The 40 Most Common Mexican Foods (2023)

The Most common mexican foods Are part of a culinary tradition that fuses Mesoamerican cuisine with European, especially Spanish.

Some elements of Spanish cuisine were added to Mexican cuisine after the conquest of the Aztec empire during the sixteenth century. Although l The main ingredients are still native foods, such as corn, beans and hot peppers.

The 40 Most Common Mexican Foods (1)

Europeans, however, introduced a large number of ingredients, the most important being meats of domestic animals (beef, pork, chicken, goat and sheep) as well as dairy products, different herbs and spices.

Initially, the Spanish conquistadors tried to impose their style of feeding in Mexico. Failing to do so, cooking styles gradually began to integrate, particularly in the convents of the colonial era.

This gave rise to different regional styles of cuisine, such as those that arose in Oaxaca, Veracruz and the Yucatan Peninsula.

List of the 40 most common Mexican foods

1- Ceviche

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It is a sea dish, popular in the coastal regions of America, especially in the center and in the south of the continent. It is commonly prepared with raw fish marinated in citrus juices and spices. Add onions such as onion, salt and pepper. It is usually used as a garnish or accompaniment of other dishes.

2- Elote

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It is the local name that receives the corn cob. It is boiled and served as a traditional street dish in Mexico. Add condiments such as salt, chili powder, butter, cheese, lemon juice, mayonnaise or sour cream.

3- Fideo

It is traditionally used in soups. There is a great variety of recipes that use it, but the most common one involves browning it in oil and adding a chicken or beef broth with tomato puree, hot peppers, garlic and onion. When served, can be seasoned with lemon juice, hot sauce, sour cream and Mexican cheese.

4- Refried beans

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It is a typical Mexican dish based on cooked and crushed beans. Normally pinto beans are used, but in some regions red or black beans may be used. They can serve as main course or as an accompaniment to other dishes. They are a basic ingredient in the preparation of some tacos, chimichangas Y Pupusas .

5- Guacamole

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It is a sauce of Mexican origin made from avocado . It is prepared by crushing avocados in a molcajete (typical mortar) with salt. Some recipes include tomatoes, lemon juice, cilantro, garlic and spices.

6- Jicama

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Jicama is the name that receives this species of turnip or yam in Mexico. It is the edible part of the root of this tuber. It is typically served in chunks or slices that are flavored with lemon juice and chili powder. It is an antojito (street food) that is traditionally sold in the streets.

7- Nopalitos

It is a preparation based on nopales, which are cooked and broken into small pieces. Nales are sold fresh, canned or bottled. Its flavor is light and somewhat acidic, its texture is crispy and somewhat slimy. They are prepared with eggs to be served at breakfast and also in salads and soups for lunches and dinners.

Their carbohydrate content is very low, so they are commonly used in the treatment of diabetes. In addition this plant has other Excellent health benefits .

8- Pambazo

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It is the name that receives this appetizer, very similar to the cake. Gets ready With a white bread that is open in half, bathed in a marinade based on guajillo pepper and stuffed with potatoes and chorizo. The type of bread that is used is hard and is not crunchy.

9- Pico de gallo

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In Mexican cuisine, pico de gallo is also called fresh salsa. It is a raw preparation of chopped tomatoes, onions and sometimes hot peppers, usually jalapeños or serranos. It can also contain lemon juice, fresh coriander, cucumbers, turnips and occasionally some fresh fruit, such as mango.

Its use is similar to other sauces, but since its liquid content is lower, it can be used as a main ingredient in tacos and fajitas.

10- Salsa

Mexican sauces were traditionally made using the Molcajete , A stone mortar, although at present it is common to use blenders in their preparation.

There is a great variety of sauces, with different ingredients, which are common in different regions. Among them, the red sauce, the raw sauce, the green sauce, the ranchera sauce, the brava sauce, the guacamole, the mole and the chipotle sauce.

11- Tortilla

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The name literally refers to a"small cake". It is a thin cake made with corn or wheat dough that is consumed throughout the year and as an accompaniment to any food. They are used on the basis of tacos, burritos, chilaquiles, toast and enchiladas. They are one of the most important elements in Mexican cuisine.

12- Totopos

Triangular pieces of tortilla that are fried in oil or cooked in the oven. Its origin goes back to the Zapotec region of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

Unlike tortillas, totopos can be stored for a long time to be consumed later. This is due to its low humidity. Totopos serve as a vehicle for the consumption of refried beans, sauces or guacamole.

13- Meatballs

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The name of these meat balls comes from the Arabic"al-bunduq", which means hazelnut. It is believed that this dish was implanted in Spain during the Arab conquest. Mexican dumplings are commonly served in a tomato soup with vegetables.

14- Barbecue

This dish is prepared with mutton that is cooked slowly in an oven at floor level, regularly a hole that is digged, lit with wood and covered with soil to allow cooking.

15- Birria

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It is a spicy stew based on goat or sheep meat. It is served on festive dates, such as Christmas, New Year, Mother's Day or even weddings. Originally from Jalisco, it is a typical dish in many Mexican restaurants. Served with corn tortillas, onions, cilantro and lemon juice.

16- Burrito

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It is a taco made with wheat flour tortilla, which is filled with different ingredients. Inside it may include refried beans, rice or meat.

17- Roasted meat

It is a roasted beef preparation consisting of thin slices of fillet, sometimes marinated or slightly salted, with pepper and spices, which is cooked on the grill. You can eat alone or with other foods. It can also serve as an ingredient for the preparation of tacos.

It is a dish that is normally consumed in the northern region of Mexico, in the states of Baja California, Coahuila and Nuevo León.

18- Carnitas

This dish is prepared from braised or roasted pork. It is a typical dish of the Mexican state of Michoacán and is internationally recognized. It is served with fresh coriander leaves and chopped onion, salsa, guacamole, tortillas and refried beans.

It can be a main dish or serve as an ingredient in the preparation of tamales, tacos, cakes and burritos.

19- Cecina

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It is meat that has been salted and air dried or smoked. In Mexico it can be mainly of two types, one that is marinated and another that is marinated with hot peppers.

Cecina can be prepared based on pork or beef. The town of Yecapixtla, in the Mexican state of Morelos, is famous for the preparation of this dish.


This typical dish from the states of Puebla, Guerrero and Oaxaca is prepared using small disks of corn masa that are fried to produce crispy toast. These toasts are glazed with various ingredients such as chicken, fence, onions and Chipotles . They are very similar to the Sopes And garnachas. They are used as snacks or snacks.

21- Chicharrón

It is usually prepared with fried pieces of pork skin, although it can also be prepared with chicken, lamb or beef. In Mexico it is eaten in tacos or gorditas with green sauce. You can also eat alone, as a snack or snack.

22- Chilaquiles

The chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican dish consisting of tortillas cut into triangular pieces and later fried. Subsequently covered with green, red or soft sauce until totopos soften. Fried egg or chicken can be added to the mixture. Garnish with onion, sour cream and cheese, accompanied by refried beans. It is a typical dish for breakfast or lunch.

23- Chiles en nogada

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The name relates to the walnut tree. Poblano chiles stuffed with minced meat, aromatic herbs and fruits, bathed with a sauce based on dairy cream, walnut and pomegranate seeds. The plate includes the three colors of the Mexican flag, green, white and red.

Traditional Chilean chile originated in the city of Puebla and is closely related to the Independence of Mexico, since the dish was first prepared for the emperor Augustine de Iturbide.

24- Chimichanga

It is a burrito that is fried in oil and is popular in the cuisine of the northern states of Mexico, Sonora and Sinaloa, and also in the southeastern United States. It is prepared by filling a tortilla of wheat flour with different ingredients such as beans, rice, cheese, beef or chicken and folding it into a triangular figure. Later it is fried and accompanied with sauce, guacamole, sour cream and cheese.

25- Empanada

It is a preparation in which bags of corn or wheat dough are filled. The filling can consist of different ingredients. There are different types of empanadas according to the region of Mexico that are visited, which vary in their preparation and in the ingredients of the filling.

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26- Enchilada

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The enchilada is a tortilla made from corn or wheat flour that is wrapped around a filling and covered with sauce. They can be filled with a wide variety of ingredients, including meat, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables, seafood or a combination of them.

27- Escamoles

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These are the larvae of the ant of the species Liometopum , Which are taken from the roots of agave or maguey plants in Mexico. They are considered a delicacy in Mexican cuisine and are also called"insect caviar". Its consistency is similar to that of the cottage cheese and a flavor similar to that of butter, although with touches of walnut.

28- Fat

In Mexican cuisine, gorditas are small corn cakes stuffed with some ingredient. The gorditas are cooked in a comal, a typical Mexican frying pan, although they can also be fried in oil.

After cooking, the gorditas are allowed to cool and then cut to complement with vegetables, sauce, sour cream and lemon juice. The most typical chubby is that filling of pressed chicharrón. It can be found throughout Mexico.

29- Gringa

It is a type of quesadilla in which is filled a tortilla of wheat flour with meat"al pastor"and cheese. It is then grilled just like a quesadilla. Some think that its name comes from the white points that form in the tortilla when warming up, resembling the freckles of a gringa.

30- Huarache

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This traditional Mexican dish consists of an oval disk of corn dough that is fried and covered with different ingredients. Its shape resembles that of shoes, known by the same name. They are similar to sopes, but with a different shape.

31- Mole

The mole is the generic name that receives several types of sauce used in Mexican cuisine. Outside of Mexico, mole refers specifically to Mole Poblano, which includes in its preparation a large number of ingredients and species, among them chocolate.

There are other types of mole such as black, red, yellow, red, green, almond and pipián. The popularity of this dish is such and its use in festivities and celebrations so widespread that 99% of Mexicans have tried during their life at least one version of it.

32- Pozole

This dish has its origins in pre-Hispanic Mexico and its roots are rituals. It is a Mexican soup or stew made with a kind of corn called"cacahuazintle". Meat, usually pork, chicken, turkey or seafood, hot peppers and other dressings and seasonings are added.

There are also some vegetarian versions. After the Spanish conquest, the pre-Hispanic recipe of the pozole changed, nevertheless the use of maize was maintained as main ingredient.

It is a very typical dish and has different versions in the states of Sinaloa, Michoacan, Guerrero, Jalisco, Morelos and Mexico City.

33- Quesadilla

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In most of Mexico, a quesadilla is a flat disc of cooked corn dough, called tortilla, folded in half lengthwise and stuffed with cheese. The quesadillas are served once the cheese has melted and are covered with sauce, sour cream and cheese.

Other ingredients can be used to fill quesadillas, such as meat, vegetables, potatoes with chorizo, pumpkin flowers, mushrooms, huitlacoche, chicharrón, among others.

Quesadillas are traditionally cooked in a comal, although occasionally they can be fried in oil.

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34- Tamal

Mexican tamales are prepared with corn dough that is steamed in dried corn or banana leaves. The wrap is discarded before eating. The tamales can be filled with meat, cheese, vegetables, chiles or different stews, according to the local taste. They can be salty or sweet.

35- Pie

A cake is a Mexican sandwich, served on an oval bread about 18 inches long called a bolillo, telera or virote.

The cakes can be filled with different ingredients that vary according to the region of Mexico where you eat. They are a typical street dish that is sold in local called torterías.

36- Jamaica Water

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This drink is prepared using the flower of Jamaica and is very popular in Mexico and Central America. It is one of the so-called"fresh waters". That is, economic drinks made from fruit juices or extracts. The flowers are boiled in water, filtered and added water and sugar.

37- Cajeta

The cajeta is a Mexican sweet prepared with sweetened and caramelized milk. It is believed that its name comes from the small boxes of wood in which it was originally sold. Its use in desserts is very popular and its origin is located in the city of Celaya, in the state of Guanajuato.

38- Churros

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These are cylindrical pieces of dough that are fried in oil and sweetened with sugar. They are common at breakfast, accompanied by hot chocolate.

39- Pastel Tres Leches

The preparation of this dessert is very common in Mexico, using a recipe that surely was inherited by the Europeans during the conquest. It is a spongy cake that is soaked with three types of milk: evaporated, condensed and cream.

40- Thread of Kings

Known in Spain as Roscón de Reyes, it is a cake that is prepared and eaten to celebrate the Epiphany. In Mexico, it is traditionally eaten on January 6, during the celebration of Three Kings Day.

To decorate it, nuts like figs and cherries are used. The tradition of placing figures of the Child God in its interior dates from centuries ago. Whoever finds these figures while eating the thread, receives the blessing and must take the child to the church nearest to his home during the celebration of Candelaria Day, the following February 2.

More information about Mexican cuisine

The cuisine is a very relevant aspect of Mexican culture, social structure and popular traditions in this country. One of the clearest examples of this is the mole, which is used on special dates to celebrate, especially in the Central and South regions.

For this and other reasons, Mexican cuisine was included in 2010 as part of the Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO .

Mexican cuisine is as complex as Chinese, French, Italian or Japanese cuisine. Vegetables have a very important role in this gastronomy. The most common are pumpkin, cauliflower, corn, potatoes, spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes.

Street food in Mexico is called"antojitos"and is prepared and distributed by vendors in small trades and traditional markets. Most of these dishes include corn as an ingredient.

The most popular street food in Mexico is the taco, whose origin is pre-Hispanic and is based on the tradition of eating different foods using tortillas instead of spoons or forks. In Mexico, virtually any food can be wrapped in a tortilla to be turned into a taco.


  1. Popular Mexican Food. Taken from
  2. List of Mexican Dishes. Taken from
  3. Do not leave Mexico without trying... Taken from


What Mexican food is good for weight loss? ›

Some good choices are:
  • Salsa (with fresh tomatoes, onions, and garlic)
  • Ceviche (with fresh fish)
  • Fish Veracruz.
  • Chicken Entrees (such as Burritos, Tostadas & Enchiladas)
  • Black Beans (without sour cream)
  • Fajitas (with chicken or seafood and lots of vegetables)
  • Baked Tamales.

What do Mexicans eat for lunch? ›

Why not give a few of these authentic Mexican lunch dishes a go and let us know what you think.
  • Black Bean Soup. ...
  • Wedge Salad. ...
  • Mexican Salad. ...
  • Mexican Molletes with Refried Beans. ...
  • Gorditas. ...
  • Black Bean Burrito. ...
  • Tortilla Wrap Hack Luchito Style. ...
  • Pulled Pork Tacos With Red Cabbage Slaw.

What meat do Mexicans eat most? ›

In 2019, consumption of meat in Mexico attained a value of approximately 8.95 million metric tons, up from 8.73 million metric tons recorded a year earlier. According to estimates, the most consumed kind of meat in the country in that year was poultry.

Is Mexican food unhealthy? ›

There's no denying that Mexican food is delicious. But many of the entrees are made with oil, lard, and salt -- and loaded with cheese and sour cream. You can get more than a day's worth of calories, saturated fat, or sodium in a single meal.

What is a real burrito? ›

Authentic Mexican burritos are usually small and thin, with flour tortillas containing only one or two of several ingredients: either some form of meat or fish, potato, rice, beans, asadero cheese, chile rajas, or chile relleno.

Do Mexicans eat sour cream? ›

Sour cream is used by many Mexican cooks living outside of Mexico. But in Mexico, crema is used. Since crema is not available in the United States, sour cream is a good alternative.

What Mexican food has the least amount of sodium? ›

Low Sodium - Mexican Food
  • Salsa Verde. ...
  • Mini Pepper Nachos with Corn, Black Beans and Avocado. ...
  • Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice. ...
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas Tacos. ...
  • Chicken Carnitas Burrito Bowl with Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice. ...
  • A Low-Fat, High-Protein Guacamole With a Healthy Secret Ingredient.

Is Mexico healthier than America? ›

Of all Hispanic groups, people from Mexico have some of the best health compared with the rest of Americans. For example, Mexicans have lower rates of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and most cancers than the general US population.

What is healthy Mexican food? ›

In general, more nutritious options include fajitas, bean burritos, grilled chicken dishes, and soft tacos. Here are also some of the most nutritious choices to look for on the menu.

What is the most famous food? ›

Italian pizza is probably the most famous food in the World. Pizza has crossed the borders of Italy a long time ago and nowadays it is consumed all over the world. Pizza is the topmost liked food in the world. Today you can find pizza in almost every corner of the world.

What is main food? ›

A food staple is a food that makes up the dominant part of a population's diet. Food staples are eaten regularly—even daily—and supply a major proportion of a person's energy and nutritional needs.

What is the most popular lunch in Mexico? ›

The taco is the most well-known of Mexico's street meals, and its origins may be traced back to a pre-Hispanic practice of scooping up other foods with tortillas. Tacos are the most popular and well-known Mexican street dish.

What is the national dish in Mexico? ›

At Gastropod, we're always down to party, so here's to Mexico's true national holiday, and its true national dish: mole.

Do Mexicans eat a lot of eggs? ›

Considering that Mexico is the world's fourth largest producer of eggs, with a per capita consumption of more than 300 eggs a year, it would seem that most of the country's consumers are not too concerned about the cholesterol in eggs, and recent scientific studies may prove them at least partially right.

What time is dinner in Mexico? ›

Because the major dining period happens during midday, the traditional "dinner" isn't really a thing in Mexico. Instead, Mexicans opt for a small bite between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., known as "la cena." This can consist of a hot drink and bread, a street taco, or any other snack item meant to stave off nighttime munchies.

What time is breakfast in Mexico? ›

In Mexican culture people usually have 3 big meals a day:

Desayuno (breakfast) is the most important one. It takes place first thing in the morning, anytime between 7am -10 am.

What is pork called in Mexico? ›

What are carnitas? Carnitas are the Mexican version of pulled pork. It's traditionally made with pork shoulder (also known as pork butt) because of the higher fat content, which helps the meat stay super tender and juicy while it's cooked.

What cheese is Mexican? ›

Cotija cheese is one of the most used varieties in Mexico. You'll find it in several different recipes such as enchiladas, tacos, beans, salads, and soups. It's a white crumbly variety with a similar flavor and texture to feta.

What is the most famous Mexican dish? ›

Tacos. It's the most popular Mexican dish globally. Usually served with fillings like steak, chorizo, offal, etc.

What's the drinking age in Mexico? ›

There are several characteristics of the U.S.-Mexico border area that are important to consider when thinking about alcohol use by residents there: poverty, health problems, drug trafficking and its associated violence, and the increased availability of alcohol in Mexico, where the legal drinking age is 18.

What is the most popular soda in Mexico? ›

Coca-Cola is the most popular soft drink company in Mexico. Although Coca-Cola is popular across Latin America, it is especially so in Mexico. Drinking Coke “is a ritual, like drinking red wine for the French,” is a common refrain in Mexico.

What is Mexico's signature drink? ›

Classic Margarita

Of course, the margarita is the best known of all Mexican cocktails!

What is Mexico's national dish? ›

At Gastropod, we're always down to party, so here's to Mexico's true national holiday, and its true national dish: mole.

What do Mexicans eat for dinner? ›

Food In Mexico
  • Enchiladas. This dish of Mexican cuisine is similar to tacos, but it differs by carrying a lot of cheese and being much spicier. ...
  • Fajitas. To make the authentic Mexican fajitas meat is prepared in tomato sauce, which is rolled in a corn or wheat tortilla. ...
  • Burritos. ...
  • Tacos. ...
  • Pozoles. ...
  • Empanadas. ...
  • Totopos. ...
  • Quesadillas.

What food did Mexico invent? ›

6 Surprising Foods that Mexico Introduced to the World
  • Corn. Corn is a versatile ingredient used in many foods, from ketchup and popcorn, to breakfast cereals and sweeteners. ...
  • Cacao. Mexico is also the birthplace of a very popular food - chocolate! ...
  • Vanilla. ...
  • Pumpkin. ...
  • Avocado. ...
  • Chili Pepper.

What is the spiciest Mexican food? ›

Cochinita pibil, besides being one of the most typical dishes in Mexican gastronomy, is also one of the spiciest. The reason for this is none other than the habanero chili that accompanies it. It's a type of stew made with pork marinated in achiote, and wrapped in a banana leaf.

Why is Mexican food so spicy? ›

Special and Spicy Mexican Dishes

Mexican food gets spicy with the addition of chilli pepper. The chilli pepper plant produces a chemical called capsaicin. This ingredient produces a spicy flavour and gives a burning sensation.

What drink is Mexico famous for? ›

Tequila. Of all the popular shots in Mexico, tequila is the most famous, and it's found behind bars all over the world. Made from fermented blue agave plants, the process of distilling tequila is strictly regulated, and only a few places in the country can produce it.

What is the number 1 Mexican restaurant in America? ›

Taco Bell Was Voted the Best Mexican Restaurant in the Country, and the Internet Can't Believe It.

What is lunch called in Mexico? ›

In the same vein, call your meals by the correct name. Breakfast is desayuno, your 'proper', heartier breakfast/ brunch is more of an almuerzo, whereas lunch is comida (hence the abundance of comida corrida places that only serve food from around 1 p.m.-4 p.m.) and dinner is cena.

What time is breakfast in Mexico? ›

In Mexican culture people usually have 3 big meals a day:

Desayuno (breakfast) is the most important one. It takes place first thing in the morning, anytime between 7am -10 am.

What meat do Mexicans eat most? ›

In 2019, consumption of meat in Mexico attained a value of approximately 8.95 million metric tons, up from 8.73 million metric tons recorded a year earlier. According to estimates, the most consumed kind of meat in the country in that year was poultry.

What do Mexican Americans like to eat? ›

Dishes like chili, fajitas, salsa, tortilla chips, corn chips, chimichangas, quesadillas, burritos, and nachos may be great food, but they are home grown American inventions. Even dishes that exist in Mexico like enchiladas, tacos, and tamales are cooked and served differently in the United States.

Why is Mexican food so popular? ›

Mexican food is popular because it's full of flavor. The Mexican dishes include healthy and fresh ingredients like avocados, beans, chiles, tomatoes and other vegetables, and different types of meat like beef, chicken, pork, and fish even rabbit, lamb, among others used in tacos, tamales or soups.

What is world's most popular food? ›

Pizza is the topmost liked food in the world. Today you can find pizza in almost every corner of the world. This traditional Italian dish is made of flattened round dough topped with cheese, and tomatoes, and additionally garnished with basil, olives, and oregano.


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