I don’t know many people who won’t dig into a delicious taco or warm churro enthusiastically. If you’re a foodie like myself, I’m sure it’s always a treat to dive into the vibrant flavors of Mexican food.
But now you’re planning to go to Mexico and try food in its origin—that’s an exciting opportunity for any food lover!
Mexico City is known for its culinary scene, from sit-down restaurants to street food cooked on the spot. Not only is street food in Mexico City delicious, but it’s also an affordable break from formal dining during your trip or digital nomad stay.
While Mexican food might be common in your hometown, you can try many unique and authentic street foods in Mexico City. Remember to take the opportunity to try out these 9 popular street foods on your vacation to Mexico City. I’ve made this blog extra helpful by noting where you can easily find these delicious food items!
Grab something to snack on because this list may make you hungry... I sure was after I finished writing it.
Where to Find Street Food in Mexico City
Street Food Vendors
You can find street food in Mexico City at individual vendor stalls around the city center. Street food is meant to be eaten fresh, either on the go or for a quick sit-down if one of the stalls has pop-up tables.
Aside from vendors set up on the street, there are also food stalls inside local markets in Mexico City. Markets where you can find street food stalls include Mercado de la Merced, Mercado Roma, and Mercado de San Juan.
What to Look for in a Street Food Stand
Are you hesitant to try food stands? Wondering which ones are safe to eat at? Below are tips to follow that will help you pick a street food stand you feel comfortable trying.
Stalls with a small crowd and families are a good sign that a street food stall is a favorite. Not only that, you’ll notice that if locals are gathered there, it’s probably safe to eat as well.
Peak Meal Times
Another safety precaution when choosing a street food stall is if it’s during peak meal times. Going during these times means the vendors will cook everything hot and fresh since they are getting more demand.
While you may not be able to control the street food stalls, you can limit germs by always keeping hand sanitizer on you!
Best 9 Street Foods in Mexico City
Bring your appetite with you because here are 9 dishes you’ll want to try!
Below you’ll find a list of the top street foods to try in Mexico City. In each description, you can also see a recommended street food stall to try it at!
Elote is one of the most famous street foods in all of Mexico. This decked-out ear of corn is grilled before it’s topped with extras like mayonnaise, cotija cheese, and spicy chile seasoning. You can ask for other toppings like lime and sour cream.
Depending on the street food vendor, they typically serve elote by the ear or they serve it esquite-style where the kernels are scraped into a cup for easy takeaway.
Where to try it: Elote y Esquites Los Juniors
Address: Michoacán esquina con Amsterdam S n, Hipódromo, Cuauhtémoc, 06100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
One of Mexico’s street food specialties is all their quesadilla variations. From blue corn quesadillas to vegetarian-style quesadillas, you’re bound to find a delicious street food quesadilla stand while you’re in the city center. The tortillas are usually made fresh, and quesadillas are cooked on the spot, oozing with cheese!
Where to try it: Jenni’s Street Quesadillas
Address: Merida 83, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Tlacoyos are a thick, oval-shaped tortilla base stuffed with delicious ingredients like black beans and cheese and cooked on a grill. Tlacoyos are also topped with fresh fixings like pico de gallo and cotija cheese. You can pick tlacoyos up by hand and eat them like a taco. They make for a great appetizer or snack on the go!
Where to try it: Tlacoyos Eslita
Address: C. Francisco Pimentel 80-82, San Rafael, Cuauhtémoc, 06470 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
You’ll find both sweet and savory tamales throughout Mexico City’s street food stalls!
Tamales are wrapped in a corn husk or banana leaf. You open them to find delicious stuffing, from pork to chicken or vegetables. If you’re open to trying salsas, tamales are a great item to cover in homemade red or green salsa. You can get one as a snack to hold you over or opt for a few to eat as a whole meal!
Where to try it: Tamales Doña Emi
Address: Jalapa sin número, esquina, Tlaxcala, Roma Sur, Cuauhtémoc, 06760 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Tortas are a street food staple in Mexico City. It’s a sandwich on fluffy bread layered with your choice of meat. Carne asada, barbacoa, and al pastor meats are the most popular. The usual toppings on the sandwich are cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. These sandwiches can fill you up after a long day of sightseeing!
Where to try it: El Vilsito
Address: Petén 248 y, Av. Universidad, Narvarte Poniente, 03020 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
No street food list for Mexico City would be complete without tacos. Most tacos are based on meats like barbacoa, chicken, or lengua, which means “tongue”.
Street food stalls have also gotten creative for vegetarians, with options like portobello mushroom tacos. Taco stalls are often open late into the night and are affordable. If there’s one thing you must try during your visit, it’s tacos callejeros!
Where to try it: Por Siempre Vegana
Address: C. Manzanillo 18, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Secondary option: Tacos los Juanes
Address: Puebla 326, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Tacos and Mexican beer in CDMX, Mexico City
Churros are easy to find across the city, but the most famous place to get them is at the Churreria El Moro locations. The El Moro in the historic center is open 24 hours to satisfy your emergency churro cravings.
Churros are a popular dessert made from fried dough and dusted with a thick coat of cinnamon. One of the best ways to eat them is by dipping them into a side of melted chocolate.
It’s a sweet way to start the morning or end a late night. No judgment if you choose to do both... when it comes to churros, there’s no limit!
Where to try it: Churreria El Moro
Address: Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas 42, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Birria-style food has roots in Jalisco and has become popular in Mexico City and the rest of North America! Birria tacos and quesadillas are the most common foods made birria-style.
Birria is stewed meat that oozes its sauce into tacos and quesadillas, melting the cheese inside and making them even tastier! Once you try birria in Mexico City, you’ll be looking for a local place to find them in your hometown.
Where to try it: Birria Estilo Jalisco
Address: Colima 171, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Grabbing a paleta - or popsicle - is the perfect way to cool off on a hot day in Mexico City. Paletas are usually made with cream and fresh fruit like pineapple or watermelon. You can add unique toppings from spicy tajin chili spice to sprinkles and candy.
Where to try it: Konolet
Address: Simón Bolívar 45, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06010 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Try Street Food in Mexico City!
Now that you know where to eat the best street food in Mexico City, it’s time to plan the rest of your trip to Mexico’s capital.