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Cinco de Mayo in Los Angeles: 6 ways to celebrate

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 05:  Jose Gregorio Perez attends Cinco de Mayo festivities on May 5, 2010, at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Site on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles, California. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the 1862 Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) Jose Gregorio Perez
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 05: Jose Gregorio Perez attends Cinco de Mayo festivities on May 5, 2010, at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Site on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles, California. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the 1862 Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) Jose Gregorio Perez
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

It's time for Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates the 1862 Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. The holiday also means plenty of opportunity to eat, drink and be merry across the Los Angeles area. 

Here are six ways to celebrate on Tuesday, including festive desserts, flaming drinks and a fiesta at the place where the City of Angels began. 

Puro Pari Dia y Noche

Tuesday, Noon-2 a.m. La Plaza De Culturas y Atres (501 North Main Street, Los Angeles)

This all-day fiesta will be held near LA Plaza, the site where Los Angeles was founded in 1781. Live music including mariachis and DJs will be on hand, as well as food trucks, a bar, a mechanical toro (bull) and photo booth. The event is 21 and over and free from noon to 5 p.m. After 5 p.m. the price goes up to $10. Pro tip: Take the Metro to Union Station and walk the short distance to Olvera Street.

Collaborate to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Tuesday, 5-10 p.m. Upper West restaurant (3321 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica)

On Tuesday, HARK (Healing Arts Reaching Kids), an affiliate support group of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, invites the public to kick back and give back at their Cinco de Mayo party hosted by Upper West restaurant in Santa Monica. “HARK helps normalize the hospital environment for patients and their families through hands-on art workshop experiences as well as providing philanthropic support for the hospital’s Expressive Arts Therapies services,” according to the organization. From 5-10 p.m. Tuesday, attendees can enjoy dishes like ahi tuna tacos and chimichurri sweet potato fries at Upper West, which will donate 30 percent of the proceeds to HARK. The celebration will also include piñata raffles to support Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Reservations can be made by calling 310-586-1111.

Flaming margaritas at El Compadre 

11 a.m.-2 a.m. Hollywood, Echo Park, Downtown LA

El Compadre is a classic LA spot for hearty Mexican food, entertainment and their famous flaming margaritas. The restaurant has locations in Hollywood, Downtown LA and Echo Park so Angelenos have plenty of opportunity to get their hands on this fiery cocktail in a fun, festive setting.

Taco trucks 

Hours and locations vary

Los Angeles does not have a shortage of good old fashioned taco trucks where you can get hot handmade tacos on the cheap. Each truck has something special to offer, as evidenced by KCET's list of LA's 10 best taco trucks. If you want a taco truck mini-crawl, head to Pasadena's El Taquito Mexicano truck, which has been in the area since 1979, and then walk north a short distance on Fair Oaks Avenue to the yellow taco truck, Arturo's. The two are unofficial rivals so you can do a side-by-side comparison. 

Espresso bar with festive treats 

Tuesday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Blackmarket Bakery (The Camp 2937 Bristol Street, Suite D-100A in Costa Mesa)

This delicious event is in Orange County, not technically LA. On Tuesday, Blackmarket Bakery launches a complete espresso bar menu including espresso shots, macchiato, cappuccino, caffe latte, caffe mocha and Americano. And for special Cinco de Mayo flair, the bakery will offer pan dulce first thing in the morning. Later in the day, Dulce de Leche cakes in four and six-inch sizes will be available as well as "Salt on the Rim" drop cookies made with lime, reduced tequila and coarse salt and sugar on the edge. Olé!

Vegan tacos and happy hour nachos

Tuesday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Real Food Daily (Pasadena, Santa Monica and West Hollywood)

What would Cinco de Mayo in Los Angeles be without some tasty vegan eats? For the healthy set that still wants to have a good time, Real Food Daily will throw in Eel River beer for $1 with every taco order and offer their delicioso nachos at happy hour price all day long. 

Do you have a suggestion for how to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in LA? Share in the comments below. 

This post has been updated.