Mexican food and drinks you need to try

Mexican food and drinks you need to try

Mexican food might not be the healthiest cuisine, but I absolutely love it. I could easily eat tacos every single day. There are so many different flavors to try and don’t even let me get started about the sauces and other toppings. The salsas are so good, that I snacked tacos from different street food carts throughout the day, simply to try their version of salsa roja or salsa verde. However, when you order food, always ask if a sauce is spicy “piquante”. Sometimes the red salsa is spicier and sometimes the green salsa. So, don’t think just because you tried in one place, it will be the same in another.

Don’t worry about not getting any toppings if you order takeaway food. They will pack salsa, onions, and whatever else you’d put on your food in small plastic bags so that you can add it later.

If you want something other than meat, your choice will be limited to cheese empanadas, beans, avocado, and cactus. The cactus is something you should try as well, as it is quite tasty! Other vegetables are difficult to find, therefore, try to get your vitamins with the delicious fresh fruit or shop on the market and cook yourself.

Here are some of the things you must try in Mexico:


You probably know this delicious avocado mash from home already but of course, you have to try it in the country where this dish is from! They usually add onions and coriander to the guacamole, and sometimes small cut tomatoes. In a restaurant, they will serve you guacamole with chips. A normal serving is a big soup plate filled with guacamole, which is meant to share. This costs between 80 and 100 pesos.

Yet, the restaurants adapted to the many single travelers in Mexico and it’s often possible to get a half-serving of guacamole for half the price so that you can enjoy it alone.

Salty mango

salty mango

This is one of the most popular snacks you can find on the streets. They sell you the mango, shaved on a stick, inside a plastic bag. Then, they marinate it with a lime-flavored chili powder in front of your eyes. Add some spicy sauce, and voilà, you have your combination of sweet, salty, and spicy. I would leave out the spicy sauce, as it makes everything really messy. However, I found the combination of salt with mango very addictive, and Mexican mangos are delicious anyway. Most times, they cost 10 pesos.


tacos al pastor

Tacos are small, soft, round tortillas that are topped with all kinds of things (meat, fish, beans, vegetables). Then, you add even more toppings, like onions, cilantro, and sauces, you fold it together and eat it by hand. My favorite taco was “Al Pastor” which is thinly shaved pork meat mixed with onions and often topped with a thin slice of pineapple.

You can eat tacos in restaurants, but you can also buy them at taco carts along busy main roads and on parking lots. Prices start a t 7 pesos per taco up to 35 pesos per taco. Sometimes you can find promotions like 4 tacos for 35 pesos.



This seems to be a breakfast dish as you often find empanada carts in the mornings. Mexican empanadas are deep-fried dough pockets filled with cheese, or meat, or beans, or a mixture of all of them. I prefer the fried Mexican empanadas to the baked empanadas from South America. Here in Mexico, they are more like Italian panzerotti. Quite addictive.


In Switzerland, the quesadilla is my favorite Mexican dish. Here, it is two tortillas that are stacked on top of each other. In between, they are filled with melted cheese, vegetables, and/or meat. Topped with guacamole or red salsa, it’s a delicious combination of flavors. You can find this kind of quesadilla in the touristy parts of Mexico (like Cancun or Playa del Carmen).

In other parts, something similar to this is called “Gringa”. Because the usual quesadilla in Mexico is a bigger tortilla than what they use for a taco, that is topped with more ingredients than a taco and then you fold it or eat it with a knife and fork. So, the Mexican quesadillas aren’t usually made with two tortillas, but the different vendors have their individual recipes for the tortilla flour, and you find quesadillas in all kinds of colors. The average price for one quesadilla is 40 pesos.


This is a dessert or breakfast dish made of deep-fried sweet dough that is pressed into about 20 cm long, thin tubes. They are rolled in sugar or cinnamon and best consumed warm, while they are still crispy. You can dip them in chocolate or caramel as well. The average price for one churro is 8 pesos.


Ceviche consists of raw or only quickly braised fish (usually white fish but you can also have it with clams and other types of seafood), lots of lime juice, onions, and cilantro. Most times, you then receive chips with it, to scoop the fish up with chips and eat it like this. Obviously, it’s best if you eat ceviche in a seaside town where the fish is hopefully fresh. It’s always a huge plate of fish and you won’t be hungry for anything else if you order a ceviche. Prices start at 180 pesos.


Like Tequila, Mezcal is made from the agave plant but stored in barrique barrels, which gives it a smokey flavor. Therefore, Mezcal should be sipped and enjoyed without mixing it with anything else. It’s more like whiskey and it will warm your body from the inside. Enter a liquor shop to have a Mezcal tasting and find the flavor you like best.


margaritas cancun

This is my favorite cocktail since the combination of the salt rim on the glass with the cold mix of fruit, lime, and tequila is refreshing and sweet at the same time. The original margarita is with lime flavor, but they can also serve you mango, strawberry, and other flavors. Often, they blend it with the ice, which in my opinion, alters the taste. Therefore, I always order “a las rocas” (on the rocks). You can find margaritas for 1 USD that are really good. Just stay away from ordering them at hostels or very touristy bars. There, I’ve only had very watery margaritas with artificial fruit flavor. The average price for a margarita is 5 USD.


At all the street food carts you will see that you can buy some kind of iced tea as well. Sometimes, it’s a white liquid, that is called horchata. It is made of rice or almond milk mixed with cinnamon and nuts. So, don’t confuse it with coconut milk. You either like or hate the rice-cinnamon taste.

However, there also is a red iced tea that is called Jamaica. It is made of the Hibiscus flower and it’s very delicious. On top of that, the sweetness gives you an energy boost on hot days.

Everything else you need to know to plan a holiday in Mexico you find in my “I love Mexico” travel guide.

You can buy it here in German or here in English.

mexico travel guide