To say that the street food scene in Mexico City was the highlight of my trip would be an understatement. The entire time I was planning my vacation people kept warning me about the food. Montezuma’s revenge was sure to get me! What I found was that if you follow the locals lead and mix that with a bit of courage and common sense you will experience some of the best street food in the world. Period. The Mexican food you know is a sham. Burrito? I didn’t see one during my entire trip.
I never got sick and I never tasted something that made me want to stop eating. I would show up in different neighborhoods for the sightseeing and while there I would stop and look around at the food scene. If I saw a place that looked cleaned and had many customers I would stop and eat there. When you see a little stand with a line forming for the food it means those are returning customers who I’m sure didn’t get sick any of the times they’ve been there.
There are so many different types of stands. Tacos are the star, but people also sell quesadillas, tostadas, tortas, and all other types of things. One of my favorite finds was Tacos Arandas near the Zocalo. It was one of the best tacos al pastor I had up until that point, but they also had other great things on the menu.
As long as you are adventurous the city will open up to you and offer it’s gifts. I also had some of the best churros I’ve ever had in Coyoacan. There is amarket by the Frida museum that had pretty much everything. There’s no picture of my dessert because by the time I realized I had eaten the whole thing like a hungry beast.
Of course, be careful and use your common sense. Only because I was lucky and didn’t get sick doesn’t mean that it won’t happen to you. The advice is to be more open to different things. Simple. Just promise me you won’t go to a McDonalds and we can start off on the right foot.
I won’t name all the places I found because if I give you all the answers it wont be as fun. I don’t want to give anyone a “list”. I want you to enjoy Mexico City on your own terms. Find the things that appeal to you and experience them. All I know is that everything I’ve ever heard about that city was wrong and the only way to see it for real is by going there. It’s one of the biggest cities in the world, so there is definitely a lot to see. And a lot to eat!
Tacos Arandas - Corner of Avenida 9 de Mayo and Isabel la Catolica.
Photography by Ruddy Harootian