great for the whole family.

Las Casuelas Nuevas-Rancho Mirage- I remember going to this landmark restaurant with my parents many times for brunch. It is part of the Delgado restaurant legacy and has an old world feel with its gorgeous courtyard patio, paver tiles and dark wood accents. To dine there has always been a kind of event, a destination. For Cinco de Mayo from 5pm to close, they will be having a live Mariachi band, tequila tastings and freshly made tortillas made by master tortilla making ladies. Experiencing Cinco de Mayo at Las Casuelas Nuevas will bring an exceptional element to your celebration in beautiful setting.

Tequila & Taco Fiesta-La Quinta- Old Town La Quinta is hands down one of the quaintest places in the valley. With shops and restaurants lined up together, it’s a perfect place to park the car (or get dropped off by Uber) and enjoy all that Old Town has to offer. On Cinco de Mayo, there will be fun to be had at the Tequila & Taco Fiesta from 6pm to 9pm, hosted by Old Town Tavern, The Grill on Main, Stuft Pizza and Visit La Quinta-California. There will be live Mariachi music, and restaurants will be offering tequila tastings and taco specials. The festive fiesta is sure to produce great Cinco de Mayo memories under the stars.

No matter if you choose to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at one of the places on this list, or just hang out at your favorite valley Mexican restaurant, this is a fun holiday to observe, and join in the festivities. Salud!