A Guide to Mexico City Street Food 2023: 41 Must-Try Street Food and Where to Find Them

Wondering where to get the best Mexico City street food?

The Mexican capital is a humongous, haven for food lovers, so rest assured you’ll find plenty of options all over!

Mexico City is my hometown and I consider myself a local expert, especially when it comes to Tacos and street food in general. So in this post, I am glad to share all my knowledge with you.

Mexico City is famed for being rich in culture, with 174 museums, various millenary archaeological sites, stunning architecture, plazas, and markets.

Street food is an important part of Mexico City’s culture as well, with traditional dishes being as varied as they are delicious, so much so that you could base your entire itinerary on food alone!

In this Mexico City street food guide, I’ll share everything you need to know about Mexican street food, including what you should eat, where to find it, and what to know to eat safely and deliciously in this enormous city.

Burritos on a grill pan
A burrito is one of the most popular Mexican food that everyone should try at least once! – Photo from Canva

Best Places for Street Food in Mexico City

Some of the items on this list are very popular fully-established restaurants that are still considered street food in Mexico city, largely because most of them started out as small street stalls and then grew into small or large restaurants. 

They are well deserving of a mention in any Mexico City street food guide, as they became what they are by serving some of the best Mexican street food.

🌶️ El Vilsito

Famous for serving some of the best tacos al pastor in Mexico City, El Vilsito is located in the Narvarte neighborhood.

It opens from 2 pm until 3 am.

🌶️ Taqueria El Abanico

Taqueria El Abanico is quite popular for serving delicious tacos, tortilla Aztec soup, and other favorite Mexican dishes. 

It is open from 10 am to 6 pm with a constant long line that moves quickly. The usual half-hour wait is well worth the patience.

🌶️ El Huequito

Located right in the historic center of Mexico City, they are touted as serving some of the best tacos al pastor in town.

A bit pricier than other taquerias, but well worth the extra cost.

🌶️ Taqueria Los Güeros

Located on Lorenzo Boturini street, which is chock full of restaurants of street food, Taqueria Los Güeros is said to be responsible for the opening of the ones that followed. 

Serving some of the best suadero and pastor tacos, they open at 4 pm and close at 1 am and they are usually always full.

🌶️ Mariscos Orizaba

Set in the popular Juarez neighborhood, Mariscos Orizaba is THE place to eat street seafood in Mexico City.

Offering all kinds of fresh goodies that go from fish tacos to shrimp and octopus tostadas, they open from 10 am to 7 pm in the evening.

🌶️ Tacos Hola El Güero

Right in the heart of the trendy Condesa neighborhood, Tacos Hola el Güero serves fantastic tacos de guisado with a huge variety of dishes cooked in large clay pots ready to be fitted in freshly-made tortillas.

Opening hours are from 9 am to 9 pm.

Five servings of tacos de guisado on an orange plate, along with a side of two dips, rice, and lemon
Tacos de guisado – Photo from Canva

🌶️ Los Juniors

Mariscos los Junior serves delicious seafood at reasonable prices. Located in the popular Lindavista area, they are a couple of miles away from the tourist zone but well worth the metro or Uber trip.

Open from 10 am to 5 pm.

🌶️ Estilo Jalisco

A popular food stand in the Roma neighborhood, Estilo Jalisco is famous for its Birria and tacos, and it’s open from 10 am to 6 pm.

🌶️ Churrería El Moro

A traditional spot to eat churros, Churreria El Moro first opened in 1935 but has been franchised since then and can be found in most neighborhoods. 

Pamper your sweet tooth with classic churros, churros with ice cream, churros with a sweet filling, and more accompanied by a nice cup of hot chocolate.

Open from 8 am to 11 pm.

🌶️ Antojitos Mexicanos Esther

Set in downtown Mexico City, Antojitos Mexicanos Esther is very famous, mostly for their tlacoyos, quesadillas, sopes, and gorditas, so it is a good option to try all four of them in one go.

Open from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm.

🌶️ Tacos de Canasta Los Especiales

Said to be the best tacos de canasta in downtown Mexico, they are served with guacamole and shredded lettuce.

Opening hours are from 9 am to 10 pm.

🌶️ El Pescadito de Sonora

Delicious fish and seafood tacos and tostadas. It’s located on Sonora street in the Roma Norte neighborhood.

Open from 10 am to 6 pm. 

Delectable fish tacos with lots of toppings
Fish tacos – Photo from Canva

🌶️ Los Juanes

This great taco stand in Roma Norte serves delicious meat and veggie tacos among other Mexican food. 

Los Juanes opens at 8:30 pm and stays open until 5 am on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, catering to night owls and partygoers. Closing time is 3 am the rest of the week.

🌶️ Don Juan

Set in Condesa, Don Juan is famed for their tacos de carnitas, but they also have a big variety of other dishes on the menu.

Opening hours are from 10:15 am to 4:30 pm.

🌶️ El Pescadito

Delicious fish and seafood tacos, El Pescadito has several locations in Condesa, Roma, Juarez, and downtown Mexico City.

Open from 11 am to 6 pm

🌶️ Los Cocuyos

Well-known mostly for their suadero and campechanos tacos, Los Cocuyos are located in downtown Mexico City right outside El Huequito restaurant. Open 24/7,

🌶️ La Esquina de Chilaquil

A super popular street stand serving chilaquiles and tortas that combine chilaquiles with breaded chicken, beef, egg, and other Mexican delicacies.

There is always a line, so it’s best to get there early with enough patience and a cup of coffee in hand. Open from 8 am to 1 pm.

🌶️ Los Sifones

Best known for their square-shaped tortillas and molcajetes which are marvelous meat cuts served on a wooden board with guacamole, refried beans, and other goodies, Los Sifones is a bit out of the tourist way in Division del Norte Avenue but super worth the detour.

Open from 9 am to midnight.

Sopes (a popular Mexico City street food) being cooked on a grill
Sopes are Mexico City street food that boasts of flavor and crispy texture. – Photo from Canva

Where to go for street food in Mexico City?

🏪 Local tianguis

Local open-air tianguis are great spots for trying out one or more street food options in Mexico City. 

They are present in most neighborhoods, although it is common for them to set up shop on specific days of the week. 

A local Mexico City street food guide will be useful for finding out which tianguis are open on which days, but most people will happily inform you about the one in your neighborhood if you ask around.

Even though many tianguis stalls take debit and credit cards nowadays, not all of them do, so do bring cash just in case.

🏪 Markets

Markets or mercados are an important part of Mexican culture, and they are as varied as everything else in Mexico. 

The capital city is home to many popular markets which, contrary to open-air tianguis, are covered.

These are sprawling establishments filled with stalls and stands that sell just about everything, ranging from clothes to household items and food. 

Following is a list of must-visit Mexico City food markets for every type of visitor, and mood.

Colorful ceramic souvenirs on display in a traditional market in Mexico City
Aside from food, ceramic souvenirs are something Mexico is famous for. – Photo from Canva

Mercado Medellin

A colorful market in the trendy Roma neighborhood that offers a nice variety of flowers, spices, clothes, candy, and party wares, Mercado Medellin is home to two food areas.

Catering to locals and tourists alike, this market is never full, so it is a nice option when your aim is to visit a street food market without dealing with crowds.

Mercado Roma

Less traditional than other Mexico City markets, Mercado Roma is a modern version that is more like a trendy gourmet food hall free of the chaos of other options. 

This is probably the best food market in Mexico City for eating international and fusion cuisine and is very popular with tourists and ex-pats.

Mercado de Coyoacan

One of the most traditional markets in Mexico City, Mercado de Coyoacan was founded more than 100 years ago and is considered a top place for finding art and handicrafts, clothes, and souvenirs. 

With a laid-back “hippyish” ambiance, it is also a nice street food market in Mexico City, with stalls inside as well as outside in the surrounding plaza and garden.

Mercado de San Juan

Considered one of the best food markets in Mexico City, Mercado de San Juan specializes in gourmet food and exotic dishes for the more adventurous visitors. 

This is the place to go if you’re big on trying different kinds of quirky dishes, but regular food is also available.

Mercado La Merced

Mercado la Merced is hands down the largest traditional market in Mexico City, with hundreds of colorful stalls selling all kinds of wares at great prices.

Amid the vendors touting everything from socks to housewares and gifts, you’ll find the food court area serving delicious street food and snacks.

Clear bags of fresh fruits, including mangoes, watermelons, and papayas, are being sold in a market in Mexico City
Fresh fruits in a Mexico City market – Photo from Canva

🚦 Popular Streets

Popular streets for finding Mexican street food are Juarez Avenue in the Historic Center, Lorenzo Boturini, Cuauhtemoc Avenue, and Paseo de la Reforma, especially around the museums and Chapultepec Park. 

🌳 Parks

Parks are wonderful spots to get a respite from the hustle and bustle of Mexico City, but they also offer Mexican street food and snacks. 

A popular park where you can get a nice mix of culture, green time, and Mexico City street food is La Alameda Park in the historic downtown, right beside the Bellas Artes Palace.

Sprawling Chapultepec Park is another option, especially in the designated areas leading to Chapultepec Castle, the two man-made lakes, and the zoo. 

Best Street Food in Mexico City

🌮 Tacos

#1 Tacos Al Pastor

Tacos al pastor are hands down the most popular variety of tacos in Mexico City and are considered the best street food in Mexico City by many.

Consisting of soft corn tortillas filled with thinly sliced pork meat previously marinated in spicy chiles and achiotes and then cooked in a slow-turning vertical rotisserie, they are most commonly eaten at night

You can find this Mexico City delicacy in many establishments that go from simple street stalls to large, fancy taquerías, some of which cater to hungry party-goers until the wee hours of the morning.

Close up of tacos on a wooden chopping board
Tacos—a delicious explosion of flavors in one small serving—is one of the things that Mexico is famous for.

#2 Tacos A La Plancha

Tacos a la plancha are corn or wheat tortillas with a huge variety of fillings cooked on a searing flattop grill, which results in a brown, crispy exterior with juices sealed in. 

The most common flavors are beef, chicken, and pork, but you can find just about everything cooked on a grill, including fish, shrimp, mushrooms, sausage, and even Provolone and other types of cheese. 

#3 Tacos de Carnitas

Similar to pulled pork, this type of taco is made from pork shoulder that is simmered in a copper pot for several hours, resulting in tender meat. 

Served in corn tortillas, carnitas are traditional meat from the state of Michoacan in central Mexico.

You’ll find them in many establishments in Mexico City, especially during the day.

But on Saturdays and Sundays, street stalls selling tacos de carnitas sprout up in many Mexico City food markets and street corners.

#4 Tacos Guisado

Made by filling a corn tortilla with homemade style dishes, tacos de guisado are extremely popular for breakfast and lunch. 

You’re sure to find one or more stalls on most busy street corners, and their guisados are as varied as you can imagine, including breaded chicken, potatoes, sausage, meatballs, pork, beef, and chicken dishes cooked in a wide variety of spicy stews.

#5 Tacos De Cabeza

Tacos de cabeza, or “head tacos” are made from meat from a cow’s head, which is very tender. 

The meat is braised or steamed to enhance its flavor and then served inside corn tortillas.

They can be found in many taco stalls and market stalls around Mexico City, especially during the day.

#6 Tacos de Canasta

Tacos de Canasta literally translates into “Basket Tacos”, a name they acquired because of the way they are kept warm and transported inside baskets. 

They are small corn tortillas with some type of filling, which are then kept in a basket covered with a sheet of plastic and a cloth to preserve their temperature while getting slightly humid.

The most common fillings are beans, mashed potatoes, pork rind, and chicken in mole. 

Usually served in orders of 3 or 4 tacos, they are sold around Mexico City in special bicycles at ridiculously cheap prices.

Tacos de Canasta are being kept warm in a green basket
Tacos de Canasta – Photo from Canva

#7 Tacos de Suadero

Tacos de Suadero represents Mexico City street food in a perfect way. 

Elaborated with corn tortillas filled with a thin, soft, kind of greasy cut of beef, they are very popular with locals as they mix the 3 “bs” most Mexican workers seek: “Bueno, bonito, barato”, which translates into “good, nice, and cheap”. 

Tacos de Suadero street stands sprouted all over the city during the 1950s and 1960s when large numbers of workers arrived from rural areas to work in Mexico City.

These spicy tacos can still be found on many street corners and are well worth a try.

#8 Taco Campechano

Contrary to what many people might think, Tacos Campechanos are not tacos from the Mexican state of Campeche. 

The term “campechano” is also used to refer to a mix of ingredients, usually two of them.

That is to say, a tortilla filled with beef and pork meat, for example, chicken and beef, or pork meat with spicy sausage. 

You will not normally find taco stands touting they serve Tacos Campechanos, but you can ask for them in any stand that serves two fillings or more.

#9 Barbacoa Tacos

Barbacoa Tacos are stars when it comes to weekend breakfast tacos in Mexico City and other parts of the country. 

Made from goat or lamb meat traditionally steam-cooked in an underground pit, you’ll find plenty of street stalls that serve them together with a steamy broth, especially on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Although a few places serve Barbacoa all through the week, especially in Mexico City markets, locals consider them a breakfast delicacy (which means anywhere from 9 am to 3 pm!)

Barbacoa tacos with a side of rice and lemon, all served on wooden plates
Barbacoa tacos – Photo from Canva

#10 Mixiote Tacos

A Mixiote is a traditional Mexican dish that consists of meat such as beef, chicken, or pork together with a spicy chili sauce while wrapped around a banana leaf. 

They combine some of the best that Mexican street food has to offer!

Some places serve Mixiotes still wrapped in the banana leaf with a platter of tortillas so that you get to make your own tacos. Others make it easier by serving readymade tacos (less fun, but also less mess!)

#11 Birria Tacos

Birria tacos are made by filling a corn tortilla with a spicy dish made of meat (usually goat or lamb, but sometimes made with beef or pork). The meat is cooked in a spicy chili sauce and melted cheese.

Originally from the state of Jalisco, they are very popular in the capital city and can be found in almost any Mexico City food market.

#12 Carne Asada Tacos

Put simply, Carne Asada Tacos are grilled beef tacos. These corn or wheat tortillas are filled with simple, thin beef steaks that are cooked on a grill.

They can be found on any street food market in Mexico City and many lone stalls around town. 

Even though they might not be the most interesting tacos you’ll find or the best street food in Mexico City, they are a tasty and reliable option for finicky eaters, sensitive stomachs, and children. 

Carne Asada or “bistec” tacos also offer the opportunity to appreciate the different salsas available without mixing too many flavors.

#13 Tlacoyos

A traditional dish since prehispanic times, Tlacoyos are small oval-shaped patties made from corn dough filled with beans that are fried or grilled, then served with fresh cream, shredded lettuce, cheese, and salsa toppings. 

They can be found in most Mexico City street food markets in their regular or blue corn variety.

Three servings of tlacoyos on an orange plate with a side of vegetable, cheese, and green sauce
Tlacoyos – Photo from Canva

🥪 Tortas

Tortas are to Mexico as sandwiches are to the US and other countries. 

A fresh bread roll that is soft on the inside and crusty on the outside is sliced length-wise, then filled with a variety of ingredients that go from sliced ham, breaded beef, and chicken, to just about everything you can imagine.

The filling is then accompanied by cheese, fresh cream, sliced tomato, avocado, onion, jalapeños, and more.

#14 Tortas de Chilaquiles

Filled with a bean base and chilaquiles, which are sliced tortillas bathed with green or red salsa, then topped with fresh cream, pulled chicken, cheese, and onions, Tortas de Chilaquiles have become quite trendy. 

Although they are not a staple fare of Mexico City street food like other tortas, they can nevertheless be found in food stalls that are increasingly appearing all over Mexico City.

#15 Torta Cubana

This is the richest torta as it is filled with a large number of ingredients, including ham and other cold meats, frankfurters, two or more types of cheese, avocado, and tomatoes. 

Contrary to what the name suggests, it is a traditional Mexico City street food, most likely created in the capital city.

Word was they owe their name to the fact that they were first prepared in a torta stand in the “República de Cuba” street in the historic center.

🌽 Tamales

Tamales are a prehispanic meal made from cornmeal dough and a filling, wrapped in a banana or corn leaf, and then steamed.

With variations depending on the region’s tradition, tamales are a staple breakfast for millions of Mexico City residents on the go.

They are also sold at night in hundreds of simple corner stands or by vendors riding special bicycles while touting their wares. 

Most tamales are filled with some kind of meat prepared with diverse sauces, usually red, green, and mole, but most stalls have veggie and sweet versions too.

You are sure to find tamales and their “torta” version (Guajolota) on many busy street corners as well as outside of metro stations from as early as 6 am.

Traditional Mexican tamales wrapped in banana leaves. They're piled inside a basket with a layer of purple cloth underneath.
Traditional Mexican tamales – Photo from Canva

#16 Oaxaqueño

The Oaxacan version of tamales consists of cornmeal dough filled with mole sauce and chicken or pork wrapped in a banana leaf.

They are some of the most popular street food in Mexico City.

#17 Corn tamal

As the name suggests, Corn Tamales or Tamales de Elote are made with corn dough and wrapped in a corn leaf. Salt or sugar is added to make them salty or sweet.

#18 Dry corn leaf

The most common type of tamales in Mexico City (closely followed by tamales oaxaqueños).

They are elaborated with cornmeal dough filled with a meat and sauce combination or sweet and wrapped inside a dry corn leaf.

#19 Deep-fried tamal

In this version, classic tamales are deep-fried before being wrapped in the banana or corn leaf for added richness.

#20 Guajolota or Tamal Torta

Guajolotas combines two classics when it comes to the best Mexico City street food: Tamales and tortas.

They are prepared using the crust bread of tortas and filling them up with a tamal.

A carb bomb? You bet, but a pretty delicious one.

🥑 Quesadillas

Another star when it comes to the best street food in Mexico City, quesadillas are folded tortillas filled with a wide variety of ingredients and then cooked on a grill or deep-fried. 

Some stalls offer both options and the choice of white or blue corn for the tortilla, which is made right then and there.

They can be found inside and right outside the best street food markets in Mexico City, as well as on many busy street corners. 

A close up shot on a quesadilla with cheese
Quesadilla – Photo from Canva

#21 Deep fried quesadillas

This version of quesadillas, as the name suggests, consists of flattened corn dough which is folded and filled with one or more varied ingredients before being deep fried. 

They are served with fresh cream, cheese, lettuce, and salsa toppings, depending on your choice.

#22 Gordita de chicharrón

A round cornmeal ball flattened by hand and filled with tasty pork rind cooked in salsa, Gorditas de Chicharrón is usually found in quesadilla stands in and outside all Mexico City street food markets.  

#23 Tostadas

A round, hard tortilla with a consistency similar to chips topped with curled beans, pulled chicken, or other meat dishes, then topped with minced lettuce, fresh cream, white cheese, and salsa. 

If you cannot eat it without it breaking, worry not; it’s part of the ritual.

#24 Elotes/Esquites (Corn/corn salad)

Few Mexico City street foods beat Elotes and Esquites when it comes to making people of all ages happy, may they be locals or visitors. 

They can be found alongside one another in hundreds of stalls and stands around Mexico City.

Elotes are steamed corn cobs on a stick, prepared with mayonnaise or fresh cream, then sprinkled with thinly grated white cheese and red powdered chili

Esquites are the same thing, but the corn grains are served in a cup with the other ingredients added, resulting in a sort of salad.

A woman street vendor is preparing an elote, covering it with grated white cheese and red chili powder
Elote in one of Mexico City’s street food stalls – Photo from Canva

#25 Sopes

Made from the same cornmeal dough tortillas are made from, sopes are also round but somewhat thicker, with the dough slightly pinched at the edges in order to better hold the ingredients placed at the top. 

They are typically prepared with curled refried beans, fresh cream, cheese, diced lettuce, and salsa.

You can usually find sopes at quesadilla street and market stalls.

#26 Huarache

Similar to sopes, huaraches are made with the same ingredients and fillings, but they are oval-shaped and larger.  

#27 Gorditas

A round cornmeal ball that is flattened by hand and filled with tasty pork rind cooked with salsa, Gorditas de Chicharrón is usually sold in quesadilla stands in and outside most Mexico City street food markets.

#28 Flautas

Named that way because of their shape, flautas or “flutes” are rolled-up corn tortilla tacos, which are then deep-fried and served with a good slather of sour cream and salsa. 

The most common fillings are potato, shredded chicken, shredded beef, and beans.

#29 Taquitos

Taquitos are a smaller version of flautas.

They are small rolled-up corn tortillas filled with shredded chicken or beef, refried beans, mashed potatoes, or other ingredients.

They are then deep-fried before being served with sour cream, ground cheese, and red or green salsa. Shredded lettuce is sometimes added as a topping.

Rolls of taquitos are served on a red plate and there is a fork and a knife on the side.
Taquitos – Photo from Canva

#30 Pambazos

A Pambazo in Mexico City is a type of sandwich made by stuffing a special type of bread—similar to a Kaiser roll—with potatoes and red sausage (chorizo) or chicken in a green mole.

It is then rapidly dipped in a spicy guajillo chile broth and served with sour cream, ground white cheese, and shredded lettuce.

#31 Dorilocos

Probably the most modern addition to Mexico City street food as they have been around for only about a decade. 

Dorilocos can best be described as a crazy, fiery snack based on Nacho Cheese Doritos which are topped with a seemingly random mix of cubed cucumber, grated carrot and jícama, gummy bears, shelled peanuts, and pickled pork rinds. 

But it doesn’t stop there. The whole mix is then bathed in lime juice, powdered chile, Valentina sauce, and chamoy—a delicious sweet-sour spicy sauce commonly used in chips and fruit snacks. 

#32 Chicharrones

Sold in bustling parks and Mexico City food markets, chicharrones are large, flat, crunchy pieces of pork rind topped with sour cream, spicy salsa, and lettuce. 

They can also be made from flour to get the perfect rectangular shape, but the toppings are the same in both varieties. 

#33 Churros

A popular Spanish contribution to Mexico City street food, churros are long bread sticks made with batter shaped by a star-shaped pastry nozzle.

They are deep-fried and covered with sugar in a cooking process that is very similar to making donuts. 

They are usually sold in paper bags containing 3, 6, or more pieces in bicycle stalls and street corners all over the city.

A bunch of churros dipped in chocolate
Churros are one of the most popular Mexican sweets and snacks – Photo from Canva

#34 Jicaletas

Put simply, Jicaletas are large slices of jícama on a stick spiced with lime, powdered chili, and chamoy sauce. 

Jícama is a root vegetable that grows in Mexico and other central parts of America. It is white on the inside and has a consistency similar to apples but almost no flavor.

#35 Camotes

Camotes are sweet potatoes that are slowly cooked over a woodfire that is installed right in the cart where they are transported and sold. 

Served with evaporated milk, they can be found randomly in Mexico City streets, usually after sundown. 

Vendors go around chosen streets touting their sweet wares with a distinctive whistle that all locals recognize, although the tradition is slowly disappearing.

Cooked unpeeled bananas are usually sold side by side.

🍹 Fruit Cocktails and Juice

It is not at all uncommon to find fruit cocktails and juice stands inside Mexico City food markets and on busy streets. 

Your choice of fruit with honey and granola, accompanied by orange, grapefruit, or tangerine juice is the best way to kick off a day of sightseeing.

For many visitors, this is the best Mexican street food as it is cheap and healthy.

Tequila sunrise cocktail
Enjoy but be cautious of the fresh fruit juices in Mexico City.

#37 Fruit and Chilli

A delicious, fresh alternative in Mexico City street food is spicy fruit, which is sliced fruit spiced with lime and powdered chile, usually served in a cup at amazingly low prices. 

Coconut, watermelon, papaya, cucumber, pineapple, cantaloupe, and even grated carrot are usually available in stalls and bicycles around the city.

#38 Pan Dulce

Pan Dulce or Sweet bread is a term that refers to the wide array of sweet pastries that are freshly baked and sold throughout Mexico City’s streets, usually in the morning and evening. 

They range from soft conchas to donuts and big cookies. Some are covered with sugar, others filled with sweet cream or chocolate, or sprinkled with colorful sweet candy.

The best thing is that no preservatives and few or no chemicals are used in their elaboration as they are usually homemade.

#39 Conchas

One of the most popular varieties of Pan Dulce or Sweet Bread, conchas are soft pastries with a buttery and sweet crust that is usually found in its traditional vanilla or chocolate-flavored round shape. 

In the past few years, bakers have gotten more creative, offering more shapes and colors.

#40 Rebanadas

Another variety of Pan Dulce or Sweet bread, Rebanadas are delicious thick slices of bread slathered with a mix of sweet cream, butter, and sugar. 

#41 Papas con limon y chile (Chips with lemon and hot sauce)

As the name suggests, these are potato chips that are spiced with lime and hot bottled sauce. 

They are sold in parks, street corners, and Mexico City food markets, although it is common to find vendors on bicycle carts riding around town.

Several rows of chips, both spicy and not, are being sold on a street food cart in Mexico City.
Spicy chips on a street food cart in Mexico City – Photo from Canva

Is street food in Mexico City safe?

In general terms, street food in Mexico is safe with the proper precautions. 

With so many options available, it is not difficult to choose street food stalls that look clean with vendors showing healthy procedures for food and money handling. It is mostly a matter of observing and using common sense.

🤔 Can you eat street food in Mexico City?

It is safe to say that you can eat street food in Mexico City. 

In fact, you could almost say that you must eat street food in Mexico City to get the full experience. 

Of course, as with everything else, you must apply common sense and precautions while traveling.

🌮 How to choose a good street food vendor in Mexico?

It is a good idea to observe food and money-handling procedures as you check out the surroundings of the stall for its cleanliness

Also, a good thermometer is the number of clients on the spot. Mexico City residents are quite food-savvy and even picky when choosing their favorite street food stalls and markets.

So if you notice that a particular street food stall is full, chances are the food is great.

⚠️ What street food should you avoid?

Generally speaking, there is no specific street food that you should avoid, but it is not recommended to eat in food stands that are located in spots where vehicle fumes are a constant. 

Avoid places that are empty or have only one or two clients, because that is a good indicator that the food is not good, prices are high, or proper hygiene care is not taken.

A street food vendor using his bare hands to make tacos.
💡 Always check if a street food vendor is observing cleanliness in his food stall. – Photo from Canva

🧊 Are drinks with ice safe in Mexico City?

Drinks with ice are pretty safe in Mexico City. 

Most restaurants, bars, and street food vendors use bagged ice bought in supermarkets and convenience stores which is properly certified. 

🥗 Is it safe to eat salad in Mexico City?

It is generally safe to eat salad in Mexico City.

Do be observant and take precautions by gauging the cleanliness in and around the place you are visiting and the procedures practiced by vendors.

😷 How can I protect my stomach in Mexico City?

Protect your stomach in Mexico City the same way you usually protect it in other cities. Practice the same habits and precautions you are used to. 

Most street food in Mexico is spicy, though, so common sense and balance are called for too. 

🤢 What to do if you get sick from eating street food?

Your best bet if you get sick from eating street food in Mexico City is to visit a doctor, especially if the symptoms are rough. 

Many chain drugstores have doctors on hand at no charge, so you might start off there. Although it is impossible to recommend each and every one of them (yes, this is a disclaimer), many of these free drugstore doctors are pretty good. 

Over-the-counter antacids, antihistamines, and Calcium Carbonate tablets are readily available in drugstores, supermarkets, and some convenience stores if you suspect it is just a matter of overcharging your stomach by overeating or consuming too many spices.

Mexico City Street Food Tour

A Mexico City food tour is always a good idea to get a try at the best street food in Mexico City as well as a glimpse and taste of the best food markets in Mexico City. 

Street Food Tour with Friends

5.0 ⭐️ 178 Reviews

This incredible tour will have you riding a bike through some of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Mexico City as well as Chapultepec park in order to sample traditional street food at markets and good stands.

This experience was sooooo fun. And we vibed with the other groups and had fun times!!! The tour is very enjoyable and the bicycle ride was ok. Lots of stops to eat and experience the culture.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Helen_W, Oct 2022
friends eating tacos and drinking tequila
Enjoy Mexican food with your friends and book this tour now! – Photo from Canva

Historic Center Food Tour in Mexico City

5.0 ⭐️ 426 Reviews

Take a walk through Mexico’s Historic Center in order to taste different dishes and treats at various establishments, ranging from an authentic Aztec market to a traditional cantina and plenty of food stalls locals love.

Amazing experience. The variety of establishments we visited and the quality of the food was excellent. No complaints. Our host, Jimena, was fantastic. A wealth of knowledge, very passionate and very friendly. I highly recommend this tour.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ nogaliyo, Feb 2023
Street food vendor set up for selling tacos in Mexico City

Mexico City Street Food: A Beginner’s Guide

5.0 ⭐️ 44 Reviews

Visit different food stands and establishments on a walking tour through the Cuauhtemoc neighborhood and Reforma Avenue while an expert foodie tells you everything you need to know about each dish you eat and learn about the street food culture of Mexico City.

Yim was a great guide. She was fantastic with our kid while she explained and introduced us to some of the best food we had on the trip. Would highly recommend.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Jesse_z, Aug 2022
Top view of a table filled with several plates and bowls of Mexican food.
Dive into Mexico City’s street food culture with this beginner’s tour! – Photo from Canva

Why is street food so popular in Mexico

Street food is very popular in Mexico because it is tasty, varied, fast, and budget-friendly. 

Even though Mexican cities have splendid restaurant options for all budgets and tastes, some street food stands and stalls can be counted among the best places to eat in Mexico City and other destinations.

Mexico City Street Food Prices

Mexico City food prices are usually budget-friendly, especially in tianguis stalls and busy street corners. 

However, in places such as closed markets or outside of bars and nightclubs in trendy neighborhoods, prices can be higher but usually still lower than in restaurants. 

Tips for Eating Street Food in Mexico City

Here are some helpful tips that will be useful in getting the best gastronomic experience while exploring street food in Mexico City. 

👉🏼 Visually check out the general cleanliness and the procedures for handling food and money before ordering. 

👉🏼 Make sure the street food stall or stand is not located where vehicle fumes are constant. 

👉🏼 Take the time to eat where there is a small crowd eating or waiting for their food. This is a good signal that the food is tasty, clean, and well-priced. 

👉🏼 Ask for prices before ordering if they are not posted somewhere. 

👉🏼 Don’t hesitate to customize the food items you order, whether this means no or extra sour cream, onions, salsa, or whatever. The vast majority of vendors will be happy to accommodate.

Six different dishes for the preparation of a Mexican cuisine.
Aside from bursting flavors, the interesting facts about Mexican food culture are worth discovering! – Photo from Canva

FAQs about the street food in Mexico City

What is the best food street in Mexico City?

It is hard to say which is the best street food in Mexico City. There are simply too many scrumptious options to choose from, but for the sake of narrowing down to one, tacos are a safe bet.

What is unique about Mexican food?

Mexican food is unique in its rich variety of ingredients and the many ways Mexicans have of combining them.

Furthermore, ingredients such as corn, beans, and hot pepper were inherited from pre-Hispanic times, having survived cultural colonization 

What is the most important basic food item eaten in Mexico?

The most important basic food item in Mexico is corn. It is used in the elaboration of tortillas and their variants. Beans and hot peppers follow closely behind.

What are Mexican fruit carts called?

Mexican fruit carts are called carritos de frutas.

What are the Mexican carts called?

Mexican carts are commonly called carritos, which is the diminutive form of carros or carts.

What do Mexicans call street tacos?

Mexicans usually call street tacos “tacos callejeros” or simply tacos.

Summary: A Guide to Mexico City Street Food

It is worth visiting Mexico City just for the food itself! It is among the best street food cities in the entire world, offering a rich variety of options that are delicious, freshly-made, practical, a budget-friendly. 

While it is hard to say what the best food in Mexico City is, the best way to decide for yourself is by trying out as many dishes and recipes as possible during your visit