- Culinary walks
- Our Story
- CB Passport
The best way to understand Mexico is through its markets. These bustling and colorful places are where the country’s soul – culinary and otherwise – truly resides. And, in our opinion, there is no better market through which to do this soul searching then at Mexico City’s Jamaica Market.
One of Mexico City’s oldest markets, the Mercado Jamaica (the name means “hibiscus”) is also the city’s main wholesale flower market, a riotously colorful place where vendors sell everything from bright orange marigolds to deep red terciopelos. Beyond flowers, the market is also one of Mexico City’s top food destinations, home to a dizzying mix of street food sellers and small specialty restaurants. Located in what it was the southeast edge of the Aztec capital city in pre-Colonial times, the market is still outside of Mexico City’s main tourist zone, keeping it very much a true locals place.
On this walk through the market, we’ll meet its vendors and food makers, learning about how the market works and the important role it plays in daily Mexico City life. To get there, we’ll travel together on the subway to a station just outside the city center. Inside the market, we’ll visit some of the 1,500 stalls selling more than 5,000 different types of flowers coming from eight different Mexican states. We’ll also explore the market’s other sections, dedicated to fruits and vegetables, kitchen utensils, piñatas and party favors, learning about the different ingredients that are the building blocks of Mexico’s culture and its inimitable cuisine.
Our main focus, of course, will be the market’s food. We’ll start at a taqueria for an edible taco tutorial, learning about different kinds such as carnitas (deep-fried pork), carne asada (grilled steak), and al pastor (marinated spit-roasted pork). We’ll also stop at a family-run place that invented huaraches – long corn-meal paddles filled with refried beans and countless other ingredients. We’ll also try handmade tamales, the best green chile chorizo tacos of the city, blue corn quesadillas, street corn, and mutton from El Profe, a former school teacher who fifty years ago decided to leave his profession to raise his own sheep and open a taquería in the market.
After touring the market we’ll drop by a traditional pulquería, which serves a slightly fermented drink made from agave sap that was considered the nectar of the Gods by several pre-Hispanic civilizations. Once seen as a poor man’s drink, pulque is now making a comeback in Mexico City, giving old bars like this one a new lease on life and offering us another chance to contemplate – over a drink – the mysteries of Mexico.
Am I going to get sick from eating Mexican street food or tacos?
Mild discomfort is common for people who aren’t used to eating Mexican spices or produce. However, all the food stops on each of our tours have been personally tested by our founders, as well as each of our guides. We stand by their quality and cleanliness.
Can you pick me up from my hotel? How will I return once the tour is over?
Our tour prices don’t include transportation. If you book a tour, you’re responsible for arriving to the pre-arranged meeting spot on your own. Most Mexico City hotels provide taxi services for guests, and it’s generally easy and convenient to use them. If you chose to have a private walk, the guide may be able to meet you at the hotel.
Once the tour is over, we will help you get an authorized, safe taxi to your hotel, or provide directions on public transportation, if you’re interested in that.
Is English spoken?
English is definitely spoken! Our guides are either American and bilingual in Spanish, or they’re Mexicans who speak fluent English. We will also happily do a tour in Spanish if you prefer.
Can vegetarians or vegans take this tour?
Vegetarians, pesceterians definitely. Vegans will have a difficult time in Mexico City, but we will do our best to accommodate. Our tours also work for anyone with cheese, nut and wheat allergies. Please let us what know your dietary restrictions in advance.
What should I wear?
Comfortable, closed-toed shoes (no flip-flops please), pants, and shirts in layers — it can be cooler in the morning and warmer in the afternoon. Please bring an umbrella if you’re traveling in Mexico City’s rainy season, from June-September.
How much walking is involved?
Quite a bit. We want you to experience the most amount of food and culture possible, and while we are not actively walking the entire time, you will be required to walk from stop to stop. The entire walk is about 2.5km on fairly flat terrain but the sidewalks can be challenging. Some of the street stands we visit also do not have seating, so you will eat standing up.
How much food will I get to try?
This is really up to you. We generally taste around six items on each tour, but the price includes as much food as you’re open to trying. We offer a suggested portion size at each stop and you can take our recommendation if you’d like. Our goal is to have you end the tour pleasantly stuffed, not so full you can barely walk. That said, everyone’s appetite is different and we welcome all varieties!
What if it rains?
Our tours are conducted rain or shine.
Can I bring my children on this tour?
Sure! Children under 6 are free of charge, but Mexico City is not very stroller friendly, so you should either bring a baby carrier or have a kid ready to walk. Children 7-12 are 50% off. Teenagers 13 and often eat more than their parents and pay full price.
What is your cancellation policy?
The entire reservation can be cancelled with 100% refunded minus credit card processing fees if cancelled more than 1 week in advance. Cancellations of more than 3 days, are refundable at 50% and less than 72 hours are not refundable
R i c k B a y l e s s – O n e P l a t e a t a T i m e I do a lot of culinary travel stuff. Culinary Backstreets– you know that organization? You go on a culinary walking tour with somebody and theyre amazing. That will get you more of an insiders point of view into the culture and the cuisine in a really distinctive and memorable way. Read more
I love Culinary Backstreets! We took their food tour in Mexico City in August (the new itinerary program hadn’t been introduced yet), and it was the highlight of our trip. Read more
They’ve done an amazing job of finding rad street food stands and old-school treasures, and creating a totally enlightening tour that doesn’t feel trite or touristy in the least. It’s worth booking ahead as their small expeditions fill up quickly. Read more
Centro Historico is located in Mexico City, and is a must-visit for any foodies visiting the city. Culinary Backstreets have paired up with Eat Mexico to offer a fantastic walking tour of Mexico City’s back streets, where the heart and soul of Mexican cuisine lie. You will be able to experience fresh tortillas being made from up-close, as well as sample some of the best seafood tostadas in town. Further into the neighborhood, you will be able to sample tlacoyos topped with cactus, made on a grill that hasbeen propped up on the sidewalk. You will then attend an artisanal cheese tasting, followed by trying some pulque, a native Mexican alcoholic drink that dates back to pre-Hispanic times. Read more
“Asombroso!! Mexico City – Market Tour” The market walking tour was an amazing experience and a must do — whether it’s your first visit or you’re a frequent traveler to DF. You will undoubtedly learn something new about the food and the culture that encompasses Mexico City. Read more