Cinco De Mayo is a summer day filled with good friends, great food, and maybe even a few drinks. Although this holiday started as a celebration of Mexico’s victory in battle, it’s really evolved into a day to celebrate all of Mexican culture. While celebrating at your local pub is a great way to start, we suggest trying out Big Bear to take your celebrations to the next level. Here are some of the best things to do in Big Bear, CA. for Cinco De Mayo. One of the penultimate ways to enjoy this spicy holiday is to enjoy some of the best foods from Mexico and Big Bear is full of great places to eat!
One of the most popular Mexican establishments in Big Bear is Azteca Grill. They have consistently been voted the best in Big Bear for the last nine straight years. They have an amazing signature dish call the Loco Azteca Breakfast. The dish features Spanish rice, a hamburger patty topped with sausage gravy, two eggs, and a side of country fried potatoes. This is a local hangover favorite for sure. Azteca Grill also has lunch and dinner options for all to enjoy. These include the traditional Mexican favorites like burritos, tacos, enchiladas and more. For the adults looking to celebrate, Azteca Grill also has an amazing selection of cocktails and several kinds of margaritas.
El Jacalito Grill
This family owned and operated restaurant is a family-friendly casual dining spot that serves traditional Mexican dishes made from scratch. Jacalito is located right on Pine Knot Ave, in the center of downtown, and is the perfect spot to stop in after a long day of hiking, skiing or after an enjoyable stroll through downtown. Stop by for their great happy hour and stay for a delicious dinner. Customer favorites include the salsa bar, all of their margaritas, and their Churro ice cream. Sit inside at a table or the bar (where you can start to taste test a few of their 100 premium tequilas) or grab a table outside on the patio where you can people watch and enjoy the scenery while you dine.
Hacienda Grill Mexican & Sports Bar
Looking at the exterior, you already know what this popular spot will be like. It’s a mix of sports and Mexican décor; it’s a little cantina right in Big Bear. Step in and enjoy the salsa bar, fresh guacamole, carnitas, chicken tortilla soup, margaritas, and more. Step out of your Mexican food comfort zone, save the fajitas and burritos for later, and order an authentic Mexican dish like their Molcajete. They have a happy hour menu, lunch specials, and a mescal menu to get you in the mood. There’s a nice selection of beer (this is a sports bar after all), tequilas, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages too. You can’t go wrong with one of their margaritas (try the Cadillac Margarita or the Smokey Margarita), or a popular Paloma.
Other Mexican Spots Worth a Mention
A few other local Mexican spots to try are The Laguna Grill (a little quieter, but still good; save room for their churro with chocolate sauce), and the Sonora Cantina where the burritos and margaritas are huge, and where they have Taco Tuesday, and a dollar menu on Wednesdays. And Gaby’s Latin Flavors offers Mexican, Bolivian, and American dishes. There’s actually a little of everything on Gaby’s menu, with an Ahi Poke, Beet & Carrot Salad, Fricase (Bolivian Pozole), burritos, pasta, burgers and more. Oh, and Tres Leches Cake.
Cook Your Own Mexican Fiesta
If you are staying in an amazing vacation rental during your trip, you also have the option to cook your own meals in a fully equipped kitchen. Big Bear has a wide selection of local grocery stores and even a few Mexican markets to stock up on traditional favorites. Not sure what to do in Big Bear for Cinco De Mayo? We suggest trying to make your own Mexican feast and celebrate with friends and family. This is a fun way to learn about new cooking methods and really embrace the Mexican culture and traditions.
You can also get the best of both worlds. Order your favorite Mexican dishes from one of our local Mexican restaurants, then take it back to your cute, cozy cabin where you can dine out on your deck watching the sunset over the mountains without all the crowds and noise. Don’t forget to stop by a local package shop for your own tequila and margarita fixings.
Enjoy Big Bear Lake
No matter what time of year you choose to visit Big Bear, there is always the option to head out on the lake. Around Cinco De Mayo the temperatures are in the high 60s to low 70s. Although a bit crisp in the morning, this is really the best weather for going boating and enjoying other fun things to do in Big Bear, CA. Visitors can charter a boat and take their Cinco De Mayo celebration out on the water. There is nothing like having a floating fiesta to celebrate Cinco De Mayo.