Best Street Food in Mexico: First Time Guide for Hungry Travelers

Street Food in Mexico

It’s no secret that Mexico has some of the best street food in the world! However, before we traveled to this unique country in Central America we had so many questions… How do we find the best street tacos and Mexican food? What to eat and not to eat… And is there such thing as TOO MANY tacos?? Well, now that we’ve been to Mexico multiple times we have (some) of the answers! Join us for our Mexico street food guide, as we explain the ins and outs for first-time travelers. 

Mexico Travel Inspiration

Why Eat Street Food in Mexico?

One of the most fun parts about traveling is the food, and Mexico has some of the best in the world! Growing up in the United States Mexican food was always something we loved. Yet, we had no idea how good it really was until trying actual street food IN Mexico. 

The flavors of Mexican Street food are almost indescribable, with spice and zest popping in each bite. While walking through almost any city or town you will see street food stands on every corner. And guess what? For around $1 USD each, you can eat as many street tacos as your heart desires! 

50 Quick Tips to Know Before Traveling to Mexico

Best Street Food in Mexico

Top 5 Favorite Street Tacos

We have sooo many favorites when it comes to Mexican street tacos. It was nearly impossible to narrow it down to just five! What we order ultimately depends on what we’re in the mood for or what part of Mexico we’re in.

For example, if we’re near the ocean then we lean towards fish street tacos. While in the cities the carne or al pastor may be the better Mexican street food options. Although meat and fish are the most popular street tacos, there is plenty of veggie options at most local restaurants. 

Al Pastor: This flavored pork makes for some of the best food in Mexico! Keep an eye out for the large orange-colored meat spinning at street food stands. 

Carnitas: Does it get any better than carnitas?? This braised pork goes perfectly in street tacos with yummy sauces on top. 

Fish Tacos: Fried fish tacos are a Mexico food classic and something you should definitely experience on your visit.

Shrimp Tacos: Another seafood treat! Look for this specialty when visiting Pacific seaside towns like Sayulita.

Cactus: Yes, you’re reading that right! Cactus makes for some of the best street food in Mexico! You can get it alone in your taco, or it’s often mixed with pork and meats.

Best Food in Mexico

Other Street Food in Mexico to Try

Undoubtedly, street tacos are the king of Mexican food! Still, know on your visit that there is so much more Mexican street food to try.

One of our favorite street foods is Elote. This corn on the cob is typically cooked then coated with chili seasoning, lime, mayo, and other flavors. If you’re into seafood we recommend trying ceviche! You can find this everywhere near the beach at local restaurants, or even straight out of street coolers.

If you need a switch up from street tacos definitely give the torta a try. You can usually get whatever meat they’re offering in tacos on freshly baked bread as a sandwich. Don’t worry sweets fans, desserts are also a huge part of street food in Mexico! When traveling in this country keep an eye out for bakeries and locals selling small cakes or donuts. 

Wild Street Food in Mexico

Finding the Best Street Food in Mexico

Now that you know what some of the best food in Mexico is you should learn how to find it! Some of this you’ll obviously have to figure out for yourself. Nevertheless, there are some basic tips to know on your hunt for street food in Mexico.  

Asking Locals: This is honestly one of our best tips for traveling ANYWHERE in the world. Don’t be afraid to ask locals for their own favorite street taco spots. We almost always ask our taxi drivers on the way into town where there favorite places to eat are.

Look for Lines: We know what you’re thinking… Look for lines? Most of the time we try to avoid them! Yet, in the Mexican street food game, this is the sign that you need to try it. 

Quick Service: Another important factor when looking for street food in Mexico is time. Are they pumping street tacos out, or is it a long wait? Quick service is often a signal that they’re always busy meaning the food is likely excellent.

Explore Yourself: We cannot recommend this enough! While tools like TripAdvisor and Yelp can be useful, the way to find the best street food in Mexico is to adventure on your own. Dive into the street food stands and be ready to ignite your taste buds.

Mexican street food

Tips For Ordering Street Food in Mexico

Although street food in Mexico is pretty self-explanatory, there are some easy rules to guide you on your food journey. Be sure to comment at the bottom with your own Mexico food tips, too! 

Ask The Price First: Many street food stands don’t have the prices listed. With how cheap Mexican street food is it’s practically impossible to get ripped off too hard. However, it’s always better to ask the price first anyway.

Grab an Ice Cold Drink: There is nothing like an ice-cold Corona or margarita to go with your street tacos! We also recommend trying the many juices and hibiscus teas.

Start Your Order Small: It might be tempting to place a massive food order. Yet, it’s much better if you start small so you can order more afterward if you’re still hungry!

Avoid Stomach Bug: The uncomfortable reality of street food in Mexico is that getting sick is a possibility. As with eating street food anywhere in the world, try and keep an eye out for unsanitary conditions. This includes meat that appears to be left out too long and dirty back alley kitchens. Go with your gut!

Fish Tacos

Don’t Forget the Sauces

Usually, there are sauces and other yummy garnishes (limes, onions etc) on the side that you can add yourself. This is a major key to street food in Mexico! Just be careful, some of the hot sauces are insanely hot. Typically green is the coolest and as the sauce gets darker and red/orange it’s spicier! 

Street Tacos Sauce

Have any questions on street food in Mexico, or want to share your own tips for finding the best food in Mexico? Leave us a comment below!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

 Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar


Street Food Mexico


Mexico Travel Planning 

 Information: Explore all our Mexico articles, amazing destinations around the world, travel planning tips, street food guides, and so much more.

 Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner. That’s how we found flights from LAX to Puerto Vallarta for $80 USD! 

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as, Agoda, & Vrbo!

Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to explore when traveling. While renting a car in Mexico make sure to go with a well known company and have good insurance! 

 Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find thousands of activities around the world. From street food tours to skip the line entry passes! 

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

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