Mexico City is hands down the best “food city” we have ever lived in. This city offers affordable eating, variety of cuisine, and amazing flavors.
So in honor of the great food of Mexico, here is my TOP TEN photo countdown (in no particular order) of the best and most popular foods to try when you visit Mexico City:
Tacos are definitely the food of choice when it comes to Mexico City. You can order them in countless restaurants or on the street for as little as 5 pesos a taco (18 pesos = 1 dollar). The first photo below is a street vendor taco with chorizo and cheese and lots of spicy pico de gallo near the Insurgentes Circle – there’s an entire street leading up to and around the Insurgentes metro that sells cheap, tasty food. The second photo is a mix of seafood tacos from Tres Galeones in Roma Norte. They are a tiny taco restaurant that is always packed during meal times – you can order seafood soups, tacos, and drinks. Our favorite is the camaron mojo – shrimp with a sauce of chili, garlic and oil.
This filling soup is loaded with hominy and shredded chicken and usually topped with avocado and other garnishes. The one below included lettuce, which was new for me. I think this is the perfect Sunday afternoon lunch. I ordered this bowl in the front entrance of the Medellin Market in Roma Norte.
You can buy your corn on the cob or shaved off and placed in a cup. I prefer the cup because it’s just a bit easier to eat as you walk. You get your choice of toppings too, including: lime, mayo, chili powder, salt, cilantro, and cheese. I like to all add a little bit of everything.
#4 Chile Relleno
Another find from the Medellin Market comedors, the chile is stuffed with cheese, breaded, and covered in a mild red sauce. This dish can be found in many cafes and is regularly offered as one of the choices for the daily meal.
#5 Fresh Tortillas
Not a meal so much as a staple to the Mexican cuisine. These little babies come out fresh off the tortilla press and are sold for only 6 pesos for half a kilo. Most restaurants will serve your meal with a basket of several hot tortillas, but it’s always nice to have a few at home for breakfast tacos or quesadillas.
#6 Bakeries/Panaderias /Pastelerias
My favorite category of the list! Bakeries are in no short supply here. Photos in clockwise order: Pasteleria Suiza, Boheme (Cronuts served weekends only), Lecroz, and El Pecado Original; Growing up in Arizona, all I really knew of Mexican baked goods was pan dulce (sweet bread) – but there is SO much more. There is also a lot of international influence here and Boheme, where I got my first-ever cronut, is a French bakery.
#7 Gringas (or any other street food)
Gringas received their name because instead of the traditional corn tortillas, flour tortillas are used. A gringa is essentially two flour tortillas sandwiching all kinds of fillings of your choosing – beans, meat, cheese, lettuce, onions, sour cream, salsa, etc.
So the daily meal is an offering at many cafes in the city for lunches that range from 40-70 pesos. They come with everything – bread or tortillas, drink (usually a flavored water or horchata), entree, and dessert. And they all start with soup. This is just one of the soups I got with a meal of the day… unfortunately it was my least favorite that I’ve had since arriving. I just couldn’t pass up the photo opportunity of the chicken foot floating there! Most common soups here are: fideo which is a pasta soup, consome which is a chicken broth, lentil, cream soups of a variety of vegetables and tortilla soup – my personal fav.
Enchiladas, also popular all over the U.S. as well, are tortillas that are rolled around a filling – usually cheese, chicken, or some other type of meat, and then covered in sauce – either red or green. My favorite combo is chicken with green sauce and these enchiladas from a little taco shop in Coyoacan did not disappoint. When I ate at this restaurant, I was in the middle of apartment hunting in my first week and just came across it randomly. I recently tried to go back to Coyoacan to find it, but had no luck! So, no enchiladas for me and sadly, no restaurant recommendation for you- sorry 😦
Can you say “yummmm!”? I have a sweet tooth and these treats hit the spot for both price and flavor. 4 hot, freshly made churros will set you back only 12 pesos- less than a buck. Or some places, particularly near the bus stations, will sell each churro separately for about 6 pesos. They aren’t the healthiest treat so the fact that you can buy them on the street means you may want to walk around the block two or three more times to burn the extra calories in these sweet treats. Oh so simple – deep fried dough rolled in cinnamon and sugar – but oh so good.
A few items that didn’t make the top ten list that I believe are worth trying when you visit: anything with mole sauce (not my favorite flavor, but it’s so authentic to Mexico, you’ll want to give it a try), Chiles in Nogada – in September during walnut season, tamales, tortas (sandwiches) and gorditas. A word to the wise, burritos are not a Mexican food! Tacos are king here, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a burrito in the city. I’ve only found them on the menus of two restaurants in six months here. And if you really want to fit in, just order a Coca Cola with any of your meals – Mexicans consume more Coke than any other nation in the world. And for after your evening meals, try a sip of mezcal or pulque for a truly authentic Mexican beverage.