From Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza's line-up of authentic eats, you'll want to go with either the cochinita pibil, 12-hour slow-roasted pork wrapped in a banana leaf, or the chiles en nogada, a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with chicken, fruit and nuts. The chef, from Michoacan, Mexico, uses family recipes passed down from generation to generation to make her sweet rice horchata and rich mole.

Take a stroll through Penn Quarter and you'll find three restaurants run by James Beard Award winner José Andres. Any meal that starts with complimentary chips and salsa is an automatic win in our book. Fonda San Miguel, while now a bit kitschy (having been founded in 1975), does fit the bill, and it anchors the city as its premier Mexican restaurant institution. Mula, in Omaha, dishes out the latter. Flavors span the cuisine of Zacatecas in north-central Mexico to those of Vera Cruz on the eastern coast and Tampico to the north. Step inside this legendary Latin American restaurant and you'll feel as if you're in a cantina down in Mexico, with wooden beams overhead and an explosion of turquoise, coral and bright pink. There’s mounted game on the walls, lest you forget that you are still in Texas.

). Handmade corn tortillas?

Stuffed with the filling of your choice, the entire tortilla is then flash-fried so it's crispy and chewy all in one delicious bite.

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Come for the food, stay for the atmosphere. It may not have the flash of Agave with its pink neon and dramatic décor, or the glitz of Diego Mexican Cuisine in the MGM Grand. Courtesy of Rubi's at Maxwell Street Market, Credit: Bite into creative combos including tacos el Cubano, the regional specialty made with carnitas, truffle, fried plantains and chicharrones. Impressed?

In Los Angeles, though, these men started to use 8-foot-long wagons to sell not just tamales, but also Mexican stews and tacos. One you'll definitely want to try?

Chef Oscar del Rivero oversees one of Florida’s best Mexican restaurants, with a menu inspired by seasonal ingredients and the chef’s personal travels to Mexico. Because no one leaves hungry from this Ohio eatery, where tacos al pastor (they claim theirs are the best in the Columbus!) But Tortilleria Nixtamal in Queens makes the city’s best case. If you'd rather stay in than go out, recreate your favorite dish with these Mexican restaurant copycat recipes.

If you're the kind of person who believes tacos definitely aren't just for Tuesdays, here are plenty of taco recipes to try tonight. With a name that literally means "neighborhood," it's no surprise that El Barrio is a gathering spot for locals and tourists alike. ), caramel flan and crispy cinnamon-sugar sopapillas. But it may be easiest to see the wide-reaching influence of Mexican foods here in the US simply by looking at the number of Mexican restaurants in the country. "To have and to fold" should be the motto at this Seattle secret spot where, as the name suggests, tacos reign supreme. It’s reasonably priced, the tamales are legendary, and the tortillas fresh. Vegans and vegetarians avoid meat dishes, and vegans also avoid dishes containing eggs, dairy, and honey. You'll get the best of both worlds when you sink your teeth into one of the Baja-style fish tacos at this joint, where the star of the show is the mango barbecue mahi-mahi taco topped with cilantro white sauce. Mula Mexican Kitchen & Tequileria, Omaha. Taqueria la Flor de Mexico, Rubi’s, Manolo's, and Tacos D.F…. Even though Austin has a serious food reputation, its residents can’t count that many Mexican joints that stand up as the best in the state, or the country.