Our guide to celebrating Cinco de Mayo on the North Fork

Margaritas from Lucharitos in Greenport. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Cinco de Mayo is an annual celebration of the Mexican Army’s 1862 win over the French at the Battle of Puebla.

In recent years, however, as Mexican eateries have expanded across the U.S., May 5 has become a day to celebrate one of everybody’s favorite types of cuisine.

That’s certainly the case on the North Fork, where more than a dozen Mexican, Latin and Tex-Mex eateries will be serving up everything from tacos and enchiladas to margaritas and custom cervezas in celebration of the holiday Sunday.

Here’s our guide to celebrating Cinco de Mayo on the North Fork.

Two pints of Lucha Lager poured at Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. in Peconic this week. It will be made available to the public at the brewery, Lucharitos in Greenport and Little Lucharitos in Aquebogue this Sunday. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Ride the Lucha Lager or Mattitaco Surfeza safari

Both Lucharitos and Mattitaco will be debuting their own custom, locally brewed beers this weekend.

The Lucha Lager will be on tap for the first time on Cinco de Mayo at Lucharitos in Greenport, Little Lucharitos in Aquebogue and at Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. in Peconic.

Greenport Harbor head brewer Pat Alfred said the lager contains puréed limes. It also boasts a slightly salty finish, reminiscent of sipping on one of Lucharitos’ famous margaritas.

The Surfeza, also a lager but served in a can, was brewed by North Fork Brewing Co. in Riverhead, which like Mattitaco opened just under a year ago. The two businesses are celebrating their first Cinco de Mayo a little early together by debuting the beverage at First Fridays on Love Lane at 6 p.m. in Mattituck Friday. It will also be available at the Main Road restaurant Sunday.

A lobster BLT taco from the Mattitaco food truck. (Credit: Cyndi Zaweski)

Party like it’s 1862

It’s not just the local restaurants that will be serving up specials for Cinco de Mayo this year.

You can combine a winery visit with your love of tacos when Bedell Cellars in Cutchogue hosts Mattitaco’s On the Road food truck from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

And coming fresh off its Kentucky Derby Party Saturday, Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. will be serving up Tacobites and $5 pours on its Lucha Lager at its All Day Fiesta Sunday.

The stuffed avocados at Agave Grill and Cantina in Greenport. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

You can go your own way

If you don’t want to get all formal and go to an event with lots of people but still want a taste — don’t worry, we all like to be alone every now and again — our staff has some food picks for you to grab as takeout or try at various Latin restaurants across the North Fork.

Or make a day out of it with friends and bounce around from place to place.

Agave Grill and Cantina

The Jalapeno Margarita: “Luis uses fresh limes and jalapeños, so you never quite know how spicy it will be, but every single time, without fail, it is the best margarita I have ever had.” — Cerria Torres

Stuffed Avocado: “It’s the perfect amount of creamy avocado and grilled shrimp with cilantro and lime!” — Tina Contento

Funcho’s Fajita Grill

Enchiladas: “This fast-casual Riverhead spot doesn’t disappoint with its Tex-Mex offerings. Melty cheese dishes are their specialty. The enchiladas are topped with melted cheese and sour cream and loaded with even more cheese inside.” — Cyndi Zaweski

Lucharitos

Burrito Al Pastor: “When it’s not Taco Tuesday at Lucharito’s in Greenport my favorite go-to menu item is the Burrito Al Pastor. It’s filled with marinated pork, rice and  beans and is so filling — even more so after I add cheese and guacamole to it!” — Jill Johnson

Lucia

Platanos fritos con crema: “These fried plantains with Salvadoran cream have a crispy exterior and are sweet, but not too sweet on the inside.” — Michelina Da Fonte

Mattitaco

Hawaiian: “OK, so I know it’s not Cinco de Honolulu, but this carnitas and pineapple salsa masterpiece is too good to pass up. That chipotle aioli gets me every time.” — Grant Parpan

Mesquite Tex-Mex

Shrimp BLT Taco: “Mesquite has quietly been making some of the best tacos on Long Island for awhile. A lot of places make a shrimp BLT Taco, but the salsa fresca and subtle drop of mayo makes this one the best I’ve tried. It’s location across from the Duck Ponds in Wading River make it a prime spot for grab-and-go-be-in-nature.” — Grant Parpan

Riverhead Ciderhouse

Guacamole: “Although you might not think to order guacamole at a brewery, Riverhead Ciderhouse guacamole made table-side is delicious and unique.” — Michelina Da Fonte

Taco Bout It

Chicken Cemita Poblana: “A hidden gem tucked away behind Haiku Sushi on East Main Street in Riverhead, chef Alejandro “Chicki” Ramirez makes all the dishes from scratch using twists on family recipes he learned from his grandmother and mother in Mexico. This perfectly cooked chicken dish is served with refried beans, avocado and chipotle mayo.” — Cyndi Zaweski

Taqueria Cielito Lindo

Enchiladas Verdes: “This is one of those places you pass by over and over again until you finally try it and it becomes a regular go-to. Among the authentic and tasty options, I keep going back to these enchiladas under a tangy green sauce and served with rice, beans and salad.” — Grant Parpan

Lucia is a northforker favorite in Mattituck. (Credit: Michelina Da Fonte)

Where do we go now

Agave Grill and Cantina

110 Front St., Greenport

333-2323 • agavegrillandcantina.net

Funcho’s Fajita Grill

1156 West Main St., Riverhead 

369-7277 • funchosfajitagrill.com

Golden Jalapeños Café

4486 Middle Country Road, Calverton

792-6366 • goldenjalapenostexmex.com

La Cascada

46455 Route 48, Southold

765-8708

Little Lucharitos

487 Main Road, Aquebogue

779-3681 • littlelucharitos.com

Lucharitos Taqueria & Bar

119 Main St., Greenport

477-6666 • lucharitos.com

Lucia Restaurant

13000 Main Road, Mattituck 

315-5165

Mattitaco

10560 Main Rd., Mattituck

298-7826 • mattitaco.com

Mesquite Tex-Mex

2034 North Country Road, Wading River

886-2886 • mesquitetexmex.com

Sabrosa Mexican Grill

1767 Old Country Road, Riverhead

253-1907 • sabrosamexicangrill.com

Senor Taco Mexican Grill

6274 Route 25A, Wading River

886-2477 • senortacoweb.com

Taco Bout It

40B East Main St., Riverhead

574-8787

Taqueria Cielito Lindo

29 East Main St., Riverhead

591-0732

Tikal 1 Latin Cuisine

110 Front St., Greenport

333-2018