It’s hard to know where to start when writing a single post about street food in Mexico City. From flautas, tamales, chicharrón, gorditas, quesadillas, tlacoyos, huaraches, panuchos, tlacoyos, huaraches to all manner of tacos and tortas. Whole books, blogs, Twitter and Instagram streams have been dedicated to cataloging the best of the best. And street vendors in Mexico City alone number in the hundreds of thousands!
The sheer enormity of the subject makes it a difficult task. So this is just a bit of what I saw and ate while I was in Mexico City. An appetizer really…
In search of dinner near my hotel on the Paseo de la Reforma, I wandered down Calle Rio Lerma, a small street where the concierge assured me there were lots of restaurants to choose from. Disappointed by the abundance of restaurants catering to business travelers, I debated my options as I walked, even considering skipping dinner altogether… Until I stumbled upon Tacos Don Güero.
At first, all I saw were a crowd of men blocking the sidewalk, then I saw the steam. Both good signs. The stand was packed and planted right outside the entrance to a mostly empty Argentinean steak house. Blocking the entrance mostly. These guys were serious about their tacos and exactly what I was hoping to find.
Not pictured is the other man who’s only job was to collect the cash. Tell him how many tacos you had, on the honor system, and he’ll tell you how much you owe.
Tacos al Pastor with melted cheese. Thought to have originated in Mexico City, they’re a variation on Middle Eastern shawarma — spiced pork piled high, cooked on a rotating skewer, and bright orange in color from flavoring with annatto. Often served with cilantro, onions, and piece of pineapple.
I forgot the “vegetables” (aka onions and cilantro), which I added right after this picture was taken!
A green chile tamale in San Ángel from the lady below.
Something a little more official… Eating a ham and cheese torta with tomato and black bean spread at one of the many open air, street side cafes on Calle 5 de Mayo near the Zócalo.
Washing down the torta above with freshly squeezed guanabana juice.
A short stay in Mexico City is merely an appetizer — a teaser to tantalize your taste buds — when it comes to exploring the buffet of street food on offer, and I just barely scratched the surface.