In the Mix

7 places in Honolulu to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

May 4th, 2016


Get an early start to the weekend on Thursday by celebrating Cinco de Mayo, which was established to observe the Mexican Army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

For most party people, however, May 5 is the day to drink lots of Mexican cerveza, nosh a taco or five and try not to let multiple tequila shots mess you up so bad you return to work on Friday morning with a hangover.

Here’s a quick rundown of various events that will take place in Honolulu on Cinco de Mayo:


Bust out the sombrero and the grande fake mustache for this siesta turned bar crawl in Chinatown.

From 6 to 11 p.m. Thursday, nearly a dozen bars and restaurants will offer a variety of live Latin music, dancing, games and more. Participating establishments include Manifest, Downbeat Lounge, Next-door, Bar 35, Scarlet Honolulu, JJ Dolan’s, Proof Public House, Smith & Kings, Dumb Coq, Square Barrels and Ferguson’s Pub.

Among the highlights are sugar skull face painting from 6 to 9 p.m. with DJ Nando from 7 to 9 p.m. at Manifest, Jamrek at Downbeat Lounge starting at 9 p.m. and Afro-Criollo at Next-door from 9 to 11 p.m. A chili pepper-eating contest is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Ferguson’s Pub, and an “El Burro Loco” costume contest with $700 in cash and prizes will take place at Bar 35 starting at 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

Admission to Cantina Crawl Hawaii is free; call (808) 464-6696 or email for more info.


OOSpot and Alma Latina Productions have teamed up to present a Latin dance party from 5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Hawaii Events Center, 985 Dillingham Blvd. Flags, pinatas and other Mexican-themed decorations will transform the bar, with live music by Son Caribe and dance performances. DJs Da Lion of Judah and Azteca Guerrero will also participate, and Miss Latina Hawaii 2016 Tiffany Johnson, Miss Paradise Latina 2016 December Smith and Miss Aloha Latina 2016 Allison Chu will be on hand to meet-and-greet with fans alongside contestants from the 2016 Miss Hawaii pageant.

There’s no cost to check out the party on Thursday, which will be followed by another Cinco de Mayo celebration on Saturday at the nightclub. Visit for more details.


Get an early start on your Cinco de Mayo celebration with a special happy hour from noon to 4 p.m. at Buho Cantina in Waikiki. Servers will pour $1 shots of Patron and pass out free sombreros and fake mustaches to anyone who uses the password “Big Buho” when ordering. (Limit one shot/sombrero/mustache per customer.)

Along with the shot special, Buho hosts The Big Buho starting at 11 a.m. Thursday with live music, a taco-eating contest and a chili pepper-eating contest.

Cover is free until 4 p.m. Thursday, $5 from 4 to 10 p.m. and $10 after 10 p.m. Buho Cantina is located at 2250 Kalakaua Avenue, call (808) 922-2846.


Hula’s celebrates Cinco de Mayo this year with live entertainment by musician Jason Laeha from 6 to 9 p.m. A variety of food and drink specials will be offered all day, including $5 Corona beer and $5 margaritas and Jose Cuervo tequila shots. Hula’s kitchen will also be open until 9:30 p.m.

Hula’s Bar & Lei Stand is located at 134 Kapahulu Avenue in Waikiki. Call (808) 923-0669.


The Eat the Street crew will adopt a Cinco de Mayo theme for this week’s Thursday A-Go-Go promotion, with a limited lineup of food vendors serving up dishes with a Mexican flair from 4 to 9 p.m.

Vendors scheduled to participate include Chamorro Grindz (Tamales Gisu), Flyin' Ahi (Flyin' Ahi Nachos), Waimanalo Country Farms (agua frescas), Fiesta Mexican Grill (street tacos, burritos and traditional Mexican fare), Sea and Soul (ceviche and Dynamite Nachos), The Garden Oven (Taco Pizza), Shaka Shrimp (pastele nachos), Indian Grill (chicken chimichanga), Wieners Gone Wild (chili cheese nachos and paletas) and La Roux (Boudin Enchiladas). Happy hour prices will also be in effect from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday.

Makers and Tasters is located at Kewalo Basin, 1011 Ala Moana Blvd. Visit for more info.


Mexico’s Ward Village restaurant will celebrate Cinco de Mayo all day with food specials and $4 Mexican beer specials. A live mariachi band will perform tableside for guests from 3 to 5 p.m. and a DJ will keep the party going from 8 p.m. until last call.

Mexico Catina is on the third floor of Ward Centre, 1200 Ala Moana Blvd. Call (808) 596-4964 or visit


Head to Wahoo’s Fish Taco at Ward Village for the restaurant’s annual indoor-outdoor party. Local acts Eric Ho and Simple Souls will perform live at 6 and 8 p.m., respectively, with $3 tacos all day to go with $3 Mexican draft beers, $5 margaritas and $7 Corona-ritas.

Wahoo’s Ward Village is at 940 Auahi Street; call (808) 591-1646 or follow @wahooshawaii on Instagram.
Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at

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