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In Mexico City, the largest city in Mexico, all the country’s regional cuisines are represented and accessible. This makes Mexico City food unique with its diversity, quality, and availability.
While exploring the local food specialties in Mexico, we were amazed by the richness and culinary diversity of Mexico City food. You can find cuisine from the Yucatan Peninsula, the Southernmost region, all the way to Baja California, bordering California.
Mexico’s culinary tradition dates back over 9000 years back. And the cuisine was named by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
On your travels to Mexico, use this detailed guide to the best food in Mexico City. Find over 20 of the best authentic Mexico City foods and almost 40 places to try them.
From street food eats at popular vendors to world-class restaurants, savor the tastiest foods in Mexico City. Provecho!
Breakfast in Mexico City
As you start your day in Mexico City, there are many breakfast dishes available throughout. Here are a few traditional Mexican breakfast dishes not to miss in the capital.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: One of the best ways to navigate Mexico City food is on a food tour with a local guide. We’ve taken several food tours and discovered amazing local food. To help guide you in Mexico City, here are the Top 10 Best Food Tours in Mexico City You’ll Want To Try.
One of the most complete, hearty, and filling Mexican breakfasts is chilaquiles.
Available throughout Mexico, this traditional Mexican breakfast is offered in the capital city in numerous variations.
Chilaquiles is an Aztec word coming from the Nahuatl language, meaning chilis and greens.
The base for authentic chilaquiles consists of corn tortillas cut into triangles and lightly fried. Salsa verde or red salsa is 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 other 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 are sometimes served at the end of the night at wedding parties.
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 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 made sure our food was well tended and to our liking.
For my first time having chilaquiles in Mexico City, I decided to order the combination version.
This was a chilaquiles combinado made with beef and eggs. I particularly enjoyed the crispy corn tortillas with a large, filling serving of protein.
Cocina Frida – Mercado La Merced
Address: Rosario 120 Entre General Anaya y, Carretones 120, Mexico City
Hours: Open daily 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Price: 76 pesos for chilaquiles with meat and two eggs – approx. $4 USD
For other popular variations of chilaquiles, we recommend the following addresses:
For healthy variations of chilaquiles, Ojo de Agua was recommended to us by a Chilango or Mexican city local. This popular breakfast chain is a mix of a restaurant and a fresh food market. Everything is made with fresh ingredients and the vibe is casual and relaxed.
Address: Zacatecas 177, Roma Norte, Mexico City – for other locations throughout the city, check the Ojo de Agua website.
Hours: Mon – Fri, 8:00 am to 10:00 pm; Sat-Sun: 8:00 am to 9:00 pm
Prices: 115 pesos for chilaquiles with two eggs – approx. $6 USD
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: Open Mon to Sat, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Prices: 75 pesos for chilaquiles – approx. $4 USD
READ MORE: 7 of the Best Food Markets in Mexico City For Authentic Food
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.
Pan dulce is the general name for Mexican pastries. Our favorites were the conchas, a round sweet bread topped with a sugary powder.
And, 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 sugary custard, was another favorite.
The selection of pan dulce all over Mexico City is quite diverse and colorful. Don’t hesitate to sample a few and find your favorite ones.
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 perusing one of the many street food stalls.
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.
Address: Intersection of Calle Durango & Jalapa, in front of Oxxo, Roma Norte, Mexico City
Hours: Open Mon to Sat, 7:00 am to 11:00 am
Price: 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 are both traditional and European style.
If you’re in the neighborhood and looking for traditional sweets, don’t miss out.
Address: Colima 179, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City
Hours: Open every day from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm
Price: 35 pesos for conchas – approx. $1.87 USD
Mexican tamales are another traditional dish in Mexico commonly eaten for breakfast or as a snack.
The word tamales comes from the Nahuatl language used by the Aztecs 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.
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 accentuates the exquisite flavors.
Address: Av. Emilio Castelar 227-A, Polanco, Mexico City – for other Mexico City locations, check the Tamalli website.
Hours: Open every day, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Price: 42 pesos – approx. $2.24 USD
Another great place to try tamales is at Mercado Abelardo L. Rodriguez in downtown Mexico City. 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: Open everyday 7:00 am to 12:00 pm
Price: 20 pesos – approx. $1.05 USD
4. Atole – Traditional Breakfast Drink
Atole is a thick and warm corn-based drink that is traditionally consumed at breakfast. You will see it typically paired with tamales or pan dulce.
Atole is traditionally made with corn, 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.
Where to Eat the Best Atole in CDMX
Our favorite spots in Mexico City for atole were Tamalli, our pan dulce stand in Roma Norte as well as the Mercado Rodriguez.
Plan to spend about 10 pesos for a cup of atole. See in the above points for the addresses.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Taste authentic atole along with classic pairings on this fun Mexico City market food tour.
Best Hotels in Mexico City For Food Lovers
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 to explore the local food in the city.
Where to Stay in Colonia Roma Mexico City
One of the safest and coolest neighborhoods in Mexico City offers accommodations at every price point.
- Kukun Colima Roma Norte – 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
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
Where to Stay in Centro Historico Mexico City
Centro Historico, Mexico City’s historic center, 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 fine dining; 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
Mexico City Tacos
The best tasty tacos in Mexico City can be found at the infinite local eateries or street carts in the city.
Tacos al Pastor are the most iconic tacos from Mexico City and they also happen to be our favorite that we tasted.
Beyond tacos al pastor, the world of tacos in the area is vast and impossible to cover it all.
For more, this taco-centric encyclopedia Tacopedia digs deep into the matter.
As you explore the best tacos in Mexico city, here are a few popular styles you want to try.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: One of the best ways to explore the best Mexico City foods is to visit eateries in the different neighborhoods. Each area has its own vibe and tasty local food. Taking a Hop on – Hop Off Mexico City bus ride is a great way to eat and famous sites and monuments in the city. It’s a convenient way to move around to eat delicious Mexican cuisine.
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 beside 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 from 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.
Where to Eat the Best Tacos Al Pastor in Mexico City
Taquerias serving tacos al pastor can be found all over the city. Look for busy ones filled with locals and take your place in line. The following are three of our favorite taco spots in the Roma neighborhood:
Address: Intersection Calle Colima & Merica, near Sumesa, Roma Norte
Hours: Open Mon-Sat, 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Price: 10 pesos – approx. $0.53 USD
Address: Sonora 205, Roma Norte, Mexico City
Hours: Open daily, 24/7
Price: 12 pesos – approx. $0.63 USD
Address: Av. Álvaro Obregón 179, Roma Norte, Mexico City
Hours: Open daily, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm,
Prices: $30 pesos – approx. $1.58 USD
6. Tacos de Canasta – “Basket” Tacos
Tacos de canasta, or “basket” tacos, are a popular street food 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.
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: Open every day, 9:00 am to 10:00 pm; Closes at 6:00 pm on Sundays
Price: 8 pesos – approx. $0.42 USD
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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 in the taco which were different from the beef barbacoa from Chipotle, our favorite US Mexican food chain.
The barbacoa tacos are typically served with a light broth consomme broth. Topping the lamb tacos are the typical raw onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.
There are many barbacoa spots in Mexico City. Look for street vendor stands or stalls that specialize in barbacoa and look busy.
Where to Eat the Best Tacos de Barbacoa in Mexico City
The El Profe stand in the interior of Jamaica Market and is one of the best-hidden gems for barbacoa. Find it in the middle of fruit or vegetable stalls and take your place at this busy stand.
Antojitos Mexicanos El Profe – Mercado de Jamaica
Address: Av. Morelos 51, Jamaica, Mexico City
Hours: Open Mon – Fri, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm; Sat-Sun, 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
Price: 35 pesos – approx. $1.85 USD
READ MORE: 10 Simple Ways To Protect Your Stomach When Traveling
8. Tacos de Cochinita Pibil
In the Mexican 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. It’s served either as a taco or panucho.
A panucho is a fried tortilla stuffed with refried beans. Accompanying it are pickled red onion 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 which means “underground.”
These are some of the juiciest and tastiest tacos we enjoyed in Mexico City.
As tacos, the delicious 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 to heightened levels of deliciousness.
One of Mexico’s treasures, cochinita pibil tacos, or panuchos, are one of the Mexico City foods not to miss.
Where to Eat The Best Tacos de Cochinita Pibil in Mexico City
We enjoyed cochinita pibil at two places popular with chilangos. One location is in the Polanco neighborhood and the other is in Roma Norte.
Address: Calle, Av. Emilio Castelar 212, Polanco, Mexico City
Hours: Open every day, 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm except Sundays until 9:00 pm
Price: 24 pesos – approx. $1.27 USD
Xnic Cochinita Pibil – Roma Norte
Address: Tabasco 256, Roma Norte, Mexico City
Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Price: 20 pesos for tacos – approx. $1.05 USD; 25 pesos for panuchos – approx. $1.32 USD
9. Tacos de Guisado – Classic Home-Style Tacos
These classic Mexican 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.
There are several 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.
Explore Mercado de San Juan, look for street carts, taquerias, and market stalls selling these stewy tacos, and taste this beloved Mexican food.
Where to Eat the Best Tacos Guisado in Mexico City
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: Open Mon – Fri, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Price: 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 the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Japan.
As a result, Mexico City food has a wide variety of seafood dishes including tacos. From fish tacos to 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.
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:
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: Open Sun -Tuesday 12:00 pm – 7:45 pm; Wed-Sat, 12:00 pm to 9:45 pm
Price: 45 pesos for tacos – approx. $2.37 USD
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: Open Mon – Fri, 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Sat-Sun, 11:00 am to 8:00 pm
Price: 197 pesos for tacos – approx. $10.39 USD
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Colonai Roma neighborhood is a trendy gastronomy 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 fresh tortillas, however, the capital is reinventing tacos for vegans.
Vegan taquerias are conquering the taqueria scene with versions of tacos that will impress meat lovers.
We were first made aware of creative plant-based tacos by a local friend. While intrigued by tortillas made from dragon fruit, 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 plant-based Mexican food, 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 long wait and the lack of seating we decided to leave. Although we didn’t taste the vegan tacos, were impressed by their popularity in Mexico City.
Some say they are better than regular tacos, so give them a try next time you are in Mexico City.
Where to Eat the Best Vegan Tacos in Mexico City
This stop makes a delicious version of tacos al pastor using seitan grilled on a pit.
Address: Coahuila 169, Roma Norte, Mexico City
Hours: Open Mon-Sat 10:00 am to 11:00 pm, Sun, 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Price: 15 – 45 pesos for tacos – approx. $0.79 to 2.37 USD
Enjoy colorful tacos made with natural tortillas made from dragon fruit. Using organic produce, ingredients, and recipes from prehispanic times. Tacos are priced between 25-35 pesos.
Address: Calle Querétaro 90, Roma Norte, Mexico City
Hours: Open every day, 8:30 am to 10:30 pm
Price: 3 for 170 pesos – approx. $8.96 USD
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 Mexican snacks to eat in Mexico’s capital.
READ MORE: Top 5 Mexican Snacks Box To Satisfy Your Latin Cravings – A Full Review
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 preferred 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 you prefer.
Where to Eat The Best 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 neighborhoods.
Address: San Luis Potosi 200, Roma Norte, Mexico City
Hours: Open Mon-Sat, 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Prices: 18 pesos for quesadilla with cheese and one ingredient – approx. $0.94 USD
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 some of our favorite snack foods in Mexico City.
Tlacoyos are oval-shaped patties stuffed with beans, fava beans, requesón, a ricotta style, or chicharrón.
A wide number of salsas and toppings are available. Some of our favorites were huitlacoche (corn fungus), flor de calabaza (squash blossom), and 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.
Where to Have the Best Tlacoyos in CDMX
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 of 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.
Address: Intersection Calle Colima & Merica, near Sumesa, Roma Norte
Hours: Open daily, 10:00 am – 6:30 pm
Price: 18 pesos – approx. $0.94 USD
14. Huaraches – Popular Mexican Street Food
Believed to have originated in Mexico City in the 1930s, 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 several 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 specialty of serving huarache with beef ribs, we ordered one plate to share.
With 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 out perfectly.
While a little messy to eat, the huarache was tasty and filling.
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.
Mercado de Jamaica, Mercado de Comida,
Address: Guillermo Prieto 103, Jamaica, Mexico City
Hours: Open daily, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Prices: 100 pesos – approx. $5.24 USD
15. Pambazo – Iconic Mexico City Sandwich
Pambazo is one of the most iconic Mexican sandwiches; it’s made of a particular type of bread drenched in red guajillo chili sauce.
Pambazos use pan basso, a tough and chewy white bread that keeps its shape and texture after it’s soaked in sauce.
The most traditional fillings are beans, spicy chorizo, and potatoes, topped with shredded lettuce.
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 about 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.
Where to Eat Mexico City Pambazo Sandwiches
In Roma Norte, this popular street vendor always had pambazos sandwiches available for sale.
Address: Intersection Calle Colima & Merica, near Sumesa, Roma Norte
Hours: Open Mon, Wed, Sun, 10:00 am – 6:30 pm; Tues Thurs, Fri, Sat 10:00 am – 8:30 pm
Price: 14 pesos – approx. $0.73 USD
Authentic Mexican Desserts in Mexico City
Mexican desserts are popular and come in all forms. You’ll find sweet candies, bread, 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, Europeans, 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 the array of fresh fruit flavors is astounding.
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.
Where to Eat the Best Mexican Ice Cream in Mexico City
Discover the very best Mexican ice cream at any of these authentic locations:
El Portal del Sabor – Coyoacán
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.
One unique flavor that surprised Rosemary was tejocote. This ice cream was made from tejocote, 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.
Address: Calle Xicoténcatl 313, Del Carmen, Coyoacán
Hours: Open daily 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Price: 36 pesos – approx. $1.90 USD
One of the best places to have Mexican ice cream is Neveria Roxy, an ice cream store founded in La Condesa.
Ice cream continues to be made traditionally since the beginning of 1946. 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.
Address: Calle Julio Verne 84 Polanco – check their website for the other locations in Mexico City
Hours: Open every day, 11:30 am to 8:30 pm
Price: 36 pesos – approx. $1.89 USD
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.
17. Bunuelos and Mexican Candies
Buñuelos are popular Mexican 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.
Where to Eat the Best Sweets in CDMX
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 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.
Dulcería de Celaya was founded in 1874. The location in the Centro Historico area is the most famous. The Art Nouveau decor and style of the store are worth a visit alone. A second store was later opened in the Roma Norte neighborhood.
Address: Calle 5 de Mayo No. 39, Mexico City
Hours: Open Mon-Sat, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Price: 20 – 45 pesos per sweet – approx. $1.05 to $2.36 USD
18. Churros – One of Mexico City’s Most Popular Desserts
This beloved Mexican street food and snack is a popular local treat. Mexican churros are made from a flour 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 in Mexico and Latin America.
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 will tempt you with light, sweet, and fried odors.
Stores that sell churros are called churrerias. El Moro in Mexico City is one of the most famous churreria in the country.
Founded in 1935 by a Spanish immigrant, El Moro quickly gained popularity; there are now 12 locations across Mexico City dedicated to selling churros.
El Moro is a churreria beloved by locals. Despite the long lines, you’ll see outside their doors, 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.
Address: Eje Central Lazaro Cardenas 42, Mexico City – check the El Moro website for more locations
Hours: Open daily, 24/7
Price: 40 pesos for 1 order (4 churros) – approx. $2.11 USD
Mexico City Drinks – Tequila, Mezcal, and More
Along with traditional foods, 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 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.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: If you want to dive deeper into the traditional agave-based drinks like Mezcal, enjoy a night of tacos and mezcal in Mexico City. This fascinating 3+ hour culinary excursion combines delicious tacos and Mezcal tastings for a night of fun.
19. Tequila & Mezcal
Tequila and Mezcal are both 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 a beginner, you’ll deepen your knowledge at these spots in Mexico City.
Where to Try Tequila and Mezcal in Mexico City
Located between Condesa and Roma Norte neighborhoods, the knowledgeable staff will guide you through the different options.
Address: Av. Álvaro Obregón 298, Condesa
Hours: Mon-Wed, 6:30 pm to 1:00 am, Thur – Sat, 6:30 pm to 2:00 am
Price: Start at 50 pesos – approx. $2.61 USD
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: Open Tues – Wed, 7:00 pm to 1:30 am; Thurs – Sat 7:00 pm to 2:30 am
Price: Start at 65 pesos for tequila – approx. $3.39 USD
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: Everyday 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Price: Start at 75 pesos for tequila – approx. $3.91 USD
RELATED: Oaxaca Mezcal Tour With Award Winning Geü Beez Distillery
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 is also 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 and 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 the local food, be sure to stop at a pulqueria and try the Aztec “drink of the gods.”
Where to Try Pulque in Mexico City
Some of the best places to sample pulque are the local bars and nightlife venues.
Address: Aranda 28, Historic Center, Mexico City
Hours: Open Mon-Sat, 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Price: Prices start at 15 pesos – approx. $0.79 USD
Address: Av. Insurgentes Sur 226. Col. Roma Norte, Mexico City
Hours: Open Mon-Wed 2:00 pm – 1:00 am, Thu – Sun, 2:00 pm – 3:00 am
Price: Prices start at 50 pesos – approx. $2.64 USD
FAQ About Food in Mexico City
These are a few questions we often receive about the best food in Mexico City. If you have any other questions about Mexico City food, feel free to leave them in the comments down below.
What is Mexico City famous food?
When exploring the best food of Mexico City, you’ll need to try their most famous offerings.
The city is most well known for its varieties of tacos, chilaquiles, tamales, and tortas. Don’t forget to try their famous desserts including churros, and buñuelos
What are 3 popular foods from Mexico?
Tacos, guacamole, and mole are among the most famous foods from Mexico. You’ll find various kinds of tacos in Mexico, with tacos al pastor being among the most popular. Mole, a signature Oaxaca food is famous within Mexico and outside the country’s border. Avocados are popular in Mexico and referred to as the country’s “green gold.” The fruit is used in a variety of dishes with guacamole being among the most popular.
What is Mexico City’s historical food?
Mexico City has a long history, with many of its popular dishes dating back centuries. And luckily, the locals honor these traditions by continuing to cook these historic dishes.
You can try this historic Mexico city food like nopales tortillas or cactus fruit tortillas and tamales. Another iconic food of Mexico City that you cannot miss is tacos al pastor.
Which of these is your favorite Mexico City food? Please let us know in the comments below.
Savor the Adventure!
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Claire is co-founder of Authentic Food Quest and a lover of simple and exquisite cuisine. Since 2015, with her partner, Rosemary, she has been traveling the world as a digital nomad, creating content about local food experiences.
Her advice from visiting 45 countries and more than 240 food cities has been featured in Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Honest Cooking, Food Insider, and Huffington Post. She has also co-authored three books, including one in collaboration with Costa Brava Tourism.
An ex-mechanical engineer, Claire is responsible for SEO, keeping the website running, and the fun food & travel videos on YouTube.
When Claire is not eating, she can be found running or cycling. Find out more about Authentic Food Quest
22 Comments on “Top 20 Best Foods in Mexico City (And 32 Restaurants To Have Them)”
wow! How many tasty and delicious things you can find in Mexico City! I love the local food!
Thanks, Catalina. Do you have a favorite Mexican dish? Thanks for stopping by.
Looks delicious food, I love to taste authentic mexican food especially street food. Thanks for sharing these wonderful post and info.
So glad you enjoyed the article, Swathi. Are you a Mexican food fan? Cheers.
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!
WOW! This is the ultimate guide to Mexico City Food! All the food looks so delicious – my mouth is watering just looking at it.
Lol…mission accomplished!! So glad you enjoyed the article, Amy. Is there one or two particular dishes that stood out to you? Thanks for stopping by.
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!
Great to hear Lizzie. Here’s hoping you make it to Mexico City soon. Thanks for stopping by.
Yum! I really love Mexican Foods. They are all delicious! I will keep this list of Authentic Mexican food in mind. Thanks for sharing!
You are most welcome chef, Dennis. So glad you enjoyed this article. Cheers.
I want those churros right now. Yum! Thanks for the awesome guide. Hope we get to explore Mexico City one day.
Those churros from El Moro are quite delicious. Indeed, I do hope you make it to Mexico City soon and try the dishes on this list. Thanks for stopping by.
Mexican foods are really the best to try for. I’m curious for Mexico’s tamales, they say it really taste good. I love tacos, I’m craving one right now.
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.
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.
So true, Theresa. Though I’m not sure a year is enough to try all the amazing Mexican dishes. With the history and flavors, it’s no wonder Mexican cuisine is recognized worldwide. Cheers.
Wow, I am so hungry now! Thanks for sharing all these great food options.
So glad you enjoyed the article, Sara.
Oh wow. This is such a detailed post on where to find the best authentic Mexican food! Looking at your photos and reading about the descriptions of the dishes made me want to go to Mexico asap!
Glad to hear this article whet your appetite for Mexican food. Indeed, the food is one of the best reasons to visit Mexico City. Thanks for stopping by.
Thank you for this! I am all about trying authentic foods when I travel. I do love Mexican food!