Honestly, I thank the heavens every day for Mexican food. I love it. You love it. We all love it. Everybody loves it.
Mexican food is so vast and diverse that I doubt I have even scratched the surface in my nineteen years. Thanks to our Indigenous and European roots, we have tons of combinations that make for a delicious array.
So, if you haven’t been exposed to anything past Qdoba and Chipotle – not authentic Mexican food but still pretty good nonetheless- check out the list that I have compiled.
Okay, so this isn’t necessarily food. But you should definitely try agua fresca before you die. There are endless flavors of refreshing natural fruit juice.
My favorites: Horchata and basically everything else because they are delicious.
Tinga de pollo
Tinga is basically a tostada with chicken in chipotle sauce, lettuce, crema, and cheese. There are many variations to it. 10/10
A staple in any self-respecting Mexican family during the holidays, tamales are hard to describe. They’re made with masa and usually chicken but there are multiple variations to this as well. You can top them with crema and cheese and everything will seem right in the world. There are sweet tamales too which can be desserts so definitely try those as well.
Elotes preparados are bomb af. Seriously, they are God’s gift. They’re basically corn on the cob with mayonnaise, grated cotija cheese, and chili powder. They have a hint of lime too. They’re popular street food in Mexico and in some lucky states. (Kentucky is not one)
You have not lived until you’ve tried Mexican bread. It’s perfect for any time of the day. There are way too many kinds to list out but a concha or a borracho is a good place to start. It’s a perfect treat to pair with hot chocolate.
Speaking of the perfect thing to pair pan with, atole is a must. It’s hard to describe because it is a corn and masa based beverage. The chocolate variation is called champurrado which is a little like a richer, creamier hot chocolate.
Sopes are kind of like huge, thick tortillas with beans, vegetables, and meat on top. You can top them to your liking and they’re super filling. 10/10
A lot of restaurants have these in their non-dessert form, but rarely do they have the sweet empanadas. The closest counterpart that I can think of are turnovers, but empanadas are 1000x better. They can have all kinds of sweet fillings like strawberries, peaches, blueberries, chocolate, or even rice pudding.
So you might have seen flan before, but this variation is one of the best. Basically it’s flan on top of chocolate cake. Perfect for any occasion.
A bionico is Jalisco’s gift to the world. It’s common to find it in “fruterias” or like juice bars/dessert shops. It’s fruit salad in condensed milk and yogurt topped with granola, almonds, walnuts, and raisins depending on your taste. It will make you feel healthy yet satisfy dessert cravings.
This list doesn’t even begin to cover all that encompasses Mexican food. But it’s a primer at least for those who want to know more. I encourage you to try any of these if you have the chance – just remember that any Americanized version won’t ever live up to the real thing.