In a city of 22 million, where do most locals eat?
In Mexico City, it’s the street stands. The market stalls. The small, homestyle restaurants known as fondas.
Since 2010, Eat Mexico, the first street food tour operator in Mexico City, has been sharing the unique flavors that fuel millions of Mexicans on a daily basis. These are dishes that locals grow up eating, usually cooked by the same family-owned stand for decades.
On each tour, we visit street stands, markets and fondas that have been personally selected by our founder, Lesley Téllez, and our local Mexico City-born guides. Unlike other tour companies, we don’t take kickbacks or coupons from our vendors. We choose the stops based on the deliciousness of the food and each item’s importance in the Mexican culinary canon.
On our tours, you’ll get a complete culinary and cultural experience through several distinct routes:
- A Journey Through La Merced
- Narvarte at Night
- Gourmet San Juan Market & Street Food Tour
- Chilango Tacos 101
- Street Food
- Milpa Alta: Cactus, Corn & Mole
- Seasonal Mexico City Pop-Up Food Tours
In Puebla, only a two-hour bus ride away, we offer an inside look at the city’s food culture, including specialty sandwiches and snacks, mole, and more. Whichever route you decide, you’ll taste freshly prepared foods from stands and fondas, learn how each item is prepared, and see the history, importance and role each food item has in the local culture.
At the end of the day, you’ll be full and happy both in belly and in mind having tasted the best Mexico City and Puebla has to offer, complete with the stories to share with friends back home. And, if you want to truly bring these flavours back home, check out Lesley’s Eat Mexico cookbook, published in 2015 here.
LESLEY TÉLLEZ, EAT MEXICO FOUNDER & OWNER
Lesley is a passionate promoter of Mexican cuisine and culture. A Southern California native and third-generation Mexican-American, Lesley co-founded Eat Mexico in 2010 as a way to introduce tourists to Mexico City’s fantastic street food and market scene. In 2011, Lesley received a diploma in Especialización en Gastronomía Mexicana (Specialization in Mexican Gastronomy) from the Escuela de Gastronomía Mexicana, Mexico City’s premier heritage cooking school. She has taken dozens of additional cooking courses during her four-year stint in Mexico City, on topics ranging from pre-hispanic tamales to Day of the Dead foods and traditions.
In addition to running Eat Mexico, Lesley is a cookbook author. Her book, Eat Mexico: Recipes from Mexico City’s Streets, Markets and Fondas, was published in 2015 by Kyle Books, with 100+ recipes inspired directly by the tours and her time living in Mexico. Eat Mexico was named a top cookbook of 2015 by Food 52, Leite’s Culinaria, Edible Feast and Yahoo! Food. Lesley’s essays and articles about Mexico and Mexican food have appeared in The New York Times, Saveur, Food & Wine, American Way Magazine and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. For five years, she blogged about Mexican food and Mexican culture at her award-winning blog The Mija Chronicles.
Lesley is also a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Favorite street food: Tlacoyos, with all the fixin’s and a spoonful of green salsa on top.
Her bridge into the wonderful word of street snacks: Pig uterus tacos.
Mezcal, tequila or pulque? Mezcal all the way. It’s multi-layered, and I love that with good artisan mezcales you can taste the actual agave it came from.
Christine skillfully manages all parts of Eat Mexico operations, working with our staff to maintain excellence in our tours and develop products that showcase the richness of Mexican gastronomy.
Originally from Canada and raised partially in Spain, Christine speaks fluent Spanish and studied Hospitality and Tourism Management at Ryerson University in Toronto. She was first introduced to Mexico’s amazing food and culture during an exchange in northern Mexico. In the following years, Christine traveled through Southeast Asia and Europe, eventually landing in South America where she worked as a tour guide for several years. Once in Mexico City, Christine instantly fell in love with the place which she now calls home.
Favorite Street Food: Definitely torta de chilaquiles and esquites, both of which I could eat on a daily basis.
One of her favorite things about Mexico City: its cultural diversity and liveliness. There is just so much to do and explore in Mexico City regardless of what your preferences are.
Ariane was born and raised in Mexico City — her dad is Mexican and her mom is French, which gave her a multicultural childhood. She started working at the age of 15 at her family’s coffee shop, where she learned to love Mexican coffee. Ariane studied gastronomy at the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana. When she’s not touring, she caters desserts for parties. Baking is one of her passions, especially French pastries with a twist of Mexican ingredients. She loves to travel, and she loves movies and art.
Favorite thing about Mexico city: The variety of food. You can find great samples of regional cooking from all over the country.
Her favorite part of the city: Centro Histórico, because it is full of museums, great food and a lot of historical places.
What clients have said about Ariane:
“Ariane was an amazing guide!! We loved the food and learned so much about Mexican cuisine.”
“Ariane was a wonderful guide for our tour of La Merced, the oldest mercado in Mexico City, she was very friendly and it just felt like we were hanging out with a friend who happened to be very knowledgeable on the subject.”
“Fantastic, informative and friendly tour guide.”
Angeles, a Mexico City native, holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Business Administration, and worked for years as a high school and middle school English school teacher. Before being hired at Eat Mexico, she operated a gluten-free cake business, brainstorming recipes and ferrying delicious desserts to families all around Mexico City. When Angeles is not processing Eat Mexico reservations, she loves to cook for her husband and son.
Favorite street food: Anything with a tortilla: tacos, quesadillas or just a tortilla rolled with salt. Tortillas are a staple of Mexican food which makes it so diverse and amazing.
What I like most about Mexican food: The fact that lime juice can be added to all sorts of foods: tlacoyos, tacos de carnitas, quesadillas… anything can be enriched with a couple drops of lime juice!
EAT MEXICO GUIDES
All of Eat Mexico’s tour guides speak fluent English and have a passion for food. Here’s a little bit more about each of them
Adrian, a Mexico City native, studied gastronomy at the Colegio Superior de Gastronomía. He worked in Mexican kitchens for a year before moving to Seville, Spain to study hospitality. From there he hopscotched around the world, working in kitchens in the Czech Republic and Dubai, and launching a Mexican food concept in Australia. He finally moved back to Mexico City in 2016 and has been living in Cancún since 2018.
His favorite country he’s lived in so far: Obviously Mexico! If I had to choose another one, I’d say Australia. It’s so multicultural and the people are so chill. It’s not just a country, it’s a continent by itself. I just love it. Melbourne is one of the most diverse cities I’ve seen. There’s food everywhere. I think it’s the foodie capital of the world.
Favorite street food in Canún: Castacán tacos, it’s as if carnitas and chicharrón had a baby. I could eat that on a daily basis. Just the tortilla, a slice of white cheese, avocado, castacán and spicy salsa, whatever we have on hand.
One thing he loves about Mexico: It’s the people. If you are Mexican, it might not seem like it it’s true sometimes, but we are so open and friendly and eager to help.
What clients have said about Adrian:
“Adrian is a gem! He went above and beyond to make us happy and is extremely knowledgeable.”
“Adrian is fantastic! Soulful, knowledgeable, fun and enthusiastic about the work he is doing. Tuvimos un día maravilloso!”
“I was extremely impressed with Adrian’s knowledge. I travel a lot and generally am comfortable in markets and eating street food on my own. …What made this so interesting is that Adrian added so much context and history that I wouldn’t have gained the same value walking around myself.”
Born and raised in Xalapa, Veracruz, Nicolás has always loved eating and trying new foods. From a very early age, he had already determined that he wanted to be a cook and held his first job in a restaurant at the age of 14. He has a degree in gastronomy from the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana in Mexico City. Over the years, Nicolás has worked in several restaurant kitchens specializing in Mexican, Italian, French, and Asian cuisine. He also recently worked for a creative catering company that offers pop-up dining experiences throughout the city.
Favorite Street Food: It’s almost impossible to choose just one thing! I love street food and like to try new places every week so the list is endless, but some of my current favorites are octopus tostadas with roasted habanero salsa, quesadillas stuffed with squash blossom and chicharron prensado (without cheese!).
One of his favorite things about Mexico City: The incredible amount of food and places to eat. When I first arrived to this city I was really amazed that you can find something good to eat on almost every corner. I also love markets and tianguis where you can buy beautiful products for cooking.
What clients have said about Nicolás:
“Nico was fantastic. Fun, knowledgeable and kept a great pace of eating and walking.”
“Nico is well informed and shares his knowledge in an entertaining, articulate, engaging manner. He was genuinely interested in making sure we had a good experience. Excellent guide.”
“Nicolás was the BEST guide. He gave everyone equal attention and really made the tour feel unique and fun. The tour was both informative and delicious. We can’t thank Nicolas enough!!”
Born and raised in Saltillo, Coahuila, Sofía grew up learning about Mexican food through her father, who traveled throughout the country. Since she was a little girl, she has loved Mexican gastronomy and its huge variety. Sofia has conducted cooking and bakery workshops, and she started her own bakery business back in her hometown. Nowadays, Sofia loves to explore Mexico City and travel through rural towns as much as she can. Her favorite thing to do is try new Mexican dishes and try to replicate them at home, as her goal is to became a proper traditional Mexican cook.
Favorite Street Food: Tacos, definitely. Tripa and bistec are my every day craving, but a good taco, no matter the style, will always make me happy.
What do you love the most about Mexico City: The huge variety of food that you can find, I think I’ll be never be done trying new spots. I mean, I can even find good handmade flour tortillas, which aren’t popular in this city, and I really miss them from my hometown.
Favorite Mexico City market to visit: Jamaica and San Juan Gourmet. The first one is big, but still very well organized, and I love the fresh flowers area (so colorful and the prices are considerably low). And San Juan is such a food paradise, and the vendors are super friendly.
What clients have said about Sofia:
“Touring with Sofía was like touring with an old friend.”
“Sofia was so friendly and easygoing that the connection was almost instant.”
Born and raised in México City, Paloma studied Gastronomy at Le Cordon Bleu México and the Universidad Anáhuac. After interning in Madrid, she decided to go back to Spain to study for a Master’s degree in Gastronomic Tourism in San Sebastián. When she’s not giving tours, Paloma works as a project leader for corporate event development for a Mexico City-based company, and she’s a teacher at the Universidad Panamericana. Her favorite things to do are cook for friends, travel, eat, and talk about both!
Favorite Street Food: Fava bean and requesón tlacoyos and cheese and chicharrón prensado quesadillas!
The thing I like the most in Mexico City: All the amazing food offered and the activities to do. I also love to wander in parks, especially Parque México, and bicycle riding.
Favorite Mexico City market: Definitely San Juan, including visits to all the shops in the neighborhood. There’s always something new to discover.
What clients have said about Paloma:
“Paloma engaged very easily with our group, she had a great personality and was a lot of fun to be on the tour with.”
“Paloma was excellent. I would highly recommend her!”
Born and raised in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Fernando came to Mexico City to study culinary arts at the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana. He is a big fan of traveling and discovering new cuisines. Since he was just a little boy, Fernando claims that he developed a “supernatural” eating ability that has led him on an endless journey to try food from every corner of the planet. When he’s not touring with Eat Mexico, you can find him playing the bass with his band called Monotrópical or selling homemade hamburgers at his own street stand run with his best friend.
Favorite Street Food: Definitely a good tongue taco, they are the greatest of all. Add some lime, salt, salsa and that’s pretty much everything you need in life!
Favorite thing about travel: It’s the closest thing we’ve got to visiting another planet. People live life differently in each country; the sky is different, the way people smile is different, pretty much everything is different! Embracing life in others places is what keeps me moving.
What clients have said about Fernando:
“Our guide Fernando was excellent and provided a friendly and very educational experience. Will do again!”
“Fernando was very knowledgeable, well organized and friendly. Gracias!”
Born and raised in Mexico City, Yimnah studied Gastronomy at Universidad Internacional de Profesiones. After completing her studies, she did an internship at the Hotel Hesperia Madrid in Spain for six months.
From an early age, Yimnah fell in love with traditional Mexican cuisine. This inspiration came from her grandmother, now in her late 90s, who taught her how to cook from the age of six. Because of this experience, Yimnah loves spending time in the kitchen and thinks of cooking as one of the most powerful expressions of love.
Aside from doing tours for Eat Mexico, Yimnah also runs a side project of producing and selling her own artisanal jams and spices, all made entirely with local Mexican products. Her goal is to rescue and promote the use of fruits, herbs and spices that many of Mexico’s ancestors used to use.
Favorite Street Food:
Quesadillas and everything made with masa and a spicy salsa.
Favorite thing about Mexico City:
That I feel I can never finish getting to know my city. There is always something new and surprising to discover.
What clients have said about Yimnah:
“Yimnah was funny, engaging and charming and a great tour leader.”
Aleyn, a Puebla native, bought her first cookbook when she was 12. She’s been a fan of cooking and food ever since, particularly when it relates to the traditions of her native city. These days Aleyn likes to explore local markets, seek out new restaurants and food shops, and occasionally try to recreate her favorite restaurant dishes in her own kitchen. Aleyn spent about 10 years of her childhood in Chicago, which accounts for her impeccable English. When Aleyn is not processing Eat Mexico reservations, she also leads Eat Mexico tours in Puebla and teaches English professionally.
Favorite food: Chalupas! I love them with traditional duo of red or green salsa. I’ve also tried a scrumptious triad of mole, green pipian and red pipian sprinkled with aged cheese, poblano heaven!
A dish I often cook at home: A poblano stew with zucchini, corn, sliced poblano peppers, squash flowers and pork meat, topped with fresh goat cheese.
My favorite place to relax in Puebla: The pyramid in Cholula. I often jog there from my house and when I reach the top I love the view of the volcanoes and the city…it’s breathtaking!
What clients have said about Aleyn:
“Aleyn knew what she was talking about and was enthusiastic and highly engaged.”
“Aleyn is wonderful. She did more than let us taste food. A city tour, a history lesson, lots of laughs, and really good food. She is a gem!”
Maria was born and raised steps from Puebla’s La Acocota market. She has a degree in Tourism from Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. She lived and worked in the United States and France and says that while she loves international food, she’s addicted to her home country’s cuisine. In addition to Spanish, she speaks French, English and a little bit of German. Maria runs separate city tours in Puebla and also teaches private English and French classes.
Favorite poblano food: Tacos árabes. I could eat them everyday!
Favorite place in Puebla: I used to go downtown with my grandmother when I was a little girl, so it’s my favorite place to be.
Mezcal, Tequila or Mexican Microbrew? Tequila straight with salt and lime.
What clients have said about Maria:
“Maria was incredibly knowledgeable about Puebla, about food and about Mexico! She was incredibly friendly, approachable and warm from the moment we met her. We both said that it was like spending the afternoon with a very knowledgeable local friend.”
“Maria went above and beyond to make our tour memorable.”