Traditional to Contemporary: Santa Maria's Hidden Gems

Off The Beaten Path

Historic Architecture

Variety of traditional market and contemporary food

Santa María la Ribera, little known to most travelers, is a beautiful, 19th-century neighborhood of cafés and restaurants, plus traditional shops you’re starting to see less of in Mexico City—shoemakers, carpenters, tailors. On this tour, designed by our guide Nico Garcia, a former chef, you’ll visit the best places to eat in the area. And you’ll learn the stories of the vendors and entrepreneurs who are shaping the modern character of this close-knit, artsy neighborhood.


Visit a hidden pulquería, where locals toss back an ancestral Mexican beverage made from fermented maguey sap

Try a “concha rellena”, an iconic Mexico City street bread topped with a crunchy chocolate or vanilla layer with a creamy and buttery filling.

Soak up the atmosphere in this interesting, leafy neighborhood that has attracted artists and intellectuals since the 1860s. Try a selection of contemporary and traditional Mexican food.

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Trip Details


Adults: $109USD ($1,960MXN)
Children (8-13): $45USD ($807MXN)
Young children (0-7): free

Private per adult: $128USD ($2,299MXN)

Availability & departure time

Tuesday through Saturday at 1:00PM

Meeting point

Kiosco Morisco in Colonia Santa Maria La Ribera, on the southside in front of the steps.


3 to 4 hours

Group size

Minimum 2 people, maximum 8 people


  • As much food as you can eat (enough food for a large breakfast and lunch combined)
  • One agua fresca and a signature cocktail at the end of the tour
  • Filtered water throughout the tour
  • A generous taste of traditional Mexican pulque
  • Generous tips for all vendors and restaurant staff
  • Pan dulce and coffee

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 a tip at checkout)

Participation requirements

Guests should be able to walk for three to four hours, with breaks in between at all of the stops. Strollers are welcome. This tour is also wheelchair accessible.

Number & type of staff for tour (who comes on the tour and leads it?)

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–and 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 Food Tour: The Best of Santa María la Ribera

Santa María la Ribera was founded in the 1860’s, and it still retains its turn-of-the-century character. On this tour, designed by our expert culinary guide Nico Garcia, you’ll visit a range of local places that highlight just how special this neighborhood is.

You’ll visit a working tamales factory that offers more than 20 varieties daily—a place we think supplies the best tamales in the city. Plus you’ll do a quick stroll through the local market, to see how a traditional city market looks and feels.

You’ll pop into a neighborhood casona repurposed as a restaurant. This house has an architectural style that is very representative of the history of the neighborhood, which was once considered upscale. Beautiful casonas like this one were built with high ceilings, interior patios with fountains and gardens. You’ll stop by a pulquería that’s drawn neighborhood residents for more than 100 years, each imbibing the fermented Mexican beverage that traces its roots to prehispanic times.

You’ll also see some of the landmarks that make Santa Maria la Ribera what it is, including a century-old geology museum. As a sweet treat, we’ll also try concha rellena, fried dough topped with sugar syrup.

End your tour at a restaurant that has won an Interior Design award where you will enjoy a signature cocktail and eat delicious Oaxacan appetizers that will remind you why Oaxacan food is one of the favorites of Mexicans.

Join us in learning about a historic neighborhood that’s off the tourist strip, and home to some delicious, fresh styles of Mexican cooking!

  • 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.
  • 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 from the airport on the same morning.
  • If you’d like to make any purchases (see our FAQ on souvenirs), bring cash and a small tote bag. Credit cards are not accepted at most places.

3 to 4 hours.

No, but very close. We will finish the tour just one block away from the meeting point. 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.

Yes! You can eat as much as you want in each of the stops. Our guide will let you know how many stops remain so you can pace yourself. No one knows your appetite better than you!

If you plan to tip your guide, you should bring enough cash to cover that—about 10 to 15 percent is standard. All the food you can eat, plus at least three drinks and purified water, are covered by us.

No, please bring cash if you plan on buying things.

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

In general, yes.  However, please take into consideration Mexico City is an enormous city and pickpocketing is something that happens, as in any other city.  We highly recommend trying to blend in with the locals as much as possible—that means wearing pants and comfortable shoes, 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.

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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