Don’t Put on Your Sombrero Until You’ve Read This
Actually, scratch that – please don’t put on a sombrero at all. Unless you’re in a mariachi band, it’s probably not a look you can pull off. That said, our favorite excuse for tacos is right around the corner, and we totally get it if you want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. But this year, let’s go beyond the typical nachos and margaritas. Let’s do it up!
There are plenty of ways to experience other cultures in the U.S., but here are our favorite ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
Indulge in some real Mexican food
I know, I know – we already mentioned tacos and now you’re in the mood. But Mexican cuisine goes way beyond the Tex-Mex staples we love in the U.S. Hit up your favorite Mexican-owned restaurant and branch out into some of the more authentic Mexican foods, especially those from Puebla (the city where the Cinco de Mayo battle took place; you’re welcome for the trivia).
The most-consumed dish for Cinco in Puebla is mole, pronounced like the ending of guacamole. This thick, spicy-sweet sauce can be paired with turkey, chicken, or any other meaty dish. Want something lighter? Try chalupas, which started out as a street food in Puebla.
You can always go back to Taco Tuesdays next week, ‘kay?
Skip the ‘ritas
And the cervezas. We’re not saying that you have to sip water all night. But margaritas on Cinco are as basic as green beer on St. Patrick’s – and there’s nothing even mildly authentic about either. If you absolutely have to taste some tequila, try one of Mexico’s most popular cocktails instead: the Paloma. Made with lime juice, grapefruit soda, and your favorite tequila, it’s refreshing and tasty. And strong – so make sure you drink plenty of water, too!
If you want a non-alcoholic alternative to the margaritas, sip a cool Agua Fresca, made with your choice of fruits.
Immerse yourself in Mexican culture
Really, the best way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo is to show some appreciation for Mexican culture as a whole.
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in one of these cities
Los Angeles, San Antonio, and El Paso all get top marks for their celebrations. But our fave is San Francisco. It’s Mission District goes all out to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. We’re talking about an all-day fiesta complete with live music, lucha libra (Mexican-style wrestling), salsa music, and more. Throw in some of the country’s most delish Mexican restaurants, and you have a street fair that can’t be missed!
If you’re flying into San Fran, make the most of your getaway by not having to worry about luggage. Ship your bags directly to your destination with LugLess, so you can get straight to the Mission District – and the nachos (we know you can’t resist!). No worries about lugging your suitcases all over town waiting for your room or airbnb to be ready. Your favorite suitcase will be waiting for you when you’re ready to check in.
Update your playlist
Remember how you used to listen to Despacito on repeat? The one with Justin Bieber? Yeah, no, that is definitely NOT the kind of music we’re talking about. Cringe. But whether you’re hosting dinner at your place, or heading out with your crew, there’s no doubt that a dedicated playlist will get everyone in the Cinco mood.
Check out some of Mexico’s top singers: Luis Miguel (“The Sun of Mexico”), Thalia, Gloria Trevi, and Carlos Santana all add Latin flair to their contemporary music. We dare you to listen without tapping your toes!
Pro Tip: skip Spotify’s Cinco de Mayo playlist, which is loaded with Ricky Martin (Puerto Rican), Pitbull (Cuban), and Shakira (Columbian).
Happy Cinco, you guys!
What are you doing to celebrate? Let us know in the comments section!