8 basic dishes of Mexican gastronomy

typical mexican food

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Have you tried all the most important Mexican dishes and have you ever dared to cook them?

If you are planning your trip to Mexico or simply want to remember some of the typical dishes of its gastronomy, here we talk about the typical Mexican food.

Typical Mexican food

Travelling to Mexico is like travelling to the land of spicy food. All of its typical dishes are spiced with hot chilli, giving it a more local touch.

Although we can’t list all the dishes of Mexican cuisine, here are some of its most traditional and widespread meals. Get ready to get your mouth watering…


This is undoubtedly the most famous Mexican food dish in the world. It is the most widespread dish, and you can eat it almost anywhere in the world.

It consists of one (or two) corn or wheat tortillas, to which all kinds of meat or fish, and sauteed vegetables are added and finally folded. They are accompanied by grated cheese, sauces such as guacamole or tomato sauce, and above all, hot sauce.

The best known are the tacos al pastor (grilled meat and wheat flour pancakes), the cochinita pibil (marinated shredded pork and spicy achiote) very typical of the Riviera Maya area, or the tacos de arrachera (beef tripe).

Mexican taco plate

Totopos, or nachos?

Who hasn’t ordered nachos with guacamole over a soda or beer?

Well, first of all, you should know that if you order nachos with guacamole, what you are really ordering is topos with guacamole. Totopos are the fried triangular corn tortillas.

They are usually accompanied by guacamole, beans, cheese and other dipping sauces.

totopos with cheese and spicy seasoned meat

If you take the excursion to Sian Ka’an from Tulum, what better way to relax on your return than with a drink and your plate of tortilla chips with guacamole?


The most famous cocktail in Mexican cuisine could not be missing from this list. As it couldn’t be any other way, spiciness is the star of the dish.

It is a combination of beer, lime juice, salt and spice. An explosion of flavours to enjoy, for example, on the catamaran tour to Isla Mujeres. But be careful not to get seasick, that would be a bad combination…

michelada spicy beer cocktail

Did you know about the existence of spicy beer? If you haven’t tried it, we recommend you to do it as soon as possible.


Not so well known internationally, the tlayuda is a typical dish from the Oaxaca area. It is a big corn tortilla, the size of a pizza.

It has more thickness and consistency than a normal tortilla. Because of the way it is cooked, it has a special value to last for a long period of time.

Although any kind of meat, fish, and vegetables can be added to it, Mexico’s best known is the typical one from Oaxaca. This has Oaxaca cheese as its main ingredient, one of the most popular cheeses in the country. Have you already added visiting Oaxaca to your list of things to see in Mexico?

tlayuda plate with cheese


Although they are very similar to tacos, burritos’ main difference is that the tortillas in this case roll up completely into the food, instead of folding up as they do in tacos.

Inside they are added fried beans with grilled meat, and then all sorts of vegetables and sauces you can think of. As always, the spice will be another of the main ingredients of this meal.

Mexican burritos stuffed with meat and vegetables typical mexican food

It will be the perfect meal to take on the Chichen Itza tour and eat at the Mayan archaeological site itself. We dare you to eat it without getting your hands dirty…


A lesser-known dish internationally but one that is of great importance in Mexican culture is mole.

This is not a dish per se, but a chocolate-coloured sauce that can accompany almost any kind of food.

The most popular recipe for this sauce is the one made in Puebla, hence the name mole poblano. It is made with different types of chilli, nuts, spices, tomato, onion, and above all, bitter chocolate!

hicken with Mexican Mole Poblano Sauce

Now you know the reason for its colour…


Is there a simpler and better dish than quesadillas? We don’t think so…

As you may already know, this typical Mexican dish is mainly based on two ingredients, corn or wheat tortillas, to which cheese is usually added, and folded. Depending on the area where you order it, different meats or vegetables are usually added to complete the dish.

typical mexican quesadillas

They are then usually grilled to melt the cheese and give the tortilla a crunchier texture – a real treat for cheese lovers!


Finally, we talk about aguachile. This typical Mexican dish has as its main ingredient a seafood product, in this case, shrimp.

To prepare this dish, the shrimps are marinated in a sauce containing water, lime, coriander, chilli, salt and pepper, and then red onion and cucumber are added.

dish aguachile typical mexican food

This is a fresh dish, which the locals usually accompany with a michelada.

What do you think of our list of the most popular and tastiest typical Mexican food? What is your favourite Mexican dish?

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