While well known for its vibrant culture, stunning architecture and friendly people, what truly puts Mexico in a league of its own is its beloved cuisine. From street food to fine dining, Mexican-inspired food can be found all over the world. To really get to the heart and sample Mexican food at its very best and most authentic, a food-focused trip to the heart of Mexico can’t be beaten.
Dara Strutt, OROKO Travel Specialist, shares that; “For foodies, a trip to Mexico is a must to fully appreciate the depth and diversity of this incredible cuisine. The local ingredients, traditional cooking methods, and cultural influences all come together to create a dining experience that simply can’t be replicated anywhere else.”
Discover the incredible culinary landscape of Mexico with the help of OROKO Travel, Ireland’s leading experts in tailored luxury travel. Today the team are sharing their curated list of must-visit gastronomic hotspots on a journey through this foodie haven. Get ready to discover the rich and diverse flavours of Mexico.
Culinary Highlights of Mexico City
Mexico City is famed for its dynamic food scene, a colourful fusion of indigenous Mesoamerican and Spanish flavours that showcase the region’s rich gastronomic heritage. All the traditional foods of Mexico are available from the street vendors, taquerias, and restaurants that make up Mexico City’s culinary identity.
Start your culinary adventure with the vibrant street food scene. Visit places like Mercado La Merced and Mercado de Coyoacán for mouthwatering street snacks like tacos, elotes (grilled corn), and esquites (corn cups with toppings). For taco lovers, Mexico City is the place to be. From humble street-side vendors and taquerias to upscale restaurants, the city is brimming with a diverse range of taco fillings such as al pastor (marinated pork), carnitas (slow-cooked pork), and campechano (grilled beef). Indulge in the different varieties, right down to the type of tortilla used, either folded or rolled, depending on the regional influence.
Indulge in the delicious world of chocolate that has been ingrained in Mexico’s cultural heritage since ancient times. The roots of chocolate can be traced back to the Mesoamerican civilizations of the Maya and Aztecs, where it held a sacred place. For a deeper dive into this rich history, OROKO recommend a private tour of the Chocolate Museo in Mexico City. Learn about the evolution of chocolate in Mexico, the fascinating process of making it, and participate in chocolate-making workshops and tastings.
OROKO suggest venturing into the artistic and trendy neighbourhood of Roma where its colourful creativity extends to its culinary scene. One of the must-visit spots in Roma is the Mercado Roma, a gourmet food hall that offers a wide range of local and international cuisine. Here, sample everything from artisanal cheeses and fresh seafood to tacos and churros.
The Colourful Markets of Xochimilco
The beautiful borough of Xochimilco, meaning ‘place of the flowers’ is located south of Mexico City and is famed for its historical man-made canals and vibrant floating gardens. However, no visit to Xochimilco is complete without sampling the local culinary traditions and flavours at the Mercado de Xochimilco.
The market is an excellent place to discover and purchase unique local ingredients that are integral to Mexican cuisine. From dried chillies and aromatic spices, speciality cheeses and moles to local fresh produce like fruits, vegetables and herbs, explore the colours, textures and flavours of Mexico’s diverse produce.
Given Xochimilco’s historical connection to water and canals, expect to find fresh seafood offerings including ceviche, shrimp and hearty seafood stews showcasing the coastal influence on Mexican cuisine. Indulge in a culinary adventure at the market by trying out the crowd-favourite tamales. These delightful treats are made fresh every day and come in various options, from savoury chicken and pork to sweet, dried fruit, all wrapped up in a blanket of corn husks or banana leaves.
Feast your way through handmade quesadillas, freshly baked pastries and delicious barbacoa, a stewed meat dish traditionally eaten on Sundays in Mexico. The market opens at 8 am so OROKO recommend getting there early.
Local Markets in Puebla
Experience the true essence of Puebla’s vibrant food culture on a private food tour of Mexico’s culinary hotspot. Eat like a local, sampling authentic fare like molotes (fried pastry), pelonas (Mexican sandwiches), and semitas (sweet bread), all traditional Poblano delicacies, and relish in the mouthwatering flavours of handmade tacos served at a traditional taqueria.
As you make your way through the streets of Puebla, admire some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the magnificent Biblioteca Palafoxiana and the stunning Capilla del Rosario. Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with a leisurely stroll down Calle de los Dulces, a charming three-block street packed with sweet shops. Visit La Gran Fama Dulceria for a taste of their delicious handmade treats including camotes and Mexican candied sweet potato.
For a unique culinary experience, OROKO suggest exploring the local market and joining Chef Martin Cortez for a mole culinary adventure. Discover the art of sourcing the freshest and best quality ingredients to create the legendary mole poblano, named after the city of Puebla. With Chef Cortez’s expert guidance, learn to make this traditional sauce and savour its complex and rich flavours. Top it off with a taste of yolixpa, a traditional drink made with aromatic herbs and brandy.
Cookery Class in Mexico’s Gastronomic Capital, Oaxaca
Discover the magic of Oaxaca’s enchanting city centre, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for its sacred landmarks, vibrant architecture, and deep-rooted connections to the Zapotec and Mixtec indigenous cultures. However, the heart and soul of Oaxaca lie in its diverse cuisine, which reflects the region’s rich heritage and local ingredients.
Oaxaca is famous for its seven distinct types of mole sauces, each with a unique blend of chillies and spices. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the fruity ‘mole coloradito’ and the smoky ‘mole chichilo’. For the adventurous foodies, the traditional crunchy snack of toasted grasshoppers seasoned with chilli, lime, and salt, known as chapulines, is a must-try. On Sundays, the Tlacolula Market is the perfect spot to sample local specialities such as tlayudas (commonly referred to as Oaxacan pizza), tamales, and barbacoa, as well as explore the vibrant selection of handmade textiles, ceramics, and artistry that represent the region’s indigenous culture.
For a truly immersive experience, join Chef Oscar Carrizosa at Casa Crespo for a cooking class. As you stroll through the bustling local market, Chef Carrizosa will reveal the secrets of sourcing the freshest ingredients and introduce you to friendly merchants. Back in the kitchen, cook up a storm of Mexican classics like tacos, tamales, and moles, and indulge in desserts featuring the local chocolate prepared with the same fiery spices that the Aztecs and Mayas once used. Savour the mouth-watering dishes accompanied by a shot of Casa Crespo’s mezcal or a cold Mexican beer.
The options on luxury culinary holidays to Mexico are limitless, and OROKO Travel is here to guide you every step of the way. For more information on luxury holidays to Mexico, visit the OROKO website or speak to their team at 01 260 0240 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and discover how a bespoke itinerary can be tailored to meet your every need.