Best Bars For Cinco De Mayo In Tampa Bay

April 18, 2014 9:00 AM

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)

Aside from several fine Mexican dining options, Tampa Bay is lucky to serve as home to some exquisite Mexican-themed, lounge-friendly restaurants/bars. So after a delicious meal in one of our authentic Mexican eateries, wash it down with a fine tequila, margarita or light beer to celebrate Cinco de Mayo late into the night. Here we share a tour of the best in Mexican bars and nightlife our region has to offer.
Green Lemon
915 S. Howard Ave.
Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 868-5463

In addition to a fun, festive atmosphere and excellent food that lends a modern spin on classic Mexican fare, Green Lemon prides itself on its well-stocked bar. When it comes to tequila, this spot isn’t playing games with literally dozens of different types on a menu dedicated to this type of liquor. High-quality margaritas are a must here, along with the famous avocado fries. Healthy eating enthusiasts can replace rice with quinoa on the side of every meal. From 2 to 7 p.m., patrons can take advantage of the Fiesta Hour, with specials on margaritas, well drinks, wine, sangria and several menu items.

1613 E. 7th Ave.
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 241-9555

With an open-air bar in the middle of Ybor City, directly on 7th Avenue, and some unique decorations, we can’t imagine a better location to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than Tequilas. Live music, some delicious Mexican specialties to eat and a recent change of ownership give Tequilas lots of promise for the future. While the food has received mixed reviews, the drinks seem relatively consistent with critical acclaim for the margaritas. In terms of food, the burritos are the main attraction. What’s more, vegan and vegetarian friends will find options available to them with their own section of the menu.

Related: Where To Get The Best Tacos In Tampa Bay

Catrinas Cocina Y Galeria
2402 S. Macdill Ave.
Tampa, FL 33629
(813) 251-4604

Equally reputed for its food, Catrinas offers a lively ambiance for a festive Cinco de Mayo. You’ll find the walls covered in skulls and folk art imported from Mexico. The drink menu boasts a lengthy selection of beers, tequilas and margaritas, all at affordable prices. For instance, the El Niño margarita makes an ideal refreshment, and at $5, the price can’t be beat. The frozen tamarindo margarita is also worth a try. In terms of food, the shrimp ceviche, the cochinita pibil and the flan de coco dessert all get rave reviews. What’s more, on Friday nights, a live mariachi band makes the rounds of the restaurant.

Urban Cantina
200 E. Madison St.
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 221-8226

Despite its humble size, Urban Cantina serves up quite a delicious assortment of Mexican favorites, along with some inventive original options. Taco classicists will enjoy the chicken mole, sense a bit of creativity with the fish tacos and marvel at the pork and pineapple variety. Authentic Mexican music brings an ambiance direct from south of the border. The margaritas come strong, so it only takes one or two to start feeling a buzz. Plus, Urban Cantina also boasts a Taco Tuesday deal, with $2 tacos and Coronas.

Red Mesa
4912 4th St. N.
Saint Petersburg, FL 33703
(727) 527-8728

Famous for a variety of reasons, Red Mesa’s reputation surpasses the limits of Pinellas County. Who else could imagine a cucumber margarita? With a choice of red or white sangria, chorizo-rubbed salmon and chorizo burgers, there’s never a dull moment in gastronomy or libations. What it may lack in decor, Red Mesa more than compensates for with its delicious food and drinks, superior service and festive atmosphere. On Monday, the house margaritas come at half price. Some decorative lights and a fountain await in the courtyard for a special, romantic touch. Be advised, the music can sometimes seem loud if you’re trying to hold and conversation, and there will likely be a wait for a table if you visit during peak times.

Related: Best Mexican Food In Tampa

Aaron Phillips has experience in marketing and journalism. Recently back to his hometown, he’s excited to discover and share what Tampa has to offer. His work can be found at

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