A Taco-Lover's Guide to Mexico City

Tacos al pastor │© City Foodsters / Flickr
Tacos al pastor │© City Foodsters / Flickr
Anais Martinez, aka The Curious Mexican, is a food blogger, food tour guide, beer lover and taco freak. She lives in Mexico City and knows her way around the streets, not to mention the taco stands. We talked to her for an insight on Mexico‘s famous dish, and to get her advice for newbie taco-eating tourists.

What makes a perfect taco?

I’ve had A LOT of good tacos, but for me it comes down to the perfect balance between three simple things: a good tortilla, good fillings and a good salsa. The salsas could make or break a place, and could become the reason why you would never go back to a certain spot.

Taco Stand │ © Juan Barahona / flickr

What was the most delicious taco you’ve ever tried and why?

Fish tacos in Ensenada are amazing. Freshly caught fish with a light batter and deep fried in lard, served on a warm, yellow corn tortilla and topped with pico de gallo salsa and lime juice. The combination of flavors and textures is something I’m still dreaming about to date.

What are your favorite taco spots in the city?

Vilsito is by far my favorite taco al pastor (marinated pork meat sliced from a rotating spit much like a sharwma) place, but when it comes to grilled meats, Los Parados are easily my place of choice. I also love 5 Hermanos in the Merced Market for their tripe taco, Hidalguense for their barbacoa and the Mixiote tacos in the La Lagunilla market on Sundays.

Losr Parados – Monterrey 333, Roma Sur, Meixco City, Mexico, +52 1 55 8596 0191

Mercado la Merced – Calle Rosario s/n, Merced Balbuena, Mexico City, Mexico, +52 1 55 5522 7250

El Hidalguense – Campeche 155, Roma Sur, Mexico City, Mexico, +52 1 55 5564 0538

Tacos al pastor │ © City Foodsters / Flickr

What is one thing that most people don’t know about Mexican tacos that they should?

That eating a taco is actually an art, one that Mexicans start learning when we are barely old enough to look over the bar in front of the taco stand. When you’re eating tacos, try to tilt your head instead of the taco, you keep all the juices and salsas inside and avoid a mess.

What is your advice on salsas and picking the right taco stand?

In regards to salsa, always start with a few small drops, and then build your way up. Salsas in Mexico are meant to be hot and you don’t want to ruin your food by adding too much heat to it. And when it comes to choosing the best taco places, the bigger the better, if you see a really big taco al pastor spit, you know you’ll get something delicious. Same goes for any other taqueria where they have a staff of more than five people. They must be really busy, so the food must be delicious.

The Colors of Mexico │ © Lydia Carey

If a single taco could represent Mexico as a country, which would it be and why?

I think a simple bean taco. It doesn’t matter what part of the country you are from, whether you eat flour or corn tortillas, or the kind of beans you like, a bean taco will always be graciously accepted by any hungry eater. No true taco lover could ever turn one down.