Top 10 Street Food You Must Try In Mexico City, Mexico

street food in mexico city
| 5 min read

Nestled on the elevated region of Mexico, Mexico City is a heavily populated metropolitan area that is considered the official capital of the country. The heart of the city showcases a modern facade with tall buildings that dominate the busy skies. Besides that, Mexico City has lots of green spaces and lovely public parks that complement its look. Also, as tourists explore the city, they will be overwhelmed by the number of iconic landmarks, century-old structures, historic districts, and other top-visited attractions. If its food you’re after, you will surely have the time of your life in this capital city as you hop from one dining spot to another. For your guidance, here is a list of top street food you must try in Mexico City, Mexico. Feel free to browse below.

1. Tlacoyos

Mercado de Xochimilco - Tlacoyos
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ProtoplasmaKid used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Going on a sightseeing tour and hopping from one place to another in Mexico might drain your energy. To avoid this, you might want to grab a snack that you can munch on as you explore the city. One local snack that is light and easy to carry around is tlacoyos. Also referred to as tlayoyis, this pre-Hispanic fare is made from masa and formed into an oval-shaped dish. Somehow, it resembles a corn tortilla, only that, it is flatter and bigger in size. What makes it mouthwatering is the toppings and the salsa added to it, namely, fava beans, ground pork, veggies, chicharron, and others.

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2. Quesadillas

Quesadillas with Pollo Asado
Source: Photo by user Michael Saechang used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Quesadillas are one of the most popular Mexican specialties in the whole world. You can buy it in almost every Mexican restaurant across the globe. A type of taco, a quesadilla is a thick tortilla that is filled with a mixture of ingredients. You’ll find ground meat, beans, veggies, and lots of spices for a burst of flavors. Some vendors use chicken breast as its main ingredient. This snack is often dipped into a tomato salsa or sour cream.

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3. Tacos

001 Tacos de carnitas, carne asada y al pastor
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Larry Miller used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Somehow closely resembling a quesadilla and tlacoyo, a taco is a popular snack and a favorite appetizer in Mexican and Spanish bars. Just like a tlacoyo, a taco consists of tortilla and ground pork is its main ingredient. The tortilla sandwiches its fillings which are ground pork, peppers, beans, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and others. The only way to eat it is by hand, like how you eat a sandwich and a burger. Don’t worry about some trimmings that might fall as it is normally messy when eating a taco.

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4. Tlayuda

Source: Photo by user Doug Knuth used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Another sumptuous local dish that you should not miss while in Mexico is tlayuda. Although it is called a tlayuda, some people spell it as “clayuda”, and you can notice that on the menus of restaurants and bars. Now you know that they are the same thing. Basically, A tlayuda is a handmade dish that looks like a pizza. It’s round and flat in shape but instead of dough, it is made from thin crust of toasted tortilla that crumbles as you bite it. For its toppings, you will surely enjoy its Oaxaca cheese, cabbage, chunks of meat or ground pork, fried beans, and others. Some vendors even put avocado on it.

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5. Tamales and atole

Pozole at Tamales y Atoles Any
Source: Photo by user Darren & Justine used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This is a surefire favorite and a classic combination. Tamales and atole are two different delicacies that are most of the time combined. A tamale is a delicious dish that is an influence of Mesoamerican cuisine to the world and is authentic to the Mexican people. Covered in a banana leaf or corn husk, it is primarily made from dough. It is cooked by steaming. While on the other hand, atole is a sweet drink where you dip the tamales into for a complete food experience. Atole is made from masa and corn, and a chocolate version of it exists in the culinary world as well, called a champurrado.

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6. Tortas

Tortas Frontera ORD - Cochinita Pibil Torta
Source: Photo by user Edsel Little used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Torta is a term that is often used for a flatbread snack. Tortas is a dish that is eaten in almost all parts of the world, including Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, Sweden, Spain, Serbia, Czech Republic, and a lot more. There are different versions of tortas, depending on the country you are in. In Mexico, a torta often consists of a crispy breaded chicken breast, cheese, beans, mayonnaise, sea salt, and others. It is a fantastic snack that is not too heavy and at the same time not too light.

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7. Gorditas

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user JEDIKNIGHT1970 used under CC BY-SA 2.5

Your Mexican food crawl will not be completed without you sampling a palatable authentic Mexican snack called gorditas. Just like some of the street foods on this list, gorditas is made from masa, almost like an empanada. The masa is shaped in a semi-circle and it’s filled with tasty stuffing, of which the ingredients include beans, peanuts, tomatoes, sour cream, and others. It is usually compared to the arepa of Venezuelan and Colombian cuisines.

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8. Chicharrones

Source: Photo by user Jeremy Keith used under CC BY 2.0

Popular in countries with Spanish and Mexican heritage, chicharones is a tasty and crunchy snack that is made from pork rinds or pork belly. It is eaten as a snack and commonly dipped into a vinegary sauce with chili. Aside from a typical finger food snack, chicharrones is often eaten as an appetizer in bars and clubs for its flavorful taste. Aside from pork, some chicharrones are made from beef, chicken, and even mutton.

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9. Elotes

Elote asándose
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ProtoplasmaKid used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Elotes is a Spanish term that translates to grilled corn. Often sold in streets, elotes is a delicious snack that is eaten on a stick. In Mexico City, you can bump into tourists with elotes in hand as it is easy to carry as you go on sightseeing escapades and city walks. Some street vendors sell this dish directly from the cob and buyers get to choose. Then, peeled from the cob, the corn is grilled on the spot, and once cooked, the vendors put some parmesan cheese, chili powder, mayonnaise, butter, and other kinds of spread onto it.

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10. Tostadas

Mexican tostadas
Source: Photo by user David Boté Estrada used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Complete your culinary adventure in Mexico by enjoying some palatable tostadas. In Spanish, tostada translates to toasted. Its ingredients vary from one country to another. The most common tostada in Mexico is the one with a deep-fried flat tortilla. Just like tacos, nachos, and other Mexican fare, it has ground pork, beans, tomatoes, and is showered with a savory salsa and sprinkled with lots of cheese.

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Go on a culinary adventure through Mexico's popular street food

Mexico City is a captivating metropolis with a fair share of a modern facade and well-preserved historical landmarks. It is a city that is rich in culture that keeps up with the developing times. Aside from sightseeing and city walks, tourists love going on a culinary adventure in Mexico, especially those with Mexican ancestry and those who have developed a taste for Mexican food. If you are one of these people, use this list as your guide in curating an exciting food crawl itinerary in Mexico City.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Nicole, a writer and traveler, also identifies herself as a free spirit with a wild heart. She is dedicated to telling authentic stories in a relatable manner. Nicole also enjoys exploring new,...Read more

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