GASTRONOMY OF CDMX

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Typical Food of CDMX

Mexico City (CDMX) is a city with a large population, some natives and many others from both inside the country and abroad, who chose it as their home; Thus, its gastronomic proposal hides endless culinary secrets from the most varied origins, ranging from delicious national appetizers to exotic dishes prepared by an international chef.

Quesadillas
Quesadillas

Among the typical dishes of Mexico City, the tamale torta, the red and green tamales, the migas broth, chili peppers, the flour cracklings with pork skins and the belly quesadillas stand out; In addition to this, the snack stalls are the main attraction since they offer a wide and varied selection of typical foods of the city, such as tacos, tlacoyos, sopes, huaraches, flautas, elotes and Esquites, basket tacos and other delicacies.

To complement these dishes, you can order a michelada or a fresh water and if you have time, visit a pulquería and try the tlachique or pulque, it can be a good plan; likewise, a good tequila or mezcal at some point of the day will be an almost obligatory task, special occasions are not necessary, there will always be a reason to enjoy one of the traditional Mexican drinks.

The gastronomy of Mexico City will surprise you, there are no limits to the creativity of the chefs who create rich options, trying them will be a unique experience worth enjoying, you just have to cheer up, you won’t regret it!

As an additional bonus, in CDMX you can enjoy the gastronomy of any state of Mexico, since without having to look hard, you can find a restaurant specialized in the traditional food of each region.

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DISHES

Tacos al Pastor

It is the quintessential guilty pleasure for the capital residents, perfect for eating with family, friends, with your partner, in the afternoon and at night. Nothing whets the appetite more than seeing a trompo of al pastor meat rotating vertically over the oven, while the pineapple that crowns the top releases its juice on it. These tacos are served at the moment; With a knife, the taco maker cuts pieces of the spiced meat from the top and places them on small double tortillas about eight centimeters in diameter, accompanied by a piece of roasted pineapple and chopped cilantro with onion.

Trompo of Tacos al Pastor
Trompo of Tacos al Pastor

It is normal to eat them with lemon and although chile de arbol sauce was originally used, today there is a wide variety of sauces. It should be noted that meat al pastor is also sold in “tortas”.

Tacos al pastor are believed to have been created by Lebanese immigrants in Mexico City in the 19th century. Although they are mainly pork, they are usually also beef. They are also known as trompo tacos due to the shape of the thin, marinated fillets, skewered on a metal rod that works as a vertical spit. The pork is previously marinated with achiote, chiles, vinegar and spices. In the upper part of this rod a pineapple is skewered that, spilling its juice, seasons the meat.

The trompo of meat rotates in slow cooking and when the taco maker needs to assemble a taco, he cuts a portion that falls on the tortilla held with the other hand. This is also put a piece of pineapple, onion, cilantro and a variety of sauces. Meat trompos are part of the landscape in public view in Mexico City, where tacos al pastor are eaten throughout the day.

Tacos de Canasta (Basket Tacos)

Also known as sweaty tacos, the vendors ride their bikes and carry a huge wicker basket on the back, covered with red and white checkered cloth. On one side the buckets are hung, one filled with a rich sauce and the other with pickled jalapeño peppers to accompany the tacos that have unpretentious fillings: potatoes, pressed pork rinds, marinated meat, beans and green mole. The tacos are served on plastic or Styrofoam plates and are accompanied by sliced onion that is cooked with the steam that the tacos give off.

An average basket can have from five hundred to a thousand tacos, which are finished in a matter of three to four hours. These taqueros go out to sell in the mornings, generally, it is best to eat these tacos early, right away, since the last ones that remain at the bottom of the basket usually end up crushed by the weight of the other tacos and the tortilla comes undone due to excess steam and moisture.

Tlacoyos

It is a preparation of pre-hispanic origin whose name in Nahuatl means laborious, it is made of corn dough, commonly white or blue, in a rhomboid shape and filled with beans, potatoes, broad bean, cottage cheese or pressed chicharrón, which is cooked with little fat on a griddle. It is served accompanied by grated cheese, chopped cilantro, onion and green or red sauce.

Tlacoyos
Tlacoyos

When roasted and because it is just over a centimeter thick, it can take a little time to cook, so the vendors choose to have the tlacoyos already preheated on the edge of the griddle, almost ready to serve. You can distinguish the stalls that sell this type of appetizers thanks to the huge round griddle placed on a brazier.

Quesadillas

Quesadillas are one of the most controversial dishes in the country. This product consists of a tortilla or stuffed corn dough, but while in Mexico City a quesadilla can be made with cheese and some stew such as tinga, picadillo, potatoes, pressed pork rinds, squash blossoms, brains, huitlacoche or mushrooms, in the In the rest of the states of the Mexican Republic, this appetizer is only prepared with cheese.

Quesadillas are folded in half and can be grilled on a comal or fried. In some places they are served with grated cheese, lettuce and green or red sauce. If they are fried, cream can be added.It is preferable to eat them freshly made, since, depending on the filling, they become moist and the flavor is no longer the same and there is even a greasy sensation in the dough.

The quesadillas on comals are sold at the stalls next to the tlacoyos, whose tortilla is prepared with white or blue dough, while the fried quesadillas can be found in places with steel plates known as navel comales where the oil is poured and heated to over 200°C to be able to fry the products. It should be noted that although the most common is that quesadillas are prepared with corn dough, there are places where they are made with wheat flour and with fillings such as cheese with ham or sausage.

Sopes

It is a dish prepared with corn dough that is round in shape, its thickness is approximately half a centimeter and it has small ‘pinches’ on the edges that prevent the filling that is placed on this appetizer from coming out. They are cooked on a comal or a griddle and usually simple sopes of refried beans with grated cheese, onion, sauce and sometimes nopales on top or lettuce and cream are offered. There are also prepared sopes that are the same as the first ones but include meat such as cecina, chicken, longaniza or some stew, all you have to do is look at the containers next to the griddle.

Gorditas
Gorditas
Gorditas

They are appetizers prepared with corn dough, round in shape and filled -generally- with pressed pork rinds or cottage cheese. Like quesadillas, they can be cooked on a comal or fried, the former, in addition to being made with white or blue corn, are served with grated cheese, chopped cilantro, onion, sauce or even nopales with red chili and sliced onion; the latter are prepared with white corn and are presented only with onion, cilantro and sauce. For a few pesos more you can order them stuffed with quesillo (Oaxaca cheese), which is really worth it.

Huaraches

These snacks or perhaps snacks, are prepared with corn dough and are flattened to about 30 centimeters long by 10 or 15 cm wide, some are filled with refried beans.You can also order them simple, with grated cheese, lettuce and sauce or prepared with meat or the stew that the vendor has at your disposal. There are shops specializing in huaraches and they are normally sold together with giant quesadillas made on a comal and similar in size to the huaraches.

They are named for their similar shape to the sole of the indigenous sandals of the same name. They are prepared with corn dough spread into thick, oval cakes, which are their distinctive feature. A wide variety of fillings based on meat, chicken, chorizo, cheese, beans and other vegetables, properly sauced, are added on top.

Pozole

Pozole is a pre-hispanic dish with many national varieties, such as green, from Guerrero, and red, from various states. In CDMX you will get all of these, including the Guerrero and those from Jalisco, Guanajuato, Tlaxcala, from the northern states and the varieties from the Pacific coast. This Mexican dish is a perfect balance of the 3 macronutrients that the body needs for a healthy diet. Corn provides carbohydrates, chicken or pork contribute protein, and vegetables add vitamins and minerals. The broth is a revitalizer that cures a hangover.

Elotes (Corn) and Esquites

You can’t talk about one without finding the other. When the afternoon begins to cool down, it is a good idea to locate the nearest corn vendor. Already at the stall, we can see a huge pot where the corn is submerged in salted water, all you have to do is choose the one you like the most and the vendor will expertly stick a wooden stick into it to prepare it with lemon, chili powder and Salt. It can also be ordered with a smear of mayonnaise and a sprinkle of grated cheese.

Elotes and Esquites
Elotes and Esquites

Another option is the grilled corn, which is placed on a grill and roasted over direct heat. These are served on a corn husk and then a lemon is squeezed over them. As for the Esquites, this appetizer consists of corn kernels cooked in water, with salt and epazote. They are served in Styrofoam cups and eaten with a spoon. The vendor prepares them by placing a layer of corn kernels, followed by lemon juice, salt and another spoonful of shees, and so on until the glass is full.

Like the corn, we can also order them with mayonnaise, cheese, and piquín chili powder. For the risky there is “the spicy” and for the less adventurous “the non-spicy”. A good point about corn and skis is that you will almost always find them hot, since the pots and pans that contain them are usually on the stove.

Chicken Soup

When the cold attacks there is no better remedy than a good chicken broth to warm the stomach. Without wanting to be redundant, this is a broth made with water, garlic, onion and the pieces of a chicken such as gizzards, wings, legs and crates. This preparation also incorporates vegetables such as chickpeas, carrots, chopped onions and coriander. To serve it, it is accompanied with rice, lemon, sauce and an order of tortillas to ‘spoon’ the broth.

The diner can choose the piece of chicken they want to eat and although you can ask for breast, customers usually prefer pieces such as legs, thighs or gizzards. Although it sounds more difficult to consume than the previous options, vendors can offer it in ceramic dishes up to half-liter Styrofoam containers. The interesting thing about this dish is that its cooking time is three to four hours due to the toughness of the chicken meat compared to the usual chicken, which can be ready in half that time.

Tamales

The representative Mexican tamales are corn buns filled with meat, vegetables, fruits and other ingredients, wrapped in vegetable leaves that are parboiled or steamed. Although corn cob leaves are used in the traditional wrapper, banana leaves, avocado leaves and other plant species are also used. Aluminum foil sheets are also used industrially, but many prefer traditional wrappers. The green and red tamales are particularly popular in Mexico City. They are steamed in a corn husk and fried in butter just before eating, leaving them crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Chilaquiles
Chilaquiles
Chilaquiles

Totopos or pieces of toasted or fried tortilla dipped in red or green chili sauce. As an alternative, shredded beef or chicken, cecina, flank steak, chorizo, cheese, cream, eggs, avocado, onion and other ingredients are also added. Many people eat them accompanied by beans in the morning.

Mexican “Tortas”

Bread or piece of bread (bolillo, birote or other) cut in half and stuffed with cheese, ham or other ingredient, which can be eaten hot or cold. They are seasoned with cream, mayonnaise, mustard, chiles, tomato slices, beans, guacamole and other sauces.

Flautas (Flutes)

Flutes are a classic in Mexico City. They are usually chicken or shredded meat. This appetizer is characterized by being an elongated fried taco that measures from 25 centimeters to 40 centimeters long, served in orders of three on an oval plate and accompanied by lettuce, cheese, cream and a touch of sauce.

The flautas should be made almost immediately, because if they have been waiting in the basket for a long time, the texture of the cold fat will be unpleasant and the crispiness that the frying gives to the tortilla will be lost. It is also not advisable to order them to take away because if they are stored in a bag the flautas will “sweat” with the steam they give off, the tortilla will be soft and once again the delicious crispy sensation will be lost.

Its name refers to the similarity it has with the musical instrument and like this, it is taken with the hands, without the need to use cutlery. Its origin is not known for sure, although it is said to come from Sinaola.

Enchiladas

In Mexico there are at least 300 types of enchiladas, tortillas filled with meat, chicken, turkey, pork or cheese, bathed in a chili sauce. Mining (Guanajuato), Michoacan, green and red (according to the color of the tomato and chilies), mole (sauced with mole), beans, Monterrey and potosinas are known.

Other popular ones are the northern ones, from the ground (popular in Sinaloa), Swiss (with milk cream and gratin cheese), sweets (with a mole that has raisins and piloncillo) and Chicanas or gringas (with chopped black olives). CDMX is the city in the country where you can easily get all these variations of enchiladas, whose usual accompaniment is lettuce, sliced onions, cheese and cream.

Divorced Eggs
Divorced Eggs
Ranch Eggs

It is the traditional breakfast of the workers of the ranches of Mexico and also the first meal of many people from the capital and other city dwellers. The eggs are fried. Scrambled, but not parboiled. Chopped chilies or a chili sauce, refried beans and corn tortillas cannot be missing. Divorced eggs are a variant. Two fried eggs, one covered with a red sauce and the other with a green sauce, separated by a serving of beans or chilaquiles. Ranch workers eat their eggs after dawn. Many in the cities, in the middle of the morning or at noon.

Stuffed Peppers

The stuffed peppers are one of the most complete foods that the inhabitants of the capital have. They are rich in vitamin C and other nutrients, while the cheese-based filling provides protein, fat and vitamins. Accompanied with tortillas or rice, they become a complete meal. If the filling is made with salmon, tuna, bonito, sardines or horse mackerel, the dish is enhanced with healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Nopales Salad

Preferred dish by residents of the capital who want to eat vegan and very nutritious.A nopales salad with tomato and avocado is a “superfood” that provides vegetable protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Nopal is low in calories. Its fiber helps in transit through the gastrointestinal system, preventing conditions such as constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. It is rich in vitamins A, B and C and in minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium.

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