Best Food in Mexico | Top 5 Food Cities (2023)

Mexico is one massive pulsating heart of foodie love! You can feel it everywhere you go. This country has an incredible lineup of culinary hits. You can find endless amazing food everywhere, but the following cities are not to be missed if you are looking for the best food in Mexico.

Best Food in Mexico | Top 5 Food Cities (1)

1. Oaxaca

Oaxaca should be on everyhungry traveller’s hit list. If you are looking for the best food in Mexico, this city is a must! Oaxaca is the capital of Oaxaca state and is one of Mexico’s most enjoyable colonial cities, with a very welcoming buzz.

During the day, people chill out at sidewalk cafes sipping fresh coffee or gather around the plazas listening to street musicians. There are several food markets close to the city centre with comedors (small kitchens) serving up homemade Oaxacan dishes at super affordable prices.

Also located in the market “20 de Noviembre“, there is a section called the ‘Carnes Asadas’ aisle. Do not miss this!

It’s where you purchase an amount of fresh thinly cut meats and chorizos and the lady cooks it directly on the BBQ grill in front of you.

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Best Food in Mexico – Oaxaca Market

Ask for a bunch of fresh onions, vegetables and chills from the guy directly across, give her the vegetables and she also barbeques them for you. Take a seat at the tables, order some drinks and wait to be served your basket full of your barbequed meat and veg, a bowl of guacamole, salsas and a small stack of fresh tortillas. Bliss! The best food in Mexico is always local and fresh.

Between the two of us, we ate about 600g of meats with some veg, guacamole and tortillas for under $10.

If you prefer to eat right in the centre square, there are endless food stalls here that light up their huge round hotplates and stir their pots of salsas and moles, in preparation for the busy evening rush.

(Video) 6 of the Best Street Food Finds in Mexico City

Oaxaca has a fantastic restaurant scene in the centre of the city too. This state is known for the best food in all of Mexico, although the seven different kinds of mole are what people rave mostly about. I can see why as the depth of flavour in this dish is insane.

We loved it here and had some of our best food in Mexico in Oaxaca so we wrote a separate post: The Best Foods to try in Oaxaca.

TIP: Join this food tour of Oaxaca– It takes you to eat some of the best food that Oaxaca has to offer.

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Empanada filled with Amarillo mole, shredded chicken and Oaxacan cheese – Best Food Cities Mexico is all about Oaxaca!

2. Mexico City

Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world. It’s no surprise that it’s filled with endless street vendors and small eateries that are clever at creating satisfying and delicious snacks. Our favourite street snacks here were tacos al pastor, a must-try and definitely part of the best food in Mexico.

Pork is marinated in a combination of dried chiles, spices and pineapple and grilled in a coal-fired rotisserie. Once sliced, meat is served on tacos with freshly diced onion and coriander with salsas and lime to taste.

There are many fantastic restaurants in downtown Mexico City, as well as more in the nearby neighbourhoods of Condesa, Roma & Zona Rosa.

Alternatively, let a local show you around this awesome city whilst introducing you to the best street eats available.

We highly recommend booking yourself a space on this awesome Historic Centre Food Tour of Mexico City.

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Tacos al pastor in Mexico City

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3. San Cristobal

This gorgeous colonial city, set in a highland valley has the perfect mix of traditional restaurants, outdoor food markets and trendy cafes, easily another food heaven for having the best food in Mexico.

Fortunately for caffeine lovers, coffee beans are locally grown in the area, and the coffee is delicious. We picked up a bag of freshly ground coffee to use in our portable espresso maker,easily our favourite travel accessory.

Read more aboutthe best range of day tours of San Cristobal and surrounding areas.

San Cristobal is in the middleof one of the most indigenous areas in Mexico. You can feel a unique ambience walking along the cobble-stoned streets as traditionally dressed women and girls sell beautiful hand-sewn blouses and handicrafts and homemade sweets of every kind are available everywhere.

We ate very well here from the outdoor markets. A favourite of ourswas“molotes”; chorizo and herbed pieces of potato are tucked into a circle of thin corn dough before all is sealed and fried in oil until crisp. It is then covered with your choice of frijoles or guacamole and topped with salad. After the first bite, we knew they will be on our best food in Mexico list.

Our favourite restaurant was a small, simple and always busy place calledEl Caldero. They have a menu of approximately 10 different Mexican kinds of soup, all served in huge bowls, accompanied by tortillas and salsas.

Choose from the classic pozole or go for something a little richer, such as the birria, slow-cooked goat in a deliciously flavoured red soup. (I ordered this soup and it was one of my fave meals from Mexico in 3 months)

At a cost of around 75 pesos ($6), it was a clear winner! The best food in Mexico is almost always very affordable.

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In search for the best food in Mexico – Birria Soup in San Cristobal

4. Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is fast becoming a big contender in offering delicious Mexican cuisine. Conveniently located on the coast, the availability of fresh seafood is worked in to create some fantastic dishes.

Puerto Vallarta offers everything from reliable local restaurants dishing out incredible signature dishes, to the table-clothed, candle-lit fancy tables serving 5-star service on the beach. In a way, best food in Mexico for any budget.

The real food heroes I found were the many taco stands dotted around the Old Town, located between 4-7 blocks back from the beach. It’s not hard to work which vendors sell the tastiest fare.You can see the gathering of locals night after night munching on tacos with a number of fillings that we returned for on a nightly basis.

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If you want to learn more about Mexican Food and culture, why not join a Mexican Cooking Class or this popular Local NeighbourhoodFood Tourof Puerto Vallarta. They know a thing or two about the best food in Mexico.

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Street Vendors in PV. Best Food Cities Mexico, of course Puerto Vallarta is on our list!

5. Puebla

Puebla is known for having high quality and rich food. A must-try speciality here is called “Chile en nogada”. Ground meat is seasoned and combined with raisins, pine nuts and local fruit before being stuffed into roasted poblano chiles. These stuffed chiles are then dipped in batter and fried before being topped off with a creamy sauce made partially of walnuts and then topped with pomegranates. Delicious! Another addition to our list of the best food in Mexico.

Another favourite in Puebla for us were thetaco árabe, or “Arab-style taco”. Sliced, spit-roasted pork is served on slightly charred middle-eastern style flatbread tacos that have been on the grill very briefly with all that delicious marinade to add flavour.

You then can add salt, lime juice, and salsa to taste.

Find these very delicious and very affordable tacos here at ‘Las Ranas’ Taqueria in Puebla.

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Pozole soup

In the past three months of eating my way through Mexico looking for the best food in Mexico. I feel as though I have only scratched the surface ofthe variety of food here. Remembering all the wonderful food I have devoured during that time, and the extra few kilogrammes I have gained, there is not a minute that I regret a mouthful of this incredible cuisine.

The best food in Mexico can be found in other cities that we have visited. Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Sayulita, Mendoza and many more. But this list of five cities should give you a nice start and introduction to the amazing cuisine of Mexico.

Happy Eating! Let us know where you had the best food in Mexico in the comments below!

(Video) HUGE Street Food TOUR in Mexico City! DEEP ADVENTURE into the BEST Street Food in Mexico!

Ensure you’re covered with the best travel insurance policy when travelling in Mexico. We use and recommend World Nomads Travel Insurance.

FAQs

What is Mexico's number 1 food? ›

Tacos. Recognized as the most popular Mexican dish worldwide, the taco has become an art. Some say is the “art of eating with tortilla” and, of course, Mexicans would never deny a taco to anybody.

Which state in Mexico has the best food? ›

The City of Oaxaca is the capital of Oaxaca state, nicknamed 'the land of the seven moles'. The state of Oaxaca is famous for having the best food in Mexico.

What are the 3 most popular restaurants in Mexico? ›

The best restaurants in Mexico offer a variety of traditional dishes and innovative new foods from states across the country.
...
Best restaurants in Mexico
  1. Le Chique. Cancun. ...
  2. Jardin Nebulosa. San Sebastian del Oeste. ...
  3. La Tienda Grande. Puerto Vallarta. ...
  4. Bruna. ...
  5. Tencüi. ...
  6. MEZ. ...
  7. Expendio de Maiz Sin Nombre. ...
  8. Jazamango.
11 Aug 2022

What are the 7 main regions of Mexican food? ›

Spice Up Your Life: Discover Mexico's 7 Culinary Regions
  • Yucatan: Cochinita Pibil. ...
  • Oaxaca: Tlayuda. ...
  • Baja California: Taco de Pescado. ...
  • Puebla: Mole Poblano. ...
  • Northern Mexico: Burrito. ...
  • Veracruz: Huachinango a la Veracruzana. ...
  • Western Mexico: Birria.

What are top 3 products Mexico is famous for? ›

Mexico produces a bounty of iconic and amazing products that come from its rich land and from its talented artisans that are steeped in tradition and ancestral methods. Among the most recognized around the world items we know and love are cocoa, tequila, Talavera pottery and, the ever important, coffee.

Where is best food in Mexico? ›

Top 8 Foodie Destinations in Mexico You Must Visit
  • Monterrey.
  • San Miguel de Allende.
  • Puebla.
  • Valle de Guadalupe.
  • Puerto Vallarta.
  • Merida.
  • Oaxaca City.
  • Mexico City.

What city in Mexico has the best street food? ›

If you're not eating street food in Mexico City, you're not doing it right. The city is famous for its street food, and not just because there's a lot of it, but because it's that amazing.

Which state in Mexico is the richest? ›

List of Mexican states by GDP per capita
Mexican States by GDP (PPP) per capita - 2018
RankStatePPP per capita (MXN)
1Campeche613,639
2Mexico City437,405
3Nuevo León338,655
30 more rows

What resorts in Mexico have the best food? ›

Resorts in Mexico with best food :
  • Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort.
  • 2. is Beloved Playa Mujeres.
  • Grand Velas Rivera Maya Resort & Spa.
  • El Dorado Maroma.
  • Le Blanc.
3 Sept 2021

What food is Mexico City famous for? ›

Mexico City is best known for its variety of street foods like tacos, tortas, pambazo, and tlacoyos. Mexico City also has many well-known traditional sweets including churros with hot chocolate and sweet bread. There are endless opportunities to find these foods within Mexico City.

What is the number 1 most popular restaurant? ›

McDonald's

What are the 4 meals in Mexico? ›

Breakfast is desayuno, your 'proper', heartier breakfast/ brunch is more of an almuerzo, whereas lunch is comida (hence the abundance of comida corrida places that only serve food from around 1 p.m.-4 p.m.) and dinner is cena.

What are 3 main Mexican cultures? ›

Mexicans make several cultural subdivisions within the nation. The most common one identifies northern, central, and south or south-eastern Mexico. The extensive and desertlike north was only sparsely populated until the middle of the twentieth century, except for some important cities such as Monterrey.

What is Mexico's most famous dish? ›

Tacos. It's the most popular Mexican dish globally. Usually served with fillings like steak, chorizo, offal, etc.

What 3 food items are originally from Mexico? ›

6 Surprising Foods that Mexico Introduced to the World
  • Corn. Corn is a versatile ingredient used in many foods, from ketchup and popcorn, to breakfast cereals and sweeteners. ...
  • Cacao. Mexico is also the birthplace of a very popular food - chocolate! ...
  • Vanilla. ...
  • Pumpkin. ...
  • Avocado. ...
  • Chili Pepper.

What does Mexico sell the most? ›

Mexico's main exports are manufactured products (89 percent of total shipments) and oil and oil products (6 percent). Among manufactured products, metallic, machinery and equipment is the major category (69 percent) and automobiles account for around 31 percent of total sales.

What toothpaste is made in Mexico? ›

Toothpaste is manufactured worldwide, but Mexico is home to production facilities owned by the household names Crest and Colgate. Although some manufacturing is kept stateside, specific products, like Colgate Cavity Prevention, are produced in Mexico.

Why Mexico has the best food? ›

Mexican food is popular because it's full of flavor. The Mexican dishes include healthy and fresh ingredients like avocados, beans, chiles, tomatoes and other vegetables, and different types of meat like beef, chicken, pork, and fish even rabbit, lamb, among others used in tacos, tamales or soups.

Why is food in Mexico so good? ›

Mexico is a highly fertile place with lots of good soil. This makes this easy for people to harvest delicious items. Commonly seen ingredients in Mexican food include vegetables of fine quality such as tomatoes, avocados, corn, and squash. Many Mexican dishes are based on the use of healthy ingredients like these.

Why is Oaxaca famous for food? ›

Oaxaca culinary fame is derived in great part from its seven varieties of moles. You'll find moles served on top of chicken, meat or enchiladas, as well as tucked inside empanadas and tamales. But not every mole is one that you'd eat every day.

What is Mexico National food? ›

Mole poblano has its origin story in the 17th century and is considered to be the national dish of Mexico - a point of pride. "It's very traditional. It's good to eat on Cinco de Mayo, everyone makes it.

What part of Mexico has the best seafood? ›

In Mexico and abroad, the seafood-centric cuisines of Nayarit, Sinaloa, and Baja California are the standard-bearers of mariscos mexicanos, a reputation based on an abundance of fine seafood products, an esteemed ceviche technique, and an expansive canon of tantalizing fish dishes.

Which city has the best street food? ›

Delhi. The capital city is rich with delightful dishes hawked in the bustling streets of Old Delhi. Immensely popular for its crispy paranthas, flavoursome golgappas, juicy jalebis, and melt-in-mouth kebabs, Delhi is the food lover's paradise.

Which city is famous for food? ›

Kolkata. If you have to name the city which is well-known as the street food capital of India, it has to be Kolkata. It is a gastronomically rich city that is a heaven for the foodies.

What cities are famous for food? ›

Best Foodie Cities in the U.S.
  • San Francisco.
  • New Orleans.
  • Chicago.
  • New York City.
  • Los Angeles.
  • Napa Valley.
  • Charleston, SC.
  • Seattle.

Which country has no 1 food in the world? ›

1. China. Chinese cuisine takes its flavor and variety of dishes from the country's deep-rooted history. Each region in the country has its own unique flavors.

Where do millionaires live in Mexico? ›

Polanco is a neighborhood in the Miguel Hidalgo borough of Mexico City. Polanco is an affluent colonia, noted for its luxury shopping along Presidente Masaryk Avenue, the most expensive street in Mexico, as well as for the numerous prominent cultural institutions located within the neighborhood.

What city in Mexico is the safest? ›

Seven of the safest cities in Mexico
  1. Merida. Widely acknowledged as the safest city in Mexico (and even Latin America), your biggest safety concern in Mérida will probably be the busy traffic. ...
  2. Playa del Carmen. ...
  3. Mexico City. ...
  4. Puerto Vallarta. ...
  5. San Miguel de Allende. ...
  6. Sayulita. ...
  7. Huatulco.
15 Sept 2022

What are the 3 poorest states in Mexico? ›

Mexican states
RankStatePoverty Rate (2010)
1Chiapas78.5%
2Guerrero67.6%
3Puebla61.5%
4Oaxaca67.0%
29 more rows

What part of Mexico is best to stay? ›

11 Best Places to Vacation in Mexico
  • Playa Del Carmen. Credit: posztos/shutterstock.com. ...
  • Mexico City. Aztec display in the zocalo in Mexico City. ...
  • Tulum. Tulum, Mexico. ...
  • Puerto Vallarta. Credit: karamysh/Shutterstock.com. ...
  • Cabo San Lucas. Credit: Bigstock.com. ...
  • San Miguel de Allende. Credit: jiuguangw via Flickr. ...
  • Zihuatanejo. ...
  • Cancun.

What is the most popular food in Mexico 2022? ›

Tacos. The most popular food in Mexico is on the list because of the near-endless amount of fillings that you will find and the different forms that a taco can come in.

Is Mexico City a foodie destination? ›

The street food is awesome, especially the tacos, but don't let it overshadow the gourmet restaurant scene. Mexico City has amazingly talented chefs who explore modern renditions of traditional foods, blend Mexican ingredients into other cuisines, and craft delicious tasting menus and omakase dinners.

Is street food good in Mexico City? ›

Mexico City street food includes some of the most popular foods in Mexico, and food stalls can have some of the best food in Mexico City. You just need to know what to order and trust that sometimes the best places to eat in Mexico City are literally on its streets.

What is Mexico Favourite food? ›

Popular Mexican Foods To Try in Mexico or At Home
  • Chiles en nogada.
  • Frijoles Charros (Bean Stew)
  • Mexican Rice.
  • Quesadillas.
  • Huevos Rancheros (Ranch Eggs)
  • Menudo (Tripe Soup)
  • Tamales.
  • Chilli Con Carne (Chilli With Beef)
21 Feb 2022

What is the #1 fast food? ›

McDonald's

What is America's #1 favorite food? ›

The Number 1 Most Popular Foods in America are Hamburgers!

What is the number 1 most eaten food in the world? ›

Rice is a food staple for more than 3.5 billion people around the world, particularly in Asia, Latin America, and parts of Africa.

Is Mexican food healthy? ›

There's no denying that Mexican food is delicious. But many of the entrees are made with oil, lard, and salt -- and loaded with cheese and sour cream. You can get more than a day's worth of calories, saturated fat, or sodium in a single meal.

What time is dinner in Mexico? ›

The last meal of the day, la cena (pronounced “se-na”), is usually enjoyed between 7 and 9 p.m. (though there is some variation by region). For some, this meal is simply a hot drink with some bread and for others, it is a nice meal in a restaurant or a taco.

What do Mexican eat daily? ›

Mexicans drink lots of milk, like salty foods more than sweet foods, eat an average of 6 tortillas every day, and have a traditional domestic diet: soup, rice, and stew, without leaving out salsa and beans…

What are the main foods in Mexico? ›

Cuisine of Mexico by Region

The three staples in the cuisine of Mexico are dishes of corn, beans and chillies (hot peppers), all present before the Spanish arrived. Corn is consumed in all possible forms, but most importantly as a tortilla (a thin, round pancake made from corn dough).

What foods are common in Mexico? ›

7 Delicious Foods to Eat While You're in Mexico
  • Tacos al pastor. This popular taco dish is a far cry from the tacos you might have tried anywhere else. ...
  • Chilaquiles. Breakfast in Mexico is a big deal, usually the largest meal of the day. ...
  • Chiles en nogada. This dish is as patriotic as it is tasty. ...
  • Enchiladas. ...
  • Tamales. ...
  • Elote.

Why is Mexican food so popular? ›

Mexican food is popular because it's full of flavor. The Mexican dishes include healthy and fresh ingredients like avocados, beans, chiles, tomatoes and other vegetables, and different types of meat like beef, chicken, pork, and fish even rabbit, lamb, among others used in tacos, tamales or soups.

What time is dinner in Mexico City? ›

An average household would usually have 3 big meals a day, desayuno, comida y cena; breakfast being the heartiest one, takes place first thing in the morning, anytime between 7 -10 am. After that comes lunch, also quite heavy, anywhere from 2 to 5pm and dinner is commonly served around 7pm.

Is all Mexican food spicy? ›

Although you may think of chillies and spice when you think of Mexican food, not all Mexican food is spicy. With lots of fresh ingredients, it can also be easily customised, the spice reduced, removed or substituted making it a great option for feeding the family.

What is taco in English? ›

noun. ta·​co ˈtäk-ō plural tacos -ōz. : a usually fried tortilla that is folded or rolled and stuffed with a mixture (as of seasoned meat, cheese, and lettuce)

What food is rarely eaten in Mexico? ›

7 "Mexican" Dishes No One Eats in Mexico
  • Nachos.
  • Burrito Bowls & Taco Salads.
  • Fajitas.
  • Chili Con Carne.
  • Burritos.
  • Queso.
  • Chimichangas.

Did Mexico invent tacos? ›

Tacos are thought to come from Mexico, long before the Spanish arrived. Ancient Mexicans used freshly made, soft, flat corn tortillas and gave them with fillings like fish and cooked organs. It was a staple meal that provided vital nutrients and energy to those who consumed it.

Why is Mexican food so spicy? ›

Mexican food gets spicy with the addition of chilli pepper. The chilli pepper plant produces a chemical called capsaicin. This ingredient produces a spicy flavour and gives a burning sensation. This active compound in Mexican food acts as a defence mechanism as it prevents fungi and insects from invading.

Is Mexican food the best in the world? ›

Mexico has the seventh best cuisine in the world, according to a 50-nation ranking compiled by the international food guide website TasteAtlas.

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