Three Great Mexico City Taquerias

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Church Mexico City

Metropolitan Cathedral resides along the Zócalo in Mexico City's Centro Historico, near many standout taquerias.

Not every meal in Mexico City can or should involve sous vide barbacoa or shrimp with tamarind four ways, especially when so many street level options are available, and especially when you’re traveling with Street Gourmet LA founder Bill Esparza. During last fall’s foray to Distrito Federal, I did experience those first two dishes, at Pujol and Izote, respectively, but we spent much more time roaming streets across the city. Find three great Mexico City taquerias.

On October 1, we ran the taco gauntlet that is Calle Lopez. Unfortunately, Esparza’s favorite chorizo verde vendor was MIA. Thankfully, the area offers dozens of other nearby options LOCATED just north of our original destination.

Taqueria Mexico City

Taqueria Gonzalez is a corner stand that specializes in scintillating longaniza.

Taqueria Mexico City

A taquero tended to a steaming griddle resting inside a cazo, cooking nopales (cactus paddles), meat and more.

Taco Mexico City

The longaniza taco (12 pesos ~ $1) was a beauty, with paprika-stained pork sausage crumbles and firm nopales strips with none of the slime that can afflict less skillfully cooked cacti. The corn tortilla held up well to the pork juices and salsa, which they spooned from a pig-shaped molcajete.

Exquisitos Tacos de Canasta, aka Tacos de Canasta El Flaco, is another place Street Gourmet LA introduced me to in Mexico City. The stand is LOCATED near the NW corner of 5 de Febrero & Republica de Uruguay, two blocks south of the Zócalo, amidst shops and hotels. On the morning of October 3, that’s where my morning began. As with every taco spot we encountered in Mexico City, eat first, pay later.

Taqueria Mexico City

It took longer than expected for tacos de canasta (basket tacos) to arrive, but they were worth the wait.

Taqueria Mexico City

Familia Gonzalez has been packing “baskets” for over 50 years, carrying insulated cardboard boxes daily and topping them with cloth towels, which allows the food to breathe.

Taqueria Menu Mexico City

A fairly simple menu promises a quintet of tacos costing 6 pesos apiece. Options including papas con huevo (potatoes with egg), frijoles refritos (refried beans), mole verde (green mole), chicharron (pork skin) and adobo, which was my choice. You can also get really fancy and add an agua fresca, which costs almost three times as much as a taco at 15 pesos.

Taco Mexico City

The adobo-slathered pork taco arrived draped with onions inside a corn tortilla infused with flavor and moisture from its travels. I dressed my taco with escabeche and chile-spiked avocado salsa from the salsa “bar.”

Tacos Las Cazuelas is LOCATED just outside the Metro Balderas subway station, with a blue Pepsi awning, seven yellow plastic high-top stools, a griddle and cazuelas filled with assorted tortes and guisados (stews).

Taqueria Mexico City

Tacos Las Cazuelas has been open 20 years, run by a local taquera named Lupe.

Taco Mexico City

Lupe filled my first corn tortilla with rice and an egg-binded broccoli torte studded with queso amarillo.

Taco Mexico City

One of my richest tacos in memory contained an egg battered and fried chile relleno bursting with Monterey Jack.

Taco Mexico City

Surprisingly tender mollejas (chicken gizzards) strips stewed in sweet tomato broth with peppers and onions.

Salsa Mexico City

Every self-respecting Mexico City taco spot features interesting salsas. As Esparza reinforced throughout the trip, “No naked tacos!” I dressed my Tacos Las Cazuelas tacos with cuaresmeno salsa studded with minced onions and a smoky salsa de chile de arbol.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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Adore Taquería Gonzalez. The papas sizzling in the longaniza grease, the nopal, the mouth-numbing salsa. I took a friend from Houston there last year, and after taking a bite, all he could do was stare at me with his eyes wide. His taco-eating life had been changed forever.


Your friend’s “taco-eating life had been changed forever”? That sounds exactly like my Mexico City experience too.

Calle Lopez is a gem, and there seem to be infinate stands and stalls to discover; I have written extensively about it: see my piece first published in The News Mexico City:


There’s clearly so much more to explore. La Gran Cocina Mi Fonda and El Caguamo sound especially good on your list.

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