50 Best Tacos in Mexico City | BONUS: Free Map to Find Them All

In search of the best tacos in Mexico City?

You’ve come to the right place because there’s a FREE Mexico City map with locations pinned for 50 amazing taco restaurants and street food stands, right in this blog.

As a bonafide taco addict, you’ve also come to the right guide for CDMX taco info — an ex-Mexico City local who’s eaten her fair share of amazing tacos in Mexico City.

👋 I’m Shelley, and I’ve been living and traveling solo in Mexico since April 2018. I spent about one year living in Mexico City, eating my taco-loving-heart out, though I now live in Merida in the Yucatan.

I’ve eaten at all the foodie-famous and best Mexico City restaurants — Pujol (twice!), Quintonil, Rosetta, Maximo Bistrot, Amaya, La Docena, etc. — so I say this with certainty: If you want to understand Mexico City through food, you must seek out the 50¢ street tacos over the fancy restaurants.

In this article, we’re going to discover all of those places. Are you ready to discover the 50 best tacos in Mexico City? Let’s get to it!

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tacos, salsa and beer | best tacos in Mexico City

FREE Mexico City Taco Map

Find THE BEST TACOS IN CDMX

This taco map of Mexico City contains all the unique types of tacos you’ll want to try. In case you didn’t know, there are about 10 distinct types of CDMX tacos, including tacos de canasta (basket tacos), tacos de barbacoa (barbeque) and tacos al pastor, which is the first you’ll learn about first below.

Note: On the map, a taco 🌮 represents tacos al pastor and meat tacos; a fish 🐟 is for seafood tacos; and a leaf 🌱 for vegan. 


best tacos in Mexico City

Mexico City Taco Tours


BEST TACOS AL PASTOR IN MEXICO CITY

Tacos al Pastor

What are tacos al pastor?

The undisputed king of Mexico City tacos! Funny enough, these tacos actually originated in the Middle East. You might have even guessed this based on the trompo, the Arabian-style spit the meat is cooked on.

🌮 Taco Fun Fact: Mexico had a tremendous influx of Middle Eastern (mostly Lebanese) immigrants from about 1880-1935. They brought with them their design esthetic, architecture styles, customs, and cooking techniques.

Essentially, Mexican cooks took a gyro or shawarma and made these adaptations: 1) the meat is pork instead of beef, lamb or turkey, 2) the use of chile guajillo and chile de arbol (tree chili), among other spices common to Central Mexico, and 3) the addition of pineapple, located at the top of the trompo.

BEST TACOS AL PASTOR IN MEXICO CITY

1. Taqueria Orinoco

This is one of the most famous and most-visited taco shops in CDMX. Visitors and locals alike converge on this unique and delicious taco restaurant.

This taco shop is an import from the northern Mexico city of Monterrey. Orinoco is therefore unique to the CDMX taco scene in that they serve Tacos Norteños (northern Mexican style tacos).

This puts Tacos Orinoco on a short list of places where you can get both amazing tacos al pastor (pork) and amazing carne de res (beef) under one roof. While pastor is the #1 taco meat in Mexico City, northern Mexico is cattle and beef country.

When you eat at Orinoco, don’t skip the chicharron. They prepare it Norteño-style here, so it’s going to be different than at most other Mexico City restaurants and street food stands.

  • Location: Roma Norte, Avenida Insurgentes Sur 253
  • Order: One of each taco — Trompo (al pastor), res and chicharron
  • Pro Tip: No vegan or vegetarian taco options
tacos and a beer at Taqueria Orinoco in Roma Norte | best tacos in Mexico City
The best tacos in Mexico City: Sample all three types of tacos at Taqueria Orinoco in Roma Norte.

BEST TACOS AL PASTOR IN MEXICO CITY

2. El Tizoncito

To say this statement is a hotly debated topic is an understatement — but El Tizoncito makes one very bold claim that garners a lot of attention….

El Tizoncito says they invented tacos al pastor 😳 While this may or may not be true, they do make really great tacos and salsas.

Location: There are several in CDMX, but the one where pastor may or may not have been invented is in La Condesa at Campeche 362.

The best tacos in Mexico City: Tacos al pastor “con todo” (with everything), which means with diced white onion, cilantro and pineapple.

BEST TACOS AL PASTOR IN MEXICO CITY

3. Taqueria los Gueros

As seen on Netflix’s Taco Chronicles show!

Calle Lorenzo Boturini is probably the most famous street for tacos in the world, and Los Güeros is one of the old school taco joints that helped put it on the map.

To those looking for a truly authentic tacos al pastor in Mexico City experience, you must eat here.

This is where chilangos (CDMX locals) and Mexico City chefs eat their pastor, though sadly, very few tourists venture.

  • Location: Colonia Aeronautica Militar, Lorenzo Boturini 4354
  • Pro Tip: Stop at Taqueria Los Güeros for one last taco meal on your way to the airport.

BEST TACOS AL PASTOR IN MEXICO CITY

4. Taqueria los Parados

In addition to their delicious tacos al pastor, Los Parados is also known for having the best tacos al carbon in Mexico City.

Al carbon means the meat is cooked over charcoal to imbue it with that delicious smoky flavor.

Rumor has it that some Mexico City taquerias claim they’re still using this labor-intensive technique, though many aren’t. At Los Parados, you can watch them cooking, so you know it’s legit.

  • Location: There are a few locations, including one in Roma Sur (just south of Roma Norte), Monterrey 333
  • Order: Tacos al pastor and tacos al carbon

BEST TACOS AL PASTOR IN MEXICO CITY

5-11. Also try these Tacos al Pastor

5. El Vilsito

As seen on Netflix’s Taco Chronicles show!

El Vilsito is the famous car mechanic garage that becomes one of the best places for late night taco in Mexico City. Don’t ask — just go!

Location: Colonia Narvarte, Av. Universidad 248

  • 6. Taquería Arandas in Centro Historico
  • 7. Taquería Álvaro Obregon in Roma Norte
  • 8. El Huequito locations in La Condesa & Centro Historico
  • 9. Taquería El Pastorcito in Héroes de Churubusco
  • 10. El Califa locations in Roma Norte and La Condesa
  • 11. Taqueria Gabacho in Heroes de Churubusco

BEST BARBACOA IN MEXICO CITY

Barbacoa Tacos

What is barbacoa?

Barbacoa translates to barbecue. Depending on where you are in Mexico, barbacoa can be made with beef, sheep or goat.

While barbacoa in Mexico differs from American BBQ, it is taken just as seriously as barbecue is in U.S. BBQ meccas like Texas and Tennessee.

In Mexico, much like the U.S., barbacoa is a weekend food.

This doesn’t just mean something eaten on the weekends, but also that it’s only available on weekends (and sometimes Friday), as barbacoa takes nearly all week to cook.

In fact, many Mexico City barbacoa street food taco stands disappear during the week, and return for weekends only.

WHERE IS Mexico city BARBACOA FROM?

Mexican food is incredibly regional, and varies from state to state. The place most associated with barbacoa is Hidalgo state, located next to Mexico City. The type of meat used differs from region to region, but Hidalgo style barbacoa is made from borrego (sheep).

when to eat barbacoa in mexico city

On weekdays, families and businesses from Hidalgo cook the barbacoa. Then, very early Saturday morning, they package it all up, load it into vans, drive it to Mexico City, and set up their temporary street stand.

Chilangos (locals) eat barbacoa tacos for breakfast (and as a hangover cure!) and lunch only. The stands are actually only open from about 8am-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays. With only a short window to eat barbacoa in Mexico City, so don’t miss it.

🍲 Mexico City Tacos Tip: Barbacoa is usually eaten with a side of consome (soup broth).

BEST BARBACOA in MEXICO CITY

12. El Hidalguense

As seen on Netflix’s Taco Chronicles show!

El Hidalguense (pronounced hee-dal-gen-say) is the real deal. Chilangos (locals) flock here in droves from every corner of CDMX to get their weekend Mexico City barbacoa fix.

Although blue corn tortillas are considered the traditional tortilla for barbacoa, not everywhere serves them, though El Hidalguense does. They also go the extra mile to offer the traditional salsa borracha (drunk salsa), a thick red salsa made with pulque.

🧉 What is pulque? This 1,000-year-old alcoholic drink, made from the sap of the maguey (agave) plant, is still consumed in Mexico City today.

  • Location: Roma Norte, Campeche 155
  • Pro Tip: The minimum barbacoa order is 1 kilo (2.2 lbs.), so you’ll have leftovers.
  • Another Pro Tip: Get there early, because it gets crowded.
table spread of tacos with limes, salsas, soup for barbacoa tacos at El Hidalguense | best tacos in Mexico City
The best tacos in Mexico City: Barbacoa (barbecue) tacos at El Hidalguense, one of the best taco restaurants in Roma Norte. (Photo: El Hidalguense via Facebook)

BEST BARBACOA IN MEXICO CITY

13-16. Also try these Barbacoa Tacos

  • 13. Los Tres Reyes in Alfonso XIII
  • 14. Barbacoa de Santiago in Napoles (just south of Roma Norte and La Condesa)
  • 15. Barbacoa de San Angel in San Angel (near Coyoacan)
  • 16. Dani Barbacoa in La Condesa (This street food stand “disappears” during the week, but will be back on the weekend)

BEST Carnitas IN MEXICO CITY

Carnitas Tacos

What is carnitas?

This preparation of fried pork is most associated with Mexico City’s neighboring state of Michoacan. Like all great Mexican food, carnitas have also found their way into the hearts of Mexico City locals. Now, no one said carnitas were healthy, but I think we can all agree fried pork is delicious as a sometimes treat!

17. Taqueria los Abanicos

If you survey 10 Chilangos (locals), 9 out of 10 of them will likely tell you Taquería los Abanicos serves the best carnitas in Mexico City. To be honest, they serve some of the best tacos in Mexico City, period.

Taqueria los Abanicos (AKA Taquería el Abanico or El Gran Abanico) is pretty much always crowded, but when it comes to carnitas, this is a must try place. The line moves fast, so don’t let it intimidate you.

pile of meat for carnitas tacos | best tacos in Mexico City
The best tacos in Mexico City: Carnitas meat, just waiting to become tacos!

BEST CARNITAS IN MEXICO CITY

18. Carnitas Meche y Rafael

Located in Mercado Medellin, one of the best markets in Mexico City, the Proveedor de Carnes y Carnitas Meche y Rafael comes in at a close second behind Taquería los Abanicos.

There is, however, a very practical reason for this silver medal: They only serve carnitas on Saturdays.

While the butcher shop side of their business is open all week, you’ll only find Meche y Rafael’s famous Mexico City carnitas one day per week.

🌮 Note: The carnitas taco side of the business is sometimes called Taco Libre.

  • Location: Mercado Medellin, Medellin 20, Roma Norte, Mexico City

BEST Carnitas IN MEXICO CITY

19-21. Also try these Carnitas Tacos

  • 19. Tacos Don Juan in La Condesa (Carnitas are only served on Fridays, but this is a favorite Mexico City taco shop for locals all week long)
  • 20. La Reina de la Roma in Roma Norte
  • 21. Los Panchos in Anzures, between La Condesa and Polanco

BEST Seafood Tacos IN MEXICO CITY

Seafood Tacos

What are tacos de mariscos?

While CDMX isn’t exactly known for its seafood tacos, there are some places deliciously highlighting the country’s two main seafood taco styles — Estilo Baja and Estilo Sinaloa.

Estilo Baja (Baja style), from the Mexican state of Baja California, is what most Americans are familiar with. This consists of fried shrimp or fish with a colorful cabbage slaw on top.

Estilo Sinaloa (Sinaloa style), from the state of Sinaloa, is more commonly found in restaurants throughout Mexico.

Although there’s not a vast difference between the two, one of the highlights of Sinaloan seafood is the famed marlin ahumado (smoked marlin).

three fish tacos with purple cabbage and avocado
The best tacos in Mexico City: Baja style fried fish tacos with cabbage slaw and avocado on top.

BEST SEAFOOD TACOS IN MEXICO CITY

22. Contramar

Contramar is definitely the fanciest restaurant for tacos on the list. It is also on every foodie’s CDMX bucket list, and constantly gaining international attention thanks to Chef Gabriela Camara’s seafood creations.

The hype is worth it though — their seafood is always fresh, the people watching is entertaining and you’ll get some amazing food photos.

As you can see, their signature red and green fish dish, pescado a la talla (whole fish), one of the most is Instagram worthy Mexico City dishes.

  • Location: Roma Norte, Calle de Durango 200
  • Order: Tacos de esmedregal al pastor (cobia tacos al pastor), tostadas de atun (tuna tostadas) and pescado a la talla (whole fish)
  • Pro Tip: Make a reservation

BEST fish TACOS IN MEXICO CITY

23. El Pescadito

A favorite of locals and visitors alike! El Pescadito has locations all over Mexico City, thanks to their delicious Sinaloa style seafood tacos. Make sure you try one of the tacos with marlin ahumado (smoked marlin).

  • Location: Locations in Roma Norte, La Condesa, Centro Historico and more
  • Order: Ta-cotote and Que-sotote

24-26. Also try these Fish Tacos

  • 24. Tres Galeones in Roma Norte
  • 25. Mi Gusto Es locations in Polanco and Narvarte
  • 26. Las Hijas de la Tostada in La Condesa and Polanco

BEST Suadero TACOS IN MEXICO CITY

Suadero Tacos & Meat Tacos

27. Taqueria los Cocuyos

As seen on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations!

There’s magic in that giant silver pot of, well, parts! How they know what’s what in there, we’ll never know, but the menu includes all things offal — from eye to brain to inner ear (you read that right!) to surtida, which basically means “whatever you happen to get.”

For those who don’t eat offal, they serve less adventurous meats like longaniza (chorizo sausage) and suadero (flank steak). For fans of the late, great, Anthony Bourdain, he ate at Taqueria Los Cocuyos when he filmed in Mexico City for his No Reservations show. Señor Bourdain recommends the suadero.

You won’t find a single frill at Los Cocuyos: there’s no seating and you have to stand and eat like a real Chilango (local). It might not be pretty, but for those who want to get a glimpse of Mexico City street food culture, this is one of the real deal locals-approved, 50¢ taquerías in Centro Historico.

  • Location: Centro Historico, Calle de Bolívar 57
  • Adventurous Eater Order: Suadero (flank), cabeza (head), lengua (tongue)
  • Non-adventurous Eater Order: Suadero (flank), longaniza (chorizo sausage)
pot of various meats for tacos at Los Cocuyos | best tacos in Mexico City
The best tacos in Mexico City: The giant pot of meat at Taqueria los Cocuyos Mexico City.

must try TACOS IN MEXICO CITY

28. El Autentico Pato Manila

In Mexico City’s sea of pork tacos, El Autentico Pato Manila serves unique and delicious Peking duck Mexican-Chinese fusion tacos.

  • Location: Roma Norte, Culiacan 91
  • Order: They only two things, taco kim and tacos manila, so try both
BEST Suadero TACOS IN MEXICO CITY

29-33. Also try these Meat Tacos

  • 29. Taqueria El Chupacabras in Roma Norte and Coyoacan, order suadero (flank) and the signature Chupacabra taco
  • 30. El Farolito in La Condesa, order cecina (dried/cured meat)
  • 31. Tacos Charly in Anzures near Polanco, order suadero (flank)
  • 32. Borrego Viudo in Tacubaya, just south of La Condesa, order suadero (flank)
  • 33. Las Costillas de la Condesa in La Condesa, order costilla (rib)

BEST TACOS arabes IN MEXICO CITY

Tacos Arabes

What are tacos arabes?

While the quintessential Mexico City taco is undeniably the taco al pastor, it’s meat-on-a-spit cooking technique comes straight from the Middle East and Mexico’s large number of Middle Eastern immigrants. When these (mostly Lebanese) people migrated to Mexico, they brought with them the trompo (spit).

Tacos arabes (Arabian tacos) have basically the same pork meat as taco al pastor, but different seasonings, explains why tacos arabe meat isn’t red. These tacos traditionally come served on pan arabe (Arabian bread), a tortilla/pita bread hybrid, but you can order them with tortillas too.

34-35. Best Tacos Arabes in Mexico City

  • 34. Taquería el Greco in La Condesa
  • 35. Hayito Tacos Arabes in Narvarte and Del Valle (both just south of Roma Norte)
meat cooking on a spit or trompo for tacos arabes | best tacos in Mexico City
The best tacos in Mexico City: Taco arabe meat looks just very similar to tacos al pastor meat, but it’s not red.

BEST cochinita TACOS IN MEXICO CITY

Cochinita Pibil Tacos

What is cochinita pibil?

If pastor is the king of meats in Mexico City, in the Yucatan Peninsula, it’s all about cochinita pibil. Traditionally slow cooked in an underground oven called a pib, this Yucatecan food delicacy gets its unique taste from achiote powder and naranja agria (sour orange), flavors unique to the Yucatan.

Try your cochinita on a taco, or the more traditional panucho, a tortilla stuffed with refried black beans. Both cochinita pibil tacos and panuchos should be eaten topped with pickled red onions and (at least a little) habanero salsa.

36-37. Best Cochinita Pibil in Mexico City

  • 36. El Turix in Polanco
  • 37. Moloch Cochinita Pibil in Mercado Medellin, Roma Norte
three meat tacos on a plate | best tacos in Mexico City
The best tacos in Mexico City: Cochinita pibil tacos, with pickled red onions and habanero salsa on the side.

BEST TACOS DE CANASTA IN MEXICO CITY

Tacos de Canasta

What are tacos de canasta?

The original Mexico City street food taco. Tacos de canasta (basket tacos) are usually part of a traveling operation. The seller bikes around the city streets, pausing at certain spots to sell their tacos out of a basket for a short time before biking to the next spot to repeat the process.

You can spot vendors because their canasta (basket) often has bright blue plastic linings sticking out of it. You’ll also spot them by the containers of salsa strapped to the sides of the bikes.

Nowadays, the more well known canasta vendors are moving to brick and mortar operations. Regardless, the spirit of these eat-them-on the-go Mexico City street food tacos remains.

woman holding tacos to serve tacos de canasta | Lady Tacos de Canasta, as seen on Netflix | best tacos in Mexico City
tacos in a basket AKA tacos de canasta | best tacos in Mexico City
someone holding a bunch of thin tacos | best tacos in Mexico City
BEST TACOS de Canasta IN MEXICO CITY

38. Tacos de Canasta los Especiales

This Centro Historico taqueria is the go to place for chilangos (Mexico City locals) to get their tacos de canasta fix.

Sample several varieties from Los Especiales — including chorizo con papas (chorizo sausage and potatoes), frijoles (beans) and chicharron (fried pork skin) — because tacos de canasta are famous cheap eats in Mexico City at just 25¢ per taco.

39-40. Also try these Tacos de Canasta

  • 39. Los Exquisitos de Boturini in Héroes de Churubusco 
  • 40. Tacos Joven in Narvarte, just south of Roma Norte

BEST TACOS GUISADOS in Mexico City

Tacos Guisados

What are tacos guisados?

Guisado means stew, and tacos guisados are basically the traditional home cookin’ style Mexico City tacos, the ones you’d find in someone’s home.

You’ll know a traditional guisado restaurant because they will have all their taco fillings in cazuelas. These are the orange-colored earthenware clay pots, or casserole dishes, the food is both cooked and served in.

For those wanting to eat some mole in Mexico City, guisado taco restaurants and street food stands always have good mole. (Side note: Mole is from Oaxaca, not Mexico City.)

clay pots or casserole dishes with cooked foods in them | best tacos in Mexico City
The best tacos in Mexico City: The cazuela (casserole) pots you’ll see in any tacos guisados shop.

41. Tacos Hola el Guero

A hot spot in La Condesa for tacos guisados for 30-plus years. Enjoy their steak and short rib in tomatillo sauce, green mole with chicken and chicharron (pork skin) tacos. On Fridays, head there for the famous carnitas (fried pork) tacos at Hola el Güero.

42-45. Also try these Tacos Guisados

  • 42. Taquería El Jarocho in Roma Sur (just south of Roma Norte)
  • 43. Taquería El Gato Volador in Roma Norte
  • 44. El Parnita in Roma Norte
  • 45. Taquería La Negra in Roma Norte

BEST vegan TACOS IN MEXICO CITY

Vegan Tacos

In Mexico, the country, pork is a staple food; but in Mexico City, the city, the emerging vegan scene is definitely challenging the status quo. (🌱 Full disclosure: I’m not vegan. However, I do love all vegetables and enjoy all delicious food equally, so I did dabble in Mexico City vegan taco shops while living there.)

46. Por Siempre Vegana Taqueria

This is the undisputed king of Mexico City vegan tacos, and one of the few places both vegans and non-vegans alike seem to champion. There are good reasons for this, namely that Por Siempre’s seitan al chimichurri and vegan pastor tacos are amazing.

🌮 Mexico City Tacos Tip: There are two locations, located just a blog or so from one another. At Por Siempre II, there are tables to sit at, while the original Por Siempre is a street cart.

  • Por Siempre II Location: Roma Norte, 169/A Cuauhtemoc
  • Original Location (Street Cart): Roma Norte, Manzanillo 18
  • Pro Tip: Get there when they open if you want to avoid the long lines.
tacos with veggies and bright pink tortillas | best tacos in Mexico City
The best tacos in Mexico City: La Pitahaya Vegana’s famous pink tortillas. (Photo: La Pitahaya Vegana via Facebook)
BEST VEGAN TACOS IN MEXICO CITY

47. La Pitahaya Vegana

In a city with more and more vegan taco shops and vegan restaurants opening every month, La Pitahaya cleverly stands out with their pretty pink tortillas.

Their tiny Roma Norte cafe is perfect to sit outside and enjoy your instagrammable tacos and people-watch on a nice day. They have another location in the Coyoacan neighborhood, where you’ll also find the Frida Kahlo Museum AKA Casa Azul (Blue House).

48-49. Also try these Vegan Tacos

  • 48. Gatorta in Roma Norte
  • 49. Gold Taco Roma in Mercado Roma, Roma Norte 

50. Flautas & Tostadas

WHAT IS A FLAUTA?

Flautas, or taquitos in the U.S., are tacos that get rolled like cigars, and fried. While you can get them all over the city, the Narvarte neighborhood is the place to eat Mexico City flautas.

There are two kinds you can try, regular flautas and flautas ahogadas (drowned flautas). With the standard type, these crispy delights come topped with sour cream, lettuce and cheese, while flautas ahogadas come “drowned” in salsa.

Best flautas in Mexico City

WHAT IS A tostada?

Tostadas are basically open-face tacos. Unlike a taco, they are fried flat, with the taco “filling” just placed on top. The Coyoacan Market (seen in the photo above ⤴) is known as the best place to eat tostadas in Mexico City, and is a lively traditional mercado (market) worth visiting in the Coyoacan neighborhood.

Best tostadas in Mexico City


🌶 SALSAS: Here’s what you need to know

WHAT IS SALSA?

Salsas are a mixture of chili peppers, red tomatoes (for red salsa), green tomatoes (for green salsa), garlic, herbs, spices, and more. All these ingredients are combined, sometimes hand mashed and sometimes blended together, to make the perfect taco topping.

WHICH SALSA IS HOTTER: GREEN OR RED?

Here is what you must know about salsas in Mexico: They are all spicy, as the purpose of a salsa in Mexican food is to add heat. All salsas are dependent on their recipe, which is why you have to try them before adding any to your tacos.

How to try salsas

The way you determine the salsa spice level is by putting a small drop of the salsa on your hand, in the space between the thumb and pointer finger. After a taste, you decided if you want it on your taco, or if you want to sample another.

What if i don’t want salsa?

With tacos, you add your own salsa if you want it, but with other dishes, always order with the request “sin picante, por favor,” which means “not spicy, please.” Instead, opt for adding onion, cilantro, salt and lime juice as seasonings.


Mexico City Travel FAQ

1. Is Mexico City safe for travel?

Short answer: Yes!

Longer answer: Safety is a complex subject; but from my first-hand experience living in Mexico City as a solo woman for about a year, I can say that for the most part, Mexico City is safe. The one disclaimer I make about safety is that you must make safety your highest priority — just as I did.

There are some general and Mexico travel safety tips below in the accordion menus that will explain how. If you prefer podcasts, there’s also a Mexico travel safety podcast below.

RELATED ARTICLE 🇲🇽 SAFE Solo Female Travel in Mexico: 20 Tips & Safe Destinations

Should I get travel insurance for Mexico?

Want an added level of security and peace of mind during these strange travel times? Just as you insure your car, home and body, you can also insure your luggage, belongings and health while traveling.

I’ll be honest, when I first started traveling solo, I wasn’t insured. However, after years of solo traveling, I wised up… now, I even have a whole page of this website dedicated to travel insurance, because it’s just that important!

If Mexico and Mexico City travel safety are on your mind, get your free quote below now!

10 General travel safety tips
  1. Always listen to your intuition — because your intuition is always right.
  2. If you get a sketchy or uneasy feeling about a person or place, get away from that person or place asap. Don’t worry about making a kind, nice or politically correct exit from a creepy person or bad situation — Just get away fast.
  3. Don’t walk home alone at night.
  4. Don’t keep your phone, keys, wallet, passport, or anything valuable in your back pocket.
  5. Learn some basic Spanish. If you can’t learn it, save this infographic as an image on your phone so you have something to use even if you’re off-WiFi.
  6. Take all of your belongings into the bathroom with you, rather than asking a cafe/bar neighbor to watch your things. This is annoying, for sure, but it works to not get your stuff stolen.
  7. Speaking of bar neighbors… don’t take drinks from strangers and/or leave your drink unattended.
  8. Don’t wear flashy clothes, expensive jewelry, designer sunglasses, etc.
  9. Keep some cash in your pocket so you don’t have to pull your whole wallet out every time you need to pay.
  10. This should be a no brainer since you’re traveling during a pandemic, but get Travel Insurance!
Register for the STEP Program

Make sure you enroll in the free STEP Program before your trip. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, allows U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico to document your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

After you’ve registered, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City can contact you in the event of an emergency, including natural disasters, civil unrest, etc. STEP can also put you in touch with your family and friends back home in the event of an emergency while abroad.

Neighborhoods to avoid in Mexico City

I lived in Mexico City as a solo woman for about a year, and felt quite safe…. though there are neighborhoods you should avoid, like Tepito and Doctores.

Tepito is located in Centro Hisotrico (Downtown), and should simply be avoided.

Doctores is safer than Tepito, but still, does not have a great reputation. It is located just north or Roma Norte, one of the city’s safest and best neighborhoods, and it also happens to be where all the big Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling) matches take place.

I did go to a Lucha Libre match in Doctores once, and felt safe. However, this might be a good place to consider having a local with you — especially if you aren’t confident in your Spanish.

Don’t know a local and want to experience the famous (& fun!) lucha libre? No worries! Book the Lucha Libre/Street Taco Tour, because Lucha Libre + Street Tacos + Safety = the best of all worlds!

Colorful domes in churches of downtown Mexico City
The beautiful, domed buildings of Centro Historico, Mexico City.

2. How do I get to Mexico City?

To visit Mexico City, fly into Mexico City International Airport (Code: MEX)

Depending on traffic, plan for 45-60 minutes to get to your accommodation from the airport. The easiest way to leave from the airport is via Uber, taxi or private transfer.

Airport Transfers in Mexico City

Is there Uber in Mexico City?

Yes, there is Uber in Mexico City!

Mexico City actually has quite a few transportation options — bus, metro, taxi and Uber. Personally, I recommend Uber, and though it does cost more than using public transportation, the price difference is relatively insignificant.

In Mexico, Uber tends to cost about 60% less than in the U.S. Of course, rates will vary, but figure about $3 for a 20 minute ride. While public transportation is less than half of that cost, you will spend three times as long to get around.

Taxis are about the same price as Uber, but you should only take a taxi from the secure, designated taxi stands, and remember you’ll need pesos/cash. Also keep in mind that, in Mexico, you negotiate and agree on the price before getting in the cab.

Do I need a visa to travel to Mexico?

No, you don’t need a visa to travel to Mexico from the U.S. This is another reason why, in general, Mexico is one of the best travel destinations from the U.S.

When you arrive in Mexico and go through the Customs and Immigration line, you’ll receive a 180-day (6 month) FMM tourist visa. This is a small piece of paper that you need to hold on to so you can give it back to Immigration at the airport when you leave the country. 

There is no charge for the FMM, but if you lose yours, there is a charge of about $550 pesos ($27) to replace it. You’d also need to get to the airport about an extra hour earlier than you’d normally have to in order to do the lost visa paperwork… the bottom line: Don’t lose your FMM!

What’s the best time of year to visit Mexico City?

Weather-wise, Mexico City has what is known as the “eternal spring” climate, meaning it’s never super hot or super cool. The rainy season is from April-September, and it can rain quite a bit.

Mexico City Weather

The prettiest time of year in CDMX is from (about) mid-February to the end of March, when the bright purple jacaranda trees are in bloom! This also coincides with the monarch butterfly migration in the neighboring state of Michoacan, which takes place March-June.

The city hosts the annual Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) parade and festivities during the last week in October. This is one of the most lively, and busy, times in Mexico City.

If you want the city all to yourself, come during Semana Santa (Holy Week) when many Mexicans leave the city and head to the beach. The dates fluctuate, but Semana Santa takes place in late-March to early-April each year.

Do I need to learn Spanish to visit Mexico City?

If you stick to the popular areas and commonly-visited attractions, no, you can get by with just English. For the most part, about half of chilangos (Mexico City residents/locals) speak some English.

However, it is good manners to learn at last some basic Spanish when you visit Mexico City. 🎧 Listen to Episode 13 of the podcast as travel blogger Elizabeth talk about how she learned 8 languages, and gives great tips for how to learn language basics in easy, fun ways.

If learning Spanish isn’t in the cards for you, #NoJudgement! Pin and/or save the infographic below on your phone so you’ll always have the words and phrases you need, even if you’re off-WiFi.

List of useful spanish words and phrases
Las Grutas Tolantongo natural hot spring pools near Mexico City
Looking for a great Mexico City day trip? Head to Las Grutas Tolantongo, the famous caves and hot springs in Mexico.

3. What do I pack for Mexico City?

Mexico City and Central Mexico have much colder weather than the tropical climates many associate with Mexico. As you can see by the average yearly Mexico City weather chart below, this part of Mexico has what’s called an “eternal spring” climate, meaning cooler springtime weather for much of the year.

🧳 Related Blog: The Ultimate Packing List for Mexico + FREE Printable Checklist

Altitude Sickness in Mexico City: Beyond planning what clothes to pack, keep in mind Mexico City is about 1.5 miles above sea level.

If you’re not used to that, you can get altitude sickness, which is like the flu, and can ruin your trip. Many have great success with an Anti-Altitude Sickness Acupressure Bracelet, while others have to take Anti-Altitude Sickness meds.

FREE Printable Packing List for Mexico

Wondering exactly what to pack for Mexico City?

Download your FREE printable packing list for Mexico below — it covers both Mexico beach packing and packing for Mexico cities. This multi-page Mexico packing checklist covers everything you’ll want to bring, and more importantly, what not to bring to Mexico.


Did we miss any of the best tacos in Mexico City?

Please join the conversation in the comments down below and share your knowledge!


Enjoy these related Mexico City Blogs


Please join me on my Solo Travel & Mexico Travel adventures


¡Hola Chicas!

I’m Shelley, a former Miami travel magazine editor who ditched the office for the world!

I started this Blog and Podcast to help women like you cross Solo travel and Mexico travel off your bucket list… READ MORE

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67 Comments

  1. Taylor

    WOW!!! Okay, you now have me CRAVING tacos! Thank you so much for providing this amazing guide. I definitely want to get to Mexico City at some point, so I’m hoping to go soon and will keep this blog post handy. 🙂

    Reply
    • Shelley

      I hope you get to visit CDMX (when it’s safe!!). It’s an amazing city…. the tacos are an added bonus.

      Reply
  2. Cristina

    Omg! I love tacos, so I enjoyed reading your recommendations 🙂 I hope I can visit Mexico soon and try these places.

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Glad you liked the recommendations… and please do make it to Mexico yo eat some of these tacos!

      Reply
  3. Sharyn

    I love tacos so enjoyed this post immensely. And thanks for the freebie!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi Sharyn: You’re so welcome & I’m thrilled you enjoyed my post.

      Reply
  4. Earth To Katriona

    This is such a helpful post! I was supposed to visit Mexico earlier this year but will definitely refer back to your guide when it is safe to travel again 🙂

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Katriona: I hope you can use this blog when you do get to visit! You’re going to love Mexico🇲🇽

      Reply
  5. The Spicy Travel Girl

    Yum!I loved the tacos in CDMX, especially the ones on the street that had “parts”. My favorite will always be lengua 🙂

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi there! How cool! Not everyone is even willing to try lengua, but it is delicious. I love eating all the “parts” also…. such a fan of lengua, like you, and also cabeza (head).

      Reply
  6. Alex

    Yummy! What a great roundup!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi Alex: Thanks for the comment. I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog.

      Reply
  7. Austin Cannon

    My mouth is watering! And now I know how to order for my husband who hates spicy food!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi Austin: I met a lot of people who do not eat spicy food while I lived in Mexico City, so your husband will do fine 🌮🚫🌶

      Reply
  8. Cassie

    Mexico City sounds just amazing and I LOVE tacos!! I loved your board of how to ask if something is spicy! What a fab post. Definitely going to come in useful when I get to visit. x

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Cassie: Trust me… the salsas are all spicy🌶🌶🌶 Glad you enjoyed my post.

      Reply
  9. Ophelie

    Such a cool article! I am a foodie and I haven’t been to Mexico yet, so this will be super useful for the day I can finally visit Mexico City!!!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi Ophelie: I hope you do visit Mexico City. It’s amazing… and that tacos are a tasty bonus to an amazing city.

      Reply
  10. Sarah

    Ok – how many tacos is TOO many to eat? Because I would actually go around trying all of these, OMG! I would LOVE to experience Mexico City one day – and yeah – this post is pretty much selling me on it!!! So much fun, thank you for putting together!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Sarah, This is a trick question. There is no such thing as “too many tacos”!! Mexico City is amazing, I hope you get to visit.

      Reply
  11. Rhonda T.

    Now this is one article that would be fun to have done the research for! I love tacos, but never knew there was so much to think about. This was a fun read.

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Rhonda, YES! This was the tastiest blog research of all time! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it.

      Reply
  12. Polly

    Love tacos so much and this post made me so hungry and I am just carving some good taco right now! Love this post

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Polly: I’m so glad you liked it! Tacos really are the best 🌮‼️

      Reply
  13. Andi

    Holy moley is this comprehensive! Doing the research on this was tasty! I will definitely be holding on to this guide! Awesome job!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Andi: This was the best blog research of my life… and I hope it helps you when you visit Mexico City.

      Reply
  14. Shay

    SO. MANY. TACOS. Haha I’m obsessed with Mexican food so this might be my favorite blog post ever! Might need to live down there like you did so I can try them all!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi Shay: I support this comment 💚🌮❤️ Mexico is a wonderful place to live!

      Reply
  15. Elizabeth

    What a great list! Of course, I love the fact that you include a Spanish language chart to help you order food. I learned about the Lebanese population in Mexico City by watching Hecho en México 🇲🇽. So interesting that my favorite kind of taco ( tácos al pastor) is actually of Middle Eastern descent. Gracias por la información.

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi Elizabeth: De nada & thanks for the comment. It’s very very very important to learn the phrase for “not spicy, please” if you don’t eat spicy food! I wanted to add that part in because I have seen many people’s meals ruined by over-salsa’ing (if that’s a word lol).

      Reply
  16. Shafinah Neville

    omgggggg i just had dinner and my tummy’s rumbling just looking these picturesssss.. can’t believe my gluttony!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi Shafinah….. I’m pretty sure gluttony is completely understandable when it comes to tacos.

      Reply
  17. Keena

    I’m not a taco fan unfortunately but I love all of the information .

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Keena, you are in luck because there’s so much other amazing food in Mexico. You might like tortas (sandwiches), tamales & chilaquiles, mole, chicharrón & so much more!

      Reply
  18. Mayuri

    OMG! Everything looks soooo delicious can’t wait to visit Mexico again and try out all the fun places you have mentioned here. Saving it for future. Really love your site it has so much information for the traveling to Mexico. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Thanks for the compliments, Mayuri! I appreciate you saying all that you did.

      Reply
  19. Kelsey

    Love the addition of where to find each! I love the inclusion of the “Try these” especially the vegan street tacos!!! Great post.

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi Kelsey, Thanks for commenting! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post.

      Reply
  20. Paula Martinelli

    This looks insane D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S or muy delicioso!!! I am so hungry now for authentic tacos. So interesting to know that the green salsa is hotter …hmmmm…Thank for the awesome effort to put this guide together, saving for my next time in Mexico, for sure!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi Paula & thanks for the compliment! Yes, the green ones tend to be hotter here, but the red ones can sneak up on you too! I’d say always sample the salsa before adding it to your food!

      Reply
  21. Elizabeth

    I was in Mexico City earlier this year and loved all the delicious, cheap tacos. I can’t wait to go back and try more of these places. Thanks for this awesome taco guide that is making me so hungry right now!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Elizabeth: SOOO glad you got to experience CDMX & enjoy some authentic tacos. (Apologies for making you hungry!)

      Reply
  22. Catherine

    Always want to know the best taco places <3

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Catherine: I hope I was able to help with that!!🌮

      Reply
  23. Rhonda Albom

    Amazing. I live in a country where there are very few Mexican restaurants. Your list has me drooling. The map of where these restaurants are is a great tool. If I had to pick one restaurant, I think El Hidalguense would be where I head to first.

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi Rhonda: You picked a great 1st restaurant! I am from the U.S. & we have many Mexican restaurants, but eating in Mexico is something else 💖

      Reply
  24. Jackie

    Yum! I love Mexico City and I’ll be coming back to this guide next time I visit! Mexico City has the best food!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Jackie: YAY! A return visitor!! Glad you liked Mexico that much. Also, I couldn’t agree more… I’ve been to 1/2 of the states in Mexico, and I 100% agree that Mexico City has the best food.

      Reply
  25. Nichole the Nomad

    Honestly, I have never been a big taco fan, but these may make me change my mind! Such a great guide and love the free map!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Nichole: I hope I converted you! But if not, there is plentyyyyyy of other amazing Mexican foods, even some without tortillas, like mole, chicharrón & tamales!

      Reply
  26. Sam

    I feel so hungry now! I love how you made the maps with tacos! Great post and super helpful you also have common phrases in this post!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Sam: I’m so glad you noticed & liked the taco icons 🌮😍

      Reply
  27. Shany

    Great guide! I’m not a huge taco fan but this post has just made me hungry!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi Shany: I think if you tried some authentic tacos in Mexico City, you might change your mind! If not, there’s plenty of non-taco foods for you here also.

      Reply
  28. Sophia Bawany

    Man o man! It is ALWAYS a good time for tacos. Thank you for including seafood options and paying homage to Arabian influence as well. Mexican tacos are the benchmark for tacos everywhere, even here in LA we always look to our Hispanic friends and their recommendations for good tacos. Please excuse me as I go harass someone to go on a taco run with me now 🙂

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Sophia: I couldn’t agree more… tacos are always a good idea. Hope you found someone for that taco run!

      Reply
  29. Katherine

    What a delicious post, and you’re so right, there’s not many foods that are better. I love them because they’re small enough that you can try all the meat/veggie options without feeling too overfull.

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Katherine: YES!! They are the perfect food.

      Reply
  30. Jessica Redler

    OMG LOVE tacos! I spent my entire visit to Tulum hunting down the best tacos, and I didn’t think it would be possible to find better but then I read your post! Mexico City sounds like such a wonderful foodie city!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hey Jessica! I’m glad you got to explore Tulum… but if you’re on the hunt for tacos, you must visit Mexico City next time.

      Reply
  31. Rowena

    Mexico City was my last international before COVID hit and I am sooooooo hungry looking at these photos. Missing all the tacos and other great food!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Rowena… maybe it can be your first international destination post-covid!! #DoItForTheTacos 🌮

      Reply
  32. Mariah

    My mouth is literally watering after reading all of this. Also, completely surprised that green salsa is spicier than the red! Love that fun fact. Leaving to go buy tacos now brb (LOL)!

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi Mariah: That is something I’ve seen many Americans & Europeans learn the hard way, so I wanted to demystify the green/red salsa spice level conundrum.

      Reply
  33. Michael Baker

    There are so many options. This is a super gastro guide. Thanks for sharing. Now I very hungry)))

    Reply
    • Shelley

      Hi Michael: I’m so glad it was helpful! I hope you get to eat some tacos 🌮😋

      Reply
  34. alain de Bolton

    Hi Shelly.
    Thanks for being so generous in the details of your blog/travel tips.

    Presently preparing a monthly trip in state of Queretaro, Hidalgo and San Luis Potisi.

    Coming back in Oaxaca in June for a sixth month artist residency.

    Sincerly, Alain de Bolton
    Inst: @alainv07

    Reply

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