Mexican cuisine is famous around the world, but outside of the country, it’s rare to find truly authentic Mexican food that hasn’t been influenced by other cuisines. When you travel here, there’s so many different foods to eat, and while you’ll find everything from sushi to burgers, you’ll be able to try famous Mexican dishes prepared with local ingredients and traditional recipes. Rather than ordering familiar dishes, expand your palate with the bold flavors of traditional Mexican food.
Some of the best Mexican destinations are on the coast, and there, the traditional Mexican food comes from the sea. When you’re eating on the beach, order pescado zarandeado. Your fresh catch will be fileted in half and marinated in a combination of butter, tomato sauce, chiles, and garlic before being cooked on the grill. When you eat this popular food in Mexico, put the soft meat into tortillas, and pair it with a cold beer on the beach.
In Mexican cuisine, there are a few variations of mole, and this popular food in Mexico has a history as rich as its flavors. According to legend, a group of nuns were surprised by the arrival of the bishop, and when they threw together a meal, everything went into the sauce, including a long list of nuts, chiles, spices, and even chocolate. There are different foods to eat in this sauce, but the most popular is chicken, served in enchiladas or soft tortillas.
Pozole soup is one of the most famous Mexican dishes in the country, and people love to eat it during national holidays. It’s a pre-hispanic dish made from a spicy broth with shredded pork and hominy corn. Top off this traditional food with spicy salsa, onion, and shredded lettuce.
Tamales are a well-known part of Mexican cuisine, but because they take several hours to prepare, it can be difficult to find tamales outside of the country. Steamed in banana leaves, the soft masa can be filled with vegetables, cheese, and meats. Add salsa, guacamole, or sour cream to your tamales for a hearty meal of authentic Mexican food.
There are also famous Mexican dishes served for breakfast, and travelers fall in love with chilaquiles. This popular food in Mexico begins with tortilla chips cooked in a red salsa, which are then topped with your choice of eggs, chicken, or steak as well as sour cream and cheese. This traditional food is the perfect start to a day of adventures in Mexico.
Chiles en nogada is perhaps the most traditional Mexican food, its colors reflecting the colors of the country’s flag. This traditional food is typically cooked to celebrate Mexican Independence Day, and it’s made with a poblano chile stuffed with picadillo, a mixture of ground meat, nuts, dried fruits, and spices. The green chile is then topped with a creamy, white walnut sauce and red pomegranate seeds. With its patriotic colors, it’s one of the different foods to eat to celebrate Mexican culture.
Diving into authentic Mexican food is the highlight of traveling to the country, and while you’ll see plenty of dishes you recognize, don’t be intimidated by unfamiliar ones. By trying some of these traditional foods, you might find a new favorite.