Mexico is perhaps the perfect place if you are a food lover. Our gastronomy is not only a Cultural Heritage of Humanity, but it is the result of generations and generations of culture, love for our roots and ancestral recipes.
In honor of that we have organized a culinary vacation in Mexico ranging from the local taco stands to the best Mexican haute cuisine dinner, where you will find countless delicious flavors such as smoked chipotles, lime juice and the aromatic cilantro that they decorate dishes such as fresh seafood, chicken and vegetables.
Wine tours in the central highlands and Baja region specifically tantalize wine lovers as they not only provide a chance to see wine-producing renaissance but also to taste sample tequila, mezcal, or arcilla, and many more. I hope to equip you with adequate information and knowledge to make the most out of your culinary vacations in Mexico with this article.
Planning to discover the authentic mexican gastronomy?
Culinary Vacation in Mexico’s land of the Gods and Teotihuacan
The typical delicious food of Teotihuacan remembers the Mexican traditions through exotic dishes and is perhaps worth tasting. Let yourself be directed by beautiful experiences of authentic cuisine such as escamoles (ant larvae highly esteemed in Mexico since pre-Hispanic times), maguey worms (a type of larva that grows in the maguey), barbacoa (sheep meat cooked in its own juice), xoconostle candy (fruit belonging to the cactus family), among a tremendous culinary variety. Don’t forget to taste exquisite pulque (drink of the gods) at the end of a great feast. This tour consists of a 3-hour bike ride, during which you will have different stops to taste the typical food of Teotihuacan and enhance your knowledge of the local culture.
Gastronomic Tour: Tastes of Oaxaca
We recommend you to take a local guide who will introduce himself to you. Together you will head to the Organic Market “El Pochote,” situated in downtown Oaxaca. There you will taste a cup of freshly prepared java before sampling numerous regional delicacies, such as roasted grasshoppers. From there, you will continue to Barrio de la Merced to discover its market, be astonished by its colors, aromas, and above all flavors, as you will taste empanadas prepared with a diversity of sauces of all you can envision. The next stop is in La Reforma, an area that developed in the mid-twentieth century, to find a restaurant that offers delightful dishes prepared with tortillas.
Cantina Tour: Mezcal, tequila and pulque
Certainly, the best way to know Mexico City is through its cantinas – enjoyable cultural, entertaining, and amusing tour. The local guide will communicate to you in a lovely way about the history of the cantinas in the CDMX, and background and information about the drinks such as tequila, mezcal, pulque, beer, etc.
Cantinas are also known for great places of food and drinks that are fragments of the history of this capital, since the time of Don Porfirio and long before; in their walls they keep the very life of the parishioners who visit them, finding the joy, frolic, drowning, and relief of their lives. You will likely visit three places in cantinas: taste pulque, tequila, mezcal, and seed snacks.
Walking through the flavors of San Cristobal de las Casas
It takes about tree and half hours to walk through the historic center of San Cristobal and get an opportunity to learn about traditional food and the pioneering initiatives of some of the local chefs. In addittion, this tour will show you why Mexican Gastronomy has been known as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Internationally known chefs, local stars, and local food delicacies emphasize the culinary itinerary of Mexico. Being the center of the most culinary vacations in Mexico, where your senses and this magical town will take you through the flavors and textures of Mexican and Chiapas cuisine.
Learning about the delicious gastronomy of Puebla
Enjoying the gastronomic delights of Puebla while walking through its stunning streets is undoubtedly is one of the most things to include in culinary vacations in Mexico. This city is culturally known for the embellishment of its symbolic Talavera, a type of pottery that to this day is run by Puebla potters, and in 2019 its manufacturing process was acknowledged by Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
You will surely be delighted to be here for tree hours, during which you can walk through the old neighborhoods that will lead you to one of the most celebrated bakeries to enjoy the smell of freshly baked bread and taste delicate antojitos poblanos including the famous cemita poblana. This is a typical dish of the place, made up of two loaves of bread usually adorned with sesame seeds and a mixture of flavors inside, among which you can pick: cold meats, chicken breast or others, combining them with 3 ingredients that are must give it that peculiar flavor: chipotle chili, quesillo, and papalo leaves.
Moreover, you can here witness the process of nixtamal (cooking corn kernels in water with a little lime), which is known as nixtamalization, which is precisely what provides that unique flavor to the Mexican tortilla and that you hardly find in any tortilla factory in the city; you will continue navigating through the streets under the direction of the tour guide who will explain more about the characteristic food of Puebla.
You will also have the opportunity to see the stimulating artisan work that the local potters do to shape the clay with their own hands as part of the manufacture of the beautiful Talavera pottery.
Enjoy this great city by walking, learning, and tasting.
Hands in the dough: rural cooking workshop in Oaxaca
In a rustic and country atmosphere, in this workshop, you will learn the authentic flavors of the Oaxacan cuisine with a wood stove, always with seasonal products. Some of them reaped in the plots or patios of the families that you can visit.
The workshop takes place in a Zapotec community in the Valley of Oaxaca, in the home of a family that welcomes tourists with open arms to teach them all their secrets. A “comidera” guides people through the whole process; this title is given to the ladies who are in charge of preparing the banquets for the festivities of the communities and who enjoy respect for their culinary knowledge and good seasoning.
You will also have the chance to cook in about 4 hours 3 dishes of the following options: nicuátole (a custard-like dessert), tortillas, sauces, empanadas, sopa de guías (using the inner parts of the pumpkin’s skin), cuitlacoche (corn mushroom), nopal soup, segueza, higadito, atole, and other choices depending upon the season. Then, when the dishes are ready, you can sit down to taste your delicious dishes.
History, culture, and gastronomy in the historic center of Mexico City
A 4-hour walking experience with 5 traditional food tastings awaits you in the heart of Mexico City. Learn about its history, significant landmarks and let you be carried away by the authentic atmosphere that can only be experienced in Mexico City’s Downtown, which is a World Heritage Site. As you walk through the streets, glee yourself in the Mexican gastronomy through its stalls and restaurants.
Enjoy the authentic Mayan culture at the Yaxunah Community Cultural Center
Just 25 km from Chichén Itza is Yuxanah. You will visit a Mayan community that has conserved its cultural identity and has developed sustainable practices, endorsing solidarity tourism. In the community cultural center of Yaxunah, you can visit the botanical garden in less than an hour, go into its library specialized in the Mayan language, visit a small museum where you will find replicas of the archaeological zone and on special occasions (some holidays), you can witness the traditional “Danza del Cochino” (Dance of the Pig).
Gastronomic workshop of Pib tamales, cooked underground
A sparkling morning of learning awaits you with the traditional cooks of Pib tamales, who will guide you for four hours through the complete course of preparing and cooking one of the most traditional dishes of the peninsula. Tamales are a Mexican icon, made with corn dough, filled with sauce and some kind of meat and enfolded in banana leaves; therefore, you can partake in the collection of banana leaves, in the collection and organization of firewood to light the oven (which is buried in the ground), in the creation of corn dough and finally, you will make your own tamale!
Culinary Itinerary Ideas
We have talked much about the food-related places you should visit you’re your culinary vacation in Mexico. Now, I will provide you with an itinerary that includes food-related places and places to discover, like the archaeological sites and other places of interest, including the pyramids of Teotihuacán and the colonial city of Puebla.
Planning to discover the authentic mexican gastronomy?
Day 1: Reaching and settling in Mexico City!
As you reach Mexico City for a culinary vacation itinerary, the first thing to do is check into your hotel, take a quick nap, or maybe just rest for some time. Depending upon the time, you can visit go for a stroll through the historic center or discover the neighborhoods of Roma and Condesa. These areas contain vast art galleries, cafés, shops, bars, and restaurants.
Day 2: Mexico City – Teotihuacán – Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
In the morning, it is recommended to take a local guide and visit the royal archaeological site of Teotihuacán. This site is just a short drive from downtown Mexico City. Also known as the City of the Gods, Teotihuacán was the biggest and most dominant city in the history of the New World. You should climb the Pyramid of the Sun and the Moon and visit the temples and palaces nearby. On your way back, you will see the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is the most visited Catholic temple in the world after the Vatican.
Day 3: Puebla – gastronomic walking tour
On the third day, along with your guide, you should go for a tour to Puebla to try classic antojitos (Mexican snacks). You can visit tamalería (a tamale shop) and then antojitos shop. Your third stop should be at a taquería to try different types of tacos. As you move, you’ll be able to witness religious monuments along the pedestrian streets. An important place to visit is Calle de Los Dulces (the Street of the Sweets), where the oldest sweet shop in the city, La Gran Fama, is located. Here, you find the traditional candies and condiments.
Next, you will reach La Pasita, where you can taste their famous pasita liquor (raisin liquor). To end the tour for the day, visit a restaurant in Puebla to try their famous flan. It is recommended that you spend the night at a hotel in Puebla.
Day 4: Puebla – City of Oaxaca
It takes around 4 to 5 hours to reach Oaxaca City from Puebla, one of Mexico’s most famous foodie destinations. Don’t forget to dine on the patio at Los Danzantes, a renowned local restaurant. Then, spend the night at a hotel, preferably in the historic center.
Day 5: Oaxaca – Tule Tree – Hierve el Agua – Mitla – Teotitlán Del Valle – Oaxaca
Begin your day 5 with the visit to an ancient Tule tree: at approximately two thousand years old. It is the biggest tree in the world! Later, continue to Hierve el Agua, and you will encounter an impressive petrified waterfall located in the mountain range, with the option to bathe in its mineral-rich waters.
End your day with a visit to the village of Teotitlán Del Valle (the name means “Place of the Gods” in Nahuatl), which is famous for handicrafts. Besides shopping, if you walk around, you will be able to know more about the process of making tequila in the region.
Day 6: Oaxaca – Cooking class
On your 6th day, take a tour of a Zapotec community in the Oaxaca Valley. Here, you can take a cooking class in a local family home and learn how to make a range of local dishes and delicacies integrating ingredients like chili and cocoa.
In the evening, take a flight to Mexico City from the Oaxaca airport. After that, you’ll have one last night to explore the local Mexico City.
Day 7: Transfer to Mexico City’s airport
Finally, enjoy breakfast in Mexico City before heading to the airport to take a flight home. Safe travels!
We honestly don’t think there is a Mexican who is not proud of his or her gastronomy. As you may have noticed, it goes beyond flavors and colors. Because of its good seasoning, a street taco can make you dance. Reading an authentic mole recipe is like entering a time capsule. And a cup of hot chocolate is a hug to the soul. There is no doubt that Mexico is the ideal destination to explore the palate.