Mexican Street Tacos: A Guide to the Best Tacos in Mexico

Carnitas Tacos

Mexican street tacos are one of the most delicious and popular foods in Mexico. These tacos are found in small carts and stands on the streets of cities and towns throughout the country. They are made with fresh and flavorful ingredients, and are cooked and served right in front of you. In this article, we will guide you through the world of Mexican street tacos, from their history to the different types of tacos you can find in Mexico. So, let’s dive in and explore the tasty world of Mexican street tacos!

History of Mexican Street Tacos

Mexican street tacos have a long and rich history. They originated in the early 19th century, when people began selling food on the streets of Mexico City. At first, these vendors sold tamales and other simple dishes, but over time, they started to sell tacos as well. The tacos were made with inexpensive ingredients like meat, beans, and tortillas, and were sold for a few pesos each. They quickly became a popular food among the working class, and their popularity spread throughout Mexico.

What Are Mexican Street Tacos?

Mexican street tacos are small, handheld tacos that are sold on the streets of Mexico. They are made with soft corn tortillas and are filled with a variety of ingredients. The most common fillings include beef, pork, chicken, and fish, but you can also find vegetarian and vegan options. The tacos are topped with fresh cilantro, onions, and salsa, and are served with a wedge of lime.

Different Types of Mexican Street Tacos

There are many different types of Mexican street tacos, each with its own unique flavor and ingredients. Here are some of the most popular types:

Carnitas Tacos

Carnitas tacos are made with slow-cooked pork that is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The pork is seasoned with a blend of spices, including cumin, chili powder, and oregano. The tacos are topped with fresh cilantro, onions, and salsa. See recipe here

Carnitas Tacos

Al Pastor Tacos

Al pastor tacos are made with marinated pork that is cooked on a vertical spit, similar to the way shawarma is cooked. The pork is seasoned with a blend of spices, including achiote, pineapple, and guajillo chili. The tacos are topped with fresh cilantro, onions, and salsa.

Carne Asada Tacos

Carne asada tacos are made with grilled beef that is marinated in lime juice, garlic, and spices. The beef is thinly sliced and served on a warm tortilla. The tacos are topped with fresh cilantro, onions, and salsa.

Fish Tacos

Fish tacos are made with fresh, grilled or fried fish that is seasoned with lime juice, garlic, and spices. The fish is served on a warm tortilla and topped with fresh cabbage, pico de gallo, and a creamy sauce. See recipe here

How to Eat Mexican Street Tacos

Mexican street tacos are meant to be eaten with your hands. To eat a taco, hold the tortilla with one hand and use the other hand to fill it with your choice of toppings. Squeeze a wedge of lime over the taco and take a bite. Repeat until the taco is gone!

Where to Find the Best Mexican Street Tacos

The best place to find Mexican street tacos is on the streets of Mexico. Every city and town has its own unique taco stands and carts. Some of the most popular places to find tacos are in Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Tijuana. If you’re visiting Mexico, be sure to try as many different taco stands as you can to find your favorite!


Mexican street tacos are a delicious and essential part of Mexican cuisine. They are affordable, tasty, and full of flavor. From the crispy and tender carnitas to the juicy and flavorful al pastor, there is a taco for everyone. When visiting Mexico, trying different taco stands and vendors is a must to fully experience the culinary delights of Mexican street tacos. So, grab a taco, squeeze some lime over it, and enjoy the delicious taste of Mexico.


  1. Are Mexican street tacos spicy?
    • It depends on the type of taco and the salsa used, but many street tacos can have some level of spice.
  2. Can I find vegetarian options for Mexican street tacos?
    • Yes, vegetarian and even vegan options for tacos are available at many street vendors.
  3. How do I know if a taco stand is safe to eat from?
    • Look for vendors that are busy with locals, as they are likely to have fresh ingredients and safe cooking practices.
  4. Is it okay to drink tap water in Mexico?
    • It is generally recommended to stick to bottled or purified water to avoid any potential stomach issues.
  5. Can I get Mexican street tacos outside of Mexico?
    • Yes, many cities around the world have Mexican street food vendors, but the authenticity and taste may vary.

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