9 Authentic Mexican Dishes to Try in Mexico

While it’s almost impossible to make a list of all the incredible authentic Mexican dishes to try in Mexico, here are nine of our favorites.

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You’ll find a lot of reasons to visit the beautiful country of Mexico: breathtaking beaches, extraordinary archaeological sites, and, of course, the incredible cuisine.

Tasting the country’s vibrant flavors and unique dishes is one of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in the rich and lively culture. From stuffed chiles to spicy sandwiches, the vibrant country offers more than just tacos to titillate your taste buds.

If you’re planning a trip south of the border, keep an eye out for these authentic Mexican dishes to try in Mexico:

1. Pozole

Pozole translates to “hominy,” the dish’s main ingredient, which is produced from dried, alkali-treated corn kernels. This traditional Mexican soup also includes meat such as chicken or pork, as well as an ample amount of herbs and spices. After stewing for hours or overnight, the soup is then topped with lettuce, lime, chili, and radish.

2. Sope

Originating in the central and southern parts of Mexico, sope is essentially a very thick tortilla topped with a variety of toppings such as refried beans, chicken, avocado, lettuce, salsa, and cheese. The base of the dish is made from a fist-sized circle of fried masa that’s pinched around the sides.

3. Chiles Rellenos

Translating to “stuffed chiles,” chiles rellenos is a flavorful Mexican dish consisting of a poblano pepper that has been roasted, stuffed, and finally fried. After stuffing the pepper with fillings such as picadillo, melted cheese, vegetables, and nuts, the chef then dips the pepper in an egg white batter, deep-fries it, and serves it in a tomato sauce.

4. Enchiladas

Dating back to the Mayan times, enchiladas have been enjoyed for thousands of years. This timeless dish is composed of a corn or flour tortilla filled with meat, cheese, beans, seafood, or vegetables and then covered in chili pepper sauce. If you don’t enjoy spicy food, you might want to steer clear of this authentic Mexican dish.

5. Pambazo

pambazos cooking Mexico City authentic
Cooking pambazos at a street stand in the historic center of Mexico City. Taken by Wikimedia Commons user A L Garcia . [CC BY-SA 2.0].

This Mexican sandwich is a street food favorite. The name pambazo refers to the chewy white bread that’s dunked in a red guajillo pepper sauce before being stuffed with shredded beef or pork, fried beans and potatoes, lettuce, and cheese.

6. Tinga

If you like tacos, you’ll love tinga. This dish is composed of shredded chicken or beef, sliced onions, and a tomato chipotle sauce. The spicy concoction is often served as a taco filling or a tostada topping. It can be topped with shredded lettuce, cheese, salsa, and avocado slices.

7. Menudo

More adventurous eaters will enjoy trying menudo, a traditional Mexican soup made from cow’s stomach in a spicy red chili pepper-based broth. The soup is often seasoned with lime, hominy, onions, and oregano.

8. Gorditas

Literally meaning “chubby girl,” a gordita is a type of savory pastry. Composed of a thick tortilla made from corn masa, it’s stuffed with a savory meat stew and salsa. Other potential fillings include cheese, vegetables, eggs, and beans. You can commonly find this dish in markets, in street fairs, and at street stands—basically anywhere you go.

9. Birria

Birria originated in the Mexican state of Jalisco. Similar to pozole and menudo, this stew gets its spicy flavor from dried chili peppers, and it’s traditionally made with goat or mutton. At many restaurants, birria is commonly made with a combination of meats, including beef and chicken.

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