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How to Cinco de Mayo the AFAR Way

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!
How to Cinco de Mayo the AFAR Way

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

It's time to fiesta! No, it's not Mexican Independence Day, and, interestingly, Cinco de Mayo is actually more popular in the U.S. than in Mexico, but it's still a great excuse to celebrate everything Mexican.

Here are some of our favorite tributes to Mexican food and drink from over the years, all of which we're revisiting for fiesta inspiration.

¡Salud!

Photo by Brian Finke

By Maggie Fuller, AFAR Staff
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    ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!
    ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!
    It's time to fiesta! No, it's not Mexican Independence Day, and, interestingly, Cinco de Mayo is actually more popular in the U.S. than in Mexico, but it's still a great excuse to celebrate everything Mexican.

    Here are some of our favorite tributes to Mexican food and drink from over the years, all of which we're revisiting for fiesta inspiration.

    ¡Salud!

    Photo by Brian Finke
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    Step 1: Comidas
    Step 1: Comidas
    Is there anything more quintessentially Mexican than a taco?

    While tacos come in all flavors and styles, these are the 6 Types of Tacos You Absolutely Need to Try in Mexico City.

    Photo by Padaguan/Wikimedia Commons
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    In Mexico, al Pastor Is a Way of Life
    In Mexico, al Pastor Is a Way of Life
    Maybe you're more of a carne asada fan or a carnitas lover. But for the chilangos (locals) of Mexico City, there's one type of taco that is a true source of pride: the al pastor.

    For our October 2014 issue, we sent Francine Prose down to Mexico D.F. to discover The True Tale of Mexico City's Tacos al Pastor, and not only did she capture the flavor of the place, she brought back the recipe too!

    Photo by Holly Wilmeth
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    Tacos Abroad
    Tacos Abroad
    But what if you can't make it to Mexico to celebrate (and don't want to try that recipe yourself)? Not to worry, you can get lots of kinds of tacos abroad, and they're delicious!

    From New York to San Francisco, these are The Best Tacos You Can Get Outside of Mexico

    Photo by Megumi/Flickr
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    The Best Way to Get Around
    The Best Way to Get Around
    Move over bar crawls, our favorite way to get around (especially at this time of year) is a taco crawl.

    If you're lucky enough to experience the California Coast Taco Crawl, you'll get not just a meal but a side of spectacular views.

    Photo by Michelle Chang
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    It's Not All Just Fun and Tacos
    It's Not All Just Fun and Tacos
    Yes, tacos are amazing, but Mexican cuisine is much more than just tortillas and toppings.

    If you're looking for under-the-radar and over-the-top deliciousness, go for these 9 Mexican Foods You've Never Heard of But Should Try Immediately.

    Photo by Jenny Miller
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    Revel in the Delights of Mexico's Foodie Revival
    Revel in the Delights of Mexico's Foodie Revival
    Mexico has been experiencing a culinary revival. Cooks are tapping into a millennia's worth of culinary traditions, and the results are incredible.

    To get the inside scoop, check out Lygia Navarro's piece on getting to the heart of Mexico's Soul Food, which originally appeared on our May/June 2010 issue.

    Photo by Joaquin Trujillo
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    Go Straight to the Source
    Go Straight to the Source

    If you really want to get into Mexican cuisine, the best place to start is at a market in Mexico City.

    In our May 2014 issue, JJ Goode explored the D.F.'s market stalls and everything they sell, from epazote to huitlacoche, in The Liberation of Mexico City.

    Photo by Javier Sirvent

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    Step 2: Bebidas (Drinks)
    Step 2: Bebidas (Drinks)
    If there's anything more Mexican than a taco, it has to be a small sipping glass of liquor distilled from agave, like tequila or mezcal. And while there's nothing wrong with tequila (or a classic margarita, for that matter), mezcal, the new kid on the bar shelf, is a little more enigmatic and worth a try.

    Looking for a Mezcal 101 course? Look no further than our Sommelier's Guide to Mezcal.

    Photo by Darij & Ana/Flickr
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    Good for us, better for Oaxaca
    Good for us, better for Oaxaca
    In fact, mezcal is so important in Mexico that it's changing the lives all over the country.

    For our May/June 2016 food issue, Chris Colin headed down to Oaxaca to explore The Rise of Mezcal: Good for Cocktails, Better for Oaxaca. 

    Photo by Brian Finke
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    Mezcal Masters Class
    Mezcal Masters Class
    And if you're ready to try mezcal in on its home turf for yourself?

    Learn where to drink it in the city it's most associated with (and how to order it when you're there) with How to Drink Mezcal in Oaxaca City, which originally appeared in our May/June 2016 issue.

    Photo by Brian Finke
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    Wait, There's More!
    Wait, There's More!
    Agave really is the gift that keeps on giving. Feel like broadening your horizons past the drinks you've already heard of?

    There are More Boozy Wonders of the Agave Plant (Beyone Tequila and Mezcal).

    Photo by Ricky Montalvo/Flickr
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    And If Agave Isn't Your Style
    And If Agave Isn't Your Style
    If you're not willing to tackle the worm, or you're just plain not a fan of tequila or mezcal, Mexico City still has you covered with their Most Rambunctious Cocktail, a concoction made from rum and coffee liquour that'll keep you partying well into the night!

    Photo by Kate Bielamowicz
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    What's Next...