Foodie Travel Mexico

A Foodie’s Guide to Street Food in Mexico City

Mexico City Street Food

Mexico City has to be one of the world’s top foodie destinations. Not only is the Mexican food plentiful, fresh and authentic, you can find food from all over the world here, too. When we visited Mexico City, we knew that we wanted to sample some of the capital’s best street food but we were worried that it would be an overwhelming task. With so many dishes to try and places to visit, we knew it would be best to let Eat Mexico show us around the city.

Just a week before coming to Mexico City, we had done a street food tour in the tiny picturesque city of Guanajuato. Since Mexico City is ridiculously massive in comparison, the tours contrasted each other nicely.   We found that the Mexico City street food tour had much more of a food focus while the Guanajuato street food tour was a mix of both food and sightseeing- we loved both for their own reasons!

Mexico City Street Food

Our guide for the Mexico City street food tour, Anise, was such a ray of fun and sunshine. As a Mexico City native and a serious foodie, she was the perfect person to show us around. I loved eatingwith her at her favourite spots and have since lived vicariously through her delicious life on her blog, The Curious Mexican.

The tour saw us trying a huge variety of different foods and I must admit that we loved more than others! Here’s what we tried on our Eat Mexico Street Food Tour!

Tamales

Mexico City Street Food

We started our tour bright and early so having tamales was a no-brainer, really! In Mexico City, it’s common to have your tamales on a torta which is a Mexican roll similar to a French baguette. This carbfest fills up people all over the city until lunchtime- and it’s just 10 MXN ($0.50!) What’s more, rather than chugging this down with a coffee, the drink of choice is a starchy corn-based drink! How many carbs can you fit in one meal?!

We had a selection of tamales to try; red chilli with pork and green chilli with cheese as well as dessert tamales. I loved the green chilli with cheese the best- the cheese that it’s served with is like a cross between halloumi and paneer so the salty sharp flavour really breaks down the heaviness of the corn. The dessert tamales were also tasty- even if the bright colour was a bit off putting first thing in the morning.. It’s safe to say, though, that I couldn’t imagine having any type of tamales on a bread roll!

Tortillas

Mexico City Street Food

Corn is such an important part of both the Mexican diet and their culture. Much like the French rush out to buy their baguettes in the morning, the Mexicans rush out to get their fresh tortillas! Across the country, you’ll find tortilla shops whose prices are controlled by the Mexican government where you cou can get a kilo of tortillas for a mere 13 pesos. ($0.70)

We visited one of these shops to learn about the tortilla making process and got to sample one straight off the press! Anise showed us one of the first party tricks Mexican kids are taught; rolling their tortilla with just one hand. Sounds simple but I definitely need more practice!

Juice

Mexico City Street Food

Mexico’s cheap and cheerful juice stands are the things dreams are made of and, after our heavy breakfast, it was time for a juice break. As usual, I went for the jugo verde (green juice!) Veeran decided to sample a flu buster which was made with orange, carrot, ginger, coriander and pineapple! It’s so easy to get your 5 a day in Mexico when people are making up delicious juices like this for next to nada!

Quesadillas (con queso)

Interesting fact: did you know that in Mexico City, the cheese is an optional part of a quesadilla. This is strange for a lot of people since the word quesadilla literally has the word cheese in it. But, whenever you order one in Mexico City, you’ll be asked whether or not you want it “con queso”- something that always winds up tourists from other parts of the country.

We stopped at a quesadilla stand and tried a quesadilla (con queso) along with another tortilla based “antojito.” While these things looked the same to us- they were both made using corn tortillas and had similar ingredients, the cooking style is what makes them different. The quesadilla, regardless of the cheese situation, is flipped in half like a sandwich. Other treats are made differently.

Chicharron

There have been a fair few times in Mexico where I’ve been glad to be eating meat again and one of those times was the first time I tried chicharron. Chicharron is basically pork skin served in different ways. True to my inner Brit, I loved trying it when it was deep fried and crispy like a pork crackling! In Mexico, people eat this as a snack like crisps and even dip it in guacamole- yum!

Oaxaca Cheese Roll

Mexico City Street Food

There really aren’t many things in the world better than a good old cheese roll but the Mexican version that we tried put an old-fashioned ploughman’s to shame. Made on a special type of bread, this roll was hollowed out and STUFFED full of Oaxacan cheese, a regional variety of salty stringy cheese from Oaxaca. The roll is then slathered in chipotle sauce with a few slices of avocado added to bring it up to legendary status. I still dream about this!

Carnita

Mexico City Street Food

Everything we tried on the tour was amazing…. apart from one thing. From me, that was the carnitas. Carnitas are made from meat which is slow cooked in fat until it’s soft and tender: this element of carnitas is delicious! Anise explained to us that when ordering carnitas, you should tell the vendor exactly what cut of meat you would like. She asked us if we wanted to play it safe or try something adventurous. I decided we should go adventurous since “I’m Scottish and I like haggis and black pudding so I can eat anything….”

… and I was wrong. The carnitas we got were stomach and, unlike in haggis where it’s ground down and spiced up so that you can’t tell what you’re eating, the stomach was thick, tough and chewy just like you’d imagine a stomach to be. After that, our appetites were low and I never managed to finish mine. One thing I’m glad of, though, is that we never decided to order the uterus carnitas!

Seafood

Mexico City Street Food

Of all the places in the world I expected to try amazingly fresh seafood, Mexico City definitely wasn’t one of them. But, I must say in the four days that we spent there, the city surprised me a lot of ways!

Since Mexico City is the country’s only big hub, all seafood heads that way before getting distributed to the rest of the country. So, chances are that the seafood you eat on a stand in Mexico City could be fresher than what you eat at the beach!

We headed to a seafood stand where we could try ceviche, shrimp, octopus or blue crab. I went for a tostada with blue crab and salsa and it’s one of the best seafood dishes I’ve ever tasted. The crab was rich, juicy and creamy and went perfectly with the tangy salsa. It’s completely changed my outlook on seafood in landlocked places!

Burritos

Mexico City Street Food

The final proper dish we had on the tour was a burrito- that classic “Mexican” dish we all love that isn’t really Mexican at all- well, not the way we’re used to it anyway.

You see, when we order a burrito, it usually comes stuffed with rice and sour cream but not in Mexico. Sour cream doesn’t even exist there and rice within a tortilla is just wrong! We tried a vegetable burrito that was full of melted cheese and loads of flavour. I’m not a huge burrito fan at home because I find them quite dry and stodgy so it was amazing to be able to just enjoy the flavours of the filling without the starchiness of the rice.

Mexican Sweets

Is there any better ending to a day than sweets? Nope, I think not! Mexican sweets are delicious and the traditional sweet shops are a fun place to window shop and pick up souvenirs for friends and family. We were allowed to choose what we wanted- be it chocolate, fondants or coconut based sweets. Veeran decided to go for some tequilla truffles because when in Mexico! I went for a coconut and lime based sweet which ticked all my favourite flavour boxes.

After the tour, it was time to grab some coffee and have a long nap!

Here’s what we loved about this tour!

  • Food is one of the focal points of Mexico’s culture and this tour really focused on it!
  • Anise was an awesome guide! She is clearly so passionate about food and helped to really enhance our appreciation of Mexican cuisine.
  • This was a real local tour in the heart of the city- rather than being taken to sterile tourist restaurants,  we were eating tamales alongside the local businessmen. It was a great way to observe and experience the culture of this amazing country!
  • The variety of food we got to try was huge and I’d never heard of a lot of the things! I’m still dreaming about that amazing cheese and the blue crab tostada- neither of which I’d have expected to find in Mexico City!

If you’re visiting Mexico City and want to learn a lot about the city’s buzzing street food scene in a short space of time with a super knowledgeable guide, I have to recommend Eat Mexico’s Street Food tour! The tour costs $85 per person which might seem steep but I think it’s really worth it, especially if you’re on a short trip and want to do some serious eating. For any foodie worth their pudding, this is an experience that you’ve got to have!

For more details, check out their website, here!

Disclaimer: I received 2 complimentary spaces on this tour in return for online exposure. However, as always, I only work with companies that I love and know you will, too. All opinions are my own.

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Mexico City Street Food

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