Eat Mexico started in Mexico City in 2010, when friends Lesley Téllez and Jesica López — two women who’d bonded over Mexican food — had an idea. What if we could create a service that celebrated the Mexico City food that most travelers didn’t know about? Lesley, a third-generation Mexican-American and a journalist, had moved to Mexico City in 2009 and fallen deeply in love with the food of her ancestors. (Read all of her original musings on her blog, The Mija Chronicles.) Jesica had grown up in Mexico City and studied history, art, and tourism.

At the time, guidebooks warned against eating street food in Mexico City. But Lesley and Jesica knew that street food and the markets were essential parts of the city’s identity — they were places to see living history unfold, pre-hispanic ingredients still in use, and Mexican culinary traditions that had survived despite little written documentation.

After a few brainstorming sessions hammered out at a Mexico City wine bar, Lesley and Jesica built the website themselves and launched Eat Mexico in the summer of 2009.

Almost 10 years and more than 12,000 customers later, Eat Mexico and its team of expert local bilingual guides have served travelers all over the globe, broadening perceptions about not just Mexico City and its street food, but also about Mexican food and culture in general. Jesica is no longer with the company, but she and Lesley are still good friends. (If you are ever in Bordeaux, France, take a food tour with her!)

Eat Mexico’s purpose has always been to celebrate the popular food that Mexico City residents love and shine a light on the people who cook it. For Lesley, who remains owner-founder, the tours have a deeper purpose: to honor her own Mexican heritage, something that in the United States is still often misunderstood and viewed with skepticism.

At Eat Mexico, we have two goals. We want to feed you amazing Mexican food and empower you to eat well during your trip to Mexico. But we also want you to return to your home country — either the United States or anywhere else — with the knowledge that Mexican culture is indeed valuable and worth knowing and sharing.