Of course you can't go to Mexico and not try tacos, they're basically everywhere. Some people think tacos are typically made from hard corn shells but you won't find any of those in Mexico. Tacos are typically made with a soft flour or maize tortilla with your choice of meat, for example tacos de res (beef), de pollo (chicken), de pescado (fish), al pastor (pork), de camaron (prawns), are typical ones you'd find around with the seafood more around coastal areas. They're often served with plenty of condiments to choose from like diced white onion, coriander, lime, and up to 5 different salsas varying in heat. I found street side vendors delivered the best tacos with a great price point compared to restaurants but it varies from region to region, for example in Oaxaca I only saw one street taco stand in the week that I was there and a local took us to his favourite taco restaurant, where the tacos were excellent. Also I didn't get sick from any street food, but I met people who did, so its difficult to gage the food safety regarding street vendors.
Tortas! The cousin of the taco and another simple and cheap street food that is a must for any traveller especially if you're on a budget. Like the taco it usually comes with your choice of meat and condiments but is served on a fresh white bread roll, basically a Mexican sandwich. Often people sell these along with snacks on buses, while stopped at a station they'll come aboard, and may even turn to you and say, 'sandwich?' as you will probably look foreign and they'll assume you don't know what a torta is. In other cases you'll find them at most markets or street side. Other variations I tried were made from a huge bun with lettuce, tomato, pork and slathered in mayo, which was an experience in itself!
3. Cochinita Pibil
Cochinita Pibil is a slow roasted pork dish from the region of the Yucatán Peninsula in the east. It's succulent and juicy and definitely something I would recommend anyone visiting the region to try! As pictured, it's typically served with refried black beans, red pickle onion, habanero chilli and corn tortillas (in the round wooden bowl). I tried this dish at La Chaya Maya restaurant in Mérida and it was delicious! A little expensive but could definitely have been shared, I also ordered a side of guacamole because why not!
Taking you down to the southern regions of Mexico, Birria is a dish from the state of Jalisco and in particular it's capital Guadalajara. It's a stew typically made from goat, but if you're keen for a cheaper version you can find some made with young beef. When serving in a market or street cart they will typically reheat the meat on a hot plate grill and then pour over the broth. As with many Mexican dishes the meat is deliciously tender and flavoursome. This dish is served with diced white onion, lime, chilli, of course some hot sauce and corn tortillas. However with this dish as a local guide showed us you don't use the tortillas like tacos you roll them between your hands like a long thin cigar and dip it into the stew and eat it bit by bit.
Now time for the most controversial food, fried crickets! I know a lot of people will say no way I'm never trying that but I encourage you to keep an open mind and just taste them once. You'll find these little critters like most other street food from small side street vendors or in markets. Typically fried with garlic, can come in a few different flavours like very garlicky, mild chilli or hot and spicy etc. and are served in a little bag with the option to add salt and lime juice. Honestly pretty tasty and apparently a good source of protein, just don't look too hard at them, pop one in and taste it!
That's it for this post! I hope you found it interesting and get to try some of these foods one day. There are of course many more Mexican foods that I am yet to try, and one day I will! But from the ones I did these are some I definitely recommend! Comment down below any Mexican food recommendations, I'd love to hear about them!