Is similar to Mexican and Colombian cuisine
Typical food in Mexico - delicious food guide to traditional Mexican dishes
At a Trip to mexico the typical food is one of the highlights of the holiday! Because the food in Mexico is varied, cheap and incredibly tasty. Especially that Street food is a dream and you can actually find delicious and clean street food on every corner.
Food is an important part of Mexican culture and no festival can be done without a typical dish. There are also great culinary differences within Mexico. Oaxaca, in particular, is a Mecca for foodies and you can try wonderful fish and seafood on the coast. Also, different courts sometimes have the same or similar names in different states. I introduce you here traditional dishes the way I met her.
Vegetarian Mexican dishes are now easy to find in the larger cities. In Mexico City there are several vegetarian and vegan restaurants that offer typical Mexican food. I have marked all typically vegetarian dishes in this guide with a Ⓥ. If there are only vegetarian options sometimes, I wrote that down. Many dishes, such as tacos or quesadillas, are also available with vegetarian fillings. For an overview of different fillings, take a look at the taco overview.
If you want to be on the safe side as to whether something is vegetarian, it is best to ask again, because many of the dishes are prepared a little differently everywhere.
So that you have an overview of the tastiest traditional Mexican dishes and drinks I have also divided this travel report into different categories such as snacks & street food, main courses, dessert and drinks. Have fun with your appetite!
Picante: Is Mexican Food Always Spicy?
Pica mucho? Is one of the first questions I learned in Mexico. It means something like: is it very hot? You will usually get the answer: Un poquito - get a little. This vaguely defined term can mean pretty much anything from barely to hellishly sharp.
The good news for anyone who doesn't like it spicy food eat, however, is that the spicy salsas or the chilli powder are served extra and the actual dish is not spicy in itself. Otherwise, almost everything will work in Mexico Picante eaten. Be sure to try fresh fruit or a water ice cream with chilli or one of the typical sweets with chilli and tamarindo (such as pulparindo).
Snacks and street food in Mexico
Street food is indispensable in Mexico City and omnipresent! I can only advise you to feed yourself, because the food is delicious and cheap. Around diarrhea or other unpleasant surprises, you should always keep an eye out at which stalls many locals eat. These are mostly good and clean. Antojitos are named many of the Mexican snacks. The best way to translate it is with a small appetizer or canapés. Antojitos are typically sold as street food or in small, simple restaurants.
Banderillas are pretty fat and one typical mexican street food. Here a hot dog sausage is put on a skewer and usually fried with cheese in a batter. There is also a good shot of ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard. Definitely not for a diet!
For me, burritos are more typical Tex-Mex food. But you can also get burritos at many street stalls and restaurants. Often also in a vegetarian version. The burrito usually consists of a wheat tortilla, is typically larger than a taco and rolled up.
Camotes can usually be heard before you see their salespeople. Camote is a sweet potato that is usually cooked over a fire in steam kettles. The steam has to be let off again and again and this creates a deafening whistling sound. Especially in Roma and Coyoacan one encounters numerous camote sellers. I tried this street food quite late, but found it simple and super delicious and it is also vegetarian.
Fancy proteins? Chapulines are crispy and very salty Locustswhich are also often sold on the street. There are many vendors in the center of Coyoacan and you can buy chapulines in most markets. If you ask nicely, you can often try a grasshopper like that. In some places there are also tacos with chapulines or quesadillas.
Chicharrón, originally fried pork skin, is now often made from wheat. Sometimes they are served as crunchy toppings with tacos and Co. or eaten straight with lime and hot sauce.
Dorilocos are just as crazy as the name suggests and, for me, a rather Street food that takes getting used to. Dorito nachos form the basis, on which a decent ration of pork rind is given. Now comes the healthy part with a few cucumber and carrot pieces. Put a few peanuts on top and you're done. Of course, a good portion of lime, chilli and salsa (mostly Valentina) on top shouldn't be missing. Sometimes chamoy or gummy bears are even added. This wild mix is often served directly in the Dorito bag.
Elote and Esquites Ⓥ
Elote is the cooked or roasted one Corn on the cob with mayonnaise, cheese, lime and chili. Esquite is actually the same, but already nice and handy in a mug. I found the amount of mayonnaise a bit strange at first, but soon the esquites were one of my favorite street food options.
Gorditas are mostly made from corn flour (there are also some with wheat) and are something thicker than ordinary tacos. Most of the time they are cut open and stuffed. Similar to tacos, there are various options here. Classic fillings are chicharrón or beans.
Now it's getting more complicated. Because the different tortilla variations and their numerous names are not that easy to tell apart. Gringas consist of two wheat tortillas, which are fried again with cheese and filling (mostly Al Pastor).
Huarache (sometimes: guarache)
Huaraches got their name because of the shape. They are more oval and usually larger than normal tacos. This shape is reminiscent of the typical sandals of the indigenous people. Huaraches are usually quite hard and often filled with beans. On top of that come salsas, cheese and meat or egg.
The pambazo is a kind Torta, a sandwich, but a little more sophisticated. Here the bun is first placed in red sauce (or broth), then fried and topped with various options. Pambazos are usually softer and, since the red sauce contains chilli, a little hotter than normal open sandwiches.
Papas preparadas Ⓥ
Papas preparadas are a typical snack for in-between. In addition to lemon and chilli, various salsas are served on potato chips. The classic is of course Salsa Valentina. Here, too, there are no limits to the imagination. There are also papas locas that are reminiscent of the Dorilocos with their crazy toppings.
Pico de Gallo
Pico de Gallo is of course not a dish, but a salsa, but before I dive deeper into the world of quesadillas and tacos, the Pico de Gallo should get its honorable mention. Pico de Gallo is very often served to refine your dish. It's a kind of salad made from chopped tomatoes, onions, coriander and often chilli in lime juice. Wonderfully refreshing and the perfect complement to tacos and Co.
Quesadillas are difficult to describe because opinions differ here. Traditionally, they consist of folded (not rolled and not of two) Corn tortillasthat are filled. The filling can contain meat or it can be vegetarian.
Whether in a quesadilla actually always cheese comes, I am still not entirely clear and it depends on the region or the street stand. To be on the safe side and have cheese, prefer to order the quesadilla con queso (with cheese).
Tacos are the kings of the world Mexican street foods and let's be honest: a taquito always works, right? The prices are very different from zone to zone and range between around 3-15 pesos (17-70 ct) on the street.
They usually consist of a soft corn tortilla and a filling. The hard tacos are TexMex foods. There are also tacos made from wheat and even Nopal.
So that you can get a brief overview of the numerous fillings, I have listed the classics for you here. The tacos make the whole salsas that are offered with it particularly delicious. These are often fiery and spicy and round off the taste experience. Pico de Gallo is also often served with tacos.
- Tacos al pastor
Tacos al Pastor are my undisputed favorites. Here, meat is cut from a kind of kebab skewer, which was previously inserted, and with fresh pineapple and lots of coriander and onions served. The taste and the method of preparation reminds me of the Mexican version of a kebab.
Thinly sliced beef
Here's a little vegetables to go with the meat. Alambre is usually made from beef, onion, bell pepper, and melted cheese.
The name is derived from cabra (goat). Most of all, you get a Taco de Cabrito in northern Mexico. The city of Monterrey, for example, is known for this. There are also different types of preparation, such as al pastor (on a spit, like a roast chicken, but with a goat), al horno (slowly braised in the oven), en salsa (in a sauce, usually tomato sauce), en sangre (slowly in your own Boiled blood, which forms the base of a sauce).
- Tacos de carne asada
Simple tacos with fried beef
Pork fried in lard
Different parts of the animal's head are cooked. Mostly it is beef.
- De Guisado
Tacos de guisado usually contain one type Meat stewwhich is already prepared at home. Often you can choose between different Guisados.
- Flor de Calabaza Ⓥ
Not only typical for tacos, but also for, for example, quesadillas and a great one vegetarian alternative is Flor de Calabaza, the flower of the pumpkin.
- Huitlacoche Ⓥ
As with Flor de Calabaza, it is also with Huitlacoche and can be found, for example, in quesadillas or in ravioli. Huitlacoche is a black corn mushroom, very typical and traditional for Mexico. Huitlacoche is also vegetarian.
Tacos de lengua are filled with fried tongue, mostly from beef.
With a red pork sausage
Taco de Pescado are fish tacos. You will often find them with the addition “estilo Baja California”. So in the style of the Baja California region. The special thing is that you usually get more vegetables with your taco, such as lettuce, tomatoes or cabbage, and the fish is usually deep-fried. The taco is also served with mayonnaise, usually with chipotle. Alternatively, you can also find camarones (prawns) in this style.
- Taco de Suadero
Meat from the beef breast is marinated and cooked in fat, making it very tender. Typically, the meat is chopped up with a cleaver on a wooden block. Suadero is a typical taco of the night that party-loving people eat on the way home.
With intestines. Mostly from beef.
Series tip: Netflix has a great series called The History of Tacos (Taco Chronicals), which really makes you want tacos and also provides interesting background information on the various tacos, their preparation and history. Little fun fact: one of my professors from the semester abroad in Mexico City appears regularly in the series.
Tacos de canasta
Tacos de Canasta are made with Steam cooked and are therefore soft and collapsed. The name comes from the fact that the tacos are often carried around in a vessel (canasta) by the street vendors, in which they stay warm and moist. Doesn't sound really appetizing, but it's very tasty.
The fillings are often potatoes, beans or meat.
Tamales look back on a long tradition in all of Central America. They consist of one Corn massthat is stuffed with meat and vegetables. Usually there is a sauce with it. The chipilin plant is typical in Chiapas and Guatemala.
Tamales are rolled into a leaf, usually a banana leaf, and cooked with steam. In Mexico you can also find sweet variants with chocolate or fruit. Tamales are mostly vegetarian, but sometimes animal fat is incorporated.
Tlacoyos (Clacoyos / Tlatloyos)
Tlacoyos consist of a thick and rather elongated tortilla that is filled. On top of that, you usually get a mixture of nopal, chilli, onions and cheese. Tlacoyos are often found with blue corn.
Tlayudas are typical of Oaxaca and I would call them mexican pizza describe. They consist of a very large and hard tortilla, which is topped with meat and vegetables, such as nopal, and baked with cheese from Oaxaca. Often they can also be found folded.
Tortas are so much more than sandwiches. They are a way of life and are typical of Mexico City. Here everything is simply packed in a torta. From mole to chilaquiles to tamales. So every dish can be taken away. Tortas in Mexico are therefore quite versatile and mostly very filling. You can get most types of taco on a torta and refine the mix with various sauces.
Typical main courses in Mexico
After the Mexican food that you typically find on the street, I now turn to that classic Mexican dishes. Often you can find a modification of these dishes in a taco or a torta on the street and vice versa you can also find many dishes that I have listed under street food in restaurants. For a better overview, however, I have drawn the line here with the dishes that are either intended for certain holidays or are simply impractical to eat on the go.
Aguachiles are a variation on ceviche only Camarones (Shrimp) and usually hotter. Aguachiles are particularly common on the Pacific coast of Michoacan and Jalisco, such as in Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita.
Bacalao is a typical Christmas and New Year meal in Mexico. It is a Stockfishwhich is often served with almonds and olives.
Barbacoa is especially popular in Hidalgo. Goat meat is classic, tenderly cooked in a hole in the ground and wrapped in agave leaves. This meat is consumed in all kinds of forms, for example in a soup, tacos or flautas.
Birria is particularly common in the state of Jalisco. This stew originally consists of goat meat cooked in the oven in a spicy sauce with lots of chilli. Often you can also find Birria in tacos on the street.
Ceviche is common in Mexico and is very different from the Peruvian ceviche. Excellent ceviche can be found on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in particular. In the typical Mexican ceviche, fish and / or seafood are frozen in lime juice and mixed with plenty of tomatoes, coriander and onions to make a refreshing fish salad.
Chalupas are tiny tortillas that fried and into which a hollow is pressed. Most of the time the chalupas are only filled with a lot of sauce, cheese and salad. But there are also more sophisticated variations. You can find them especially in the cities of Puebla and Cholula.
Chicharrón de Queso Ⓥ
Chicharrón de Queso is a gigantic cheese cracker that is rolled and served with various salsas.
Chilaquiles are a typical one breakfast. Here totopes, tortilla pieces that have been fried several times, are poured over with more and less spicy tomato sauce. There is also cheese and, if you want, meat and salad. Classically there are chilaquiles in rojo (red) or verde (green).
Chiles en nogada
One of the most popular and most expensive Mexican dishes are the Chiles en nogada who are around the Dia de la Independencia(Independence Day) to eat. Here, large green poblano chillies are filled with a mass of minced meat, nuts and fruits and garnished with a walnut sauce and pomegranate seeds. The dish reflects the colors of the Mexican flag.
Like the Chiles en nogada, only easier, they come filled chillies therefore. You can often find them fried or as a filling for tacos or even as a topping for pizza.
Choriqueso is Mexican chorizo in melted cheese and is often served with pico de gallo. Choriqueso can be found for dipping or on tortas.Incidentally, there is also green chorizo in Mexico, which gets its color from the numerous herbs it contains.
Cochinita Pibil is typical of the Yucatán cuisine. Slowly tenderly cooked baby pig meat is pickled with plenty of lime and the seeds of the achiote tree. The latter gives the dish its orange color.
Consomé is a meat broth. These come in a wide variety of compositions and from a wide variety of animals. There is a full restaurant in San Cristobal de las Casas that is entirely dedicated to Mexican broths. There you will find a huge and delicious selection. Soon you can find out more about it in our San Cristobal Travelogue.
Enchiladas / Entomatadas
Enchiladas are filled corn tortillas that are doused with sauce and usually sprinkled with salad and cheese. There are different sauces and types of preparation in the different regions. Entomatadas are, for example, enchiladas with a tomato sauce. In particular, the Enchiladas suizas, Enchiladas michoacanas or Enchiladas potosinas.
Flautas are corn tortillas that are rolled up and hard-fried and filled with various things. Often they are in plenty of tomato sauce and sprinkled with cheese. Flautas are dorados like tacos, but longer.
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