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Everywhere in NYC to celebrate not-Mexican independence

Cinco de Mayo is Sunday, meaning it probably would be good enough to post up at just about any bar and drink margs 'til you think sombreros are cool. But instead, we've collected eight actually great places to hit, each with a very specific and different reason to visit

Best Margarita
The Wayland
700 E 9th St; Alphabet City; 212.777.7022
No, it's not a Mexican place... that's the Wayland-o, in Murray Hill. But the bar team here has worked up a marg of pure originality -- which is only partially because it turns kale into something you actually want to put in your mouth. Adding to the fun: their new tequila oyster shooters.
Eat your veggies! Or drink them, right here.

Craziest Taco Filling
Antojeria La Popular
50 Spring Street; Nolita; 646.476.3567
Because they want to freak the hell out of your date, the owners at Nolita's Antojeria La Popular make trips to Mexico to figure out how to bring more bugs into the US, then use them (crickets, specifically) in their blue corn tostadas topped with avocado and cream, and in their quesadillas with Oaxacan cheese and freshly cooked masa tortillas.
Click here to get your cricket on

Hottest Hot Sauce
Dos Toros
137 4th Ave; Union Square; 212.677.7300
Not only do they have bomb SF-style burritos, the mini-empire builders and hilarious video makers over at Dos Toros also have a seriously sweat-inducing habanero hot sauce that requires some 20lbs of the pepper for the in-house creation process.
Burritos, burritos, burritos, right this way

Best Guacamole
Hecho En Dumbo
354 Bowery; NoHo; 212.937.4245
No gimmicks or nonsense here -- just great ingredients, the right amount of spice, the perfect ratio of classic- to New-World-style, and a smattering of housemade chips.
Guac it up here

Best Outdoor Space
La Gringa
800 Grand St; Williamsburg; 718.388.0055
La Gringa, deep in Williamsburg, has got you covered -- sometimes literally. Whether it's winter or summer, you can either score beers and tacos while watching The Basketball Diaries in their heated movie tent, or take down quesadillas while checking out their open-air market during the summer.
Head on over for dinner and a movie, and get all the details here

Best Nachos
El Parador
325 East 34th Street; Murray Hill; 212.679.6812
The under-the-radar Murray Hill staple eschews the big-ol'-mess approach to the nacho plate and, instead, takes time to carefully compose each one for your snacking pleasure. Not too filling, not too messy, these tasty triangles pack a punch in each and every bite, and won't ever sog under the weight of too much sour cream.
Click here for more Murray Hill Mexicana

Hottest Waitresses
La Esquina
106 Kenmare Street; SoHo; 646.613.1333
Aspiring models and fashion types literally litter SoHo (with cigarette butts mostly), so it's no wonder the staff at the original taco speakeasy are so consistently smoking.
SoHo sexiness is right this way

Best Tequila Selection
304 E 6th St; East Village; 212.253.5888
Leave the slamming shots and Tequila Sunrises to the amateurs, and head to the Death & Co guys' tequila temple for a seriously eye-opening (and then probably closing) experience with their next-level selection of not only 'quila, but also mezcal and sotol.
Find out more here

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1. La Gringa 800 Grand St, New York, NY 11211

Located deep in hipster-central Williamsburg, La Gringa has you covered no matter what you need, whether it's a bunch of burrito options (steak, fish, chicken, pork, etc.), Mexican soda, cheap booze ($2 beer cans), or the opportunity to use their backyard space to host your own movie-watching party/event. Although it can be hard to leave home to go out, this place will be even harder to leave.

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2. The Wayland 700 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009

From a duo that's spent many years bartending, cooking, and consulting in the restaurant biz comes The Wayland, a live-music cocktail bar in the heart of Alphabet City. Connected to the bar is a kitchen that specializes in small plates, including cheese selections, oysters, and BLTs with pulled pork. The cocktails reflect a DIY approach, with hours of prep work just to produce homemade radish, spiced apple, and key lime-flavored bitters.

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3. Antojeria La Popular 50 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

Tasty bites from all across Mexico, most meant to be eaten street-food-style (or, with your fingers as messily as possible): chilaquiles, tostadas, and ceviches. For dessert, there are refreshing La Newyorkina paletas, made in Brooklyn.

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4. Dos Toros 137 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

Dos Toros is the project of two brothers from California who were sorely disappointed by the lack of true West Coast burritos in NYC. Rather than fly all the way home and give up on their NY life, the pair decided to address the problem directly by opening up a number of DT shops, all serving massive, filling burritos that feature handmade tortillas, rice, beans, cheese, salsa, sour cream, and your choice of meat. In case you aren't looking to go into calorific shock, go relatively lighter with one of their tacos or quesadillas. And wash it down with a cold Corona, because no burrito joint is complete without a liquor license.

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5. Hecho En Dumbo 354 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

Despite the name, this place is actually located in Manhattan, or at least it has been since it relocated from DUMBO a few years back and moved into a Bowery location with exposed brick, dangling iron fixtures, and a stainless steel kitchen. The kitchen stays true to Mexico City cuisine, turning out a range of small plates that includes made-to-order guacamole, caramelized wagyu beef tongue, and berkshire pork with Yucatan spices. They've also got a killer brunch menu for the weekenders that features breakfast tortas, Mexican French toast (it's like the UN of breakfast plates), and more.

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6. El Parador Cafe 325 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016

El Parador Cafe's an unassuming joint that's serving up authentic South-of-the-Border food. With 54 years of experience under its belt, EPC is the oldest Mexican restaurant in the city, so it must be doing something right, particularly its delicious nachos.

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7. La Esquina/Corner Deli 114 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

The outstanding $3 tacos -- served individually -- are the real deal at this perpetually popular outpost on Kenmare.

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8. Mayahuel 304 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

From the guys behind Death & Co comes this tequila temple that continues their run of success in the booze department. In a lounge that is dark and sexy, they're serving a host of mezcals, reposados, and sotols that come primarily from indie distilleries. If you're there to eat, too, you'll be pleasantly surprised by their small-plate offerings, which include croquetas, black bean soup, and sushi grade tuna ceviche.

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