When it comes to planning the dining portion of a birthday party one of the most popular foods served at a celebration is Mexican. From appetizers to the main-course to desserts and finger-foods Mexican cuisine is a favorite for all-ages, no matter if the birthday boy or girl is turning 6 or 60.
When selecting your menu you’ll want to impress guests by keeping things completely authentic, which means scrapping the Tex-Mex and opting for the real deal. Below we detail a few Mexican fiesta food concepts to add flavor to your birthday party dining experience.
Recommended Mexican Dishes for Birthday Celebrations
Appetizers – The old standby of corn tortilla chips with fresh salsa and guacamole never goes out of style when it comes to any celebration, especially birthday parties. Traditional nachos, with corn tortilla chips (totopos) smothered in cheese (queso) and jalapeño peppers will do the trick but also consider taking it up a notch by topping them with slow cooked pulled chicken (tinga) or pork (cochinita pibil). Tamales also make for a great addition to your appetizer menu. There is a great recipe for quick and easy tamales here.
Main Course – You can’t go wrong with Mexican street food when it comes to the birthday celebration main course. Your guests will be up and about mingling (or playing when there are kids involved) so you don’t want to burden them with food that must be eaten while seated. Serve a variety of soft-shelled tacos to suit all tastes. Tacos de Asador (grilled fillings) options such as carne asada (grilled steak), chorizo (Mexican sausage) and pollo (chicken) are the best bets. Tacos de Cazo (fried fillings) are also popular, with carnitas (slow-cooked pulled pork) being the go-to variety. Finally there are Tacos de Cazuela (braised fillings) such as cachet (beef cheeks) for guests that appreciate something a little more adventurous. Don’t forget to have a colorful variety of Mexican taco salsas lining the serving table, including salsa roja, pico de gallo, and salsa verde, and a flavorful red salsa (found here) to round out the options.
Dessert – When it comes to a Mexican-themed birthday cake there could be nothing better than a Pastel de Tres Leches (or Three Milk’s Cake). The Tres Leches is a sweet, moist cake with a vanilla sponge cake base. It is wonderfully soaked in a sauce made with three different kinds of milk (hence the Tres in Tres Leches). These three milks include Nestlé La Lechere sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and regular whole milk. If you’re really looking to make your Tres Leches rich you can substitute regular whole milk with a heavier cream (but honestly, it’s not necessary). The cake is traditionally (loose term) topped with a fresh whipped cream BUT we’re talking about birthday parties here so feel free to get wild with the icing and decorating.
Fiesta Fun – No Mexican fiesta themed birthday party could be complete without a piñata. That being said, don’t buy one of those pre-packaged deals from WalMart (etc.). Instead, buy an empty piñata (or better yet, learn how to make one for an added custom touch!) and fill it with authentic (there we go again with that word) Mexican candies that will delight all who snatch the sweet treasures up after a successful walloping of the piñata. We covered a few treats common to the culture here but other popular Mexican candies include Camotes Poblanos, Borrachitos, Pica Fresa, Pulparindo, Duvalin, Rellerindos, Pelon Pelo Rico, Paleta Payaso, and Rebanaditas.
All set to go on your Mexican cuisine themed birthday affair? Are you a visitor to or reside within the Greater Vancouver area? Stop by our store and deli at your earliest convenience for all of your Mexican food needs. We’d be honored to be a part of your celebrations.