Much like every tourist who comes to Mexico City, I couldn’t wait to get involved in the taco culture here. I have enjoyed tacos around the world but as we all know, food like this always tastes better where it originated. In my first couple of months in Mexico City my Spanish was pretty poor and that meant that the taco stand experience was a little more interesting than it could have been.
There are some basic tips which everyone should remember when it comes to the taco stand however, and here is what to bear in mind should you come to Mexico City, or to another area of Mexico.
One of my worst experiences with salsa at a taco stand happened during my time in Oaxaca, and it was because I didn’t try the salsa first. I had it in my mind that red meant hot and green meant mild, and so I lathered the green sauce all over my carnitas. Sadly however I was mistaken and the green salsa blew my face right off. I have since learned that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the salsa, and that is why you should always have a little sample first.
Something which I learned very early on, courtesy of my local friend Javier Burillo, was that you have to be vocal if you want to get your order in. There is no queuing system exactly here, so if you are just standing around then you are unlikely to be able to make your order. No matter how confident you are with your Spanish, the key is to shout out your order, and point to things if you have any difficulties. Staying quiet means that you will stay hungry.
Watch What You Eat
If you are open minded when it comes to food then go ahead and order whatever you fancy. If however you are somewhat squeamish when it comes to some foods, then it is always better that you know exactly what you are ordering. Here in Mexico they cook up just about every part of the animal from their brain to their feet, tongue to their livers, and that is why you should just make sure that you know what you are eating, before you load up the taco.
Spotting The People
Throughout the streets of Mexico you will find an enormous number of taco stands, and it can be hard to know which is the best choice for you. In the interest of your stomach health and your palate, the best idea is to go where the people are. Locals will sniff out the best taco spot in no time at all, so if you see a big group of people hanging outside of a stand, this is the best place for you to go, if you want the tastiest tacos.
Rules to live by when it comes to the taco stand.