What to Eat in Mexico City

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Many people were really enthusiastic about Mexican food, so here it is…

What to Eat in Mexico City

Mexican food in Mexico City is definitely different than what most of us think of it and what we can get in other places all over the world. Even simple well-known nachos in Mexico are completely different than those in the US or Europe that are served with greasy cheese. Moreover, as explained before you shouldn’t make a mistake between nachos and ‘Nacos’.

Talking about different meaning of food names it’s impossible not to mention chabacano. In Mexico it’s a fruit which you can get everywhere, although in Argentina chabacano is an offensive word which means an arrogant asshole.

Mexican food

Sopes

We all know tacos, but outside of Mexico tacos are usually hard shells filled with meat, cheese and beans like famous American burritos with additional rice. Mexican tacos are always soft and filled with meat and salsas. Enchiladas, on the other hand, are crunchy because they’re fried, rolled or seem to be a type of empanadas. My favorite filling? Flor de calabaza – pumpink flower, or huitlacoche – corn mushroom.

I need to say that the best filling is Oaxaca cheese, a type of yellow-white cheese in form of long ribbons. Between tacos and enchiladas are gorditas – fried thicker flour dough, usually filled with cheese, potatoes, mushrooms and some meat.

Similar, but not exactly the same thing is sope which for me is a type of Mexican pizza (criticize me here, but try to explain to a foreigner what’s a sope). This cake with a thick corn base is covered with beans, white hard cheese, meat, lettuce and green salsa.

oaxaca

Oaxaca cheese

As you could clearly noticed corn is unenviable in Mexico. Tamales are another combination of corn and natural leafs. This masa is usually combined with green salsa, chicken, mole or sweet sauce and wrapped in leaves tastes incredible!tamales

Some would say Mexican food is spicy, but in fact it’s not that hot. Apart from the one type of green salsa which even I, who can eat jalapenos as chips, can’t eat. People love mixing tastes here. The most popular spice is tajin which combines a taste of chili and lime. Another mixed taste is mole, a type of sauce with peppers, sesame, chocolate and different spices, eaten mostly with quesadillas or meat and it’s really good – sort of chili chocolate like.

chilepoblano

I wouldn’t be able to post this note without mentioning my favorite dish – chile relleno. Unfortunately it’s impossible to prepare it anywhere else, due to the lack of pepper to stuff. It’s a big green chile stuffed with (in my favorite version) cheese and mushrooms or seafood, either bread-crumbed or served in a sauce.

Mexican desserts are simply delicious. The most popular are obviously churros, kind of long fried donuts, which are sold at every corner. Churros rellenos are served with cajeta (type of a a liquid fudge almost the same like dulce de leche) or chocolate. Talking about sweet snacks the best option are Swinkles, sweet and spicy jellies.

I cannot skip spicy Tamarindo fruit candies and very very spicy candies or drinks made of Chamoy fruit. Mexicans love chamoy, but as my friend described it it might ‘taste like a rotted jam’. All those candies might be drank with Horchata de Arroz which is a typical white-colored drink, but made of rice instead of milk.sweets

What about alcoholic drinks? Obviously the first thing that comes to mind is Tequila! Most people forget that one of the most famous liquor in the world – Kahlua is also from Mexico. This coffee alcoholic liquor is used to drink on rocks or a an ingredient of many cocktails, like for instanceWhite Russian.

If you’re not a fan of sweet alcohol you might get your Corona, but don’t get surprised when it’s not going to be served in a bottle topped with a piece of lime. Almost noone drinks Corona like this in Mexico. People rather go for Negra Modelo or any other beer instead. Mexican beer can be prepared in a form of michelada. The concept of this creation is very simple – the glass is covered with salt and the beer is mixed with lime anda salt. Brave ones might add ‘clamato‘, spicy tomato concentrate, to improve your taste.

Beer enthusiasts should try Pulque. Its a milk-colored drink, although it doesn’t contain milk somehow. Don’t ask me how come, because I have no idea!

What I’ve learned was that this drink was supposed to be an exclusive one, although now only poor people and tourists are drinking this. Vodka fans should at least try Mezcal, no matter how terrifying it is. Made of maguey – agave plant, also has a ‘pickled’ snake in a bottle.

Apart from traditional snacks as nachos, here you can find totopos. They are tortillas cut into triangles and fried for chips. When totopos are warm, mixed with green salsa, onion, scrambled egg, cheese and possibly meat are making a breakfast dish called chilaquiles. It’s my personal favorite dish.

Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles

When totopos are round and have a salad, meat or beans with cheese on top then they’re called tostadas. Tostadas alone might be accompanied by Pozole. It’s soup made mostly from corn and meat, which in my opinion isn’t very good.

However, when I found out the historical background of pozole I realized it’s even worse its taste. According to research in these special occasions, the meat used in the pozole was human. After the prisoners were killed by having their hearts torn out in a ritual sacrifice, the rest of the body was chopped and cooked with corn. The meal was shared among the whole community as an act of religious communion. Nowadays we just have a chicken pozole 🙂

Pozole - doesnt look very nice because my friend threw my camera into it

Pozole – doesnt look very nice because my friend threw my camera into it

If pozole scared you away you should probably finish reading this note here! Mexicans are also knows for eating different types of worms. Grasshoppers aca Chapulines are traditional snacks, but I also had a chance to look at Chinicuiles. I didn’t dare to try tho.Chinicuiles

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21 Comments

  1. Jul 15, 2014 / 10:34 am

    I tried some tacos in Amsterdam, so freaking good!

  2. Luis Antonio
    Jul 15, 2014 / 11:20 pm

    Hi Anna, very good observation on mexican food however i can´t agreed with you with the pozole, probably wasn´t very good where you eat it, but i can guarantee that it taste better if its cooked with pork instead of chicken, and yes i can´t explain sopes better than yourself.
    i really enjoy your blog keep on the good work

    P.S. I live in Guadalajara email me if you come send me an email if you would like to try local food

    • Anna
      Jul 16, 2014 / 4:37 pm

      Thanks Luis Antonio!
      I probably didn’t like Pozole, because I generally don’t like soups that aren’t creams 😉

  3. Jul 16, 2014 / 12:13 am

    Great post. Food is imo one of the most important aspects of the country’s culture. You can’t say you know the place if you don’t eat local food. Or at list a little bit. (I wouldn’t try the Chinicuiles, either! I guess I’m not brave enough… ;))
    Greets from Warsaw!

  4. Benjamin M.
    Jul 28, 2014 / 10:43 am

    Great review on Mexican food. I hope you enjoyed the culinary trip to Mexico, as a Mexican I would strongly recomend you to eat chinicuiles in a taco. And what is most amazing about chinicuiles or maguey worms is that they are so delicate in their flavour that you could swear you are tasting tequila or mezcal! Definetly gross to see.. but the flavour is worth the sacrifice. All food in Mexico is very different according to the place you travel to.. example: In Oaxaca they have like 7 or 8 types of “moles” of all colours each taste different and made from different stuff, the “mole” in Puebla is just amazing and my personal favourite. Pozole in central Mexico is diferent to the one in Jalisco. And well hope next time you also have time to eat the Chorizo from Toluca, the Gorditas de Haba from the State of Mexico…
    Thanks for the review and for taking the time to eat something really mexican.
    I currently live in Germany but I do miss my mexican food from time to time..

    Great blog! Greetings from a Mexican in Germany.

  5. Loretta Nurse
    Aug 5, 2014 / 9:11 pm

    My kids and I decided to try Una Mas Mexican Grill in San Jose. They have the best tacos we have ever tasted and the service was excellent. I definitely recommend you check them out at http://unamas.com.

  6. Jorge C
    Aug 13, 2014 / 6:07 pm

    I’m from the north of Mexico and I like Barbacoa and Menudo, but we the Mexicans eat some food that is not typical and is not common in other countries, I cannot find for instance a dish of Milanesa con Papas in the USA, also you forgot to mention some desserts like Flan or Arroz con leche…

    • Anna
      Aug 13, 2014 / 9:36 pm

      You’re right… but I’m not a big fan or flan or arroz con leche. Btw milanesa is super popular around Europe – Italy, Germany or Poland 🙂

  7. Loretta Nurse
    Oct 2, 2014 / 3:09 am

    My husband and I enjoy many traditional Mexican dishes, and decided to visit Una Mas Mexican Grill in Fremont, CA. Their popular Foghead Burrito is simply delectable and the Margarita Salad is fresh. I urge you to find out more about them at http://unamas.com.

  8. Nov 5, 2014 / 6:36 pm

    The neighborhood I live in has a huge Mexican population, so I’ve eaten quite a bit of “authentic” food. Good to know that this is actually what is eaten there before my real trip to Mexico next month!

    • Nov 5, 2014 / 7:09 pm

      Enjoy Mexico Anna! Yum! 🙂

  9. Bryan Sonda
    Jan 7, 2015 / 1:15 pm

    I really like your post Anna, specially beacuse through it, people can really know about the true Mexican Food. I’m living in London right know, and your post made me nostalgic, it’s what I miss the most. Anyway, I managed to find some good mexican ingredients to cook something similar.
    You should’ve traveled to Yucatán to try local Food we have, I guess you would’ve loved it. Especially “los tamales” they’re quite different and really delicious…
    Regards…
    Bry

    • Jan 7, 2015 / 1:30 pm

      Thanks Bryan! If you’re in London you can try to go to Lupita restaurant (next to Embankment, right off Strand) – at least they serve huitlacoche and chilaquiles there. There’s also a good Mexican store in Bethnal Green (forgot the name) and you can preorder things there.
      I’m going to come back to Mexico a lot, so will keep tamales from Yucatan in mind 🙂

  10. Feb 23, 2015 / 11:42 am

    Why was I so disillusioned about mexican food. I really like polish mexican-ish food but after reading this i’m thinking to eat more healthy 😛 Was there any gringo trying to seduce you? 😉 greeting from Poland.

  11. Fahad Amir
    Mar 10, 2015 / 4:28 am

    Mexico is the one famous place near about United States of America. Really, a tremendous and splendid place to look out other destination. Mexico is the hub of great attraction and cuisine foods. Once a person visit Mexico at taste the food with family. Than, it’s really awesome for the travelers and unforgettable in life.

  12. Mar 12, 2015 / 3:30 am

    Woow, the food looks tasty and i think there is variety as well. The caterpillars though aggggh, but may be its fun, though may tasting some of the new delicacies may not exactly be for the faint hearted.

    • Mar 12, 2015 / 9:49 am

      You can skill caterpillars hehe 😀 The rest is yummy 🙂

  13. Apr 22, 2015 / 5:52 pm

    Great blog post, and great country to write about wonderful food! Just spent 3 months eating my way across this delicious country, and it is definately up there with my favourite cuisines! Chile Relleno is my fave dish too…oh, and pozole….soooo good..:)

    • Apr 22, 2015 / 11:53 pm

      I’m with you on chile relleno 😀

  14. Eridanny
    Dec 6, 2016 / 6:42 pm

    “Pulque. It‘>s a milk-colored drink” Well, yes but it is thicker than milk as it is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey (agave) plant. It has the color of milk, somewhat viscous consistency and a sour yeast-like taste. The drink’s history extends far back into the Mesoamerican period, when it was considered sacred, and its use was limited to certain classes of people. After the Spanish Conquest of Mexico, the drink became secular and its consumption rose. In the 20th century, the drink fell into decline, mostly because of competition from beer, which became more prevalent with the arrival of European immigrants.

    About “Sope” lol, your description was great Mexican pizza! wooohoooo

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