9 ways to celebrate National Taco Day the right way

Yum, right? (Chitokan/Pexels photo)

Real talk: Monday is National Taco Day, and we’ve been brainstorming ways to mark the occasion.

Do we suggest taco day deals and freebies? Well, maybe, but any huge nationwide promotions will be offered by the bigger, chain restaurants -- and that feels sacrilegious, to celebrate this day with a drive-through burrito.

Do we suggest some margarita pairings? We could, but we’re not culinary experts, and we think *most* margaritas pair well with *most* tacos, so maybe we’re the wrong people to ask.

When it comes to Taco Day, you have to do it up right, and give this “holiday” the respect that it deserves.

How exactly you’ll go about that, is up to you. But we’re going to provide nine ideas to get the creative juices flowing.

1. Try a new recipe.

Not exactly groundbreaking. But hey, Taco Day falls on a Monday this year, and after a long weekend, maybe you’re not up for going out to eat.

What better time than now? Grab an apron and get to the kitchen.

Tacos truly make for a fail-safe dinner that your whole family will enjoy.

We’ll even provide some recipe inspiration: Tacos al Pastor (Bon Appetit) | Carne Asada Tacos (Aaron Sanchez for Food Network Magazine) | Queso Fundido Tacos (How Sweet Eats)

Photo: How Sweet Eats

2. On the flip side, fall back on a classic recipe.

If you’re scoffing at the links above, that’s OK. We’re never going to be able to please everyone.

Do you have an old family recipe you know like the back of your hand?

Are you known to blow away a crowd with your homemade guac?

Then why are you still reading this? Do what you do best and fall back on those favorites.

3. Go out for lunch or dinner.

Maybe there’s somewhere you’ve been dying to try, and you’ve just driven by instead of going in.

Perhaps that taco stand or truck near your house really knows how to nail a street taco.

We trust your judgment here. Our only advice? Support local! And bring someone you love.

4. Plan a taco party. If not this year, then next!

You know what sounds really funny? “Save The Date” cards for a taco party.

Make a cute plan for 2022. You could probably even send out digital invites.

Or, a backup plan, how about a house (taco) party? You don’t have to get too wild -- just the family will do. It might be fun to set up a taco bar with all the fixings, if you have time to run to the grocery store and get everything assembled in time. Don’t forget the chips! (And guac/queso/salsa, of course!)

5. Add an appropriate beverage to accompany your tacos.

It is a “holiday,” after all.

Dos Equis with lime? A classic margarita? Your call, really. There are no wrong answers, as long as you’re 21 or older.

6. Or perhaps there’s time to arrange a taco crawl?

Maybe you go Monday, maybe you pick a future date -- the start of the week can be exhausting.

We’re envisioning something similar to a bar crawl, but instead of drinking at each establishment, you eat a taco. Tell me that’s not the most fun outing you’ve ever imagined.

7. Tackle a fun, taco-related project.

Maybe you’re already planning on making a festive dinner, but you’d rather stick with an old-reliable kind of recipe. We get it! But what separates this day from any other day, we ask?

Seize the opportunity, friends. You could try your hand at homemade tortillas, or maybe even homemade salsa. No one’s saying you have to eat it all and finish it all today. These leftovers could take you right into next week (which, we’re pretty sure no one would complain about).

8. If you’re not a very adventurous eater, or your idea of a taco involves something with bright orange cheese and copious amounts of sour cream, go find yourself something a little more authentic.

We’re not all taco connoisseurs.

(Or well, if the concept doesn’t exist in your group of friends, just know that this person is out there).

Maybe you could pay it forward this Taco Day, and perhaps help a well-intentioned coworker branch out a bit. Slack message him the best taco spot in town, and offer a tip on exactly what to order. It’s an act of service, really.

9. Are all these ideas boring, you taco snob, you?

We challenge you to turn every meal of the day into a taco. Breakfast tacos seem pretty standard, and lunch and dinner tacos are obvious too, but how about a dessert taco? (Or a Choco Taco?) Tell us in the comments how we can improve on this list for next year.

*This story was first published in 2018, but has since been updated.