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Popular Mexican Foods: 50 Best Mexican Dishes to Try in Mexico

I might be biased since I live in Mexico, but I strongly believe Mexico has some of the best foods in the world. Here’s the ultimate Mexican food guide, from popular Mexican antojitos to traditional Mexican desserts.

Mexican food is one of the most vibrant and diverse foods in the world: from the world-renown tacos to traditional Mayan cochinita pibil meat cooked in an underground oven and the much-loved mole sauce. In Mexico, you can have amazing culinary experiences whether on the streets or in Michelin-starred restaurants.

To share my love for Mexican food with you, I have put together a detailed guide on Mexican cuisine. Join us as we uncover the secrets behind the best Mexican dishes, uncovering the essence of Mexico’s gastronomic soul. It’s going to be a mouth-watering journey you won’t soon forget! ¡Buen provecho!

Popular Mexican Foods

Table of Contents

Popular Mexican Foods 

The History of Mexican Cuisine

Mexico’s cuisine traces its roots back to ancient cultures, such as the Mayan civilization which built many of the ancient cities that still stand today, including Chichen Itza. Mexican food staples native to the land include corn, avocados, chili, agave, beans and tomatoes. To this day this practice of “milpa” – cultivating corn, beans, squashes, and other crops together on ancestral land – is at the core of Mexican cuisine.

After the Spanish Conquest of the Aztec empire, Spaniards introduced a number of other foods, the most important of which were meats from domesticated animals. Various cooking styles and recipes were also introduced from Spain both throughout the colonial period and by Spanish immigrants who continued to arrive following independence.

What Meals Do Mexicans Eat and When?

Mexican meal times are slightly different from what most of us are used to. Most people start their day with desayuno, a light snack to start their day. That’s often a hot drink such as coffee or hot chocolate and a piece of fruit or a piece of sweet bread. Between 9 am and noon, Mexicans will then have almuerzo, which is a larger Mexican breakfast like enchiladas or huevos rancheros. There are no strict food rules for breakfast in Mexico.

Comida, the main meal of the day in Mexico, is generally eaten between 2 and 4 pm. Some people also eat antojitos at this time. Mexican antoijitos are street food that you grab as you go. These yummy antojitos are found on every street stall in Mexico throughout the day.

The last meal of the day, cena, is usually enjoyed between 7 and 9 pm. (though there is some variation by region). For some, this meal can be simply tacos or quesadillas on the streets, or a nice meal in a restaurant. If they’re meeting friends at a bar, botanas are popular with beers and other drinks.

Popular Mexican Foods

Mexican Breakfast Dishes

When it comes to a Mexican culinary adventure, breakfast is not just a meal — it’s a celebration! You’ll soon realize that breakfast in Mexico is more than just a way to start your day; it’s a flavorful ritual that sets the tone for the deliciousness ahead. Here’s a list of the most popular Mexican breakfast dishes:

1. Chilaquiles

Imagine a party on your plate — crispy tortilla chips hugging a vibrant salsa of fiery red or lively green peppers. You can jazz up your chilaquiles with eggs, chicken, chorizo, or some sizzling grilled goodness.

Every local has their favorite spin; some add a bit of salsa, while others add more crunch. It’s like a flavor fiesta where each chef adds their secret touch so that you can savor a fresh adventure at every corner eatery!

Popular Mexican Foods - Chilaquiles

2. Huevos Rancheros

Introducing the ranch-style breakfast delight: a sizzling plate featuring golden-fried eggs atop slightly crisped tortillas, generously smothered in zesty salsa.

Complemented by a hearty side of smashed beans, it’s a flavor party that can also be savored with fluffy scrambled eggs. You cannot miss the chance to try them!

Popular Mexican Foods - Huevos Rancheros

3. Huevos Divorciados

Huevos divorciados or “divorced eggs” is like a twist on the classic ranch-style eggs but with a funky makeover. Imagine one egg cozying up with the zesty red sauce while its partner snuggles with the tangy green sauce.

And guess what? They’re not on speaking terms; there’s a wall of squashed beans and crunchy chips keeping them apart, like a tasty love story with a spicy twist!

Popular Mexican Foods - Huevos Divorciados

4. Molletes

If you’re craving something unique, go for the mouthwatering molletes. In essence, they are: two slices of bread loaded with crispy mashed beans and gooey melted cheese topped off with a vibrant salsa blend called “pico de gallo” featuring a mix of pepper, tomato, and onion bits.

You can also have molletes with savory delights like sausage, chorizo, or grilled chicken. Or satisfy your sweet tooth with buttery, sugary goodness like strawberry jam or velvety dulce de leche.

Popular Mexican Foods - Molletes

5. Guajolotas

What would you think if you’re in Mexico City, on the hunt for a tasty breakfast and you come across something called a “guajolota“? If you know a little bit of Spanish, you may expect a turkey, right? Wrong!

Brace yourself for a delightful surprise – it’s a scrumptious sandwich stuffed with a tamal. Fried or not, it’s a local fave that’ll have you craving more. Get ready to be hooked on these bad boys during your stay in Mexico City!

Popular Mexican Foods - Guajolotas

6. Pellizcadas

If you’ve got a hankering for some Mexican magic, you gotta try pellizcadas! They’re like a tasty mashup of a sope and a taco. Picture a plump, fried corn tortilla decked out with all sorts of flavorful fillings like zesty chicharrón en salsa verde, savory meats, veggies, gooey cheese, and spicy salsa.

The name “pellizcada” means a little pinch, so imagine a flavorful pinch of goodness piled on your crunchy base. While you can scout these bad boys in markets and eateries all over Mexico, the real deal’s in Veracruz.

Popular Mexican Foods - Pellizcadas

7. Huevos a la Mexicana

Mexican-style eggs are like a flavor party in your mouth! Picture scrambled eggs mingling with zesty tomatoes, onions, and a kick of pepper.

It’s a dish that screams Mexico, bursting with vibrant colors and delicious flair. Call it a fiesta on your plate!

Popular Mexican Foods - Huevos a la Mexicana

8. Tecolotes

A tecolote in Mexico is an owl, but in a Mexican restaurant, you can order a tecolote and you’ll get a dish that’s the fusion of molletes and chilaquiles.

It’s like a magical blend of toasty bread, flavorful beans, and cheesy goodness, all crowned with the delightful crunch of chilaquiles. No owls were harmed in the making of this mouthwatering masterpiece!

Popular Mexican Foods - Tecolotes

9. Conchas

We mentioned sweet bread before, so let’s give some spotlight to the star of the show: Conchas! These fluffy, round goodies are like sugary seashells in disguise. And guess what?

You can dunk ’em in anything from milky goodness to hot cocoa or even a bold cup of coffee. But here’s the kicker: ever tried pairing your concha with some hearty refried beans? Trust me, it’s an unexpected match made in taste bud heaven!

Popular Mexican Foods - Conchas

10. Entomatadas

Entomatadas are yummy tortillas getting cozy in a zesty tomato bath seasoned with love (and a pinch of salt, garlic, onion, oregano, and pepper). Now, here’s where the magic happens – you can stuff these beauties with anything from tender chicken, savory beef, and gooey cheese, to squishy beans.

But wait, there’s more! You’ve got its cousins too, like the cool enfrijoladas (beans steal the show here) and the elegant enmoladas (dressed in rich, chocolaty mole with a spicy kick). It’s a tasty family reunion of saucy sensations!

See also  25 Traditional Mexican Desserts and Sweets to Try
Popular Mexican Foods - Entomatadas

Traditional Mexican Antojitos

Now, let’s talk about antojitos, those delightful street food bites that make every foodie’s heart skip a beat. Whether you’re sinking your teeth into the savory goodness of a crispy tostada topped with zesty ceviche or relishing the heavenly delight of a piping hot quesadilla, Mexican antojitos are a carnival of flavors that will leave you craving for more. Here’s a list of our favorite Mexican antojitos:

11. Guacamole

Ever wondered why everyone’s crazy about guac? It’s the rockstar of dips! Mashed avocados, a dash of zesty lemon, and a party of diced onion, tomato, and green pepper make this green goodness pop.

Some folks in Mexico even go wild and throw in bits of watermelon, mango, or pineapple for an extra flavor blast. Not just a sidekick for chips, this versatile dude can jazz up your tacos, tostadas, and whatnot!

Popular Mexican Foods - Guacamole

12. Elote

Corn rocks the Mexican food scene beyond tortillas and tamales. Try an elote preparado: mayo, cheese, chili powder, and sour cream coat this street-corner superstar.

Or go for the esquite, where these flavors cozy up in a tasty corn broth. This treat has gone global, winning hearts worldwide. When you order, pick your heat: “spicy” or “not-so-spicy” chili powder. Get ready to spice up your life!

Popular Mexican Foods - Elote

13. Nachos

If you haven’t had nachos yet, you’re missing out! These crispy tortilla chips are topped with a dolop of squishy beans, melty cheese, and a pico de gallo salsa.

Some even bring along creamy guacamole and a spicy jalapeño kick. It’s a flavor party that’s just waiting for you to join!

Popular Mexican Foods - Nachos

14. Tlayudas

If pizzas had a cool Mexican cousin, it’d be the tlayudas. Think massive corn tortillas loaded with beans, cecina, chorizo, Oaxacan cheese, and other yummy stuff that’ll make your taste buds dance.

You can chow down on these bad boys anytime, not just for a snack; they’re perfect for lunch or dinner, and they’re so massive you’ll wanna share them. For the ultimate tlayuda experience, head to Oaxaca, where they grill these beauties on a flat, smooth griddle over some fiery charcoal. 

Popular Mexican Foods - Tlayudas

15. Enchiladas

Enchiladas, those yummy Mexican rolls, are not just for lunch or dinner, they rock the breakfast table too! This dish features tortillas snuggling up with chicken, turkey, cheese, or beef, all cozied up in a blanket of salsa.

And hey, if you spot some gooey grilled cheese on top, you’ve hit the jackpot – it’s the legendary Enchiladas Suizas, probably named after the Swiss cheese!

Popular Mexican Foods - Enchiladas

16. Sope

Imagine a magic trick where a humble corn tortilla turns into a tiny, edible plate. Then, voilà! Your beloved stew snuggles in. That’s what we call a “sope.”

These cuties come in all sorts of flavors, from cheesy bean goodness to salsa-drenched chicken or even savory chorizo. With sopes, it’s all about the bite-sized adventure. Don’t settle for one; go wild and savor as many as you want!

Popular Mexican Foods - Sope

17. Gordita

Gorditas are like plump tortillas packed with scrumptious fillings. You can cook them up crispy or give them a good sizzle on the grill. Top them off with your favorite stew, especially the lip-smacking chicharrón!

Gorditas Doña Tota is the big shot when it comes to these mouthwatering delights. Catch them strutting their stuff at the food courts in every other mall. But hey, don’t sleep on the local joints and markets, they’ve got some hidden gems too!

Popular Mexican Foods - Gordita

18. Tostada

A tostada is like a crispy, crunchy canvas with yummy stuff piled on top. Think toasted tortilla loaded with deliciousness!

You can go for the classic seafood like ceviche or get wild with beef, chicken, beans, and cheese. At some spots, tostadas steal the spotlight, rocking flavors from sweet caramelized shrimp to tangy aguachile.

Popular Mexican Foods - Tostada

19. Quesadilla

Now, most folks across the country say that a quesadilla without cheese is like the ocean without water. But hold up! In Mexico City, you gotta specifically ask for that gooey, cheesy goodness. No queso by default! These bad boys are simple yet oh-so-delicious, and you can gobble them up at any eatery!

Popular Mexican Foods - Quesadilla

20. Tacos

This is probably the best-known Mexican dish in the world. Forget the crunchy Tex-Mex stuff you’re used to, tacos in Mexico are warm, soft tortillas topped with delicious meats or other proteins. Here are some of the most popular kinds of tacos:

Tacos al Pastor

The go-to for central Mexico, featuring juicy pork and a zesty adobo dressing, often topped with a sweet slice of pineapple for that extra kick.

Popular Mexican Foods - Tacos

Tacos de Carnitas

Hailing from the “Bajío” region, these involve crispy fried pork, with different cuts offering varying flavors and textures.

Popular Mexican Foods - Tacos de Carnitas

Tacos de Sirloin

Up north in Sinaloa, Sonora, and Nuevo León, the preferred choice is succulent grilled beef, typically wrapped in flour tortillas for an extra satisfying bite.

Mexican Antojitos: 25 Mexican Street Food to Try

Tacos de Chorizo

Spice up your life with this flavorful, fiery pork sausage. Choose from the red, green, or black variety for a unique taste sensation. Delicious!

Popular Mexican Foods - Tacos de Chorizo

Mexican Soups and Stews

But wait, the journey doesn’t end there! Mexican soups and stews, the soul-warming delights that speak of comfort and tradition, are a must-try.

From the spicy and invigorating pozole to the rich and tantalizing flavors of menudo, each spoonful is a testament to the culinary heritage passed down through generations.

21. Pozole

Pozole is one of the reigning champions of the best Mexican dishes scene! Imagine sinking your spoon into a flavorful broth brimming with tender pork or chicken, hominy, and a medley of spices to make your taste buds dance.

Top it off with crunchy radishes, crisp lettuce, and a squeeze of fresh lime for the ultimate fiesta. Pozole is quite a festive dish.

Popular Mexican Foods - Pozole

22. Birria

Feeling the aftermath of a wild night out? Time for a magical Mexican remedy! You’ll feel much better after a warm, hearty bowl of birria, a lip-smacking stew born in the heart of Jalisco.

Birria is tender meat spiced to perfection, slow-cooked to melt-in-your-mouth goodness (the traditional hole-in-the-ground method adds some extra charm). Grab a corn tortilla, dive in, and let the flavors dance on your tongue. Voila! Hangover vanquished.

Popular Mexican Foods - Birria

23. Menudo 

How about a belly-warming bowl of menudo or pancita? This thick, spicy soup is perfect for chilly mornings, especially if you had one too many tequila shots last night.

It’s like a magical cure for that pesky hangover, giving you the pep you need to start the day right!

Popular Mexican Foods - Menudo 

24. Caldo de Pollo

Chicken soup is a love language in any country. A bubbling cauldron of comfort, a hug in a bowl – that’s Mexican Caldo de Pollo!

Bursting with tender chicken, vibrant veggies, and a sassy kick of spices, this soul-warming concoction is the ultimate amigo on chilly nights, promising to salsa your taste buds into a frenzy of delight.

Popular Mexican Foods - Caldo de Pollo

25. Sopa de Tortilla

Mexican sopa de tortilla is a rich, tomato-based broth filled with crispy tortilla strips, tender chicken, and a symphony of spices that make your taste buds enjoy a flavorful salsa!

But that’s not all – it’s topped with a sprinkle of cheese, a dollop of creamy avocado, and a squeeze of zesty lime. Each spoonful is like a mini Mexican vacation, with the crunch, the creaminess, and the zing all in one. 

Popular Mexican Foods - Sopa de Tortilla

Mexican Main Dishes

Now, let’s not overlook the glorious Mexican main courses that showcase the diversity of regional flavors. Whether it’s the rich and savory mole poblano, the succulent and juicy cochinita pibil, or the mouthwatering and versatile enchiladas, each dish carries a piece of Mexico’s rich culinary heritage.

26. Costillas de Puerco

These bad boys are succulent pork ribs slow-cooked to melt-in-your-mouth perfection, infused with a magical blend of secret spices that’ll make your taste buds dance a salsa.

Each bite is a tantalizing serenata of smoky, savory, and slightly sweet flavors, leaving you in a state of carnivorous bliss. Say adios to bland ribs, and hola to tantalizing textures and lip-smacking goodness!

27. Bistec a la Mexicana

This dish is a vibrant Mexican twist on a classic steak, sizzling with a melody of fresh tomatoes, fiery jalapeños, and a sprinkle of fragrant cilantro.

You’re going to have juicy beef slices drenched in colors and textures, teasing your taste buds with taste. It’s like a mini Mexican carnival on your plate, where every bite is a celebration of the bold and delightful essence of Mexico!

28. Carne Asada

Think juicy, marinated steak, bursting with a harmony of flavors: tangy lime, savory garlic, and a hint of smoky spice. Grilled to tender perfection, sending you on a savory escapade to the heart of Mexico.

Top it off with some fresh salsa and a squeeze of citrus, and you’ve got yourself a slice of culinary heaven. Having carne asada is typical of the northern states of Mexico like Sinaloa, Sonora, and Nuevo León.

29. Alambre

Alambre, a sizzling dish from Mexico, is a tantalizing mix of grilled meats (like beef, chicken, or pork), teamed up with colorful veggies, sizzled to perfection.

Think juicy strips of meat dancing with crispy bacon, onions, bell peppers, and melted cheese, all wrapped up in warm tortillas. It’s like a flavor explosion in your mouth, a savory secret handshake between your taste buds and the grill. A must-try for any food adventurer!

See also  25 Mexican Breakfast Dishes to Try

Credit: Wikimedia

30. Barbacoa

Barbacoa is like birria’s cousin, with a drier vibe. They’re both made in the same way, but barbacoa uses lamb meat for its jam.

Don’t forget the tasty broth that comes along with barbacoa tacos, it’s like the cherry on top. Folks from Hidalgo claim they’re the boss of barbacoa-making nationwide. Oh, and before you ask, barbacoa and barbecue? Not twins, not even distant cousins!

Popular Mexican Foods - Barbacoa

31. Cochinita Pibil

Tender, slow-roasted pork, marinated in a fiesta of achiote, citrusy juices, and an ensemble of secret spices. It’s like a savory love affair, leaving your taste buds dancing in joy. Wrapped in banana leaves, it’s slow-cooked to perfection, creating a symphony of tender meat with a subtle hint of smokiness.

Every bite is a trip to the heart of Yucatán, where food tells stories of ancient traditions and culinary secrets. Merida is one of the best places to eat authentic, flavorful cochinita pibil cooked in an underground oven.

32. Mole de Poblano

Mole Poblano is a luscious balance of cocoa, chilies, and a hint of cinnamon dancing in perfect harmony.

It’s like a rich, velvety chocolate sauce that decided to get spicy and invite all its zesty friends over for a taste bud tango. This saucy delight drapes over succulent chicken or turkey, transforming each bite into a flavor expedition. 

33. Molcajete

A molcajete is a bowl made of volcanic stone, and it’s traditionally used to make salsas or guacamole. If you order one in a restaurant, you’ll get this volcanic stone bowl brimming with a tantalizing blend of roasted tomatoes, fiery chilies, and fragrant herbs, all skillfully ground and mixed using the traditional molcajete.

This culinary marvel is then infused with succulent chunks of tender meat or fresh seafood, creating a harmony of flavors that dance on your taste buds. Topped with a sprinkle of queso fresco and a squeeze of lime, this dish is an enchanting celebration of Mexico’s rich culinary heritage.

34. Tamales

Tamales, the rockstars of Mexican grub! They’re like the OGs of food, dating back to ancient times. You gotta mush up some corn into a dough called “nixtamal” and then steam it up in corn leaves.

Fill them up with anything from juicy chicken to cheesy goodness, spicy pork, or even scrambled eggs! Oh, and heads up, in singular is not “tamale,” it’s a “tamal.” For the sweet tooth, there are fruity ones with strawberries, pineapples, or even chocolaty bliss!

Popular Mexican Foods - Tamales

35. Chiles en Nogada

Check out this awesome Mexican marvel! Like a national holiday, showing off the flag’s vibrant hues.

Imagine a stuffed pepper packed with savory picadillo, smothered in a creamy walnut sauce called nogada, and topped with juicy pomegranate seeds for that extra zing! It’s a flavor explosion and a feast for the eyes!

Popular Mexican Foods: 50 Best Mexican Dishes to Try in Mexico

Mexican Seafood Dishes

But wait, we’re not done yet! The coastal regions of Mexico boast an array of delectable seafood dishes that will transport you to the shores of the Riviera Maya.

From the refreshing ceviche to the spicy and tangy aguachile, and from the delectable camarones al mojo de ajo to the iconic fish tacos, the seafood offerings are a testament to the bountiful treasures of the Mexican coastline.

36. Aguachile

Mexican aguachile is a culinary enchantment, a seafood sensation crafted with fresh shrimp or fish, submerged in a vibrant pool of lime, chili, and cilantro.

It’s like a tropical splash on your palate, awakening your taste buds to a fiesta of tangy delight. The dish exudes a magnetic allure with its invigorating blend of spicy, sour, and savory notes, leaving you craving just one more bite.

Popular Mexican Foods - Aguachile

37. Pulpo a la Diabla

Pulpo a la diabla is a spicy sensation, a dish that’s like a wild salsa dance in your mouth, leaving your palate ignited with a delightful heat.

It’s a thrilling adventure for your senses, with the octopus taking center stage, embracing the fiery spices that make it a tantalizing, must-try dish.

Popular Mexican Foods - Pulpo a la Diabla

38. Camarones al ajillo

Plump, juicy shrimp in a zesty, garlicky sauce that’s a pure celebration of flavors. With each bite, your taste buds rejoice with the perfect blend of spicy and savory, leaving you craving more.

It’s like a flavor carnival where every shrimp is a spirited performer, ensuring your taste adventure is always caliente!

Popular Mexican Foods - Camarones al ajillo

39. Pescado Sarandeado

This culinary star is a grilled fish extravaganza, seasoned with a symphony of local spices, smoky mesquite, and a dash of citrus. It’s no ordinary fish tale; it’s a whole snapper, grilled to perfection, its tender flesh infused with the essence of the sea.

Topped with a zesty medley of fresh herbs, this dish is a beachside masterpiece that’ll make your tongue do the cha-cha.

Popular Mexican Foods - Pescado Sarandeado

40. Tacos Gobernador

These flavor-packed gems are filled with succulent shrimp or other seafood treasures and topped to perfection with onions, bell peppers, and a secret blend of spices.

They’re then tucked into warm tortillas, graced with creamy avocado slices, and crowned with a tangy salsa that’s practically a flavor symphony.

Mexican Desserts and Sweets

No culinary journey through Mexico is complete without indulging in traditional Mexican desserts. Treat your sweet tooth to the rich and velvety tres leches cake, the aromatic and flavorful arroz con leche, or the traditional flan that will leave you licking your spoon for every last bit.

41. Flan

Oh, let me tell you about this superstar dessert in Mexico! Flan is like a smooth, bouncy dream that melts in your mouth. Its sweet vibes play around with a hint of caramel’s sass.

Made with eggs, milk, and a dash of vanilla (some even go wild with brandy!), this magic is cooked with steam in a mold. Served chilled and smothered in caramel, you can even ask some joints to give it a coffee liquor or Irish cream makeover if you’re in the mood for some zing!

Popular Mexican Foods - Flan

42. Tres Leches

A sugary dream from the 1800s that’s still stealing hearts across Latin America. Enter the ‘pastel de tres leches or the ‘three-milk cake’! While it’s a delight in many places, the Mexican version reigns supreme, dripping in milky goodness and wearing a sweet white frosting crown.

This cake’s got a texture that’ll make you swoon and a flavor that’s just outta this galaxy! Psst… some versions even toss in peaches, strawberries, or a fruity surprise for that extra pow!

Popular Mexican Foods - Tres Leches

43. Dulce de Leche

A velvety Mexican delight that wraps your taste buds in a warm embrace. That’s dulce de leche, a rich blend of milk and sugar cooked to perfection.

Then there’s cajeta, its bolder cousin made with goat’s milk, hailing from the heart of Mexico in Celaya, Guanajuato. Drizzle these wonders on cakes or slather them on your morning toast for a flavorful kickstart. 

Popular Mexican Foods - Dulce de Leche

44. Churros

Churros are the European gift that keeps on giving in Mexico! Fried dough magic, coated in sugar and cinnamon, or even filled with jam, chocolate, custard, or cajeta.

Find churro wizards near churches in Mexico after mass. Pair with coffee for an enchanted morning treat!

Popular Mexican Foods - Churros

45. Pan de Muerto

The Day of the Dead is known for its vibrant vibes and quirky customs. And guess what adds flavor to this fiesta? Pan de muertos!

These delightful loaves of bread, baked with love in every Mexican bakery, flood the streets in October and November. They’re sweet, fragrant, and topped with a bone-chillingly delicious cross. You can’t miss ’em!

Popular Mexican Foods - Pan de Muerto

46. Paleta

In Mexico, when the sun’s blazing, everyone craves icy delights, and that’s where popsicles steal the show!

From fruity icicles to creamy concoctions, there’s a whole universe of flavors to explore. Speaking of cool spots, La Michoacana is the ultimate destination for both mouthwatering popsicles and lip-smacking drinks!

Popular Mexican Foods - Paleta

47. Jericallas

Meet the Jericallas, the delightful lovechild of flan and creme brulée with a spicy Mexican twist! Hatched in Guadalajara, these sweet treats are the city’s prized possession, though they bear a striking resemblance to Spain’s silky natilla.

Whisked with eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, and a dash of cinnamon, they’re baked to perfection in dainty molds. Hunt them down in any Guadalajara restaurant for a taste of Mexcellent magic!

Popular Mexican Foods - Jericallas

48. Alegrías

In Mexico, amaranth seeds have been a hit forever. For this sweet snack, they toast them, mix them with sugar, honey, and water, then squish them into a mold to dry.

Called alegrías, they’re like energy bars with nuts, fruits, or chocolate. Tasty and full of goodness!

Popular Mexican Foods - Alegrías

49. Pan de Elote

This delightful treat combines the wizardry of Spanish baking with the goodness of corn that Mexico is famous for.

You simply cannot imagine this sweet, buttery tastiness with a texture that’s simply out of this world! Every region in Mexico adds its twist to the recipe and look, so you’re in for a surprise no matter where you try it!

Popular Mexican Foods - Pan de Elote

50. Arroz con leche

This tasty treat is a star in Mexico, but it’s a hit across Latin America too! They cook up rice with milk, vanilla, and sugar until it’s all smooth and creamy.

You can gobble it up hot or cold, and don’t forget to sprinkle some cinnamon on top for that extra pizzazz!

Popular Mexican Foods - Arroz con leche

Mexican Drinks

Of course, what’s a Mexican feast without the perfect accompaniment of drinks? Raise your glass to the refreshing and zesty flavors of horchata, the invigorating kick of a classic café de olla, or the heartwarming sip of Mexican champurrado, each sip carrying Mexican hospitality and warmth.

See also  Mexican Antojitos: 25 Mexican Street Food to Try

1. Agua de Horchata

It’s a dreamy blend of rice, cinnamon, and a sprinkle of magic, all dancing in a pool of icy refreshment. It’s like sipping on a frosty hug from your excellent amigo, delivering a subtle sweetness that whispers secrets of ancient Aztec flavors.

In Mexico, you’ll find tasty beverages called aguas frescas (freshwater), which are drinks with fruit pulp and other concoctions, and agua de horchata is the star.

Popular Mexican Foods - Agua de Horchata

2. Agua de Jamaica

Agua de horchata may be Superman, but Agua de jamaica is Batman. It’s a vibrant ruby-colored elixir that’s as refreshing as a dip in an incredible cenote.

Mexican jamaica water is a delightful concoction made from dried hibiscus flowers, boasting a tangy-sweet flavor that tickles your taste buds. Served over ice, this drink is like a splash of rejuvenation on a scorching day, teasing your senses with its floral aroma and a hint of citrusy notes. 

Popular Mexican Foods - Agua de Jamaica

3. Atole

This ancient sip is crafted by simmering corn dough till it’s all thick and yummy, then jazzing it up with cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, and a hint of spice.

You can even toss in some fruity fun to get different flavors. Sweetened with brown sugar and perhaps a dash of milk. Atole and tamales are the dream team of morning munchies!

Popular Mexican Foods - Atole

4. Champurrado

Mexican champurrado is like a cozy, chocolaty hug in a cup! Imagine rich, velvety hot chocolate meeting a delicious atole.

This unique blend creates a thick, comforting drink that’s perfect for a chilly day. The result? A delightful, warm concoction that’s as comforting as your grandma’s hugs, minus the nostalgia. 

Popular Mexican Foods - Champurrado

5. Café de la Olla

Have you ever heard of this magical brew that’s made in a special clay pot? It’s jazzed up with brown sugar, cinnamon, and clove, and some folks even toss in a dash of cacao for extra pizzazz.

If you’re crazy about coffee, this café de la olla is bound to rock your world. It’s got that sweet and spicy kick, and its fragrance will give your senses a serious wake-up call!

Popular Mexican Foods - Café de la Olla

Where to Eat in Mexico

Best Restaurants in Mexico City

Check out these culinary hotspots that bring the sizzle of Mexico to your plate. Get ready to embark on a taste adventure through the heart of CDMX.

1. La Poblanita

If you’re craving Puebla’s culinary magic, La Poblanita is your go-to spot. Mole, red or green, is the star here, but don’t miss out on their other mouthwatering classics like chalupas and sizzling meats. Spice up your day! Read reviews here.

2. Los Picositos

Craving the flavors of southern Mexico? Los Picositos is the answer! Indulge in their specialty, the tantalizing cochinita pibil, and let the flavors transport you to the vibrant peninsula. Read reviews here.

3. El Penacho de Moctezuma

El Penacho de Moctezuma is a must-visit for a true taste of Mexico. Indulge in classic dishes and succulent cuts of meat that will leave you craving more. Read reviews here.

4. El Compita

Bringing Tijuana’s zest to CDMX, El Compita is your go-to birriería. Dive into their mouthwatering birria, tacos, and quesabirrias, and let the flavors take you on a savory journey.

5. Con Vista al Mar

For a taste of the Pacific, Con Vista al Mar serves up delightful seafood dishes and tantalizing tacos inspired by various Mexican regions. Enjoy the tropical vibes and don’t miss their tantalizing Tostitos with pez sierra ceviche! Read reviews here.

Popular Mexican Foods - Best Restaurants in Mexico City

Best Restaurants in Guadalajara

Guadalajara has many traditional restaurants, and here’s a list of the best you may find when you visit.

1. La Tequila

A place where our local goodies are hailed as heroes! They whip up dishes with a twist that never fails to amaze. The ambiance is just as delightful, paying attention to even the tiniest of details. Read reviews here.

2. Rio Viejo

Bringing the flavors of Mexico from every nook and cranny to your table in a way that’s simply unique. Feel like you’re at a hacienda in one of the city’s hotspots, and let their scrumptious specialties pamper your taste buds. Read reviews here.

3. Quelite

Mexico’s flavors unravel in every bite here. They honor each family recipe and ingredient, weaving stories and memories into every dish they serve. Read reviews here.

4. Xokol

This restaurant celebrates and honors corn as an ingredient in Mexican food. It makes a homage to prehispanic flavors without losing its modern essence. Read reviews here.

5. Bravo Cocina y Agave

Bravo is the master of reinventing classics. Their cocktails and spirits are a must-try to top off your dining adventure! Read reviews here.

6. La Madalena

This upscale restaurant offers one of the most unique dining experiences in Mexico. The visually stunning digital art displayed on the ceiling truly adds an extra dimension to the whole setting. Book your table here.

Popular Mexican Foods - Best Restaurants in Guadalajara

Best Restaurants in Cancun

Experience the mouthwatering magic of the top five Mexican food havens in Cancun:

1. Cüa Cancún

Picture-perfect Mexican flavors meet the stunning Caribbean view at Cüa, the numero uno among Cancun’s finest. It’s nestled snugly at the Oasis Hotel, Boulevard Kukulcán, kilometer 17. Read reviews here.

2. The White Box

Step into the Grand Oasis Cancun’s culinary haven, The White Box. Their fusion of Mexican and global cuisine is a love story for your taste buds. Don’t miss the seafood-stuffed avocado and their irresistible desserts. Read reviews here.

3. Maki Taco

Prepare for a flavor fusion at Maki Taco, where Mexican and Japanese cuisines unite in tantalizing harmony. Savor their unique blend of sushi and teppanyaki with a Mexican twist. Find it at the Oasis Hotel in the Hotel Zone. Read reviews here.

4. El Granero Grill Steak & Lobster House

Satisfy your carnivorous cravings at El Granero Grill, where Mexico’s flair meets juicy steaks and lobster delights. From grasshopper guacamole to mouthwatering porterhouse, there’s something for everyone here. Read reviews here.

Popular Mexican Foods - Best Restaurants in Cancun

Best Restaurants in Oaxaca 

Hey, let’s talk Oaxaca! It’s always a good idea, no matter the season. The food scene there is simply mind-blowing. Lately, a surge of passion and creativity has birthed some seriously cool spots you’ve gotta check out.

1. Tlayudas Libres Doña Martha

One of the best things to do in Oaxaca is eating street food. This streetside stand on Calle de los Libres has a loyal following. Their tlayudas sizzle with pork lard and drip with the perfect combination of melted Oaxacan cheese and grilled meat. They’re open early, it’s a great spot for a traditional Mexican breakfastFind its location here.

2. Itanoní Flor del Maiz

One of the best places in Oaxaca for a rustic and genuine culinary experience. The setup is humble with women cooking over the comal (flat metal pan), and serving up memelas made with heirloom-corn tortillas, rich pozole and a three-chile mole. Read reviews.

3. Los Danzantes

With locations in Oaxaca City and nearby San Agustin Etla, Los Danzantes is a popular restaurant and mezcal distillery that serves contemporary Mexican dishes with unique Oaxacan flavors. Its gorgeous setting right next to Templo de Santo Domingo makes it a hot favorite. Book your table here.

4. Ancestral Cocina Tradicional 

This restaurant in Xochimilco serves reinvented Oaxacan dishes, prepared with locally grown produce and ingredients in a beautiful setting. In 2021 and again in 2022, the restaurant was recognized by the the Mexico Gastronomic Guide of Culinary Mexicana as one of the 250 top and best restaurants in Mexico. Book our table.

5. Las Quince Letras

Las Quince Letras is one of our favorite places to eat at in Oaxaca for the traditional menu and surprisingly good prices. The proudly Oaxacan restaurant is famous for its seven moles. You can even try 2/3 moles at once with their duo/triologia de moles.

What Are Your Favorite Mexican Foods?

Thank you for reading this far! I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the most popular Mexican foods.

Which of these Mexican dishes are your favorite? Which ones have you already tried, and what are your thoughts on them? Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below. I’ll be more than happy to answer them!

For those planning to travel more in Mexico, check out some of these articles:

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links i.e. if you book a stay through one of my links, I get a small commission at NO EXTRA COST to you. Thank you for your support!

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Popular Mexican Foods

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