Popular Mexican foods like tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and quesadillas are some of my favorites!
Let’s explore the top Mexican cuisine you must try!
For this list of 100 best Mexican dishes, I’ve included popular Tex-Mex foods—such as nachos, fajitas, chili, and chimichangas.
Popular Mexican Foods
Want more Mexican food inspo? Check out my 41 Mexican Foods That Start With A.
Tacos are the most popular Mexican food in the world!
Tacos are made of a corn or flour tortilla filled with various ingredients such as grilled meat, beans, cheese, and vegetables. They are typically served with cilantro, onions, salsa, and lime, and can be eaten by hand or with utensils.
Tacos are a popular street food in Mexico and can be found in a variety of styles such as al pastor, carne asada, and fish tacos, with variations in toppings and preparation depending on the region.
2. Enchiladas Rojas
Enchiladas are a classic! They’re made with corn tortillas filled with chicken or beef, and cheese.
There are many variations of enchiladas, including the enchiladas verdes (made with a green sauce made from tomatillos and chili peppers) and the enchiladas rojas (made with a red sauce made from chili peppers).
Enchiladas can be baked or fried.
Tamales are a very popular breakfast and lunch food in Mexico. Tamales are an affordable comfort food with a rich history.
Tamales are made with masa harina (corn dough), a shredded protein (chicken, pork, cheese), or mole. Tamales are steamed to perfect wrapped in banana leaves. If you have sauce, like salsa roja or salsa verde, on hand, drizzle it on top.
There are many variations of tamales, including sweet tamales served as a dessert or snack.
Related: 17 Sauces for Tamales (Easy + Tasty)
I love to make cheese quesadillas on weeknights when I am short on time. Quesadillas are a popular Mexican dish made with flour or corn tortillas filled with cheese and other ingredients, then grilled or fried until crispy and golden brown.
Quesadillas can also include additional ingredients such as cooked meats (chicken, beef, pork, fish), vegetables, beans, or even mushrooms.
I mean, how can you go wrong with crunchy tortillas, gooey cheese, and meat (or veggies)?
Related: 21 Mexican Foods That Start With Q
Guacamole dip is a famous Mexican food made from mashed avocados, onions, tomatoes, limes, and other seasonings. And don’t forget the nacho chips for dipping!
The flavor of guacamole is often described as rich and savory, with a slightly citrusy taste due to the lime or lemon juice. For a spicy kick, some variations add diced jalapeno peppers.
If you’re a keto enthusiast like me, guacamole is a ubiquitous condiment or side dish on the dinner rotation!
Related: 34 Mexican Foods That Start With G
Sopes are thick corn tortillas topped with beans, cheese, and other ingredients. They have a soft, doughy texture and a savory. Sopes are often served as a main dish or as a snack.
There are many variations of sopes, including the sope de pollo (made with chicken) and the sope de carne asada (made with grilled beef).
Sopes are very customizable and served with a variety of toppings and sauces.
7. Chiles en Nogada
Chiles en Nogada is widely considered one of the national dishes of Mexico. This is due to the red, white, and green colors of the dish which resemble the colors of the Mexican flag.
The peppers are topped with a creamy walnut sauce and garnished with pomegranate seeds and parsley, representing the colors of the Mexican flag. This tasty dish is a great vegetarian option!
This dish is very popular during the Mexican Independence Day celebrations.
Related: 33 Mexican Foods That Start With C
Don’t leave Mexico without trying Pozole stew. Peppery pozole is culturally symbolic with roots pre-dating Spanish colonization. Corn, its main ingredient, was a sacred crop to the Aztecs and Mayans.
Modern Pozole is made with hominy, meat, shredded lettuce or cabbage, chili peppers, radishes, onion, garlic, avocado, salsa, or limes.
Pozole is said to have a dark history. The dish had ritual significance for indigenous Aztec priests who made human sacrifices to their gods, with a cannibalistic precursor to Pozole.
Related: 34 Mexican Foods That Start With P
9. Mole Poblano
Mole Poblano (pronounced “mo-leh”) is a traditional Mexican sauce made from a blend of spices, chiles, nuts, and chocolate (yes, really!).
Mole sauce is often served with chicken or pork. Some of the most famous mole dishes are mole poblano, mole negro, and mole verde.
Related: Where Is Mole Poblano Most Popular?
Mexican ceviche is one of my summertime favorites. The dish is made from raw fish or seafood that is marinated in lime juice and mixed with a variety of ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, cilantro, cucumbers, radishes, and chili peppers.
Just like Peruvian and Ecuadorian ceviche, the acid from the lime juice “cooks” the fish, giving it a firm texture and a tangy flavor.
Some variations of Mexican ceviche also include other seafood such as octopus, scallops, or crab. It’s often served as an appetizer or a light meal and served chilled.
Chilaquiles verdes is a traditional Mexican breakfast dish. Chilaquiles verdes are made by lightly frying or toasting pieces of corn tortillas until they become crispy. The tortillas are then cut into triangles or strips, creating a base for the dish.
The crispy tortilla chips are then topped with a vibrant and flavorful green salsa, which gives the dish its signature “verdes” (green) color.
The dish can be customized by adding various toppings, such as crumbled queso fresco (fresh cheese), sliced onions, Mexican crema (similar to sour cream), chopped cilantro, and sometimes avocado slices or fried eggs.
A flauta is basically a rolled taco. Flautas include a filling such as beef, chicken or pork stewed in tomato and onion.
After rolling, flautas are fried in oil to give them a crispy exterior. Flautas are longer and thinner than taquitos. They can also be made with flour or corn tortillas. Taquitos are usually made with corn tortillas, they’re delicious!
Fun fact: Flauta means “flute” in Spanish.
Related: 12 Mexican Foods That Start With F
13. Carnitas (Pulled Pork)
Carnitas originated in Michoacán, and means “little meats” in Spanish. Carnitas consists of pork that is slow-cooked (3-4 hours) in lard until tender. Once cooked, the meat is shredded.
Carnitas is considered a confit in culinary terms (a meat cooked slowly in its own fat).
Related: 33 Mexican Foods That Start With C
Tortillas are a type of flatbread in Mexican cuisine. They are made from maize (corn) hominy meal or wheat flour and can be served warm or cold.
Tortillas are often used as a wrap for tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. They can also be used as a base for tostadas and quesadillas.
Related: 10 Types of Mexican Tortillas
In Mexico, the term barbacoa means “barbecue”. Barbacoa refers to meat cooked in an ancient method, inside a hole in the ground and covered with maguey plant leaves.
Traditional Mexican barbacoa involves steam-cooking meat, usually tougher cuts like sheep, goat, or beef, until it becomes tender and succulent.
The meat is seasoned with various spices like cumin, oregano, and red hot chili.
Related: 30 Mexican Foods That Start With B
Elote is an extremely popular street food or antojito (little craving) in Mexico. They are typically served on a stick by street vendors and in fairs.
Elotes are basically grilled corn on the cob slathered with a variety of toppings such as mayonnaise, sour cream, butter, chili powder, or lime juice.
They are also popular in Mexican-American communities in the United States.
17. Menudo Rojo
Menudo Rojo is a traditional Mexican dish made from beef tripe (beef stomach lining).
The preparation of Menudo Rojo is a labor-intensive process that involves simmering beef tripe for several hours until it becomes tender.
The tripe is thoroughly cleaned and cooked with various aromatics such as onions, garlic, and spices like oregano, cumin, and chili powder. The spices give the dish its distinct red color.
Churros are a Mexican dessert pastry that consists of a long, thin strip of dough that is deep-fried and coated in sugar.
They are often served with a side of warm chocolate sauce for dipping. Churros have a crispy and sweet taste and a soft and slightly doughy texture.
Related: 57 Popular Mexican Desserts
Taquitos are a popular Mexican dish consisting of small rolled-up tortillas filled with various ingredients such as shredded chicken, beef, or cheese.
The taquitos are typically fried until crispy. They are often served as an appetizer or as a main course.
Related: 37 Mexican Foods That Start With T
Birria is a traditional Mexican dish that originated in the state of Jalisco. It is a meat stew made with slow-cooked beef, lamb or goat, and flavored with a blend of spices and chilies.
The dish is typically served with its braising liquid, which is often used as a dipping sauce for tortillas.
Birria tacos have become increasingly popular in the United States and can now be found in many Mexican restaurants across the country.
Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
Gorditas are a traditional Mexican dish made from a thick, masa-based dough that is shaped into a patty filled with ingredients like: cheese, pork, chicken, or beans.
Gorditas are then cooked on a griddle or comal. They are often garnished with lettuce, cheese, and salsa.
22. Chile Rellenos
Chile Rellenos typically consist of a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with cheese, meat, or other fillings, coated in an egg batter, and then fried until golden brown.
The dish is often served with a tomato-based sauce and can be accompanied by rice and beans.
23. Tamal de Elote
Tamal de Elote, also known as Sweet Corn Tamale, is a traditional Mexican dish made from fresh corn that is blended and mixed into a sweetened tamale dough.
The tamale is wrapped in a corn husk and steamed until cooked. Tamal de Elote is a dessert tamale and is typically served with a drizzle of condensed milk.
Papadzules are a traditional Mexican dish originating from the Yucatán Peninsula and are considered a classic in Mayan cuisine.
The dish is similar to enchiladas and consists of corn tortillas dipped in a roasted squash seed sauce and then filled with hard-boiled eggs.
Papadzules are typically garnished with a cooked tomato and chili pepper sauce.
Tlayuda, a popular Mexican street food, is an iconic dish from Oaxaca, Mexico.
In traditional Oaxacan cuisine, tlayudas are made with a large, thin, crunchy, partially fried or toasted tortilla.
The tortilla is then topped with a spread of refried beans, asiento (unrefined pork lard), lettuce or cabbage, avocado, and meat – usually shredded chicken or beef.
26. Cochinita Pibil
Cochinita Pibil is a traditional Mexican dish that originated in the Yucatan peninsula in southern Mexico. It features pork meat marinated in a red sauce made from a base of citrus juices, achiote paste, and a variety of spices.
The history of Cochinita Pibil goes back to prehispanic times, combining Mayan and Spanish culinary influences. The name “Cochinita” means “small pig” in Spanish, while “Pibil” derives from the Mayan word “píib,” which refers to a cooking technique involving a pit with a fire at the bottom.
Molletes are popular open-faced sandwiches made from toasted bolillo bread rolls, topped with refried beans and melted cheese.
Typically enjoyed for breakfast, molletes can also be served as a light lunch, dinner, or satisfying snack.
28. Queso Fresco
Queso Fresco is a fresh, soft, and crumbly cheese that originated in Mexico. It is made from cow’s milk and has a mild, slightly tangy flavor with a light milky taste.
Queso Fresco is a versatile cheese that can be crumbled over dishes like tacos, enchiladas, and salads, or used as a filling for quesadillas and empanadas.
Empanadas consist of a folded or rolled piece of dough that is filled with various ingredients such as ground beef, chicken, cheese, or vegetables.
The empanadas are typically baked or fried until crispy and golden brown. Mexican Empanadas can be served as an appetizer or as a main course.
30. Agua Fresca
Agua Fresca is a refreshing non-alcoholic drink that is popular in Mexico and other Latin American countries.
It is made by blending fresh fruits, cereals, flowers, or seeds with water and sugar. Some common flavors of Agua Fresca include watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, hibiscus, and chia seeds.
Agua Fresca can be found in many street vendors, bodegas, restaurants, and juice bars in Mexico.
Pambazos are a popular street sandwich food in Mexico. They are made from a large, white roll filled with ingredients such as refried beans, chorizo, lettuce, and cheese.
The roll is then dipped in a guajillo chili sauce and fried, giving it a crispy exterior.
Some other popular sandwiches in Mexico include cemitas, tortas ahogadas, tortas cubanas, molletes, tortas al pastor, empalmes and sincronizadas.
Campechana is a Mexican seafood cocktail that typically consists of a mixture of various seafood such as shrimp, crab, octopus, and scallops, combined with diced vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, and avocado.
The cocktail is usually served in a tomato-based sauce with lime juice, hot sauce, and cilantro, and can be topped with crackers or tortilla chips.
33. Queso Fundido
Queso Fundido is a Mexican dish that consists of melted cheese typically served as a dip or topping.
It is made by melting shredded cheese with various ingredients such as chorizo, peppers, onions, and spices.
The melted cheese mixture is typically served hot and can be accompanied by tortilla chips, warm tortillas, or crusty bread.
Related: 28 Most Popular Mexican Cheeses
34. Chiles Toreados
Chiles Toreados, also known as Mexican blistered peppers, are a popular Mexican appetizer or side dish made by pan-frying jalapeno or serrano peppers until blistered and then seasoning them with lime juice, soy sauce, and salt.
Caramelized onions are sometimes added to the dish. Chiles Toreados can be served hot or at room temperature and are often used as a condiment or topping for tacos, tortas, and other dishes.
Entomatadas are a traditional Mexican dish that consists of rolled-up tortillas filled with cheese, chicken, or other ingredients and topped with a tomato-based sauce.
The tortillas are typically dipped in the sauce before being filled and rolled up.
The tomato-based sauce is made from roasted tomatoes, onions, garlic, and chili peppers, and can be seasoned with various spices such as cumin and oregano. Entomatadas are often served with rice and beans.
Romeritos is a traditional Mexican dish made with a herb called Suaeda, which is boiled and served in a mole sauce seasoned with shrimp jerky blended into the mix.
The dish is typically served with boiled potatoes, nopales, and re-hydrated shrimp.
Romeritos are a popular dish during the Christmas season.
Atole is a traditional Mexican hot beverage made from masa harina, a type of corn flour, and water or milk. The mixture is typically sweetened with sugar and flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, or other ingredients such as chocolate or fruit.
Atole has a thick, creamy texture and is often served as a breakfast or dessert drink. It is a popular beverage during the holiday season and is often served with tamales or other traditional Mexican dishes.
38. Chicharrón De Queso
Chicharrón is fried pork skin or pork rinds. The pork skin is typically seasoned with salt and other spices before being deep-fried until crispy.
Chicharrón de Queso is a popular Mexican street food, commonly found in Mexico’s bustling local markets and food vendors’ carts.
This tasty snack features cheese that is usually fried or broiled, resulting in a crispy or semi-crispy cheese tortilla.
Huaraches are large, oblong-shaped dish consisting of masa, mashed pinto beans, green or red salsa, onions, potato, cilantro and protein such as beef. It is often topped with queso fresco.
There are many variations of huaraches, including the huarache de pollo (made with chicken) and the huarache de camarones (made with shrimp).
Huaraches are most popular in Mexico City. The name “Huarache” is derived from the shape of the dish which is similar to sandals of the same name.
40. Huevos Rancheros
Begin your day with this popular Mexican breakfast option. This popular Mexican breakfast meal has become iconic in America too!
Huevos Ranchers translates to “rancher’s eggs”. The dish originated as a morning meal for ranch hands in Northern Mexico, using fried, sunny-side-up eggs, refried beans, crispy fried corn tortillas, and a red salsa.
The hearty dish is typically garnished with cilantro and cotija cheese. I like to add sliced avocado. It’s a cheap, easy, and delicious. You’ll be ready to wrangle cattle all day.
Related: 16 Mexican Foods That Start With H
41. Carne Asada
Carne Asada is a popular Mexican dish that consists of grilled or roasted beef that has been marinated in a mixture of lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and other seasonings.
Carne Asada can be made with various cuts of beef such as flank steak, skirt steak, or ribeye
42. Pescado a la Veracruzana
Pescado a la Veracruzana is a traditional Mexican dish that originated in the state of Veracruz. It consists of fish, typically red snapper or tilapia, cooked in a flavorful sauce made of tomatoes, onions, garlic, olives, capers, and chili peppers.
The sauce is typically seasoned with oregano and bay leaves, and can be spicy or mild depending on personal preference. Pescado a la Veracruzana is often served with rice and vegetables and is a popular dish in Mexican cuisine.
Chalupas are a specialty dish in south-central Mexico. They are typically eaten as a snack or antojito.
Chalupas are made from fried masa and a savory filling. Traditional chalupas are topped with only salsa cheese and shredded lettuce.
The word chalupa means “shallop” (small sailboat). The name is due to the masa cake’s shape which is similar to a taco. Taco Bell’s Americanized Chalupa is more of a taco hybrid.
44. Huachinango a la Talla
Huachinango a la Talla is a traditional Mexican dish that consists of grilled or roasted red snapper fish that has been marinated in a mixture of spices, herbs, and chili peppers.
The marinade typically includes garlic, oregano, cumin, and chili peppers, and can be spicy or mild depending on personal preference.
The fish is typically served with a side of rice and vegetables, and can be accompanied by tortillas or bread.
Guajolota, also known as a torta de tamal, is a popular form of street food commonly found in Mexico City and within the State of Mexico.
This unique and delicious sandwich is made by placing a tamal inside a bolillo or a telera, which is a rounder version of a bolillo.
A tamal is typically made with a dough of masa (corn-based), which is filled with various ingredients and then wrapped and steamed in a corn husk.
Margaritas are a popular cocktail that originated in Mexico in 1942. They typically consist of tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur, such as triple sec, mixed together and served over ice in a salt-rimmed glass.
Margaritas can be made in many different flavors, such as strawberry, mango, and watermelon, by adding fruit puree or juice to the mix.
Did you know? The frozen margarita was invented in Dallas, Texas in 1971.
47. Queso Panela
Queso Panela is a type of fresh cheese that is commonly used in Mexican cuisine. It is made from pasteurized cow’s milk and has a mild, slightly tangy flavor and a soft, crumbly texture.
Queso Panela is typically shaped into a round or square block and can be sliced or crumbled for use in various dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, and salads.
It is also a popular cheese for grilling or frying, as it holds its shape well and develops a crispy exterior while maintaining a soft and creamy interior.
Mexican chorizo is typically made with fresh pork and is seasoned with vinegar and chili peppers, while Spanish chorizo is often cured and has a smokier flavor.
Chorizo is a type of sausage that originated in the Iberian Peninsula and is commonly used in Spanish and Mexican cuisine. It is typically made from ground pork, chili peppers, and other seasonings such as garlic, paprika, and cumin.
Chorizo can be found in both fresh and cured varieties, and can be used in many different dishes such as tacos, burritos, soups, stews, and omelets.
Cemitas are a popular Mexican sandwich, originally from Puebla, Mexico. These delicious sandwiches are famous for their brioche-like egg-based bread roll covered with sesame seeds, known as a cemita roll.
Unlike common tortas that use crispy bolillos, cemitas feature a softer and more flavorful bread which holds the delectable ingredients together.
In a traditional cemita, the most common meat options are beef or chicken milanesa. Milanesa is a thinly pounded, breaded, and deep-fried cutlet of meat, adding a touch of crunchy texture to the sandwich.
Memelas are a traditional Mexican dish that originated in the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Puebla.
They are similar to fresh corn tortillas but are slightly thicker and oval-shaped, and are made from masa dough.
Memelas are typically cooked on a comal or griddle until lightly browned and then topped with various ingredients such as refried beans, cheese, salsa, and shredded meat.
51. Sopa Azteca
The most popular soup in Mexico is Tortilla Soup (also called Aztec Soup). It’s is a humble comfort food eaten every day.
Traditionally, it’s made with chicken broth, roasted tomatoes, chiles, onion, garlic, and tortillas (cut into strips and fried).
Aztec soup may have originated in the state of Tlaxcala, which means “place of tortilla abundance” in the Náhuatl.
Related: 24 Mexican Foods That Start With S
52. Mexican Rice
Mexican rice is a side dish typically made from white rice, tomato, onion, and garlic.
Mexican-style rice is popular in Mexico and also the southwestern United States.
The dish is called arroz rojo in Spanish which translates to “red rice”.
Related: 23 Mexican Foods That Start With R
Authentic Mexican Burritos are typically smaller and thinner than American burritos.
Mexican-style Burritos consist of flour tortillas wrapped around meat or fish, rice, beans, asadero cheese, potato, chile relleno or chile rajas.
American-style Burritos are quite large and typically include ground beef, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, and yellow cheese.
Related: 25 Mexican Foods That Start With B
Tostadas are a popular Mexican dish consisting of a fried or toasted tortilla topped with a variety of ingredients like: beans, meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and sauce.
They are a staple in Mexican cuisine and can be found everywhere from street vendors to restaurants.
Ancient Aztecs made tostadas with ants and beetles as ingredients.
55. Tacos al Pastor
Al pastor is a very popular Mexican dish made from marinated pork that is cooked on a vertical spit, similar to shawarma or gyros.
The meat is sliced off the spit and served in tacos, burritos, and other dishes.
Al pastor is a popular street food in Mexico, and is often found at taquerias and street vendors. Its origins trace back to the Lebanese immigrants in Mexico, who introduced the shawarma to the country.
56. Gusanos de Maguey
Gusanos de Maguey, also known as “maguey worms” are a traditional Mexican delicacy. They are the larvae of the maguey plant and are typically harvested from the Agave plant. They are often grilled and seasoned with chili powder, lime juice, and salt, and are considered a luxury food item.
Gusanos de Maguey are often served as a snack or as a topping for traditional dishes. They are considered a delicacy, and are not as common as other traditional Mexican foods.
57. Torta Ahogada
Torta Ahogada is a traditional Mexican sandwich that originated in the state of Jalisco. It’s made with a bolillo roll (a type of Mexican roll), filled with a variety of ingredients such as carnitas, chicken or beef and then drowned in a spicy tomato sauce.
It’s often garnished with onions, cilantro and lime wedges.
Torta Ahogada is a popular street food in Mexico and can be found in many taquerias and street vendors, especially in Jalisco.
58. Pico de Gallo
Pico de gallo, also known as salsa fresca, is a traditional Mexican condiment made from fresh ingredients such as diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice, and chili peppers.
It is typically served as a topping for tacos, burritos, and other Mexican dishes, and is also a popular dip for tortilla chips.
59. Frijoles Refritos
Frijoles Refritos (“Refried Beans”) are a traditional Mexican dish made from pinto beans that are cooked, mashed and then fried in oil or lard.
It’s a great way to use leftover beans. They are often flavored with garlic, onion, and spices and can be served as a side dish or as a filling for tacos and burritos.
Esquites is a delicious and inexpensive Mexican street food made from corn. This dish traditionally consists of grilled corn on the cob, mixed with creamy mayonnaise, freshly crumbled cotija cheese or queso fresco, lime juice, and chili powder.
It’s commonly sold by street vendors in Mexico and served in large cups with a spoon.
The corn used in esquites is often compared to elote, another popular Mexican corn-based dish. While elote is typically served on the cob with a stick for easier handling, esquites features the corn kernels cut off the cob and combined with the other ingredients in a cup.
Related: 17 Mexican Foods that Start with E
Picadillo is a traditional Mexican dish that consists of ground meat, typically beef, cooked in a flavorful salsa.
This hearty dish often features a mixture of vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, and peas, and is seasoned with a variety of spices like cumin and cloves.
Picadillo is usually served with a side of rice, corn, or beans
Escamoles, sometimes referred to as Mexican caviar or caviar of the desert, is a unique and traditional dish in Mexican cuisine, particularly in Mexico City and its neighboring areas.
Escamoles are the edible larvae and pupae of ants. The consumption of escamoles dates back to the era of the Aztecs.
Due to their exclusivity and the arduous harvesting process, escamoles are typically found in fine dining restaurants rather than on standard street food carts.
63. Pastel Imposible
Pastel Imposible, also known as Chocoflan, is a delicious Mexican dessert that combines chocolate cake, flan, and caramel topping.
This incredible dessert features two distinct layers, making it a visually stunning and tasty treat, perfect for chocolate lovers.
Despite the name ‘impossible cake,’ it is surprisingly easy to make.
Enfrijoladas are a popular Mexican dish that consists of corn tortillas covered in a flavorful bean sauce, typically stuffed with cheese and onions.
Commonly, black beans are used, but other types of beans can also be used.
Some variations might also include avocado leaves and peppers for an extra kick of flavor.
Tlacoyos are a popular Mexican street food, originating from the Prehispanic era, primarily enjoyed in central states of the country. They are thick corn dough tortillas, often having an oval or rhomboid shape. The dough, called masa, is traditionally made from blue corn and has a soft texture.
You’ll find Tlacoyos typically filled with mashed beans, which can be black or fava/broad beans, or even pork cracklings. Common toppings include a cactus paddle salad, cilantro, serrano chiles, and onion.
Tlacoyos are often topped with a crumble of fresh cheese.
Related: 30 Most Popular Mexican Cheeses
66. Huevos Divorciados
Huevos divorciados, or “divorced eggs,” are a Mexican breakfast dish. Unlike huevos rancheros, this dish features two fried eggs, each one topped with a different salsa – one with salsa roja (red salsa) and the other with salsa verde (green salsa).
The eggs are typically separated by accompaniments such as refried beans or sliced avocado. This dish is often served on top of fried tortillas.
Tinga is a traditional Mexican dish that consists of tender, shredded meat simmered in a spicy and smoky tomato sauce. This dish is flexible in its protein choice, allowing the use of different meats such as chicken (pollo), beef (res), or pork (puerco).
The key to replicating the authentic flavor of tinga is to use chiles, chipotle in adobo, and plenty of onions in the sauce.
With its roots in Puebla, tinga is often associated with celebrations such as Cinco de Mayo.
Capirotada is a traditional Mexican bread pudding made with bread, syrup, raisins, almonds, and cheese.
The syrup is usually made of cinnamon, clove, and piloncillo, a type of unrefined brown sugar.
Capirotada is often served during Lent and can be found in various forms throughout Mexico, with some variations including ingredients such as dried fruit and coconut.
Tequila is a distilled spirit made from the blue agave plant in Mexico.
It is typically served straight or in cocktails such as margaritas, palomas, and tequila sunrises.
Tequila can be found in a variety of styles, including blanco (unaged), reposado (aged 2-12 months), and añejo (aged 1-3 years), and is often enjoyed with salt and lime.
Pipián is a traditional Mexican sauce that is made with pumpkin seeds, tomatillos, and peppers.
The sauce is typically served over chicken or pork and can be found in both red and green varieties.
Pipián is a popular sauce in Mexican cuisine and is often used in mole dishes, and is known for its nutty and slightly spicy flavor.
Gringas are a type of Mexican food that resembles a taco and a quesadilla.
Cheese is melted between two flour tortillas, and marinated meat, most commonly al pastor pork, is placed on top of that along with onions, cilantro, pineapple, chili sauce, and other ingredients, depending on the cook’s preference.
Gringas are typically grilled and can be found in various regions of Mexico, with some variations including the use of different meats, cheeses, and toppings.
Nopales come from the pads of the nopal or prickly pear cactus, native to the American Southwest and Mexico.
These edible cactus pads have a unique flavor and can be found in a variety of dishes, including salads, soups, and main courses.
73. Tacos De Cabeza
Tacos de Cabeza, a popular variety of Mexican street food, feature the tender and flavorful cheek meat from the cooked head of an animal – typically a cow.
These tacos are a staple of Mexican cuisine, often found in taquerias alongside other famous taco fillings like carnitas, chorizo, barbacoa, al pastor, and carne asada.
Chapulines are edible grasshoppers, particularly popular in Oaxaca, Mexico.
These grasshoppers, belonging to the Sphenarium genus, have been a sustainable source of protein in the region since the 16th century, often consumed during the rainy summer season.
As a street food staple, chapulines are typically fried and seasoned with a mixture of chilis, garlic, and a squeeze of lime juice, resulting in a crunchy texture and yeasty flavor.
Molotes are a popular street food in Mexican cuisine, commonly found in regions like Oaxaca, Puebla, and the Yucatan during special occasions like Easter and Christmas time.
Molotes are shaped like oblong empanadas or patties, and made from masa and stuffed with a variety of savory fillings such as refried beans, cheese, and meat.
In some states of Mexico, molotes are formed like empanadas and stuffed with cheese and beans or picadillo, a flavorful ground meat mixture. Many versions of molotes use plantains for added sweetness and texture.
76. Tortas Ahogadas
Tortas Ahogadas is a traditional Mexican dish that originated in the state of Jalisco, particularly in the city of Guadalajara.
The dish consists of a crusty bread roll filled with pork carnitas and red onions, which is then dipped or “drowned” in a spicy red chili sauce made from dried chilies, tomatoes, and other seasonings.
The sauce is typically quite spicy and can be adjusted to personal taste. Tortas Ahogadas are often served with lime wedges.
Nachos are one of my favorite Mexican dishes. While Nachos were invented in Mexico, they are not as popular in Mexico as they are in the United States and other countries.
In America, nachos are made with tortilla chips that are topped with melted cheese and other ingredients such as beans, meat, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.
Nachos were first created in the 1940s by Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, who served them at his restaurant in Piedras Negras, Mexico.
Champurrado is a traditional Mexican hot beverage that is similar to hot chocolate but with a thicker, porridge-like consistency.
It is made from masa harina, a type of corn flour, mixed with water or milk, and flavored with Mexican chocolate, cinnamon, and other spices.
It is typically sweetened with piloncillo, a type of unrefined cane sugar, and can be served with churros or other sweet pastries.
Champurrado is a popular drink during the holiday season and is often served during Dia de los Muertos celebrations.
Fajitas are a popular Tex-Mex dish made of grilled or sautéed strips of meat, typically beef or chicken, served on a sizzling hot plate along with onions and bell peppers.
The dish is typically served with warm tortillas and a variety of toppings such as salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and cheese.
Fajitas can be found in many Mexican restaurants around the world and are known for their sizzling presentation and customizable toppings.
Chimichangas are a deep-fried burrito that is common in Tex-Mex and other Southwestern U.S. cuisine.
The burrito is typically filled with various meats, beans, cheese, and vegetables, and then deep-fried until crispy.
Chimichangas are often served with toppings such as guacamole, sour cream, and salsa.
Raspados are a popular Mexican dessert made from shaved ice and various flavored syrups.
The shaved ice is typically packed into a cup and then topped with fruit syrups, such as mango, tamarind, or strawberry, as well as fresh fruit, chamoy sauce, and chili powder.
Raspados can be found in many street food stalls and ice cream shops throughout Mexico, and are a refreshing treat on a hot day.
Salsa is a popular Mexican condiment that is typically made from a mixture of chopped tomatoes, onions, chili peppers, cilantro, and lime juice.
Salsa can be mild or spicy depending on the type and amount of chili peppers used. It is typically served as a dip with tortilla chips or as a topping for tacos, burritos, and other Mexican dishes.
Salsa can be made in many different variations, such as salsa roja (red salsa), salsa verde (green salsa), and pico de gallo (a fresh salsa made with chopped tomatoes, onions, and cilantro).
83. Chile con Carne
Chili con carne is a dish that is often associated with Mexican cuisine, but its exact origins are unclear. It is believed to have originated in the American Southwest, particularly in the state of Texas, where it is considered the official state dish.
Chili con carne is a spicy stew that typically contains chili peppers, meat (usually beef), tomatoes, and beans, although the exact ingredients can vary depending on the recipe. It is often served with rice, tortillas, or cornbread.
Salbutes are a popular Mexican street food originating from the Yucatán region. These delicious snacks resemble small, puffy tortillas and are typically made of corn masa, fried until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
They are then topped with a variety of ingredients, such as shredded cabbage or lettuce, tomatoes, pickled red onions, and sometimes pulled chicken or shredded turkey.
Tampiqueña is one of the most popular meat dishes in Mexican cuisine.
The star of the dish is the marinated skirt steak, also known as carne asada. This tender, juicy steak is seasoned with salt and pepper before being chargrilled to perfection.
Aguachile is a popular Mexican dish that originated in the state of Sinaloa, located on the western coast of Mexico.
The dish typically consists of raw shrimp that is marinated in a mixture of lime juice, chili peppers, salt, and water, which gives it a tart and spicy flavor.
The shrimp is typically served with sliced onions, cucumbers, and avocado, and can be garnished with cilantro and other seasonings.
Chilorio is a traditional Mexican dish that originated in the state of Sinaloa and is enjoyed all over northern Mexico.
This dish is typically made with pork, but sometimes beef or chicken is used. The process of making Chilorio involves slow-cooking the meat, shredding it, frying it, and then braising it in adobo sauce.
The sauce for Chilorio is created using a blend of dried chiles, garlic, oregano, coriander seeds, freshly ground black pepper, a pinch of cumin, white distilled vinegar, finely chopped white onions, fresh Anaheim chiles, and ripe Roma tomatoes.
88. Chongos Zamoranos
Chongos Zamoranos is a traditional Mexican dessert made from curdled milk, sugar, and cinnamon. The mixture is heated until the milk curdles and forms a soft cheese-like consistency. The resulting Chongos are served in a sweet milky syrup.
Chongos Zamoranos originated the region of Michoacán, specifically in Zamora de Hidalgo.
89. Cecina Adobada
Cecina Adobada is a traditional Mexican dish made from thinly sliced, salted, and marinated beef that is then grilled or pan-fried.
The beef is typically marinated in a mixture of rehydrated dried chiles, garlic, vinegar, Mexican oregano, marjoram, thyme, salt, and pepper, all blended together until smooth.
Cecina Adobada is often served with tortillas, avocado, and salsa.
90. Tacos De Lengua
Tacos de Lengua are a traditional Mexican dish made from beef tongue that has been slow-cooked until tender and then chopped into small pieces.
The meat is typically seasoned with a variety of spices and served on a soft corn or flour tortilla with cilantro, onions, and salsa.
Tacos de Lengua can be found in many Mexican restaurants and street food stalls throughout Mexico.
Chamorro is a term used to describe a particular cut of meat in Mexican cuisine, specifically referring to the beef shank, which comes from the fat of a cow or from the cattle’s legs.
One popular way to cook Chamorro meat is to prepare it in Salsa Verde, a green sauce made from tomatillos, garlic, onion, jalapeños, and cilantro.
Another delicious Chamorro dish is Chamorro Bistek, which combines beef shank with flavorful ingredients such as Dashida seasoning, garlic, black pepper, onions, vinegar, soy sauce, and achote powder.
92. Sopa De Lima
Sopa de Lima (Yucatán-Style Lime Soup) is a light and refreshing Mexican dish, typically featuring chicken, onions, bell peppers, lime, and cilantro.
This soup is perfect for enjoying on its own or alongside other Mexican cuisine favorites.
Lime juice is also added to the simmering broth, giving the soup its characteristic tanginess.
93. Tikin Xic
Tikin Xic is a flavorful, traditional Mexican dish originating from the Yucatán Peninsula. It prominently features fish as the main component. Commonly, red snapper, snook, sea bass, bronzino, or grouper are used due to their mild taste and firm texture.
The key to Tikin Xic’s distinctive taste lies in its marinade, a tangy mixture is composed of freshly squeezed orange and lime juices, white distilled vinegar, achiote paste, garlic, and white onions.
Some variations may also include dried guajillo chiles, which add a gentle heat to the dish.
94. Tacos De Canasta
Tacos de Canasta, also known as “basket tacos,” are a popular Mexican street food found throughout Mexico. These tacos are distinct from other well-known tacos, such as tacos al pastor, because they’re not made to order.
Instead, the tacos are pre-filled with various stews and kept warm in a plastic bag coated with chile-infused oil. This oil allows the tacos to steam.
Common fillings for Tacos de Canasta include potatoes, chicharrón (fried pork rinds), beans, or adobo (a type of marinade). You’ll find that these tacos come in various names, like tacos sudados (sweaty tacos) or tacos al vapor.
Panuchos are a popular Mexican street food and antojito, originating from the Yucatán Peninsula.
They are often compared to mini tostadas, with their distinct feature being their stuffing of refried black beans prior to frying.
The traditional toppings for panuchos include chopped cabbage, pulled chicken or turkey, tomato, pickled red onion, avocado, and pickled jalapeño pepper.
96. Caldo de Res
Caldo de Res, a traditional and rustic Mexican beef soup, is an integral part of Mexican cuisine.
Originating in Mexico, this dish features a flavorful beef broth loaded with vegetables like squash, corn, carrots, cabbage, and potatoes.
97. Tres Leches
Tres Leches cake originated in México and is the country’s national pastry.
Tres Leches is a sponge cake soaked in a mixture of three types of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and whole milk. The cake is then typically topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit.
Bionicos are a type of Mexican fruit salad that is typically made with fresh fruits such as strawberries, bananas, papayas, and mangoes, and topped with a sweet and creamy mixture of yogurt, condensed milk, and Mexican crema.
99. Modelo Beer
Modelo beer is a brand of Mexican beer first introduced in 1925. Modelo beer has since become one of the most popular beer brands in Mexico and the United States
Some other popular Mexican beer brands include Corona, Dos Equis, Tecate, Pacifico, and Indio, among others.
Paletas are popsicles typically made with fresh fruit, water, and sugar, although there are also creamy versions made with milk or cream.
The ingredients are blended together and poured into molds, which are then frozen until solid. The resulting popsicles come in a variety of flavors such as strawberry, mango, coconut, and lime.
Related: 10 Popular Mexican Ice Creams
Mexican Food History
Mexican cuisine is a delicious fusion of indigenous and Spanish flavors.
The Aztecs invented the tortilla, and used it as a wrap for other foods. Corn, squash, chile peppers, and beans have been staples of the Mexican diet since pre-Columbian times.
In addition to these key ingredients, Mexican gastronomy incorporates a variety of native American ingredients, such as meat, cheese, tomatoes, avocados, potatoes, prickly pear cactus, chocolate, and turkey.
The majority of dishes also include rice and spices which were introduced by Spanish conquistadors.
In 1521, Spain invaded Mexico. Spanish cuisine had the greatest influence on Mexican cuisine. They brought new livestock, such as sheep, pigs, and cows.
They also brought dairy products, garlic, and a variety of herbs, grains, and spices.
Meal Structure in Mexico
What’s a typical Mexican breakfast, lunch and dinner?
In Mexico, the traditional meal structure typically consists of three main meals per day: breakfast (desayuno), lunch (comida), and dinner (cena).
Breakfast is usually a light meal and is typically eaten in the morning, often with coffee or hot chocolate.
Mexican breakfast dishes can vary depending on the region, but some common dishes include chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, or tamales. These dishes are often served with coffee, hot chocolate, or fresh fruit juice.
Lunch in Mexico is called comida. It is the main meal of the day and is typically served between 1 and 3 p.m. is often served in larger portions than breakfast or dinner.
It is often served in larger portions than breakfast or dinner and can include several courses, such as soup, a main dish, and dessert.
In Mexico, the evening meal is called cena. It is a lighter meal that is typically eaten later in the evening, often after 8 p.m.
It can be a simple and may include leftovers from the earlier meal.
Popular Mexican Foods FAQs
What is the most popular Mexican food in the world?
Tacos are recognized as the most popular Mexican dish in the world. Authentic Mexican tacos are typically served with two tortilla shells. Carne asada tacos are thought to have first appeared in the 1500s. Other common taco fillings include chicken, pork, seafood, and beans.
What are popular Mexican ingredients?
Staple ingredients in Mexico include rice, beans, tortillas, corn, sauces, white cheese, avocados, chili peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, cacao, vanilla, agave, turkey, sweet potatoes, cactus, cilantro, and chili peppers. Meats are also typical found in many Mexican recipes.
What are the most popular Mexican cheeses?
Some of the most popular cheese varieties in Mexico include queso fresco, cotija, chihuahua, panela, manchego, quesillo, and asadero.
What food is typically eaten during Christmas in Mexico?
Popular foods during Christmas in Mexico include: Pavo navideño (turkey), Ensalada de Noche Buena, Menudo, Bacalao with Romeritos, Tamales, Volteado de piña, and Ponche Navideño (punch).
What drinks are popular in Mexico?
Some of the most popular drinks in Mexico are Tequila, Mezcal, Craft Beers, Aguas Frescas, Margarita, Paloma, Carajillo, Fruit Smoothies, and Michelada.
What is Tex-Mex cuisine?
Tex-Mex cuisine (from the words Texas and Mexico) is an American cuisine that originated in Texas. In addition to flour tortillas, Tex-Mex cuisine is distinguished by its heavy use of yellow shredded cheese, beans, meat, chili peppers, and spices.
Are avocados native to Mexico?
Avocados are believed to have originated in southern Mexico, specifically in the region that encompasses the modern-day states of Puebla and Veracruz. They are one of the most popular Mexican fruits and also a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine.
What fruits are native to Mexico?
Mexico is home to native fruits including jocote, pitaya, avocado, icaco (cocoplum), guanabana (sour sop), tejocote (Mexican hawthorn), guayaba (guava), calabaza (pumpkin), xócotl, jicama, lima (Mexican lime), mamey, dragon fruit, nanche, naranjilla, chiltepin, papaya, tomatillo, chili pepper, huaya, xoconostle, tuna (prickly pear), chayote, sapodilla, yellow sapote, mamey sapote, green sapote, black sapote, chapote, white sapote, sun sapote, capulin, jalapeno pepper, and cuchinito. These fruits are integral to Mexican cuisine and are used in a variety of traditional dishes and beverages.
What is the most popular meat in Mexican food?
The most popular meat in Mexican food is pork. Pork is widely used in traditional Mexican cuisine and is featured in numerous dishes. Some popular pork-based Mexican dishes include carnitas (slow-cooked and tender pork), al pastor (marinated and spit-roasted pork), and cochinita pibil (marinated and slow-roasted pork).
What are the most popular Mexican street foods?
Some popular examples of typical Mexican street food include Tacos, Elote, Tamales, Quesadillas, Gorditas, Tostadas, and Agua Fresca.
More Popular Mexican Foods
There are so many more popular Mexican foods to enjoy! Here are a few more articles to explore:
- 57 Popular Mexican Desserts (List)
- 28 Most Popular Mexican Cheeses
- 30 Most Popular Mexican Drinks
- 12 Popular Tequila Drinks & Cocktails