Mexico City Street Food: A Beginner’s Guide

Learn Local Street Food Best Tips & Tricks

Vegetarian Friendly

Most Food Variety

Just landed in Mexico City and not sure where to start? This tour introduces you to more than a half-dozen of Mexico City’s most beloved street foods, from tlacoyos to pambazos to carnitas. You’ll stroll through the Cuauhtémoc neighborhood—full of hungry office and Embassy workers—and end the tour feeling empowered to eat your way through Mexico City on your own.

Highlights

Taste Mexico City’s most iconic street foods

Meet vendors who’ve prepared food for decades

Learn how to order and how to spot the best street stands

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Price

Adults: $75
Children (8-13): $25
Young children (0-7) & babies in carriers: free

Looking to go private? Private tour option $40 per adult available at check-out. Subject to availability.


Availability & departure time

Monday through Friday: 9AM and 9:30AM


Meeting point

Front entrance of the HSBC bank, at the corner of Rio Tiber and Paseo de la Reforma, Colonia Cuauhtémoc


Duration

3 hours


Group size

Minimum 2 people, maximum 8 people

Traveling with a group larger than 8? We’ve got you covered! Book a private tour by emailing us at hola@eatmexico.com.


Included
  • As much food as you can eat (enough for a large breakfast and lunch combined)
  • One freshly squeezed juice
  • One atole (warm corn-based beverage)
  • Filtered water throughout the tour
  • Traditional Mexican candy
  • Generous tips for all street vendors

Not included
  • Transport to/from the meeting and end points of the tour
  • Souvenirs
  • Tip for your guide
  • Additional personal beverages, outside what’s included on the tour itinerary

What to bring
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • An appetite
  • Water to stay hydrated
  • Tip for your guide if desired (we also offer the option of pre-paying the tip at checkout)
  • An umbrella during the rainy season months (June through October)
  • Tote bag for purchases, if desired

Participation requirements

Guests should be able to walk for three hours, with some stops to rest; there are not many seats on this tour. Strollers are welcome. This tour is also wheelchair accessible.


Staff on tour

You’ll be accompanied by one of our local, bilingual culinary guides. Each has a degree in gastronomy and/or has worked in local kitchens. They’ll enrich your experience by sharing their knowledge of Mexico City’s food scene, their own personal traditions, and the vendors’ stories. Read more about our guides here.

Mexico City Street Food: A Beginner’s Guide takes you into the heart of the Cuauhtémoc neighborhood, home to Mexico City’s stock exchange and its various foreign embassies. With so many hungry office workers—and dozens of outdoor stands to feed them—it’s a perfect place to explore the city’s vibrant street food scene. Besides eating, you’ll meet the vendors and learn their stories, and uncover rich facts about Mexican food and culture from your expert guide.

Our stops can vary depending on the day, but here are some of the things you will try:

Tlacoyos
These oval-shaped patties, made from nixtamalized corn dough (masa in Spanish), are hand-shaped and topped with cactus, cheese and salsa. We’ll take you to a stand that has been operating since the 1980’s, staffed by two masa experts.

Squash-Flower Burritos
Delivered steaming from the grill, this burrito—prepared by a vendor who’s been working in the neighborhood for nearly a decade—is brimming with delicate squash flowers, beans, melted cheese, and your choice of homemade smoky hot sauce.

Carnitas
These aren’t the overly crispy or dried-out carnitas often sold outside of Mexico. Tender chunks of pork, cooked in lard, come topped with a bright spritz of lime juice and the hottest green salsa we’ve ever tried. We’ll also teach you how to order carnitas and how to differentiate the types of meat.

Cemitas
This sandwich, native to the state of Puebla, is stuffed with stringy quesillo cheese and slices of luscious avocado.

Plus several more items!

  • The tour is conducted rain or shine.
  • We like to blend in with the locals. Dress in comfortable clothing, and leave any flashy or expensive clothes and jewelry at home. Note: Mexico City can be chilly in the mornings and warmer in the afternoon, so it’s best to dress in layers.
  • This tour includes a lot of food. We recommend arriving hungry and not eating breakfast beforehand.
  • Vegetarians can be accommodated on this tour, but meat and vegetables will be cooked on the same surface. If you’re vegan and interested in taking this tour, we may be able to accommodate you as well. Please contact us for more information.
  • Feel free to bring your own water bottle. We’ll stop to refill it with purified water.
  • Mexico City sits at nearly 7,300 feet high. This means you’ll feel more tired than normal if you’re not used to the altitude. Don’t do this tour if you haven’t gotten any sleep the night before, or if you’re arriving to the airport on the same morning.
Does the tour end where it starts?

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No. This tour meets at the front entrance of the HSBC bank, at the corner of Río Tíber and Paseo de la Reforma (Av. Paseo de la Reforma 347, Colonia Cuauhtémoc). It will end at Dulcería Celaya on Orizaba 37, Colonia Roma. If you need help getting back to your hotel at the end of the tour, your guide will help you find the nearest subway station or an Uber.

Will I eat a lot of food?

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Yes! You’ll try at least 6 to 10 items, and you can eat as much food as you want. Our guide will let you know how many stops there are throughout the tour so that you can pace yourself—no one knows your appetite better than you.

If I've just taken the red-eye, can I book this tour for that morning?

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We strongly discourage you booking this tour on the same day you arrive as many of our guests end up delayed at the airport and miss their tour—either because of a flight delay or they’re stuck waiting in line in immigration or customs. Due to the small-group nature of our tours, we’re not able to offer full refunds to clients who cancel at the last minute, and we don’t grant exceptions for flight delays. If your flight is delayed, we will try to accommodate you on a different tour on another day, but that depends entirely on our availability.

Is street food safe to eat? Will I get sick?

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Just like any city in the world, eating street food comes at your own risk. At Eat Mexico, we’ve offered a Street Food Tour since 2010 and have served thousands of happy customers. We take painstaking care in choosing our vendors, visiting them over the course of several months before adding a stop to our tour. We make sure they follow hygienic practices and meet cleanliness standards. That said, if you’re not used to spicy food, particularly early in the morning, your stomach may react. Please make sure to know your own limits.

Is this tour vegetarian and vegan friendly?

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We try our best to accommodate everybody! We are happy to provide more details if you’d like, just email us at hola@eatmexico.com.

Do I need to take cash with me?

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If you plan to tip your guide, you should bring enough cash to cover that—about 10 to 15 percent is standard. You may also choose to bring a little bit extra if you’d like more beverages. All the food you can eat, plus at least two drinks and purified water, are covered by us.

Will my guide speak English?

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Of course! Our guides are culinary experts and speak perfect English.

Can I change the time of the tour to earlier or later?

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We usually offer two times for this tour: 9AM and 9:30AM. If those time slots are full, or if we receive a special request from a private group, we may be able to start an additional tour at 10AM. Unfortunately we can’t start the tour later than 10AM or earlier than 9AM, because the food isn’t as readily available.

Is the neighborhood safe?

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We have offered this tour since 2010 and have never had an issue with violence or petty theft. However, Mexico City is a large, urban place, and just like in any other big city, things can happen. We highly recommend trying to blend in with the locals as much as possible—that means wearing pants or modest shorts if it’s hot, and leaving any expensive jewelry at home. Wallets and cell phones should be carried in zippered bags or purses. Cell phones should be tucked away when not in use for taking pictures.

Can I do the tour if I am traveling alone?

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We usually require a two-person minimum on our tours. If you’re a solo traveler, you’re welcome to book the date of your choosing—if it has other guests, you’re good to go. If three days prior to the tour date, the tour does not have any other guests, we will reach out to you about choosing a different date or refund your ticket.

Have more questions? Check out our FAQ page!

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