Eating Authentic Mexican Food in Mexico

I think it’s fair to say Mexican food has to be one of the most misunderstood cuisines of all. People who aren’t familiar with it assume it’s all tortillas, beef and chilies, while those who eat at fast food outlets might believe those dishes are more authentic than they are. Eating authentic Mexican food in Mexico isn’t difficult but there are lots of tourist places you ought to avoid if you want to be eating the real deal.

And then you have Tex-Mex, Cali-Mex and all the other hybrids and regional variations, so it’s hardly surprising knowing what is authentic Mexican food and what is not can be confusing!

Tasty Tacos

Let’s start with tacos. These are an authentic Mexican food, right? Many people are used to the bright yellow U-shaped fried kind filled with meat, copious amounts of cheese, sour cream and jalapeños, but head down south and enjoy authentic tacos.

Those are one of my favorite Mexican treats, and I love ordering mine from the taco vans on the street for a really authentic experience.

Mexican Taco VanI’ve tried the pastor kind, which is chunks of pork, along with the cod kind, which are my favorite and a great example of authentic Mexican food.

An authentic Mexican taco is a corn tortilla about the size of your palm, with meat or seafood, salsa, cilantro, onion and lime. Maybe cheese too.

Once you get your taco, squeeze some lime juice over the top and then add sauce, choosing from the green or red (or maybe yellow or orange too), and taking care not to take too much since it can be very spicy!

There might also be onion, tomato and/or chilies you can use to top your taco for an authentic Mexican food experience.

Other Authentic Mexican Food to Try

So how about authentic Mexican food appetizes?

Antojitos Mexicanos are little treats which can be made with meat or vegetables, and they come with lettuce, cheese, cream and salsa. These are based on tortillas.

Then you have pambosas, deep fried sandwiches covered in tomato paste, and those are every bit as good as they sound. Tostadas are fried tortillas topped with chicken. Sopes are similar but made with soft-fried, thicker tortillas.

Huraches are flat, oval tortillas with meat, beans, salsa, lettuce and cheese. Sometimes the base is stuffed with beans, while cooked cactus leaves or eggs might go on top.

A quesadilla is a couple of tortillas with cheese melted in between them. These might also have meat, poultry, seafood or vegetables in them. Gorditas are thick, hard-fried tortillas which are stuffed with meat and served with spicy salsa. This offers a nice example of authentic Mexican food.

Or Something More Hearty?

Taco VanIn Mexico, lunch is eaten sometime between 2 and 4PM, and often includes soup, meat, beans, and tortillas. Lunch is the largest meal of the day so a perfect opportunity to sample authentic Mexican food.

Dinner is eaten around 8 or 9PM and is often just a small snack. Head to a Mexican restaurant and you might find a set menu.

These are usually well-priced and come with soup, rice, beans, tortillas, meat, enchiladas, stuffed peppers or fish, and water or some kind of fruit juice. That will certainly keep you full until late evening.

Another famous Mexican dish is pozole. This is a red colored soup with chicken, radishes, corn, avocado, and spices, and then you have chiles en nogada, a seasonal dish from Puebla.

Take a look at the dish and you will see the white sauce, red pomegranate and green parsley represent the colors of the Mexican flag. The walnut sauce covers a stuffed poblano with a pork and beef filling, along with various types of fruit.

Have you heard of mole? Pronounced MOH-lay, this is a complicated sauce which can have as many as 30 different ingredients. It comes in many colors and flavors, and often has chocolate in there. Mole is served over chicken or turkey, with rice.

Treats of the Sea

Mexico is a great place for seafood fans because there is plenty of authentic Mexican food to choose from . The long coastlines along the Gulf of Mexico, Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea offer plenty of possibilities.

Try a whole fish or a filet with salad, nachos or fries, choosing from a la diabla (spicy), al mojo de ajo (with garlic), frito (fried), or empanizado (breaded). Or sample a Mexican seafood cocktail with avocado, cilantro, tomatoes, red sauce, and onions. These come with crackers or nachos, and also beer, and are typical authentic Mexican food.

Try some octopus, shrimp and oysters too. Ceviche is a fish-based dish which often features cooked fish in Mexico but raw fish (‘cooked’ by the citrus juice) in Peru and Chile.

Shrimp or fish can be used to stuff an empanada before it is deep-fried, or consider a tostada with onion, avocado, lettuce and seafood on top. Look out for pescadillas, which are quesadillas with fish. They come with plenty of hot sauce.

Tips for Tourists

If you like to eat authentic Mexican food, beware of restaurants geared towards tourists because they make everything mild, assuming tourists don’t eat spicy food. They also have a bowl of tortilla chips on each table and weak salsa. Burritos and fajitas aren’t part of a traditional Mexican menu.

Nachos are an American invention as well, not authentic Mexican food in the slightest. You will also find foreign restaurants on your travels, everything from sushi to pizzas and burgers, which is fine if you want something different, but will cost more than authentic Mexican food.

Ask locals where to go for authentic Mexican food but make sure you tell them you’re looking for traditional Mexican food, not the Americanized stuff. As a rule, packed restaurants are a better option for authentic Mexican food than empty ones. Empty ones are empty for a reason.

Nearly all restaurants, clubs and bars use bottled water to make ice and drinks. Don’t drink tap water. You will find limes and salt on the tables in Mexico, like you might expect salt and pepper back home. The lime is good in soup, beer or squeezed over tacos.

As a rule, if you’re happy with your authentic Mexican food then tip 10% on food and drinks in bars. First look at the check to see if it wasn’t included already. But the most important tip for you is to open your mind and enjoy all the incredible and authentic Mexican food the country has to offer. You won’t be disappointed!

Some More Hot Content For You

Other Posts You Might Like
  • Corned Beef Hash with a TwistCorned Beef Hash with a Twist
    This corned beef hash recipe is fantastic and it is versatile enough to be breakfast, brunch, lunch, or just a comfort food snack if you are in the mood for it. The twist is the cream in the recipe and even though that might sound like an odd ingredient for corned beef hash it totally transforms it from good to great, so give this recipe a try and this might be how you make your corned beef hash from now on. As well as the potatoes and corned beef you will need butter and cream to add a luxurious mouth feel, onion and bell pepper to add nutrients, color and crunch, and some eggs if you wish to garnish your corned beef hash with fried eggs .....
  • Wonton Soup RecipesWonton Soup Recipes
    There are hundreds of different wonton soup recipes to choose from and you can even make your own variations by switching one kind of meat for another, using different vegetables or even using a different kind of stock or broth for the wonton soup. The word “wonton” literally means “swallowing a cloud” and that is what the floating wontons are meant to resemble in the soup. You can serve wonton soup recipes for lunch or dinner, or serve small portions as an appetizer. One of the more unusual wonton soup recipes is duck wonton soup and the following recipe shows you how to make this delicious dish. You can make this .....
  • Cream of Spinach SoupCream of Spinach Soup
    This cream of spinach soup is comparable to a vichyssoise which is a creamy French potato soup but adding spinach gives it a different flavor, as well as a distinctive color. This is lovely served with crackers or just with some bread on the side. The flavor is magnificent and this is one of the best things you can do with spinach. An immersion blender is handy when making this cream of spinach soup because you can avoid pureeing it in batches in the blender, but if you don’t have one, that doesn’t matter too much. Use fresh spinach in this cream of spinach soup recipe so you get the lovely fresh flavor. This makes a nice .....
  • Creamy Rich Butternut Squash SoupCreamy Rich Butternut Squash Soup
    A nice rich butternut squash soup is a lovely option for the chillier months. There are plenty of things you can do with this naturally sweet vegetable though, not just soup. Try stuffing it with risotto or pilaf, cubing it and adding it to your next stew or curry, pureeing it to make a change from mashed potatoes, or using it to make a wonderful winter warmer of a soup. You can tinker with the rich butternut squash soup, adding more ingredients if you want. Some people like to swap half the butternut squash for pumpkin or potatoes, or even carrots. Doing this will change the flavor slightly and the color of the finished soup. Adding .....
  • 3 Ingredient Cajun Griddled Salmon3 Ingredient Cajun Griddled Salmon
    Salmon is one of my favorite fish to cook. It is high in omega-3’s which are essential for good health and the flavor is just amazing. That’s why I enjoy making this 3 ingredient cajun griddled salmon recipe. Sometimes I like to spice it up by adding Cajun, Mexican or Indian spices, but other times I like the salmon just as it is, perhaps with a squeeze of lemon or  just some salt and pepper. Salmon is nice added to a risotto or quiche. There are so many things you can do with this wonderful fish. The following 3 ingredient cajun griddled salmon recipe just requires 3 ingredients, and those are some Cajun seasoning which you can .....
  • How to Make Vegetable QuicheHow to Make Vegetable Quiche
    Few things are as delicious as a good vegetarian quiche, and learning how to make vegetable quiche is something that any home cook can do with ease. You can include as few or as many veggies as you like, and choose from various types of crusts and fillings, to make your vegetarian quiche recipe perfect for your palate. Once you discover how to make quiche you will want to experiment with diverse crusts and fillings. Not only will you love the resulting quiche but your family are sure to love it too. Quiche is a healthy option, boasting the protein from eggs, the nutrients in the veggies, and it is also really filling and will keep you .....
  • Fried Shrimp WontonsFried Shrimp Wontons with Water Chestnuts
    Shrimp or prawns are a very popular wonton filling and who can resist a wonton appetizer recipe – crisp wontons stuffed with a juicy shrimp and water chestnut mixture? The following easy fried shrimp wontons with water chestnuts recipe shows you how to make gorgeous little dumplings which taste amazing. Replace the sugar with sweetener if you prefer, or just leave it out. You can make these fried shrimp wontons with water chestnuts as sweet or otherwise as you personally prefer. A touch of sweetness in a wonton recipe appeals to a lot of people but not to everyone. The other flavors – the sesame oil, ginger, chili and soy sauce – also .....
  • Traditional British Appetizers
    Traditional British Appetizers from all Over the UK It’s true that the UK is home to so many delicious traditional British appetizers. Whether you fancy reproducing the tasty dishes from English, Ireland, Scotland or Wales, there are lots of different recipes you can play around with, to make the most mouthwatering dishes for your friends or family. From classic English prawn cocktail to Scottish seafood dishes, Irish onion rings with Guinness or Welsh rarebit, there are traditional british appetizers for all occasions. These starter recipes, as they are known in the UK, or appetizers as they are known in the US, offer something for .....
  • Tasty Tuna Fishcake RecipeTasty Tuna Fishcake Recipe
    If you are looking for an easy tuna fishcake recipe, this one is simple to make and very tasty. The sweet potatoes add a Caribbean flavor and the canned tuna works very well in this fishcake recipe. For fish cakes tuna is always a good choice because it is tasty. Canned tuna is better than fresh tuna for fish cake recipes because it is more moist. Fresh or Canned Fish for a Tuna Fishcake Recipe? Salmon is often used to make fishcakes, both the fresh kind and the canned kind, but tuna is also popular. When making fishcakes it is usually better to use either leftover cooked fish (if it needs to be used up) or canned fish. Save the fresh filets .....
  • Japanese Beef Teriyaki RecipeJapanese Beef Teriyaki Recipe
    This Japanese beef teriyaki recipe is so delicious. It looks good, smells wonderful and tastes even better. Beef teriyaki is a very popular Japanese dish and can be served as a starter or as part of a main course. Serve this before your chicken or fish main course perhaps, and you can even continue the Asian theme by having a Chinese main dish. What is Teriyaki Sauce? The teriyaki sauce for this Japanese beef teriyaki recipe can be bought or made fresh, and it is a sweet, thick, dark sauce. Chicken is nice with teriyaki and beef is also good.If you like sweet, sticky sauces you will certainly like this one. It offers a typical flavor and .....

Tasty Query - recipes search engine