For almost two decades now, one of the most important joints of the Mexican culinary scene of Budapest has been serving the spicy savors of the Latino country: Iguana Bar & Grill, the Hungarian capital’s number one American-Mexican style eatery found in the immediate neighborhood of the Parliament is the only place that celebrates Cinco de Mayo, inviting us once again to its popular street party, held on 7 May in downtown’s Zoltán utca. But before we go into further details, let’s see what’s Cinco de Mayo is all about!
Cinco de Mayo means the „5th of May”, and it commemorates a battle that took place on May 5,1862 between Mexico and the occupying French Army. Under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza, the Mexican forces unexpectedly defeated the French, eventually paving the way for Mexican Independence. Many people confuse Cinco de Mayo with Mexican Independence Day (which is on September 16th), but Cinco de Mayo has become a huge celebration of Mexican-American culture in the US and less so in Mexico.
Now that you know the basic history behind the celebrations, it’s time to dive deep into the colorful world of Iguana’s Cinco de Mayo traditions! It all began in 1998 with a few tables outside and some live music. Over the years, it has evolved to become Europe’s largest Cinco de Mayo celebration, with a street party taking over all of Zoltán utca wth live music, outdoor grills, bars, a kids’ play area, and a DJ spinning discs till dawn after 10 PM. Cinco has also become a giant spring reunion for Hungarians and foreigners: many people fly here from all over to meet up with old friends and enjoy margaritas, tacos and burgers among other delicacies under the tents in front of Iguana.
And now, some important information: the party starts at 3 PM and features a kids’ corner for families until 6 PM. The live music starts at 4 PM with two bands, who will be playing upbeat tunes till 10 PM, followed by a DJ. The outdoor bars will provide you with cold beer, cocktails and Iguana’s famous frozen margaritas, while the taco stand will make sure that a filling bite of Mexico is always in seeing distance.