7 Festive Mexican Dishes

For Mexican Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo or any Mexican Fiesta

Whether you're celebrating Mexican Independence Day or Cinco de Mayo, or just having a Mexican fiesta any other day of the year, here are some dishes that are popular in Mexico and are recognized around the world as Mexican specialties. It's no coincidence that most of them feature the colors of the Mexican flag very prominently. ¡Viva México!

  • 01 of 08

    Pozole

    Pozole
    ••• © Suzanne Barbezat

    Pozole (sometimes spelled posole) is a soup or stew that is made with hominy corn. It is usually made with either pork or chicken stock and the meat is added as a garnish, along with shredded lettuce and radish slices. Pozole is traditionally accompanied by tostadas, crunchy fried corn tortillas. Here's a recipe for pozole, or try out this non-traditional vegetarian variation that includes mushrooms.

  • 02 of 08

    Chiles en Nogada

    Chile en Nogada
    ••• Photo by Masa Assassin

    This dish originated in Puebla around the time of Mexico's Independence, making it a Mexican patriotic dish par excellence. You'll see this dish appear on menus in restaurants in Mexico in August and September, when the ingredients are in season. Learn about the origins and history of Chiles en Nogada.

  • 03 of 08

    Tacos

    Tacos
    ••• Creative Commons photo by Xamesm

    Sure, you can find them on street corner of any Mexican city any day of the year, but really, nothing says Mexico more than tacos. More than a specific food, this is a way of eating. Forget about those hard taco shells - that's not Mexican. Find some soft corn tortillas and use whatever fillings you desire, just make sure you've got fresh salsa and garnishes on hand. 

  • 04 of 08

    Tamales

    Tamales
    ••• Getty Images / Miguel Malo

    Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish of cornmeal dough with fillings, they're wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves and steamed. Because they're quite laborious to prepare, tamales are served for special occasions throughout the year. 

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Sopa Azteca

    Sopa Azteca
    ••• Getty Images / Maren Caruso

    This tortilla soup is warm and filling. Crispy strips of fried tortillas are drowned in a spicy broth and garnished with avocado and cheese. Check out our favorite recipe for Sopa Azteca.

  • 06 of 08

    Guacamole

    Guacamole
    ••• Getty Images / Debbi Smirnoff

    This dip is a favorite all around the world. Serve it with nachos or fresh vegetables, or as a topping for tacos. Guacamole will turn any ordinary party into a Mexican fiesta. Although there are infinite takes on this Mexican favorite, here's a recipe for simple guacamole to get you started. The most important thing is that the avocados are perfectly ripe.

  • 07 of 08

    Flautas

    Mexican Taquitos (flautas)
    ••• Juanmonino / Getty Images

    Flautas, taquitos or tacos dorados are terms that are used to refer to tacos that are rolled up and deep fried. Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably or sometimes flautas refers to ones that are made with wheat flour tortillas, and the smaller ones are referred to as "taquitos". Either way, these crunchy fried cylinders can contain meat or cheese or potatoes and are topped with guacamole or crema and salsa. Delicious way to celebrate!

  • 08 of 08

    Mexican Drinks

    Tequila shots
    ••• Good tequila and mezcal should be sipped. Getty Images / Image Source

    Of course, tequila (or mezcal!) is a no-brainer, but there are many other choices if you want to add some variety to your drinks menu. Consider these 7 Mexican drinks.