Hannah Drake

4 Tips for a DIY Taco Bar

EntertainingHannah DrakeComment

A few weeks ago, I shared a photo of our dinner on my Instagram Stories. We were having carnitas tacos, one of my favourites! My friend Taylor messaged me about it and it turned into me, Taylor, and Luke hatching the idea for a Cinco de Mayo party. I was hesitant to do anything on the actual 5th of May because it’s a Sunday and I’m very protective of my Sunday nights, so I suggested the 4th instead. That’s when Luke decided we should honour one of the greatest TV shows of all time, Arrested Development, and do a Cinco de Cuatro party instead! (Of course it’s a reference from what’s easily the worst season, but still.) Later, I realised that the 6th, a Monday, is also a bank holiday, so it would have been fine, but we stuck with Cinco de Cuatro.

So to prepare for our party, I’ve been doing a lot of research on how to set up a taco bar and I’ve found quite a few tips that I thought I’d share with all of you. But really quick, I just want to be clear that while we’re calling it Cinco de Cuatro because it’s on May 4th (a joke from Arrested Development, if you haven’t seen it) and it’s a play on Cinco de Mayo, a day of celebration to honour the Mexican Army’s win over the French (not Mexican Independence day, by the way), it’s mostly an excuse to invite over both American and British friends to hang out and indulge in delicious Mexican food, which is pretty tricky to come by in the UK.


You definitely want to start with options. I like to think of it like a small-scale Chipotle. They have options on tortillas (both in kind and size). They have options on meat and usually include a vegetarian option. Of course you don’t want to go full Chipotle, but you still want to offer your guests options.

We’ve decided to go with chicken and pork because they’re easy and very doable in the slow cooker. As for tortillas, they’re not as readily available in the UK as they are in the States, but we want to offer two different sizes so people can do tacos or making their own burritos if they’d rather.


The toppings are where it’s at! You never know what your guests will want, so you want to give them plenty to choose from. Again, thinking back to Chipotle, they have two different beans options, two different rice options, a few different salsas to choose from, and lots of veggies. You don’t have to do as much, but for the most part, the prep is just lots of chopping, so it shouldn’t be a ton of work.

We’re planning on doing rice (probably Chipotle style, because I love Chipotle…obviously), black beans, corn, cheese, sour cream, coriander (cilantro), onions, and a few different salsas.

Of course we’re going to do chips with guacamole and queso as well!


No taco party would be complete without margaritas! For some reason, I find margaritas to be one of the trickiest cocktails to make and I’m not sure exactly sure why. They just give me anxiety, but I still have a few days to find the perfect margarita recipe. We’re of course going to have them on the rocks, but personally, I’m more of a frozen margarita person, so we’re going to do some fruity options, probably like strawberry, mango, and/or pineapple. I’m so excited!


I’m taking decor inspiration from the movie Coco. I absolutely love that movie and it’s so visually stunning. We’re not going ALL out, but I as able to find some colourful bunting and the colourful flags, along with some pompoms and other wall and ceiling decor. I’m also going to get those gold foil letter balloons (for the first time) and I’m totally kicking myself that I didn’t think to get “taco bout a party”. I love that!


All of the photos were found via Pinterest. If you click on them, it will take you to the original source or the original pin if it wasn’t linked.