Street food in Mexico City is not only abundant – it is cheap. Five tacos for 25 pesos works out to be about 5 tacos for $1.25 US.
December 29 – January 11, 2018.
I had been advised before we went to Mexico City to eat street food. Street food is everywhere in CDMX, on sidewalks, in parks, and every time you emerge from the subway. You can eat food from one of these numerous stalls standing right there on the sidewalk or sometimes on a stool at a narrow counter that runs the length of the stand. If you don’t want to stand on the street you can also ask for your food “para llevar” (Literally in order to take). If you are getting food to go, your food will come wrapped in paper or on a disposable plate. If you eat on the street you get a sturdy plastic plate covered with plastic or paper – so you mess is easily disposed of and the plate stays clean.
You can order just about any kind of food at these stands, flautas, sopes, quesadillas, tamales, hamburguesas (hamburgers), and at least a dozen different types of tacos, including pastor, barbacoa, a la plancha, campechano, guisado, de cabeza. You can also get tacos with French Fries on top, but you aren’t going to hear that much about most of these items from us since we are vegetarians.
Being a vegetarian on the road where you are unfamiliar with a lot of the food and when you only habla un poquito Español (Speak a little bit of Spanish) can be a tad daunting. But I’ve learned to point at things and ask, “Que hay dentro?” (Literally – What is there inside?) and to point at items on a menu and ask “Que es?” (What is it?). I can also communicate that, “Somos vegetarianos” (We are vegetarians). So far we have been pretty successful ordering non-meat items.
This past summer I did a bit of research on vegetarian options in Mexico City and found 3 vegan taco stands. We only made it to one, Gatorta – Torteria vegana. It was a treat. Even Wayne seemed to really enjoy it.
Besides Gatorta we ate in several different Mexican restaurants around the city, tried some Mexican junk food in the park, and had pizza more than once. I missed out on trying Elote – Corn on the cob coated with mayonnaise, cheese, and chili. I only saw it at a couple of street stalls and I wasn’t hungry either time. Wayne missed out on eating Chapulines (fried grasshoppers). We only saw it our first day out in one location and he wasn’t feeling quite adventurous yet (Since then I have seen them everywhere in other cities).
I wish I had more pictures of the food that we ate to show you – although we ate out at least once every day, I rarely remember to take pictures of it until it is almost all gone. But I assure you most everything we ate was muy rica (very yummy) Ñam ñam (Yum yum!).
* Click on pics to enlarge and open into a slide show.
Our tacos from Gatorta – Torteria vegana with marinated onions on top. Meat tacos look almost exactly like this.
Display at Gatorta. Vegan cupcakes! Ñam ñam!
The counter at Gatorta.
While we were in Bosque de Chapúltepec we tried out the Dorilocos – a bag of Doritos split open and topped with a variety of things including cucumber, grated carrots, japonés (peanuts with a crunchy soy sauce flavored shell), lime juice, chili powder, and hot sauce.
On New Year’s Eve we shared a pizza in historic district.
On Días de Los Reyes Magos, a Mexican holiday remembering the day when the 3 wise men followed the star to Bethlehem to bring gifts to the Baby Jesus, we had a miniature version of a traditional Rosca de Reyes. If you have ever been to Mardi Gras in the US – this is very similar to a King Cake, including having a Baby Jesus baked inside. Whoever gets the piece with the baby has to make tamales for Día de la Candelaria on February 2.
Perhaps the most interesting restaraunt we went to was Minichelista. The restaraunt was created by artists and is decorated with their works. Actually almost everything in the restaraunt is a work of art including table made from bicycle and motorcycle handles and chairs made from welded chains.
View down the spiral staircase at Minichelista.
View of Greg and Wayne from the spiral staircase.
Selfie at Minichelista.
Lola, the macaw who lives at Minichelista.
Lola took a liking to Wayne. He had to ask the owner to remove her from his shoulder. Lola squacked as he quickly grabbed her from Wayne’s shoulder and put her back on her perch.
One of our favorite places to eat (we ate there twice at two different locations) was a pizza place called Perro Negro (Black Dog). It had a hip alternative vibe with soundtrack of old and new punk rock. On our first visit we got a Jug de Cerveza (Jug – pronounced “yoog” – of beer), a Nacho Pizza with tortilla chips, beans, cheese, tomatoes, and jalepeños, a Gastelum Pizza with sliced poblanos peppers, elote (spiced and grilled corn), cream, and a spinach sauce, and Chile Relleno Pizza with cheese filled chile rellenos on top.
This location of Perro Negro in the historic district included an open air courtyard and a mini skateboard park. This place reminded us so much of one of favorite pizza places in Atlanta – except that it was much cleaner and none of the waiters seemed to be stoned.
On our last night I realized that Wayne hadn’t tried a tamale yet so on our way back to the Airbnb we stopped in front of the Metro Station and I helped Wayne order one – “Que hay dentro?” We got him one that wasn’t too spicy to eat later on the plane home the next day.