The Traditional Cuisine of Mexico

Mexican food has some of the most well-known and loved dishes in the world. Mexican cuisine varies by region due to local climate, geography and ethnic differences among the indigenous inhabitants.

Cuisine by region

ancient incan ruin in mexico

Teotihuacan Pyramids in Mexico. Photo credit: Shutterstock

North of Mexico – known for its meat dishes especially beef and wheat in the form of flour tortillas

Oaxaca region – known for its savoury tamales, tortillas and celebratory moles

Yucatan – tropical fruits feature heavily in the cuisine

Mountainous regions of the west – known for birria (goat/beef/mutton/pork in a spicy tomato-based sauce)

Pacific Coast & Baja California Peninsula – seafood dominates the cuisine

The three staples in Mexican dishes are corn, beans and chillies (hot peppers), all present before the Spanish arrived. Corn is consumed in all possible forms, but most importantly as a tortilla (a thin, round pancake made from corn dough). Tortillas are also used to make tacos and quesadillas, popular throughout the country. Avocado, tomatoes and rice also feature heavily in Mexican dishes.

Typical dishes of Mexico

Typical Mexican dishes include:


Tamales de Mexico

Tamales – Boiled pockets of corn dough stuffed with meat and served in banana leaves


Pozole de Mexico

Pozole – Chicken or pork broth with corn, herbs and spices, with onions, lettuce, dried ground chilli, lemon juice and radish sprinkled on top


Mole de Mexico.

Mole de Mexico. Photo credit: shutterstock

Mole – A spicy sauce that is poured over meat, with chocolate sometimes added


Chilaquiles de Mexico.

Chilaquiles – fried corn tortillas topped with red or green salsa, scrambled or fried eggs, cheese and cream

Tacos el Pastor

Tacos al Pastor

Tacos el pastor – corn tortilla with pork, onions, coriander and pineapple


Tostades de Mexico.

Tostades de Mexico. Photo credit: shutterstock

Tostadas – fried tortillas served with frijoles (refried beans), cheese, meat or seafood


Enchiladas de Mexico.

Enchiladas – corn or flour tortillas filled with meat, cheese and beans, topped in a chilli sauce

Drinks of Mexico


Margaritas. Photo credit: shutterstock

Drinks include tepache (made from pineapple), tuba (fermented juice from the coconut tree and pulque (ferment made from the maguey plant). Tequila, of course, is also offered and is usually served as a major ingredient in margaritas, with salt-rimmed glasses and lime juice. Mezcal is a rougher version of tequila.

Delve into the gastronomic delights of Mexico. Try the spicy dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, tamales, chilaquiles and guacamole during a Mexico Tour. Don’t wait any longer and visit Mexico. Chimu Adventures offers tailor-made packages to Central America. Contact us for more information. 

Author: Helen Dwyer