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 PEREZ, CLIENT SERVICE LEADER
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 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.
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 Cancún: 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 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.”
Mario was raised in the south of Mexico City, in Xochimilco. For him, food feels like a time-transcending bridge between people and a way to connect with life itself. Mario has explored food in different ways, including broadcasting, TV, magazines, and of course, as a chef in many kitchens. He specializes in food research and is currently exploring its anthropology side. When he is not thinking about food, he’s probably taking pictures or doing something related to diving. He´s also got a thing for plants and motorcycles.
What I love most about Mexico City: The thing I probably love the most about this city is its frenetic rhythm and diversity. You never know what you could find on the next corner.
Favorite food place in Mexico City: Xochimilco´s central market. Because you can find fresh herbs and vegetables from the -still close- chinampas.
Born and raised in Mexico 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!”
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.”
Born and raised in Mexico City, Héctor has always loved eating in the streets, in fact, the first dish he remembers trying as a child was a chicken quesadilla in a local market. Héctor has a culinary arts degree from the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana, with a specialization in food science. Over the past four years, he has worked at various restaurants across the city. His true passion, however, is smoking meats of all types, so when he’s not running tours for Eat Mexico, he’s probably experimenting with his own smoker or volunteering at his neighborhood’s local butcher shop.
Favorite Street Food: Chicken quesadilla and all types of tacos!
What I love most about Mexico City: That you can find anything and everything here. It is such a busy city full of different people and traditions.
What clients have said about Héctor:
“Héctor was fabulous, very engaging and knowledgeable. A great host.”
“Héctor was great, I mean really great, one of the best guides I´ve had.”
“Héctor gave us great insights into Mexican cuisine … I would definitely recommend a tour like this.”