Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Authentic Food in Mexico City

In Mexico City, the largest city in the country, all regional cuisines of the country are represented and accessible.

This makes the food in Mexico City unique with its diversity, quality and availability. 

You can find cuisine from the Yucatan Peninsula, the Southernmost region, all the way to Baja California, bordering California. 

Mexico is a unique culinary destination with its cuisine and traditions dating back 9000 years ago. It’s no wonder UNESCO named traditional Mexican cuisine an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010.

In Mexico City, popular street food vendors to world class restaurants showcase these culinary offerings. 

Use this guide to the 20 best authentic Mexico City food. From breakfast foods, classic tacos, Mexican snacks, desserts and drinks, savor the most popular food in Mexico City.

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1- Chilaquiles 

One of the most hearty and filling Mexican breakfast dishes is Chilaquiles

Available throughout Mexico, this traditional Mexican breakfast is offered in the capital city in numerous variations.

Chilaquiles is actually an Aztec word coming from the Nahuatl language, meaning chilis and greens. 

The base for authentic chilaquiles consist of corn tortillas cut into triangles and lightly fried. Green or red salsa are then added on top of the tortillas to soften them.

The chilaquiles are usually served with meat or eggs, and a side of refried beans. Common accompaniments include shredded queso fresco or soft cheese, fresh red onion and cream. 

This is a typical breakfast dish made using leftovers to avoid tortillas and fresh salsa going stale or bad.

Chilaquiles are also known as a hangover dish and sometimes served at the end of the night at wedding parties.

Chilaquiles Breakfast in Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestChilaquiles, a hearty breakfast with beef and eggs

Where to Eat The Best Chilaquiles Breakfast in Mexico City

To find the most authentic chilaquiles, we went to Mercado La Merced, the city’s largest traditional retail market.

At La Merced, we stumbled onto Cocina Frida, a busy Chilaquiles restaurant in the comida or food section of the market.

We decided to give it a try and we’re glad we did. The owner hovered around us and made sure our food was to our liking.

For my first time having chilaquiles in Mexico City, I decided to order the combination version. This was chilaquiles combinado with beef and eggs.

I particularly enjoyed the crispy tortillas and large serving of protein.

Cocina Frida – Mercado La Merced

Address: Rosario 120 Entre General Anaya y, Carretones 120, Mexico City

Hours: Everyday 8AM to 6PM

Price: Mex$76 pesos for chilaquiles with meat and two eggs  – approx. $4 USD

For other popular variations of chilaquiles in Mexico City, we recommend the following addresses:

Ojo de Agua

For healthy variations of chilaquiles, Ojo de Agua was recommended by a chilango or Mexican city local. This popular breakfast chain is a mix of a restaurant and fresh food market. Everything is made with fresh ingredients and the vibe is casual and relaxed.  

Address: Calle Milan 44, Juárez, Mexico City – for other locations in Mexico City check Ojo de Agua website

Hours: Monday to Friday; 8AM to 10 PM, Saturday and Sunday; 8AM to 9PM

Prices: Mex$115 Chilaquiles with two eggs –  – approx. $6 USD

Xnic Concinita – Roma Norte

For chilaquiles made in the Yucatan style, try this lovely family owned restaurant in Roma Norte. Everything is homemade, fresh and extremely tasty.

Address: Tabasco 256, Mexico City 

Hours: Monday to Friday 8AM to 5 PM

Prices: Mex$95 Chilaquiles  – approx. $5 USD

Cocina Frida Chilaquiles in MexicoCity by AuthenticFoodQuestCocina Frida is a busy breakfast joint in La Merced

2- Pan Dulce

Pan dulce or sweet bread is another essential Mexican treat. It is popular for breakfast and also for merienda or afternoon snacks.

At first, we thought pan dulce was one specific type of pastry. But we quickly learned that pan dulce is the general name for Mexican pastries. 

Our favorites were the conchas, a round sweet bread topped with a sugary powder. We also enjoyed cuerno, a type of croissant a bit heavier than French croissant, made with lard instead of butter. 

And, picón, a round and doughy bread with a sugary glaze, was another favorite.

Mexican pastries have Spanish and French origins. To learn more about these delicious treats, read this Mexican guide to Pan Dulce.

Pan Dulce Conchas Breakfast in Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestFreshly baked conchas at a bakery

Where to Eat The Best Pan Dulce in Mexico City

Pan Dulce can be found in panaderias or bakeries throughout the city.

But, for traditional breakfast on the street,  we recommend finding a street food vendor.

In Roma Norte where we stayed, we spotted a breakfast stand that was always busy.

The lady attending the stand always had fresh pan dulce in a large basket. The morning we stopped to get our pan dulce, she was already running out and the choices were limited. 

We had a concha topped with cocoa powder. It was surprisingly light and not too sweet. Our only regret was buying only one to share. 

Pan Dulce Stand

Address: Intersection of Calle Durango & Jalapa, in front of Oxxo, Roma Norte

Hours: Monday to Saturday – approx. 7AM to 11AM

Price: Mex$12 pesos  – approx. $0.65 USD

Another popular bakery we recommend is Rosetta. This bakery was started by the famous Italian-Mexican chef, Elena Reygadas. 

We stayed two blocks from the bakery and there was always a line in front of the bakery. The delicious pastries looked more European to us than Mexican. 

If you’re in the neighborhood and looking for a sweet treat, don’t miss out.

Panaderia Rosetta

Address: Colima 179, Roma Norte, Mexico City

Hours: Everyday 7AM to 9PM except Sundays 7:30AM to 7PM

Price: Mex$26 pesos for conchas – approx. $1.37 USD

Rosetta Bakery Breakfast in Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestFresh varieties of pan dulces at Rosetta

3- Tamales

Mexican tamales are another traditional dish in Mexico commonly eaten for breakfast or as a snack. The world tamales comes from the Nahuatl language used by the Aztec which means “wrapped”. 

Tamales are made from a corn dough called masa wrapped in a corn husk or banana husk before being steamed.

There are numerous versions of tamales. The most common are filled with chicken, peppers, or cheese. You can also find some sweet versions with fruits or chocolate.

We were pleasantly surprised by the taste of Mexican tamales after having first discovered tamales in Peru.

Mexican tamales are flavorful with refined textures. We tasted many different kinds and enjoyed both the savory and sweet versions.

Tamales stop on Polanco Food Tour by AuthenticFoodQuestTamales verde with green salsa and filled with chicken

Where To Eat the Best Tamales in Mexico City

One of our favorite places for tamales is Tamalli. This store focuses on making tamales in the most authentic way. 

Their tamales are very finely ground using less fat and making the tamales delicate and refined. 

They also add cilantro to the preparation, which accentuate the exquisite flavors.

Tamalli

Address: Av. Emilio Castelar 227-A, Polanco. For other Mexico City locations check Tamalli website

Hours: Everyday 7:30 AM to 8:30 PM except weekends 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Price: Mex$32 pesos – approx. $1.68 USD

Mercado Abelardo L. Rodriguez in downtown Mexico City is another great option. While on a Mexico City street food tour, we enjoyed tamales at one of the most popular vendors in the capital.

Tamales Street Vendor Local 219 – Mercado Abelardo L. Rodriguez

Address: Intersection of calle Rodriguez Puebla and Republica de Venezuela.

Hours: Everyday 7 AM to 12 PM 

Price: Mex$20 pesos – approx. $1.05 USD

Tamalli for the best tamales in Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestTamalli in Polanco

4- Atole – Breakfast Drink

Atole is a thick and warm corn drink that is traditionally consumed at breakfast. You will see it typically paired with tamales or pan dulce.

Atole is traditionally made with corn hominy though we also had it made with rice and oatmeal.

To complete the drink, water, piloncillo which is raw sugar cane, cinnamon and vanilla are added.

Atole is also flavored with chocolate or fruits. The chocolate flavored version is sometimes called champurrado.

Traditionally atole is consumed during the winter months. It is popular at Christmas and also on the Day of the Dead. On chilly mornings, it is the perfect drink to start the day. 

When ordering tamales or pan dulce, don’t forget atole. More than a drink, it is a side dish to your breakfast.

Atole Popular drink in Mexico City by Authentic Food QuestTamalli makes delicious homemade atole

Where To Eat the Best Atole in Mexico City

We had atole at Tamalli, our pan dulce stand in Roma Norte as well as at Mercado Rodriguez. Plan on about 10 pesos for a cup of atole. See above for the addresses.

Atole Stand at Mercado Rodriguez by Authentic Food QuestGet atole when you order tamales here at Mercado Rodriguez

Authentic Food Quest Tip: If you want to sample the best Mexico City food, consider taking a food tour with a local guide. See our article 7 of the Best Mexico City Food Tours You Want to Take and explore the best specialties and drinks in Mexico’s capital.

Best Tacos in Mexico City

The best tacos in Mexico City can be found at the infinite local eateries or street carts in the city. 

Tacos al Pastor is the most iconic tacos from Mexico City, you want to try. It was our favorite Mexico City tacos.

Beyond tacos al pastor, the world of tacos in Mexico City is vast and impossible to cover here. 

For more, this Tacopedia, digs deep into the matter.

As you explore the best tacos in Mexico city, here are a few popular kinds you want to try.

Bite into the delicious world of tacos in Mexico City

5- Tacos al Pastor

Tacos al Pastor are the pride of Mexico City. While eaten at lunch or dinner, they enjoy their highest popularity after hours when partygoers are heading back home. 

To identify these tacos, look for the huge spits with giant towers of layered meats rotating besides an open grill.  

These tacos originated in Puebla and Mexico City, areas with high populations of Lebanese and Middle Eastern immigrants.

The enormous cone of meat, known as a trompo is made of pork, instead of lamb shawarma.

Warm tortillas are topped with pork, onions, chopped cilantro, pineapple slices, and your choice of green or red salsa. For extra flavor, squeeze a tiny Mexican lime on it. 

The distinctive orange coloring comes achiote paste, an ancient Mayan condiment used in numerous Mexican dishes.

Tacos al pastor are some of our favorite Mexican tacos. The fresh tacos with crispy pork and hints of pineapple are unbelievably flavorful. 

TacosAlPastor_BestTacos al pastor the best tacos in Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestTacos al pastor, our favorite Mexico City tacos

Where to Eat the Best Tacos Al Pastor in Mexico City

Taquerias serving tacos al pastor can be found all over Mexico City. Look for busy ones filled with locals and take your place in line. The following are three of our favorites in the Roma neighborhood.

Tacos Chanito 

Address: Intersection Calle Colima & Merica, near Sumesa, Roma Norte

Hours: Everyday 12PM to 5PM except weekends

Price: Mex$10 pesos – approx. $0.53 USD per taco

Tortas Al Fuegos

Address: Sonora 205, Roma Norte, Mexico City

Hours: Open everyday 24/7

Price: Mex$6 pesos – approx. $0.32 USD per taco

Taqueria Orinoco 

Address: Av. Insurgentes Sur 253, Roma Norte, Mexico City 

Hours: Everyday 1PM to 4AM except weekends 1PM to 5AM

Prices: Mex$24 pesos – approx. $1.26 USD per taco

tacos al pastor cooking on the pit at Taqueria Onicoro by AuthenticFoodQuestPreparing tacos al pastor Taqueria Orinoco

6- Tacos de Canasta – “Basket” Tacos a Favorite Mexico City Food

Tacos de canasta, or “basket” tacos are popular in Mexico City. The tacos get their name from the baskets in which they are steamed. 

Traditionally, the tacos are made elsewhere and then brought to the stall or stand in a basket. The tacos are covered in cloth and they steam naturally.

At Tacos de Canasta “Los Especiales” in the Centro Historico, the tacos are in huge steel baskets. Inside and sitting in wicker baskets are hundreds of tacos divided by fillings.

You’ll find traditional fillings such as chicharrón (pork skin), refried beans, potatoes and chicharrón with green salsa. The tacos are moist and steaming to the point of collapse.

What they lack in attractiveness, they make up for in flavor. For instance, one would think a refried bean taco would be uninteresting. However, we were amazed at how wrong we were. Fresh and tasty, the tacos crumbled in delightful flavors.

Tacos de Canastas Los Especiales best tacos in Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestLarge basket of tacos de canastas ready to be eaten

Where To Eat The Best Tacos de Canasta in Mexico City

If you’re visiting the historic center, we recommend Tacos de Canastas for some of the best food in Mexico City.  They make only four different types of Tacos de Canastas and there’s usually a long but fast moving line.

Once you get your order, walk to the back through the narrow corridor and take your place amongst the locals. Spice up your tacos with the available salsas and dig in.

Tacos de Canasta “Los Especiales”

Address: Av Francisco I. Madero 71, Centro Histórico, Mexico City

Hours: Everyday 9AM to 10PM except Sundays until 6PM

Price: Mex$7 pesos – approx. $0.37 USD per tacos

Tacos de Canasta Los Especiales famous Mexico City Tacos by AuthenticFoodQuestFast moving line at Tacos de Canasta Los Especiales

7- Tacos de Barbacoa

Barbacoa is another favorite food in Mexico City. It is slow roasted lamb or goat that is typically cooked in a pit, underground for several hours. The meat is wrapped in maguey or banana leaves which gives the barbacoa unique flavors.

We enjoyed the lamb flavors which are different from beef barbacoa available at Chipotle, our favorite US Mexican food chain.

The barbacoa tacos are typically served with a light broth consome broth. Topping the tacos are the typical raw onions, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. 

There are many barbacoa spots in Mexico City. Look for stands or stalls that specialize in barbacoa and look busy. 

Tacos de Barbacoa at Mercado de Jamaica in Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestColorful and tasty tacos de barbacoa

Where to Eat the Best Tacos de Barbacoa in Mexico City

El Profe stand in the interior of Jamaica Market is one of the best stands for barbacoa. Find it in the middle of fruit of vegetable stands and take your place at this busy stand.

Antojitos Mexicanos El Profe – Mercado de Jamaica

Address: Av. Morelos 51, Jamaica, Mexico City

Hours: Everyday 9AM to 6PM except the weekends 7AM to 6PM

Tacos de Barbacoa Stand at Mercado De Jamaica by AuthenticFoodQuestCooked lamb ready for serving

8- Tacos de Cochinita Pibil

In Mexico’s capital, you’ll find food from all over the country. One of the dishes you don’t want to miss is cochinita pibil. This is the most representative dish of the Yucatán peninsula of Mayan origins.

Cochinita pibil is marinated, slow-cooked pork with Achiote Annatto paste.  It is served on either as a taco or panucho. A panucho is a fried tortilla stuffed with refried beans. Accompanying it are red pickled onions and a spicy habanero sauce.

Making cochinita pibil is an involved process. Traditionally pork meat is marinated in annatto paste or achiote, sour orange juice, vinegar and spices.

It is then wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in a pit for a few hours. The name pibil comes from the word “pibil” in Mayan means  which means “underground”.

These are some of the most juicy and tasty tacos we enjoyed in Mexico City. As tacos, the juicy flavors melt in your mouth.

As a panucho which is what we preferred, the crunchy tostada along with the melt-in-your-mouth meat harmonizes perfectly.

Cochinita Pibil is not spicy, but a little bit of habanero sauce elevates the flavors further.

One of Mexico’s treasures, cochinita pibil tacos or panuchos are one of the Mexico City foods not to miss.  

Cochinita Pibil Colonia Roma Food Tour by Authentic Food QuestExcellent Cochinita Pibil

Where to Eat The Best Tacos de Cochinita Pibil in Mexico City

We enjoyed cochinita pibil at two places popular with chilangos. One location in the Polanco neighborhood and the other in Roma Norte. 

El Turix – Polanco 

Address: Calle, Av. Emilio Castelar 212, Polanco, Mexico City

Hours: Everyday 9AM to 10PM except Sundays until 6PM

Price: Mex$18 pesos – approx. $0.94 USD

Xnic Cochinita Pibil – Roma Norte

Address: Tabasco 256, Roma Norte, Mexico City 

Hours: Monday to Saturday 8AM to 5PM – check again for hours

Price: Mex$15 tacos – approx. $0.76 USD ; $22 panuchos – approx. $1.15 USD

Taqueria El Turix for some of the Best Tacos in Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestTaqueria El Turix in Polanco is famous for their cochinita pibil tacos

9- Tacos de Guisado – Classic Home-style Tacos

These classic Mexican City tacos are not charred or crispy, but rather soupy and a little messy.

By many, they are considered the best tacos in Mexico City, because they are like homestyle cooking in a taco. 

In a large city, where most travel great distances to work, eating home cooked meals is not always possible. Tacos guisados fill that void. Guisados are homestyle dishes or comida casera.

Tacos de guisado are generally filled with stewed meats and vegetables which are displayed in earthenware bowls called cazuelas.

These are typically breakfast and lunch tacos and disappear by 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm in the afternoon. 

There are a number of different options available. We enjoyed popular versions like picadillo, ground meat with carrots and peas. Rajas con crema, roasted poblano chiles and onions in a sour cream and mole poblano, which is mole and nuts. 

Look for street carts, taqueria and market stalls selling this stewy tacos, and taste this beloved food in Mexico City.

Tacos de Guisado in Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestHearty tacos de guisado tacos

Where to Eat the Best Tacos Guisado

Our favorite vendor for tacos de guisado was in Roma Norte, the area where we stayed. Walking by on several occasions, we noticed this vendor was always busy.

One day for lunch, we decided to stop by, and we were glad we did. These juicy tacos are hearty and full of flavor.

Tacos Guisado Street Vendor Roma Norte

Address: Intersection Calle Colima & Merica, near Sumesa, Roma Norte

Hours: Everyday, 8AM to 3PM except weekends

Price: Mex$11 pesos – approx. $0.58 USD

10- Tacos de Mariscos – Best Mexico City Seafood Tacos

Despite being inland, Mexico City is known for having some of the freshest fish and seafood. Daily deliveries from the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts grace eateries all over the capital.

Most of Mexico City’s seafood passes through La Nueva Viga market, the largest seafood market in the country. This market is the second largest seafood market in the world, after Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Japan. 

As a result, Mexico City food has a wide variety of seafood dishes including tacos. From fish tacos, octopus tacos or shrimp tacos, the delights from the sea are plentiful.

Seafood or mariscos are some of our favorite Mexico City foods. Like all kinds of tacos, they are accompanied by a variety of sauces and salsas to enhance the flavors. In addition to seafood tacos, try tostadas stacked high with shrimp and avocados. Delicate and delicious, you’ll thank us later.

Tacos de Mariscos Mexico City Tacos by AuthenticFoodQuestGenerous serving of tacos de mariscos with octopus

Where to Try The Best Tacos de Mariscos in Mexico City

There are plenty of top seafood places in Mexico’s capital. Here are two in Roma Norte we recommend for the best seafood in Mexico City.

Chico Julio 

Opened for about 8 years, this Roma restaurant will give you a taste of Mexico’s coast at an accessible price.The tacos are generous with a wide range of toppings.

Address: Jalapa 126, Roma Norte, Mexico City

Hours: Sunday  to Tuesday  12PM to 9PM – Wednesday to Saturday 12PM to 11PM

Price: Mex$45 tacos – approx. $2.36 USD

Contramar

Described by many as one of the best seafood restaurants in Mexico City, they specialize in fresh seafood and fish. This is a trendy Roma Norte restaurant that is always busy. Reservations recommended.

Address: Calle de Durango 200, Roma Norte, Mexico City

Hours: Sunday to Thursday 12PM to 6:30PM –  Friday and Saturday 12PM to 8PM

Price: Mex$155 tacos – approx. $8.13 USD

Chico Julio in Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestChico Julio is a popular seafood taqueria

Authentic Food Quest Tip: Roma Norte is a trendy gastronomy neighborhood in Mexico City. One of the best ways to explore the culinary gems is to take a Colonia Roma Food Tour. Taste the best, from tamales to tacos de marisco, while learning more about the history of this bohemian neighborhood.

11- Vegan Tacos

It might be a surprise to learn that vegan tacos are a thing in Mexico City. Tacos are synonymous with meat tucked in a tortilla, however, Mexico City is reinventing tacos for vegans.

Vegan taquerias are conquering the taqueria scene with versions of tacos that will impress meat lovers.

We were made aware of creative vegan tacos by our vegeterian friend, like tortillas made from dragon fruit.

Even though we were intrigued, we were reluctant to give up on our tacos loaded with meat .

But once another chilango meat aficionado told us “I never thought I’d like meatless tacos but their quality is exceptional.”

We decided to check out the best vegan taqueria in town.

Armed with the address to Siempre Vegana, the mecca of vegan tacos, we stopped by on a Sunday afternoon.

We thought it would be relatively quiet as we were outside of lunch hours. But much to our surprise, the place was busy with queues of people waiting to place their orders.

Turned off by the wait and the lack of available seats, we walked away. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to go back.

Although we are not vegan or vegetarian, we were impressed by the popularity of vegan tacos in Mexico City.

Some say they are better than regular tacos. So give them a try next time you are in Mexico City.

Vegan Tacos Al Pastor at Por Siempre Vegana in Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestTacos al pastor vegan style

Where to Eat the Best Vegan Tacos in Mexico City

Por Siempre Vegana Taqueria makes a delicious version of tacos al pastor using seitan grilled on a pit.  

Address: Coahuila 169, Roma Norte, Mexico City

Hours: Monday to Friday 1PM to 12AM – Saturday and Sunday 10AM to 7PM

Price: Mex$15 – 20 tacos – approx. $0.79 to 1.05 USD

La Pitahaya Vegana serves colorful tacos made with natural tortillas made from dragon fruit. Using organic produce, ingredients and recipes are from prehispanic times. Tacos are priced between $25-$35 pesos. 

Address: Calle Querétaro 90, Roma Norte, Mexico City

Hours: Everyday 9AM to 10PM

Price: Mex$25-35 tacos – approx. $1.31 to 1.83 to USD 

Por Siempre Vegana stand by AuthenticFoodQuestRelaxed vibe at Por Siempre Vegana

Mexican Antojitos or Snack Foods 

Mexican antojitos or snack foods are the “little cravings” that will tide you over while sightseeing. 

In addition to elote or Mexican street corn, the following are some of the best street foods of Mexico City. 

12- Quesadillas – Mexico City Style

Quesadillas are a typical Mexican snack food that you’ll commonly find in Mexico City. They are not to be confused with cheese stuffed American quesadillas.

In Mexico City, quesadillas typically do not have cheese. Whereas in different parts of the country, you’ll find quesadillas with cheese. 

Instead of cheese, the oval shaped tortillas are traditionally stuffed with several fillings. You’ll find longaniza, potatoes, shredded chicken, rajas con crema or strips of poblano peppers mixed with cream and more.

Our favorite quesadillas were the ones stuffed with huitlacoche or corn fungus. These are grayish-black earthy tasty tasting mushrooms with strong flavors.

Overall, we prefer our quesadillas with cheese and quickly learned to ask for cheese when placing our order. 

One thing to note is quesadillas can either be deep fried or cooked on the comal “ a la plancha.”  

Even though the deep fried quesadillas are not dripping in oil, we prefer the ones cooked on the comal.

Try both versions and decide for yourself which of these Mexico City foods you prefer.

Quesadillas Huitlacoche a typical Food of Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestDelicious purple corn quesadilla stuffed with huitlacoche mushrooms

Where To Eat Quesadillas in Mexico City

You’ll find good quesadilla vendors all over the capital. One we particularly liked was at La Marquesa, at the border of La Condesa and Roma Norte neighborhood.

La Marquesa Street Vendor

Address: San Luis Potosi 200, Roma Norte, Mexico City

Hours: Everyday except Sundays 12PM to 5PM

Prices: Mex$18 pesos with cheese and one ingredient- approx. $0.94 to USD 

La Marquesa vendor preparing Quesadillas In Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestQuesadillas were one of our favorite food in Mexico City

13- Tlacoyos

Anytime between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm in Mexico’s capital, look for mostly women, selling blue oval shaped tortillas. These are tlacoyos and they are a popular food in Mexico City.

Served hot, right off a comal or large circular griddle, these are another favorite snack food in Mexico City. 

Tlacoyos are oval shaped patties stuffed with beans, fava beans, requesón, a ricotta style or chicharrón. A wide number of toppings are available. Some of our favorites were  huitlacoche (corn fungus), flor de calabaza (squash blossom), nopales (cactus).

If you are looking for a quick snack in the middle of the day, indulge in these flavorful tlacoyos. Made to order and bursting with flavors, you will enjoy this traditional Mexican snack.

Tlacoyo de Flor de Cabalaza a popular Food in Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestTlacoyos was our most surprising food in Mexico City

Where to Eat The Best Tlacoyos in Roma Norte

In Roma Norte, at the intersection of Avenue Álvaro Obregón and Jalapa, is the most delicious  tlacoyos stand.

While there are no signs, look for a crowd around women working with a hot comal. Working in harmony, one woman takes your order, while the other scoops out blue corn masa and cooks the tlacoyos. 

Don’t forget to try the different toppings and enjoy your tlacoyo standing up like all the locals.

Lady Street Vendors

Address: Intersection Calle Colima & Merica, near Sumesa, Roma Norte

Hours: Everyday 8AM to 5PM 

Price: Mex$18 pesos – approx. $0.94 USD

Tlacuyo Stand Popular food in Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestSon helping out at the Tlacuyos stand in Roma Norte

14 – Huaraches – Popular Street Food in Mexico City

Believed to have originated in Mexico City in the 1930’s, huaraches are a Mexico City food you don’t want to miss.

Huaraches, named for sandals are oval-shaped corn masa cakes. Fresh masa is stuffed with beans and formed into an oval shape and then fried. 

It is then topped with a number of ingredients including cheese, potatoes and your choice of meats.

While in Mexico City, we went to the legendary Ramoncita Restaurant to try huaraches. Located near Mercado de Jamaica, the restaurant has been making huaraches for more than 100 years.  

With the restaurant’s speciality of serving huarache with beef ribs, we ordered one plate to share. One look at the heaping plate with huge beef ribs, we knew splitting it was the right decision.

The beef ribs which took up almost the entire plate were juicy and flavorful. Toppings included cheese, nopales (cactus), avocado slices and perfectly seared onions.

What we loved most about huaraches were the different flavors in each bite. The moist textures between the beans, vegetables and meat all balanced our perfectly. 

While a little messy to eat, the huarache was tasty and filling. 

Huaraches typical Mexcico City Food by AuthenitcFoodQuestLarge serving of huaraches topped with ribs

Where to Eat The Best Huaraches in Mexico City

In the beautiful courtyard with several huaraches vendors, look for Huaraches Ramoncita. Ignore the other stall owners who will be pestering you to visit their stands.

Huaraches Ramoncita has two locations in the courtyard where you can enjoy this Mexico City food.

Huaraches Ramoncita

Mercado de Jamaica, Mercado de Comida, 

Address: Guillermo Prieto 103, Jamaica, Mexico City

Hours: Everyday 9AM to 5PM

Prices: Mex$100 pesos – approx. $5.24 USD

Huaraches Ramoncita Popular in Mexico City by Authentic Food QuestFind Ramoncita at the entrance of the courtyard

15 – Pambazo – Iconic Mexico City Sandwich

This popular Mexican sandwich is iconic in Mexico City. It is a sandwich made of a particular type of bread drenched in red guajillo salsa.

The most traditional fillings are beans, spicy chorizo and potatoes, topped with shredded lettuce.

Pambazos use pan basso, a tough and chewy white bread that keeps its shape and texture after it is soaked in sauce. 

You’ll find street carts all over the capital selling these sandwiches. Look for reddish sandwiches being lightly fried on a comal.

There are many stories around the origin of this sandwich. One describes it as “a poor man’s bread,” soaked in salsa to make it edible. It’s a story of poverty and making do with what little is available.

Pambazo a popular food in Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestLarge pile of reddish Pambozos sandwiches

Where to Eat Mexico City Pambazo Sandwiches

In Roma Norte, the popular street vendor for tlacuyos always had pambazos sandwiches available for sale.

Lady Street Vendor

Address: Intersection Calle Colima & Merica, near Sumesa, Roma Norte

Hours: Everyday 8AM to 5PM 

Price: Mex$14 pesos – approx. $0.73 USD

Authentic Mexican Desserts in Mexico City

Mexican desserts are popular and come in all forms. In Mexico City, you’ll find sweet candies, breads, beverages, iced treats and more. 

The word dulce which means “sweet” is the general term used for candies or confections. While dulces are often eaten at the end of the meal, they are enjoyed at all times of the day.

While there are many sweets to choose from, here are a few not to miss in Mexico’s capital.

16- Artisanal Ice Cream 

The history of Mexican ice-cream dates back to pre-Hispanic times, according to Fany Gerson in her book Mexican Ice-Cream.

Over the years, European, particularly Italians, influenced Mexican style ice cream. Mexican ice cream has more in common with Italian gelatos than American style ice creams.

The traditional ice cream making method is labor intensive and and uses a wide array of fresh fruit flavors. The main ingredients whether strawberry, orange, nuts, cheese, mole, horchata or even tequila stand out. 

Be sure to sample and discover the world of Mexican frozen treats at either of the following ice cream stores.

Rosemary enjoying a Mexican ice cream in Mexico City by Authentic Food QuestRosemary enjoying tejocote flavored ice cream at El Portal del Sabor

Where to Eat the Best Mexican Ice Cream in Mexico City

El Portal del Sabor – Coyoacan

For over 47 years El Portal del Sabor has been making traditional style Mexican ice cream with market fresh flavors. 

If you are planning on visiting Coyoacan to see where Frida Kahlo lived don’t miss a stop at El Portal del Sabor. 

There is a wide range of interesting Mexican flavors. Find chocolate from Oaxaca, corn, sweet potato, cajeta or toffee caramel and more. 

On our visit, Rosemary was tempted by tejocote which was the special flavor of the day. Tejocote is a small, orange crab apple-like fruit commonly used to make a traditional drink called ponche

As an ice cream, the flavors were mild while the texture was thick and creamy. A very tasty and unusual ice cream.

El Portal del Sabor 

Address: Calle Xicoténcatl 313, Del Carmen, Coyoacan

Hours: Everyday 9AM to 9PM 

Price: Mex$43 pesos – approx. $2.25 USD

Neveria Roxy in La Condesa

One of the best places to have Mexican ice cream is Neveria Roxy, an ice cream store founded in La Condesa. 

Since the beginning in 1946, the ice cream is made in the traditional style. Find flavors made with ice, salt and carefully selected fruits from the local markets.

This popular family store now has nine locations around Mexico City. We enjoyed sampling mamey ice cream at the Polanco location.

Neveria Roxy

Address: Polanco, check their website for the other locations in Mexico City 

Hours: Everyday 11:30 AM to 8:30PM 

Price: Mex$36 pesos – approx. $1.89 USD

Neveria Roxy with Mexican Food Tours by AuthenticFoodQuestNeveria Roxy is one of the most popular ice cream stores in Mexico City

Authentic Food Quest Tip: Enjoy Mexican ice cream on a Polanco Food Tour. Polanco is home to many of the best restaurants in the city, including Neveria Roxy. Discover the history of this chic neighborhood as you sample traditional Mexican food at stalls and restaurants on a food tour.

17- Buñuelos and Mexican Candies 

Buñuelos are popular sweets that are traditionally made around Christmas time. They are round and fried crunchy dough made with caramelized syrup of brown sugar and a touch of cinnamon.  

We recommend trying the artisanal version which has less fat and sugar than the industrial ones.

Being in Mexico around Christmas, we had the chance to try several types of buñuelos. 

Despite being coated in sugar, they are surprisingly light and not overly sweet.

Buñuelos in Mexico City by Authentic Food QuestBuñuelos are a popular street food around Christmas

Where to Eat the Best Sweets in Mexico City

For artisanal buñuelos, we recommend going to Dulcería de Celaya

Aside from delicious buñuelos, Dulcería de Celaya has been making traditional Mexican candies for over 100 years.

The original recipes are still used today to make the traditional sweets. Many Mexicans revel in finding the candies of their childhood that are no longer available.

Popular sweets are showcased on the shelves such as turrones, suspiros, bollos de coco and more.

We discovered Dulcería de Celaya on a Secret Food Tour Mexico City. This iconic candy store is one of the oldest stores in the country, founded in 1874.

Dulcería de Celaya can be found in the Centro Historico area where the original store was relocated in 1900.

The Art Nouveau decor and style of the store is worth a visit by itself. A second store was later opened in Roma Norte, though it doesn’t have the same draw.

Dulcería de Celaya

Address: Calle 5 de Mayo No. 39, Mexico City

Hours: Everyday 10:30 AM to 7:30PM 

Price: Mex$20 – $45 per sweet –  approx. $1.05 to $2.36 USD

Dulceria de Celaya shop in Centro Historico by Authentic Food QuestDulceria de Celaya in Centro Historico

18- Churros – One of Mexico City’s Most Popular Desserts

This beloved Mexican street food is popular in Mexico City. Mexican churros are made from a dough formed into a long cylinder star-shaped. 

Mexican churros are fried until they become slightly crunchy. Then they are typically rolled into a cinnamon and sugar mixture.

The churros are said to have originated from Portugal and Spain, and later Spanish settlers brought this treat to Mexico.

It has now become one of the most popular treats of Mexico and Latin America.

Churros from El Moro popular Mexico City Food by AuthenticFoodQuestDelectable churros from El Moro

Where to Eat the Best Churros in Mexico City

It is common to find churros in the morning for breakfast in Mexico City or later in the day for snacks.

Street vendors carrying baskets of churros and will tempt you with the lightly sweet odors.

Stores that sell churros are called churrerias. El Moro in Mexico City is one of the most famous churrerias in the country.

Founded in 1935 by a Spanish immigrant, El Moro quickly gained popularity. There are now 12 El Moro locations across Mexico City dedicated to selling churros.

El Moro is a churreria beloved by chilangos. We were surprised to  see lines of locals waiting for their churros at all times of the day.

Despite the long lines, it moves quickly and doesn’t take long to get served. You have the choice of having your churros dipped in a sugar cinnamon mix or chocolate powder. We preferred the ones with chocolate.

The best is to enjoy your churros at the original location in Centro Historico. Order a side of hot chocolate to dip the churros and get the full appreciation of these addictive sweets.

El Moro

Address: Eje Central Lazaro Cardenas 42, Mexico City – check El Moro website for more locations

Hours: Everyday 24/7

Price: An order of  6 churros is priced at  Mex$24 pesos –  approx. $1.26 USD

churros at El Moro Popular food in Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestEl Moro is the most popular churreria in Mexico City

Mexico City Drinks – Tequila, Mezcal and More

Along with traditional Mexico City food, the country has a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. 

On the non-alcoholic side, aguas frescas or “refreshing waters” accompany most meals. Try hibiscus water or agua de jamaica and horchata, rice water flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. 

For dinner, accompany your meal with amazing Mexican wines from the Baja California region. 

Talking about the traditional drinks of Mexico would not be complete without talking about agave based Tequila and Mezcal drinks.

19- Tequila & Mezcal

Tequila and Mezcal are both alcoholic drinks made from the agave plant. Tequila hails from the small town of Tequila, in Jalisco and is made from blue agave.

Whereas, Mezcal can be produced anywhere in Mexico from more than 30 varieties of agave.

The distillation process for each one is different and there are hundreds of flavors and varieties to try.

Whether you’re a Tequila or Mezcal aficionado or beginner, you’ll deepen your knowledge at these local spots in Mexico City.

tequila popular drinks of Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestA shot of Tequila with slices of lime

Where to Try Tequila and Mezcal in Mexico City

La Clandestina – Located between Condesa and Roma Norte neighborhoods, the knowledgeable staff will guide you through different Tequila and Mezcal options.

Address: Av. Álvaro Obregon 298, Condesa

Hours: Tuesday to Thursday 6PM to 1:30 AM, Friday – Saturday 6PM to 2:30AM

Bosforo – Tucked away in the Centro Historico this cozy bar offers a wide selection of agave spirits. They work directly with small artisanal producers.

Address: Luis Moya 31, Colonia Centro

Hours: Wednesday 4PM to 1:30 AM, Thursday to Saturday 4PM to 2:30AM

Museo del Tequila y El Mezcal – This museum offers interactive learning screens and a variety of Tequila and Mezcal tastings. Go up to the terrace and sip your drinks with views of the city.

Address: Plaza Garibaldi s/n Mexico City

Hours: Sunday to Wednesday 11AM to 10:00 PM, Thursday to Saturday 11AM to 10:30PM

Authentic Food Quest Tip: Get a personalized tour of the Museum of Tequila and Mezcal. With an English speaking local guide, enjoy a half day museum tour. Sample the local agave spirits and soak in the surrounding culture of Garibaldi Square.

20 – Pulque – The Drink of The Gods

Pulque is considered Mexico’s oldest alcoholic beverage. It is from the central region of the country and made from the agave plant. Before agave was used for Tequila or Mezcal, it was used to make pulque, the centuries old beverage.

Pulque has a milky, off white color and the texture is somewhat odd. It is viscous with a slimy feel. This beverage is fermented and usually has between 2% and 8% alcohol, though mostly on the lower end.

In Mexico City, pulque is making a resurgence. Many places offer both natural pulque or curado, which is flavored. While on a food tour in Polanco, we tried pulque curado blended with pine nuts and strawberries. We found the fizzy taste to be quite pleasant.

While exploring Mexico City food, be sure to stop at a pulqueria and try the Aztec “drink of the gods.”

Pulque a popular drink in Mexico City by Authentic Food QuestTasty strawberry and nut flavored pulque

Where to Drink Pulque in Mexico City

Pulqueria Las Duelistas

Address: Aranda 28, Historic Center, Mexico City

Hours: Monday to Saturday 10AM to 9PM

Los Insurgentes

Address: Av. Insurgentes sur 226. Col. Roma Norte, Mexico City

Hours: Sunday to Wednesday 2PM to 1AM – Thursday to Saturday – 1PM to 3AM

Pulqueria Duelistas in Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestPulqueria Duelistas (courtesy of Pulqueria Duelista Facebook page)

Best Hotels in Mexico City 

Finding the best place to stay in Mexico City, the largest city in North America, can be quite overwhelming.

We highlight accommodation options in three safe and popular neighborhoods with amazing local food. 

Palacio de bellas artes by AuthenticFoodQuestPalacio de Bellas Artes downtown Mexico City

Where to Stay in Colonia Roma Mexico City

Roma, one of the safest and trendiest neighborhoods in Mexico City offers accommodations at every price point. 

Casa Colima – Budget Friendly Hotel in Roma Mexico City

Casa Goliana La Roma – Mid Range Hotel in Roma Mexico City

Nima Boutique Hotel – Luxury Hotel in Roma Mexico City

Colonia Roma Norte in Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestRoma Norte is one of the Mexico City's most charming neighborhoods

Where to Stay in Polanco Mexico City

Polanco, with its walkability, safety, and accessibility to the main sites, is a great area to base yourself in Mexico City. 

Casa ITZAE  – Budget Friendly Hotel in Polanco Mexico City

Pug Seal Allan Poe – Mid Range Hotel in Polanco Mexico City

Las Alcobas Hotel – Luxury Hotel in Polanco Mexico City

Galeria Torre El Reloj in Polanco Mexico City by AuthenticFoodQuestGaleria Torre El Reloj, the symbol of Polanco

Where to Stay in Centro Historico Mexico City

Centro Historico has some of the country’s most important historic, religious, and cultural sites.  The area is bustling with food options, from markets and local eateries to upscale restaurants.

A great base for a short stay.

Hotel Punto MX – Budget Friendly Hotel in Centro Historico Mexico City

Casa De La Luz Boutique Hotel – Mid Range Hotel in Centro Historico Mexico City

Mumedi Design Hotel – Luxury Hotel in Centro Historico Mexico City

Zocalo plaza in Mexico City at Christmas by AuthenticFoodQuestZocalo at Christmas time

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22 thoughts on “Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Authentic Food in Mexico City”

  1. It used to be so challenging to eat out when you were vegetarian or vegan. I love that it’s getting to be so common and so easy even when you travel. Can’t wait to try vegan tacos in Mexico!

    Reply
  2. Mexico City is a place I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. I’ve only ever changed planes there. This food guide has made me want to go even more. I love Mexican food, and you’ve covered all the bases!

    Reply
    • Indeed, Ruth. The tamales in Mexico City are some of the best we’ve had. Way different than those we’ve had in the US. Well worth traveling to Mexico for the food. There is always time for tacos:) Cheers.

      Reply
  3. Goodness, there are so many amazing offerings in Mexico City. I could spend a year there just sampling all of their amazing cuisine. It’s no wonder their food has been so popular for 9000 years. I just want to eat through my screen LOL.

    Reply

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