The food in Mexico is completely different than your local Taco Bell or Ted's. It's super, uber good. Like really, super, uber good.
Breakfast was a really key aspect of the day; normally I skip it from time to time, but I almost ate every single day when I wasn't late or sick--or both. I ate at a place called "El Almuerzos" for free breakfast, and it was mostly the same thing. I experimented with their quesadillas, fruit, coffee, picaditas, and finally landed to my favorite: huevos revueltos con tocino (a.k.a. scrambled eggs and bacon). In addition, I found out it's also a custom to have a side of bean dip with two to three tortilla chips for a garnish; I also enjoyed that. They also have really bomb churros, fresh out of the kitchen. Super crispy, sweet, and everything one would need in the morning. I would dip it in my chocolate frio and it would be out of this world. They were so good that one time I ordered like four churros for my classes in the morning; I forgot I had them, so the oil got on my backpack, but they were still delicious. It was worth it.
Tacos are THE staple food of Mexico; they're bite-sized, delicious, and very cheap. You can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack, and so on, and so on. Instead of flour tortillas, I mostly ate corn tortillas 99% of the time. The only time I ate flour tortillas was at a Mexican-Arabic fast food joint called "La Oriental"--and to be honest, I actually prefer them, over flour. Not to mention that there are so many options. There's chicken tacos, beef tacos, pork tacos, vegetable tacos, shrimp tacos, fish tacos, etc. The most famous tacos are "tacos al pastor," which are spicy tacos usually made traditionally from a gyro shawarma or in a pan. They are EVERYWHERE. Usually they are garnished with cilantro, onions, and pineapples, with fresh lime juice, and always in a corn tortillas. In addition, they are very cheap; usually a single taco ranges from $19-27 pesos--$ 1 USD is roughly ~$19 MXN.Street food was a very important concepts in Mexico. I was told to stray away from it to avoid being sick...but then again, I got sick trying to do everything I could not to get sick, so I said, "Screw it." And I do not regret it one bit. Fruit was on very corner of every street, especially mango with a spice sauce. They had giant coconuts, oranges, pineapples, grapes, lychees, and more. Ice cream was also a thing, as a churned cold goodness with fruit or milk as as base; the first time I got it, I called it "abuelita ice cream" because there was a very nice abuelita who gave some to me. My favorite Mexican street food was "helote" which is this entire corn-on-the-cob smothered in a mayo-butter, covered in powered cheese and pepper spice.
Snacks at convenient stores were the best for an after-school treat or a midnight snack. For breakfast, I once had a sweet strawberry yogurt drink and for lunch, I bought a sweet mango juice. New treats I ate were powdered donuts, crispy churro-esque treats, and more. The most interesting concept was the Mexican version of American chips. For some, the name changed; for example, Lays was called "Sabritas." In addition, other chips had different flavors, even though they looked the same back home. Mexican Doritos had more spice to them. Mexican Cheese Ruffles had a "funky" sweet taste to them. And finally, Mexican Cheetos had a bite-sized ball version called "Bolitas" that had an infused jalapeno taste to them to make it more interesting.
Drinks were also very dope in Mexico. The first one I had was a traditional horchata, which is a sweet rice milk with cinnamon. The next I had was Hibiscus juice, but over there, they call it "Jamaca" with the "J" pronounced as an "H." Another one I had was a bunch of aqua frescas, which are basically glorified fruit juices; ones I had were strawberry, mango, pineapple, limonada, and guava. At their Starbucks, they had a pretty interesting selection; one of the drinks was yogurt frappaccino with acai bubbles, which is pretty much like boba crossed with the artificial caviar you make at home. Their liquor game was pretty fine. Although the drinking age is 18 in Mexico, I was careful not to become remotely "tipsy." I had a coffee-liquor milkshake, some wine we won for free, cranberry liquor, and this really sweet hibiscus shot that I wish I could bring to the US, but could not, since I had to be 21--insert sad face here.
I am a sucker for a sweet cold popsicle...or two. Or three. Or five. Like the old lady ice cream I talked about before, there were a ton of ice cream everywhere. The gelato at the city square was creamy and filled with strawberry. At a place called Bendita Paleta at the mall, I had these two hibiscus and guava-flavored popsicles that I wish I bought more of, but I can't considering that that place is Mexican-exclusive. I'd say the best ice cream I had was a recommendation I had from my professor, Dr. Collins, at the Teotihuacan ruins. It was a giant, passion-fruit-flavored popsicle that was absolutely sweet and tasted like Heaven...and while I'm writing this, I am really regretting not getting another, like a coconut or a strawberry icy. Also, fun fact: there really isn't a full "translation" for the word, "popsicle," in Mexico. I talked to my TA, Alexis, who told me that he had never heard of the word before. Instead of popsicle, they call them "paleta," which is "lolly" in Spanish, which sounds super cooler than "popsicle." "Helado" is another staple name of the game.
For dinner, it was a really ambient atmosphere with pastas, meats, salads, and more. One of the most common things I had at dine-in restaurants was a carne asada (grilled beef) with some bean dip and guacamole. Another thing that I loved for dinner was at a pub named "La Santiago," which served the most spiciest tortas (sandwiches) I have ever eaten, In this case, I had abodo sandwiches and washed it down with a good-old Coke--which is the one in the bottle and made with real cane sugar. Their wings game was also bomb, I had some really good coconut curry wings with a blue cheese sauce, and it was to DIE for. Desserts were also the best. I had some rich tres leches--even though I was stuffed---a good cappuccino, tiramisu, some flan, mango cheesecake, and churros, of course.
Overall, I loved the food there. Just thinking about it makes me hungry...