2 Women Every Country 1 Big Food Adventure

1. Oaxaca

Oaxaca should be on every hungry traveller’s hit list. If you are looking for the best food in Mexico, this city is a must!

Oaxaca is the capital of Oaxaca state and one of Mexico’s most enjoyable colonial cities, with a welcoming buzz.

During the day, people chill out at sidewalk cafes, sipping fresh coffee or gathering around the plazas, listening to street musicians.

There are several food markets close to the city centre with comedors (small kitchens) serving up homemade Oaxacan dishes at super affordable prices. 

Also located in the market “20 de Noviembre” is a section called the ‘Carnes Asadas’ aisle. Do not miss this!

It’s where you purchase an amount of fresh, thinly cut meats and chorizo, and the lady cooks it directly on the BBQ grill.

Best Food in Mexico Top 5 Food Cities Oaxaca Market
Best Food in Mexico – Oaxaca Market

Ask for a bunch of fresh onions, vegetables and chills from the guy directly across,  give her the vegetables, and she also barbeques them for you.

Sit at the tables, order some drinks and wait for your basket full of barbequed meat and veg, a bowl of guacamole, salsas and a small stack of fresh tortillas. Bliss! The best food in Mexico is always local and fresh.

Between the two of us, we ate about 600g of meats with some veg, guacamole and tortillas for under $10.

If you prefer to eat right in the centre square, endless food stalls here light up their huge round hotplates and stir their pots of salsas and moles in preparation for the busy evening rush.

Want an authentic cultural experience in Oaxaca? Visit Tlacolula Sunday Market, it’s fantastic!

Oaxaca has a fantastic restaurant scene in the city’s centre, too. This state is known for the best food in all of Mexico, although the seven different kinds of mole are what people rave primarily about.

I can see why; this dish’s flavour depth is insane. 

We loved it here and had some of our best food in Mexico in Oaxaca. Read more about the Best Foods to try in Oaxaca.

Our favourite 12 Best Breakfast Places in Oaxaca are worth visiting, too!

TIP: Join this food tour of Oaxaca – It takes you to eat some of the best Oaxaca offers.

best food in mexico expand
Empanada filled with Amarillo mole, shredded chicken, and Oaxacan cheese – Best Food Cities Mexico is all about Oaxaca!

2. Mexico City

Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world. Unsurprisingly, it’s filled with endless street vendors and small eateries that are clever at creating satisfying and delicious snacks.

Our favourite street snacks here were tacos al pastor, a must-try and part of the best food in Mexico.  

Pork is marinated in a combination of dried chiles, spices and pineapple and grilled in a coal-fired rotisserie. Once sliced, meat is served on tacos with freshly diced onion and coriander with salsas and lime to taste.

There are many fantastic restaurants in downtown Mexico City and more in the nearby neighbourhoods of Condesa, Roma & Zona Rosa.

Alternatively, let a local show you around this awesome city whilst introducing you to the best street eats available.

We highly recommend booking a space on this fantastic Historic Centre Food Tour of Mexico City.

best food in mexico - tacos
Tacos al pastor in Mexico City

3. San Cristobal

This gorgeous colonial city, set in a highland valley, has the perfect mix of traditional restaurants, outdoor food markets and trendy cafes, easily another food heaven for having the best food in Mexico.

Fortunately for caffeine lovers, coffee beans are locally grown in the area, and the coffee is delicious. We picked up a bag of freshly ground coffee for our portable espresso maker, our favourite travel accessory.

Read more about the best range of day tours of San Cristobal and surrounding areas.

San Cristobal is in the middle of one of the most indigenous areas in Mexico.

You can feel a unique ambience walking along the cobble-stoned streets as traditionally dressed women and girls sell beautiful hand-sewn blouses and handicrafts, and homemade sweets of every kind are available everywhere.

We ate very well here from the outdoor markets. Our favourite was “molotes”; chorizo and herbed potato pieces are tucked into a circle of thin corn dough before all is sealed and fried in oil until crisp. It is then covered with frijoles or guacamole and topped with salad.

After the first bite, we knew they would be on our best food in Mexico list.

Our favourite restaurant was a small, simple and always busy place called El Caldero. They have a menu of approximately 10 different Mexican kinds of soup, all served in huge bowls, accompanied by tortillas and salsas.

Choose from the classic pozole or go for something richer, such as the birria, slow-cooked goat in a deliciously flavoured red soup. (I ordered this soup, one of my fave meals from Mexico in 3 months.)

At a cost of around 75 pesos ($6), it was a clear winner! The best food in Mexico is almost always very affordable. 

RELATED POST – 11 Amazing Historical Places in Mexico You Need to See

best food in mexico Birria Soup in San Cristobal
In search for the best food in Mexico – Birria Soup in San Cristobal

4. Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is fast becoming a big contender in offering delicious Mexican cuisine.  Conveniently located on the coast, fresh seafood is available to create some fantastic dishes.  

Puerto Vallarta offers everything from reliable local restaurants dishing out incredible signature dishes to the table-clothed, candle-lit fancy tables serving 5-star service on the beach.

In a way, it is the best food in Mexico for any budget. 

The real food heroes I found were the many taco stands dotted around the Old Town, located between 4-7 blocks from the beach. It’s not hard to work out which vendors sell the tastiest fare. 

You can see the gathering of locals night after night munching on tacos with many fillings that we returned for on a nightly basis.

If you want to learn more about Mexican Food and culture, why not join a Mexican Cooking Class or this popular Local Neighbourhood Food Tour of Puerto Vallarta. They know a thing or two about the best food in Mexico. 

best food in mexico street vendors
Street Vendors in PV. Best Food Cities Mexico, of course Puerto Vallarta is on our list!

Get Connected with eSIM

Get connected easily on your travels—buy an eSIM! An eSIM works like an app: buy it, download it, and get connected in minutes! It’s easy, affordable, and convenient. Keep your original phone number, too!

Click below and view which eSIM data plan you need for your next adventure. Use our referral code: RACHEL5045, to get $3 off your first purchase!

5. Puebla

Puebla is known for having high-quality and rich food. A must-try speciality here is called “Chile en nogada”. Ground meat is seasoned and combined with raisins, pine nuts and local fruit before being stuffed into roasted poblano chiles.

These stuffed chiles are then dipped in batter and fried before being topped off with a creamy sauce made partially of walnuts and then topped with pomegranates. Delicious! Another addition to our list of the best food in Mexico.

Another favourite in Puebla was the taco árabe, or “Arab-style taco”.  

Sliced, spit-roasted pork is served on slightly charred Middle Eastern-style flatbread. These tacos are on the grill very briefly with all that delicious marinade to add flavour.

You then can add salt, lime juice, and salsa to taste.

Find these delicious and affordable tacos at ‘Las Ranas’ Taqueria in Puebla.

In the past three months of eating my way through Mexico, looking for the best food in Mexico. I feel as though I have only scratched the surface of the variety of food here.

Remembering all the excellent food I have devoured during that time and the extra few kilograms I have gained, there is not a minute that I regret a mouthful of this incredible cuisine.

The best food in Mexico can be found in other cities, including Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Sayulita, Mendoza and many more.

But this list of five cities should give you a good start and introduction to the fantastic cuisine of Mexico. 

Remember to try some of the best-tasting Mexican drinks, too!

Let us know in the comments below where you have eaten the best food in Mexico!

Travel Tips

We love to share our knowledge of travelling, and you may enjoy reading our top 6 travel hacks to save you money and our ultimate packing list for travellers.

Our 7 tips for finding the best food when travelling may be helpful to you; there are some practical suggestions to avoid getting ill on your travels.

Perhaps you’re travelling on a budget? These 5 Cheapest Countries to Visit in South America may be just the tool you need to start planning an epic trip. 

We’ve got a bunch of tips for saving money to travel the world, and even when you’re out there travelling, maybe these 20 jobs that PAY YOU to travel the world will help you travel longer. It worked for us, and we bet it can work for you, too.

For more travel tips, and products we use regularly on the road, head to the Travel Resources Page.