Mexico is amazing and beautiful and has some the nicest people of any country that I’ve ever visited. It’s so misunderstood and the dumb stereotypes are so wrong and come from fear. I could go on and on! But one thing that even the most ignorant amongst us can probably agree with is that the food ROCKS!
Tacos, quesadillas, burritos, guacamole, chips and salsa, fajitas, enchiladas. Who doesn’t love these? And because Mexico is our neighbor here in the US, there are some pretty killer Mexican restaurants that do a decent job at authenticity. But did you know that there are tons of other amazing Mexican foods that you don’t often hear about in the US?
Here are 9 amazing Mexican foods that will make you want to hop on a plane right now!
1. Huaraches– crispy and soft at the same time, these flatbread-style corn tortillas are fried and topped with your favorite Mexican toppings such as grilled chicken, sour cream, avocado, real queso and whatever else your heart desires.
2. Tlayudas– often known as the Mexican pizza, think giant crispy tortillas smothered in refried beans, cheese, meat, lettuce and tomatoes. I was too busy eating these to take any photos, so search google yourself!
3. Pozole– a delicious hominy soup that often comes with meat and different sauces, spices and limes to juice, plus a side of corn tortillas for dipping. It is excellent!
4. Quesadillas con mole– Wait, I’ve heard of quesadillas. Well, first of all, your American-style quesadillas don’t hold a flame to a real Mexican quesadilla. Now smother some mole sauce on top and you’ve got yourself a true fiesta. Mole (pronounced mo-lay) is made from a ton of different ingredients, and every region has their own style and famous family recipes, but chocolate and pumpkin are often among the main ingredients. It sounds weird but it’s amazing. Head to Oaxaca for some of the best cheese for your quesadillas and amazing mole recipes.
5. Tostadas– Read the huaraches description above but sub in a giant crunchy tortilla chip for the base and add a lot more crema (sour cream).
6. Chilaquiles– AKA mushy breakfast goodness. Fresh corn tortillas sliced up and smothered in salsa, cheese and sour cream with sunny side up eggs on top and refried beans on the side. Don’t forget a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice to wash it all down!
7. Empanadas– These are becoming more and more popular in the U.S. and they come from all over Latin America, with each country producing their own style. Mexican empanadas are savory pastries made from corn flour and stuffed with cheese, sauces, meat (if you’re into that) and often fajita veggies.
8. Tamales– Another that you may have heard of, tamales are corn dough pastries steamed in the husk and filled with similar fixings to empanadas.
9. Ceviche– You may have had ceviche before. If you are in Mexico and near the ocean, you need to try it! Raw fish marinated in lime juice, red onion, tomato and cilantro may sound like a dangerous combo, but it is oh so good.
Bonus: Mexican mezcal- do you like tequila? How about if you took that amazingness and made it twice as good? ‘Nuff said. Mezcal is the even more artesanal brother to tequila. Often times it is a smokier flavor. If you’re really into it, the annual Mezcal festival in Oaxaca is one of the most fun events I’ve ever been to. I never knew how welcomed and loved I could feel being the only white guy in the middle of a giant mariachi concert, but hey, Mezcal is good for that!
If you want to authentically explore Mexico and other amazing countries with a small group of fellow travelers, check out the current No Strings Travel trip offerings here!