How "Torta Ahogada" Became Guadalajara's Favorite Snack

Torta ahogada
Torta ahogada | © Gustavo Andrade/Flickr
Pablo Mares

Just like hamburgers or hot dogs in the USA, torta ahogada is a fast-food staple in Guadalajara. You can find it everywhere in the city, from street stalls to fancy restaurants, especially in the mornings. No one in Guadalajara can tell you the true origin of the torta ahogada, but everyone will point you in the direction of his or her favorite place to enjoy this tapatío delicacy. Discover exactly why this fast-food dish is so famous.

Torta ahogada with radish

So what is a torta ahogada? Basically, it’s a sandwich stuffed with cuts of fried pork bathed in tomato sauce. For foodies, though, there are some subtleties to consider.

First of all, the Spanish word ahogada means “drowned.” So the essence of a torta ahogada is the sauce. In some venues you will still find a cooking pot where the chef will take the torta with tongs and literally drown it in the tomato sauce in front of your very eyes. What’s more, there’s usually a cooking pot full of chilli sauce. If you are brave enough to try it, there are different levels that you can order: partially drowned, half-drowned and completely drowned. If you’re not used to spicy food, you need to be very careful!

Torta ahogada

There is a popular belief that this kind of spicy food is the best way to deal with a tequila hangover; that’s why you will find tortas ahogadas being consumed in the morning, usually accompanied by a beer.

The salsa is always made with tomato, but you will come across it cooked in a number of different ways. It is usually cooked and liquefied with a touch of vinegar, but you will come across some examples featuring salsa with raw tomato. The sandwich is often with onion, usually bathed in lime juice. Radish and avocado are optional.

Now, we come to the bread. It isn’t torta ahogada if it’s not made with birote salado (“salty bread”). Made only in Guadalajara, this is a product that makes tapatíos proud of their cuisine. You need the bread to be crispy and firm, so that it can stand up to the tomato bath; and you have to get a move on with eating it, if you don’t want to end up with a breaded tomato soup.

And what about the carnitas (fried pork)? The neighbor state of Michoacan is the Mexican home of the carnitas. There is a common tradition of eating carnitas (pork skin, cheek, tongue, ribs, etc.) on Sundays, fried in a big pan called a cazo. The huge demand for carnitas in Guadalajara has made it into something of an industry, but you can still find some places that use the traditional recipe.

Finally, accompany your torta with some tacos, or dorados (fried), or blanditos (soft). Now your meal is complete. Enjoy!

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.