Cinco de Mayo may not be the most authentic of Mexican celebrations. It does not commemorate Mexican Indepence Day, which is in September, but rather a battle over France and Napoleon III.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a real south of the border experience in Providence.
La Lupita Tacos Mexicanos
For authentic bites, visit La Lupita Tacos Mexicanos, 1950 Westminster St., Olneyville Square, Providence, (401) 331-2444, lalupitamex.com.
In the heart of the Olneyville Square, this simple mom and pop taqueria serves some of the best Mexican food around. You can get a warm quesadilla with cool lettuce and perfectly tender chicken within a few minutes of ordering from owners Amelia and Jaime Blancas.
You can’t miss with their menu of homestyle delights. I love their flautas, hand-rolled corn tortillas filled with pulled chicken then pan-fried and topped with lettuce, Cotija cheese and sour cream. You might prefer to savor the flavor of chorizo sausage on a huarache, a sort of Mexican pizza.
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They are open from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Cinco de Mayo.
Amelia said it’s been a difficult few years but they are still at it. Though they don’t have enough staff for a big Cinco de Mayo event, they will serve a free drink with orders today.
Dolores switches up menu for Cinco de Mayo
The Meza family were already well known to Rhode Island diners when they opened their Dolores, at 100 Hope St., Providence, dolorespvd.com in late 2019. Their El Rancho Grande had a strong following for more than 10 years on Plainfield Street.
At Dolores, their mission was to offer contemporary food from the Mixteca Region, in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, and to create a unique bar program focused on distilled agave spirits from small-batch purveyors.
“We know the owners and producers from visiting them,” said Joaquin Meza Jr.. Along with their mezcal selections, they look for sustainable brands.
Aside from the many margaritas, Dolores also offers the Mixtecan Old-Fashioned, a Dolores Daiquiri and mezcal flights.
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For Cinco de Mayo, Joaquin Meza Jr. said they are doing an additional menu featuring more street food style. Think tacos (carnitas, brisket barbacoa, Alambre ; steak, green/red peppers, onion, cheese) sopes with poblano rajas, torta ahogada; carnitas torta smothered in habanero red sauce.
“Along with our delicious cocktails we are firing up our frozen margarita machine,” he said..
The patio will be open.
Don Jose Tequilas Restaurant
Jaime Gaviria has been at the helm of Don Jose Tequilas Restaurant, 351 Atwells Ave., Providence, (401) 454-8951, for 22 years.
The native of Morelia, the capital city of Michoacan, made sure the food reflected his native region. But chefs Raquel Diaz from the Yucatan-Peninsula and Maria Hernandez from Veracruz, have brought their family recipes to create special dishes.
The menu includes traditional Mexican dishes and features guacamole made tableside with two fresh, plump avocados, jalapeño, red onion, fresh garlic, lime juice and tomatoes.
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Over the years, Gaviria has grown the bar program and increased the number of Mexican tequilas and mezcals. He also travels to meet the producers.
There will be specials for Cinco de Mayo taken from the menu. Seating is first come, first serve.
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This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: 3 Providence restaurants to celebrate Cinco de Mayo