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Our Guide to Cinco de Mayo and Kentucky Derby Parties In NYC

cincodederby2013.pngBust out your bourbon and prep those salt-rimmed glasses because this weekend's a doozy: Saturday's the annual Kentucky Derby and Sunday is Cinco de Mayo. We've rounded up ten of our favorite Cinco de Mayo fiestas and ten of our favorite Derby Day parties throughout the city so you don't have to spend a single hour out of 48 sober (just kidding, we totally recommend checking this stuff out for the beer cheese, Derby pie and fish tempura tacos).

Cinco de Mayo

The Thrillist Taco Knockout at Villain
Did someone say tacos?! Thrillist is throwing their first-ever Cinco de Mayo event and will feature 10 different chefs from various restaurants cooking up their most insane taco creations -- ingredients include everything from duck to pigeon! Grab a beer or a michelada (which are unlimited) and get to eatin'!
Villain, 50 North 3rd St., Brooklyn, 1-5pm

Cinco de Mayo Poolside Party at Hôtel Americano
Head over to La Piscine, Hôtel Americano's rooftop bar and pool deck, to dance to music by DJ MSG and the Baldwin Sisters, and snack on a menu featuring Mexican classics and seasonal cocktails. 
La Piscine at Hotel Americano, 518 W. 27th St., Manhattan, 12pm-Midnight

Bird Williamsburg's Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
The Williamsburg boutique is celebrating the holiday with music, tequila, and piñatas at their store (here's hoping Bird will stuff some of their own goodies in the piñata).
Bird, 203 Grand St., Brooklyn, 3-6pm

Cinco de Mayo at The Tippler
The Tippler is throwing a special party complete with a "choose your own margarita adventure." (Just make sure to coat your stomach with copious amounts of their nachos while you go on your 'rita-filled journey.)
The Tippler, 425 W. 15th St., Manhattan, 4pm

A Sensual Cinco de Mayo Soirée
Summer camp is having an early session, folks! Head to Sky Room for a gay-friendly, camp-themed Cinco de Mayo rooftop fiesta. You'll get to enjoy some frozen "Cock-Tails" and free Patrón shots while ogling the scantly clad partygoers looking to catch some sun in this season's shortest short shorts.
Sky Room, 330 West 40th St., Manhattan; 3pm; Free

Open-Air Market & Free Margaritas at La Gringa Taqueria
In honor of Cinco de Mayo, La Gringa Taqueria's backyard will be the site of an open-air market filled with local vendors and artists. Get a free margarita with the purchase of one of their burritos made from organic, free-range meats and veggies -- a meal that one Yelper even described as "the perfect highlight to a miserable day."  
La Gringa Taqueria, 800 Grand St., Brooklyn; 12pm; Free

Empellón Cocina
How does a six-course meal complete with unlimited (as in NO limit) margaritas sound? It sounds pretty good to us. (Check out their Rooster's Claw margarita in today's Cocktail of the Week column.) The menu will feature dishes like eggs with a side of skirt steak and tacos stuffed with fish tempura. Also, did we mention unlimited margaritas? Yeah, we're there. 
Empellón Cocina, 105 1st Ave, Manhattan; 7:15pm or 8:30pm

Gran Electra's Garden Party
Dance all day in Gran Electra's pretty garden to DJs spinning Latin music and dine on the restaurant's tacos and margaritas.
Gran Electra, 5 Front St., Brooklyn; 11am-11pm

Matinee BBQ Party at The Ho_se
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo the Bushwick way: DJ Dogdick, Flex1000 and Sun Castle will be spinning "deep, demented sounds" at this particularly awesome-sounding barbecue.
The Ho_se, 28 Lawton St. #1, Brooklyn; 4pm; Free

Cinco de Mayo Party at B Bar
It's a safe bet that you'll get to scope some downtown eye candy in between rounds of tequila shots at this blow-out featuring music by Franco V, Florencia Galarza, PAPER's own May Kwok and Mike Nouveau. 
B Bar, 40 E 4th St., Manhattan; 2pm-10pm; Free

Kentucky Derby

Derby Day at Maison Premiere
Bedford's very-own French Quarter-inspired boîte will be serving bourbon-cured ham sandwiches to pair with one of their many Mint Julep varieties, in honor of Derby Day. Other highlights include live music and an outfit contest that will dole out $100 gift cards as prizes to the best dressed.
Maison Premiere, 298 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, 12-8pm

Tipsy Parson's Annual Kentucky Derby Party
Head over in your 'Sunday best' (or, okay, Saturday best) to Tipsy Parson's shindig at the Drive-In Studios and sip some Southern cocktails as you watch the race projected live. Games, prizes, and a live Bluegrass band will also be present, so you know it's going to be a grand ole' time. 
Drive-In Studios, 443 W. 18th St., Manhattan, 3:30-7pm

Kentucky Derby at Vault at Pfaff's
Pfaff's has a live broadcast of the race in addition to contests for "Best Hat" (winner receives a $50 gift certificate) and "Pick The Winner" (winner receives a $100 gift certificate).
The Vault at Pfaff's, 643 Broadway, Manhattan, 4pm-midnight

Pete's Candy Store Festivities
Williamsburg staple Pete's will be celebrating Derby Day with old-fashioned Derby drinking games and treats like homemade bourbon Glazed Ribs, Louisville Potato Salad, and Derby Pie (with whipped cream).
Pete's Candy Store, 709 Lorimer St., Williamsburg

Colonel Boyd's Kentucky Derby Kickoff
Celebrate some of the most exciting two minutes in sports at The Bell House. The Gowanus venue has planned a day of square dancing, hat shopping courtesy of Brooklyn milliner La China Loca and prize giveaways for categories like Best Formal Hat, Best Informal Hat and Most Inspiring Live Band Karaoke Performance. If you're not already sold, let us also mention that there will be Kentucky-style beer cheese from Floyd Eats. Mmm...beer cheese.   
The Bell House,149 7th St., Brooklyn; 1pm; $10 

The Brooklyn Derby
Wanna see how Brooklyn channels its inner Kentucky vibes? Well, this is your chance. The Brooklyn Derby brings its own catwalk, a hat-decorating station, and a costume contest.
Greenwood Park, 555 7th Avenue, Brooklyn; 4pm

Death and Co.'s Specialty Juleps
For those more inclined to a more low-key Derby Day celebration, head to East Village speakeasy Death and Co. that's serving up the 'Myra Breckenridge,' an absinthe-spiked take on the classic julep, made with ten-year-old Laphroaig Scotch.
Death and Co., 433 E. 6th St., Manhattan

Derby Day Feast at Mabel's Smokehouse
The North Williamsburg BBQ hall will be plying guests all day with $5 juleps, enough pork and brisket barbecue to feed a small, Derby-watching army and Derby pie (a glorious-sounding concoction that traditionally includes a filling made from butter, bourbon, walnuts and chocolate chips).
Mabel's Smokehouse, 44 Berry St., Brooklyn NY; 2pm

'21' Club Derby Day Party
Though '21' Club gives off Derby vibes 24/7 -- it's always felt like a tasteful, Southern Luxury-meets-New York City power broker place to us -- that doesn't mean they can't whip out some extra Kentucky Derby love in honor of the occasion. Head over to their Bar '21' Club to indulge in cornmeal fried oysters, Kentucky ham on biscuits, and mini pecan pies whipped up by Executive Chef John Greeley. Are you drooling yet?
Bar 21 at the 21 Club, 21 West 52nd St., Manhattan; 3:30pm to 5:30pm; $45

Derby Party at Union Hall
Munch on Kentucky-style beer cheese from Floyd Eats and cookout treats while you play a little corn-hole toss and enter to win raffle prizes. Haha, corn-hole.
Union Hall, 207 Union Street, Brooklyn; 1pm; Free

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