At its heart, food is about connection. Where that connection happens can vary, however the street food vendors of Mexico City ensure that your local sidewalks feel just as quaint and welcoming as your family table. By sharing traditional recipes with new audiences, vendors open their arms to the public through street food, allowing neighbors and passersby to take a glimpse into their homes and experience some of the most delicious food our country has to offer.
Take Las Dietéticas de Coyoacán – a community favorite since its establishment in 1973, the spot is owned and operated by the daughter of its founder who specializes in handmade tortilla quesadillas. The dining experience here is accented with beautiful flowers curated by the owner, always placed in a large decorative vase. She is not the only person carrying on family legacies. She is in the company of the two brothers running Los Burros a Todo Mecate with their father, serving up 18 different variations of savory burritos, Tacos de Guisado “La Hortaliza,” a stand which has franchised onto every street corner in the city serving homestyle cooking from the owners Mr. Domingo and his wife since the 1990s, and many more family oriented businesses.
With so many options, it is no surprise street food has taken a hold on Mexico. With over 75 percent of the population dining on the street at least once a week, the accessibility and high quality of street food here makes it a top choice for daily meals and, of course, late-night eats. As Mexico City is a bustling center of entertainment and nightlife, these establishments generate much traffic in the early hours of the morning as partiers look for satisfying and flavorful food before heading home. Places like Los Cocuyos have learned this, and have been operating 24/7 for 42 years. Specializing in traditional tripe and suadero tacos, Los Cocuyos has maintained steady support from the community for their quality of meat and seasoning. Plus, they always supply patrons with glasses of papalo leaves, an herb that helps to cut the fat of the tacos. Other spots with long legacies of late-night excellence include “Torreón” Hamburgers, which has been helping fight hangovers for 32 years and counting, and “El Vilsito” Taquería, a mechanic shop that turns into a busting taquería after 2pm, specializing in gringa and tacos al pastor for 34 years now.
Whatever cravings you are having in CDMX, all you have to do is step outside and the world is at your fingertips. Mexican cuisine is an integral part of experiencing Mexican culture as it bridges history, tradition, regionality, and resilience. Supporting local vendors is the best way to support domestic agriculture and industry while experiencing a unique and vibrant food culture that connects you to the true pulse of the city — its people.
Scroll below to see more from street food vendors on the ground in Mexico City (warning: may cause hunger).