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Mexico's Taco Trail

Where to eat the country’s signature staple.

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Mexico’s celebrated dish finally gets its own magnum opus. The new book Tacopedia, originally published in Spanish but newly translated into English by Phaidon, is a monograph meets cookbook, with 100 recipes, including 16 regional taco varieties. Mexican publisher Déborah Holtz and illustrator Juan Carlos Mena conceived the first edition and enlisted food writer Alejandro Escalante to scour the country for the best restaurants. Here, they detail their five favorites.

El Tizconcito
The Mexico City restaurant is considered the inventor of the taco al pastor (spit-grilled pork topped with pineapple). Tamaulipas 122, Colónia Condesa; 52-55/5286-2117.

Barbacoa de Santiago
Travelers heading north from Mexico City take a break at this rest stop just outside Querétaro for barbacoa lamb, cooked with maguey leaves over an open fire. Km. 152 of Carretera Mexico-Querétaro, Palmillas; 52-427/266-2186.

El Bajío
When foreign chefs come to Mexico City, locals bring them here to try Michoacán-style carnitas, pork cooked in copper pots. Av. Cuitláhuac 2709, Clavería; 52-55/5234-3763.

Los Almendros
Yucatecans vouch for the quality of the cochinita pibil (pork cooked in barbacoa ovens with achiote sauce) at the restaurant in the Fiesta Americana Hotel. 451 Paseo Montejo, Mérida; 52-999/942-1111; fiestamericana.com.

Benito Juárez Market
Travelers mix with residents, all clamoring over Oaxacan cuisine. The taco to get is the grasshopper with lime. Between Flores Magón and 20 de Noviembre streets, Oaxaca City.

Tacopedia, available September 28, $30 at phaidon.com.

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