Mexican cuisine keeps ancestral culinary techniques, ritual practices, native ingredients and singular utensils. There isn’t one single style of Mexican food, it’s flavors change from region to region. But no matter where you are, Mexican food brings people together.
Did you know mexican food is considered an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity?
Mexicans love mexican food of course. People get into big fights deciding which one is the best dish or who has the best recipe. Here are some of the popular ones you can eat in the city*. *This is just a quick-guide, some ingredients could be different depending on the recipe of the cook.
The cross between a stew and a soup. Pork and guajillo chile broth with maíz cacahuazintle (hominy kernels), topped with lettuce, radish, chopped onion and oregano.
Also known as menudo. Pancita means cows stomach (tripe), this soup is prepared with dried chiles, tomato, and tripe. Finally, it’s topped with onion and cilantro.
Tacos are one of the most flexible dishes, maybe that’s why there are hundreds of different types. A taco is basically a tortilla (corn or flour) with some meat, vegetables, or salsa.
A specific type of taco that looks like a flute. Flautas are made with a bigger tortilla, thigh rolled-up, and deep-fried. Filled with shredded chicken, meat or mashed potatoes. There is an ahogadas version, which means they’re served “drowned” with salsa.
This is a sensitive issue that concerns all Mexicans. In Mexico City, a quesadilla is a folded in half
tortilla filled with meat, vegetables, or cheese. The rest of Mexico believes it has to have cheese all the time.
A round flat masa dish with pinched sides and topped with a variety of ingredients such as mashed-beans, cheese, chicken or fried eggs.
A round, thick, look-alike tortilla dish made with masa and filled with beans, chicharron, or fresh mild cheese.
A sándwich made with bolillo- a Mexican bread- and filled with different meats, charcuterie,
cheese, vegetables, mayonnaise, and rajas.
Tortilla totopos (tortilla chips) covered with salsa and topped with cheese, fresh cream, and
optionally some fried eggs or meat.
A prehispanic dish made with maíz masa, filled with salsa, meat, cheese, or other vegetables. Wrapped in corn husk and steamed.
Mexico City’s delicatessen. Also known as torta de tamal, it’s a bolillo filled with a tamal.
A complex kind-of salsa made with different ingredients such as fresh and dried chiles, dried fruits, nuts, seed, and spices. There are a lot of different mole recipes, some of the most popular are poblano, negro, and coloradito.
A crispy dried tortilla topped with different preparations and salsa.
Rolled up tortillas usually filled with shredded chicken and covered with salsa and cheese.
Literally a stuffed chili. The most popular chilies to make this dish are chile poblano, jalapeño, and
chile de agua, but you can also find some dried varieties such as chile ancho. You can stuff the chili with any preparation you like, from minced meat to mashed potatoes with cheese.
The beloved mexican street snack. A simple yet tasty corn prepared with mayo, white cheese, and
chili powder. Expect exotic new recipes from some vendors that involve mashed Cheetos and
Doritos to cover the elote.
A variety of the delicious elote but served in a cup with some cooking broth from the corn. This
steamy snack is topped with lime juice, mayo, white cheese, and chili. Some other variations use
other ingredients such as different salsas, butter, or even meat like tuétano (bone marrow).
Crunchy and filling snacks you’ll find at parks. Fried puffed wheat chicharron topped with pickled pork skin, lettuce or cabbage, avocado, tomato, sour cream, cheese, lime and salsa.
We love a good drink just as much as we love tacos. No matter if you’re looking for a refreshing non-alcoholic drink or a strong spirit, we’re lucky to have many different beverages to choose for every occasion. This are some of those you might find around the city:
Our daily comfort drinks. You can find them at almost any restaurant, at fondas (inexpensive traditional restaurants), and at most mexican homes. There are lots of different aguas frescas; some are made with seasonal fruit, or with dried flowers, with seeds... but the most popular ones are Jamaica (hibiscus), Horchata (rice and cinnamon), and Tamarindo (tamarind).
Who doesn’t love fresh juice made with seasonal fruits? You’ll see a lot of juice stalls in the main streets of the city and at markets. We’re used to buying all kinds of juices and shakes from these places. Be careful though, choose a busy and clean one, or you might end up sick.
Also known as tlachique. This is the agave sap: you can only find it where the agave grows since it starts fermentation a couple hours after it is extracted. It’s sweet, refreshing, and has lots of fiber.
Café de olla
Café de olla
A traditional morning coffee born during Mexican Revolution thanks to the Adelitas (female revolutionary soldiers) who started adding raw sugar cane and spices to coffee. Usually prepared with cinnamon, orange peel, and clove, its name comes from the pitcher of clay (olla) where it is made.
Chocolate de agua
Chocolate de agua
Cacao is the main ingredient for chocolate and it comes from the southeast coast of México. Since prehispanic times, cacao beans have been a beloved treasure. Before the Spaniards conquered Mexico, they were mixed with water, chili, corn, achiote, and other spices to prepare refreshing drinks. That is why it is still common to have chocolate made with water instead of milk.
Aka the elixir of the gods. This prehispanic drink is fermented agave sap. It has a low-alcohol content, slightly sour taste, white color, and a thick texture (must be thick, if you find it too slimy means that it is not fresh pulque). Either you love it or hate it, but you should know that it has an important composition of probiotics and fiber.
This one is a variation of pulque and it is basically a low-alcoholic smoothie. White pulque is blended with fruits, vegetables, seeds, and driedfruits, then served cold. Flavors are varied, from strawberry, cheese, oats to celery and tomato.
This is a classic in some markets and tianguis, the kind of drink you buy to refresh while walking down the streets and buying groceries. It is a fermented drink made with pineapple (most of the time), piloncillo (raw sugar), and depending on the recipe, with some spices. It has less than 1% ABV.
Beer prepared with lime juice and served in a glass with salt rim. There are different styles
of micheladas such as clamato (with tomato and clam juice), cubana (with Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce), gomichela (with chamoy sauce and fruity gummies), and some hardcore recipes that includes shrimp, cucumber, peanuts, and even avocado!
It might not be the most popular drink here, but we do like wine, especially when it’s a Mexican one. In case you weren’t aware, this is a wine country! Actually, the oldest winery in the continent is here in Mexico. We encourage you to try it, it won’t disappoint you.
The alcoholic and party version of aguas frescas. A simple recipe to get drunk fast: agua fresca with booze, usually a cheap one. Commonly seen at parties and at some bars.
Mezcal is the name of all the spirits distilled from the baked heart (known as piña) of different varieties of magueyes. This word comes from the Náhuatl mexcalli, metl = maguey, ixca=to cook or bake. These spirits have a slightly smoky flavor and a smooth taste, and that’s why you can easily get drunk without noticing it. Also they have in between 30 and 60% alcohol.
The most well-known mexican spirit and it’s distilled from Agave tequilana a.k.a blue agave. This famous drink is also a D.O. It has between 35 and 40% alcohol, and it’s commonly used in cocktails such as Palomas and Margaritas, but if you are brave enough you can also take it straight.