A Taco Lover's Guide on the Best Places to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Lagrima tacos
Lagrima tacos

Manila is a city that is not short of good restaurants, and when it comes to Mexican cuisine, the possibilities for food adventures are endless. From munching on cheesy corn elotes on the street to discovering the perfect late-night burrito, this Cinco de Mayo, the hunt for the perfect Mexican-themed meal is on.

Cinco de Mayo is always one big fiesta. The May 5th celebration commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in the 19th century. While it’s not a major holiday in Mexico, it has become a popular celebration all around the world. In Manila, there are a range of Mexican restaurants that offer menu specialties to mark the occasion, with drink choices ranging from frozen Margaritas to hard shots of tequila.

Poblacion is a popular site for celebrations, usually decorated with banderitas and littered with revelers salsa dancing in the street. But Cinco de Mayo celebrations happen all over the city, from the north to the south of the city.

Here are five places we think have some of the best tacos in town.


1. Lagrima


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Lagrima (@lagrimanila)

Lagrima comes across as the sort of “Hypebeast” of local Mexican restaurants. Since moving to San Juan from their original spot in Legazpi Village, the restaurant has stayed consistent driving the culture of Mexican food forward through unconventional recipes.

In Spanish, the word Lagrima translates to “teardrop.” For your order of burritos, rice bowls, or good ol’ tacos, you have to choose your “feelings” — a play on the word fillings. From confit pork shoulder carnitas to kimchi asada and crunchy shrimp tempura, Lagrima isn’t short of delicious fillings to choose from. Just be warned, everything comes with extra spice, including their Margarita.

Lagrima is located at 192 Wilson cor. Arras St., San Juan, and 8488 Abeja cor. Trabajo St., Makati.


2. El Chupacabra


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by El Chupacabra (@elchupacabra.ph)

El Chupacabra is one of the veteran Mexican restaurants that has been a popular watering hole for years. Well-known for its festive vibe and affordable libations, “the home of the street tacos” is always bustling with those that are seeking a satisfying meal. For those seeking the comfort Filipino food, you can celebrate the Mexican Holiday with a choice of Pork Sisig Tacos, too.

El Chupacabra is located at 5782 Felipe St, Makati.


3. Chihuahua Mexican Grill

We can still remember salsa dancing the night away when Chihuahua opened eleven years ago. The Mexican Grill located at both Greenbelt and BGC has been host to a slew of salsa parties, and this year’s Cinco de Mayo will be no exception. The restaurant features a classic menu with both soft and hard-shelled tacos, featuring flavors like Beef Birria and Picadillo to Pork Carnitas and Vegetarian options.

Chihuahua Mexican Grill is located at G/F Greenbelt 2, Makati, 3/F Cinemas Central Square, BGC.

4. La Chinesca


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by La Chinesca (@lachinesca)

Chef Bruce Ricketts has been making waves on the local dining scene, and his restaurant La Chinesca is no exception. Each element of the dishes are carefully considered, from Quesabirria with slow-cooked beef and guajillo broth to Carnitas with achiote pork confit and roasted pineapple. Try out the Taco hits sampler with carnitas, quesabirria, huachinango and camaroncito – topped by a slew of sauces.

La Chinesca is located at 181 Aguirre Ave., Parañaque, and The Grid, 2/F Power Plant.

5. Onlypans Taqueria


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ONLYPANS TAQUERIA (@onlypanstaqueria)

What started as a delivery service has evolved into a go-to Taco spot in buzzing locations like La Union, Katipunan and Poblacion. Right now, their most ordered tacos include the Quessa Birria with shredded beef tortilla and the Barbacoa tender beef cheeks. The tender pork in the Chicharones tacos is a huge hit too.

For this year’s Cinco de Mayo, the OnlyPans will be hosting a series of drag performances and DJs on the famous Don Pedro street, with corresponding fiestas in other branches of the taqueria.

Onlypans Taqueria is located at 5663 Don Pedro, Poblacion, Makati and The Pop Up, 273 Katipunan Avenue corner Xavierville Avenue, Quezon City as well as La Union.