If a trip to Mexico is in your plans this year, then you’re in for a treat as not only will you get to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city, but you’re also right where some of the most mouth-watering foods and drinks in the world exist. The country’s tourism industry is booming nowadays as Mexico welcomed a record 35 million international travelers in 2016. While some people are there to experience the culture and visit the picturesque beaches, others head to the country to sample the local cuisine and get their fill of traditional Mexican food. While you can certainly get scrumptious street-style tacos in and around Seattle, there’s still something about traveling and eating like a local, so pack your bags and check out where and what to eat in Mexico.
Tacos al pastor
If you’re eating Mexican food for the first time, then you have got to try tacos al pastor, a dish that has been around over a hundred years. It’s a favorite among locals as the combination of seasoned pork, slivers of pineapple, spices, and a bit of salsa in a corn tortilla create an unforgettable explosion of flavors that will delight even the pickiest eater. The dish is said to have been inspired by shawarma, which is a traditional Lebanese treat. As Lebanese immigrants moved to Mexico in the early 1900s, they brought their one-of-a-kind technique of spit-roasted meat with them, and people now get to enjoy this wonderful dish as a snack or a whole meal. You can find some of the best tacos al pastor in El Tizoncito, a restaurant chain in La Condesa, Mexico City.
Chiles en nogada
Chiles en nogada represents the three colors of the Mexican flag and is said to be the country’s most patriotic dish. To make this dish, green poblano chilies are filled with chopped meat, spices, and fruit, and it is served with a white walnut-based cream sauce. The dish is said to have been invented in the 1800s, and Augustinian nuns were the first ones to prepare it to celebrate the feast day of Saint Augustine of Hippo. Some of the best chiles en nogada can be found in Puebla, where the dish originated.
If you’re looking for authentic street food, you can’t go wrong with tlacoyos, blue corn masa filled with fresh Mexican cheese like queso fresco, mashed fava beans, or braised pork belly. The masa is cooked on an open griddle called a comal, and after they turn crisp, the cakes are topped with more cheese and salsa. You can find tlacoyos everywhere, but Colonia San Rafael boasts some of the most popular tlacoyos in Mexico City.
This traditional dish is a popular choice among locals for breakfast as it is nourishing and can be eaten while on the go. Corn dough is stuffed with either a savory (meats and cheeses) or sweet (fruits and vegetables) filling before being wrapped in corn husks and steamed. You can find the best tamales in restaurants and cafes all over Mexico City, and you can get tamales filled with anything from fresh strawberries to beans, chicken, and cream cheese.
This year, give your taste buds a treat by checking out the best and most authentic Mexican food and the places where you can find them. Head to Mexico and experience true Mexican cuisine at its finest.