In Mexico City we are lucky to have international award-winning chefs such as Enrique Olvera, chef of Pujol and Jorge Vallejo, chef of Quintonil. Thanks to their work we can proudly find the name of our city positioned in top lists featuring the best restaurants of the world. Nevertheless, we locals know better and belive that the best Mexican food cannot be found in high cuisine restaurants.
The gastronomic offer in the city is vast, and so is the amount of dishes you will find here. We “chilangos”, Mexico City’s inhabitants, do not settle for the simple, our favorite dishes are deep fried, with extra cheese, extra sauce and extra sour cream. Moreover, we use our hands, no need for silverware, and we appreciate and enjoy standing on the street having a mouthful of delicious food from a stall. Food tastes so much better!
So, if you are visiting Mexico City, you are making plans to visit it, or you are just curious about some of the most bizarre foods that we eat locally, then read on…
1.Fried Torta de Tamal
There’s nothing better than deep fried corn dough filled with chicken or meat, to start the day with lots of energy! This street food oddity is the typical breakfast for thousands of chilangos that want to grab something quick, cheap and high in calories.
If this fried tamal is not enough, you can always ask for a “torta” (a sandwich version), corn dough inside more dough, that is, bread stuffed with a whole tamal. We call this Mexican invention “torta de tamal”. To complete your breakfast, ask for an “atole”, a hot, corn-based beverage. There are many flavors but chocolate and rice are the most traditional.
Holy Bomb of Carbs!!
2. Tacos de Sesos aka Beef Brain Tacos
Tacos are probably the best-known Mexican food around the world. The most common ones to find are: tacos al pastor (pork or beef), bistec (beef) and carnitas (pork), but of course, in Mexico City there’s a huge variety. Since nothing goes to waste in this country, tacos are filled with any imaginable part of the beef, including edible offals. In this, way, for us Mexicans, it is kind of normal to eat beef tongue tacos, cow intestines (not tripe), beef eyeballs and of course beef brain tacos as well.
Don’t judge before you’ve tried them 😉
It is said that the origin of this drink came from San Luis Potosí, Michel Ésper started to prepare his beer as a beer lemonade, with salt and lime, so the drink was named in his honor “Michelada”. Nowadays this simple recipe has gone through different transformations and is now out of control! There are lots of combinations: Michelada Cubana, prepared with lime and different types of sauces, Gomichela with a sweet sauce called “chamoy” and gummy candies, Michelada Camarón with tomato sauce and shrimps. Furthermore, you can add peanuts, cucumber, sour candies and fruits to it.
Imagination is the limit!
4. Chicharrón con Cueritos
Imagine that you’re having a walk in any of Mexico City’s parks, be it, for example, Coyoacan. Then you suddenly get a bit hungry, you want to eat something not too big but not too small either. Let’s say a snack. A fruit? Nah, too healthy. Maybe a taco? Too meaty… Then, it’s the perfect moment for a “chicharron preparado”, a large, rectangular, deep-fried snack that is made from flour, not pork skin. It is topped with sour cream, cotija cheese, avocado, diced or sliced tomatoes, cueritos (pickled pork rind slices) and hot sauce.
It is impossible not to fall in love with its texture, so soft and crunchy at the same time <3 *mouthwatering*
5. Chicken Feet and Esquites.
“Esquites” are tender grains of corn that are first boiled in salted water with a herb called epazote. Then they are sauteed in butter with chopped onions and pepper but that’s not all, once they are ready, esquites are served in small cups and topped with mayonnaise, cheese and chili powder. A culinary marvel! In some esquite stands, cooked chicken feet are added. Even though these are banned for human consumption in the European Union, they are still somehow popular in Mexico.
Note: If you’ve never tried chicken feet before, you have to know that you’ll end up with sticky and smelly fingers. But it’s worth it.