If you are visiting Mexico then one of the first things that you are going to notice is the abundance of food options which cover the city streets. Street food is a huge part of the culture in Mexico and it is where you will find some of the nation’s tastiest cuisine. This form of dining is something which really unites the country and at any given time you will see people from all backgrounds standing side by side, munching down on some of the best street snacks on offer. When you are eating on the street, there are a few things which will be worth bearing in mind.
In the large majority of cases street snacks are adorned with lime juice, fresh veg and salsa, and it is with the salsa that you must take great care. Generally you will find that there is a red salsa and a green one, but the tricky thing is that at any given stand, one could be hotter than the other, so don’t trust color. The best thing to do is to add a little salsa to your plate and have a dip with your finger, whatever you do, don’t just dive in and splash it on your food, or things could get pretty damn spicy.
Follow The Crowds
Simply because someone is cooking up some Mexican food on the street does not mean that it is going to be delicious. To a newbie this makes it difficult to navigate which is the best place to eat at in order to get the best experience. A simple trick to ensure that you get the best places is to eat where the crowds eat and if you see a queue, join it. Locals have already tried and tested the street food option so if you do see people gathered round then you can have some confidence that it is a great spot.
The reason why people get sick when they eat on the streets of Mexico is that they are served meat which hasn’t been stored properly or sometimes it can be the lettuce or salad which causes an issue. Whilst there are no guarantees as to how you can prevent this, a smart move is to check out the stand before ordering. Pay attention to how meat is stored, whether or not there is a chance for cross contamination and what level of hygiene the vendor is showing. A stomach issue is the last thing you need when you are on your trip, so just make sure that you are confident in the hygiene of the food you will eat.
Finally, it is important to do some research on the food choices before you arrive. My buddy Javier Burillo sent me a huge list of choices I’d have before my first trip and it really helped me to order with confidence. When there is a queue behind you and the pressure is on, it helps to know exactly what you are actually asking for.