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San Jose

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at San Jose's best Mexican restaurants

It's the United States' favorite day to celebrate Mexican culture, but it's not, as many believe, Mexico's Independence Day — that comes Sept. 16.

Cinco de Mayo instead commemorates a significant military victory, in which the Mexican army defeated French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Want to celebrate the occasion and show off your newfound knowledge of Mexican history? Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the best Mexican restaurants in San Jose, using both Yelp data and our own methodology. Use our list to score a delicious Cinco de Mayo meal.

1. Taqueria El Jalisquillo

Photo: Jenny L./Yelp

Topping the list is Taqueria El Jalisquillo. Located at 1657 McKee Road in Alum Rock, it is the highest rated Mexican restaurant in San Jose, boasting four stars out of 61 reviews on Yelp. Expect all the classics, from burritos and tacos to pozole and, on the weekends, the cow's stomach soup known as "menudo."

2. Tacos El Compa Taqueria

Photo: Siobhan S./Yelp

Next up is the Cambrian Park's Tacos El Compa Taqueria, situated at 1321 Blossom Hill Road. With 4.5 stars out of 443 reviews on Yelp, the spot known for tacos al pastor, made from marinated and spit-grilled pork, has proven to be a local favorite.

3. Luna Mexican Kitchen

Photo: LUNA MExican Kitchen/Yelp

The Rose Garden's Luna Mexican Kitchen, located at 1495 The Alameda, is another top choice, with Yelpers giving it four stars out of 1,100 reviews. Stop by to dine on the outdoor patio or look for the breakfast-only "para llevar," or take-away, window.

4. Zona Rosa

Photo: Tanita J./Yelp

Zona Rosa is another go-to, with four stars out of 918 Yelp reviews. It serves traditional Mexican food with moderns twists, like enchiladas filled with salmon or tacos covered in South American chimichurri sauce. Head over to 1411 The Alameda to see for yourself.

5. Chavelas Restaurant

Photo: Shereen C./Yelp

Finally, over in Fairgrounds, check out Chavelas Restaurant, which has earned 4.5 stars out of 243 reviews on Yelp. You'll find big platters, smaller dishes, like tacos and quesadillas, and drink options that include the "chavelas," or beer cocktails, of the restaurant's name. You can find it at 960 S. First St.


This story was created automatically using local business data, then reviewed by an editor. Click here for more about what we're doing. Got thoughts? Go here to share your feedback.