"In Mexico, the rate of obesity is very high in big cities. If we look at their eating habits, it is easy to understand why. There was nothing surprising to us about the spicy dishes, and indeed we positively relished them. What is harder to digest is the amount of sugar. Everything is sweet – almost everything in the supermarket, too, including bread and dairy products.
You need to find the rare kind of bread that is not sweetened among the breads, then stick to it. Even whole wheat bread has added sugar. All sliced, pre-packaged bread is sweet – and I don't mean just a little bit sweet. Likewise, among dairy products, you can only choose between sweet and sweeter. Yogurt natural sin azúcar – that is, natural yogurt without sugar – is also sweetened. You can get used to it, but it's not easy. It's best to eat tortillas instead of bread, and the wheat flour version is better still. Buttered cold cuts and cheeses are fine, but it's worth buying the international brands you find at home, even if they're more expensive.
Fruit and vegetables are available in a wide range of types and flavors – perhaps the best part of the Mexican grocery shopping experience. Meat and fish are very good, both as raw ingredients and when fried. In restaurants, two worlds collide: it's possible to eat in local establishments, taking the risk in return for that delicious, spicy, interesting food. Or you can go to the slightly higher-class Mexican restaurant visited by foreigners, where the menu is geared to the tastes of foreign visitors. Amid beautiful but rather tasteless unsalted chicken and roasts, only the garlic crabs managed to be both roasted and seasoned at the same time. Real Italian and Indian/Pakistani restaurants are reliable, and branches of American chains in Mexico are good. For anyone who wants fried meat, there is always Vips.
The drinks and juices are delicious, but you can't help wondering what kind of water and ice they mixed them with. Local cafes, including the most famous international chains, have a strongly American conception of coffee. Lots and lots of water. They add extra water to the double coffee, and it's difficult to persuade them not to, even in Starbucks. Still, I did manage to persuade them to give me a regular double espresso several times, so it's worth a try."
In January 2020, a meal, a drink, and a coffee will usually come to about 300 pesos in an average, acceptable place.
It is mandatory to try Mole sauce, which is a very spicy, delicious condiment. Chocolate Mole is interesting because it is not sweet, just spicy and chocolatey."
"In Mexico, restaurants are generally the most expensive and perhaps the least authentic places to eat. Of course, there are restaurants in more secluded, small streets and squares, where the locals go, but they are harder to find and farther from the city center.
I should have put 'expensive' in inverted commas since even by my Hungarian standards, meals here are cheap. Restaurant prices range from 200 Mexican pesos (for two people) up to… well, the sky is the limit; it depends on the place.
You also need to be prepared for menus that may only be in Spanish. If not, it's likely that you've come to a place that specializes in feeding tourists, where only the names of the dishes have anything to do with Mexico.
I mentioned the admonitions we received before we left. However, we agreed that if we were going to Mexico, we would at least try the authentic local eateries and try to mingle a bit with the local people. After all, a Hungarian stomach hardened by years of brandy drinking isn't so easy to upset!
Most of the time, we bought our daily meals from street vendors, but we also visited cafeterias in the market. I love the atmosphere and the fact that you can really be among the local people, eating the food they eat almost every day.
Another big benefit is that this is one of the cheapest ways to eat: Lunch for two people can be bought for approx. One hundred pesos and that includes beer or soft drinks!
If you can summon the nerve to visit one of these establishments, believe me, they'll be delighted to see you. Firstly, because as tourists, you chose their place, and secondly, it is imperative to bear in mind that most Mexicans are very poor, so every peso counts, and their goal is to make it to the next day. Not to mention that they are very nice people anyway, and, last but not least, the food is delicious!
I remember going into a market cafeteria for dinner and ending up with what was probably the most delicious meal I ate during my whole stay. At least it tasted great to me, even though the food was quite simple: pancakes stuffed with cheese, chicken, mushrooms, and vegetables." (2017)
"Mexico is not a country for people looking to lose weight! Excellent food, and lots of fruit. The staples are corn and beans. Instead of bread, corn tacos are typical. The street vendor fills one with chicken, onions, and corn, then pours some bean sauce over it and it's ready. This is available everywhere, though because of the cornmeal, it has a particular, warm kind of smell that I never completely got used to. In terms of meat, chicken is the most common, but by the sea, fresh seafood is a must.
The Mexicans have an admirable custom: immediately after you order, they bring you some crunchy snacks and dips. If you don't like spicy food, be careful! Spicy here means really spicy, and when they call something muy picante, it's sure to burn your mouth out. This, in turn, can be cooled by the local beer, which is served with lemon or lime." (2019)