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Tacos might be the most iconic of Mexican dishes, but they are more than just food. In Mexico City they are what the city runs on, with each commercial district – even profession – having its own go-to taqueria to help keep it operating. On this evening walking tour, we’ll go through the backstreets of the historic city center on the trail of Mexico City’s best tacos, from slow-cooked brisket to stewed stuffed peppers, while we learn about what a key thread this dish is in Mexico City’s urban fabric. On the way, we’ll also walk by some of the most important avenues and monuments of Mexico City, allowing us to soak up its history, from pre-colonial times to its buzzing modern day.
Our first stop will be in the Tabacalera neighborhood, one of the oldest union strongholds in the country, where we’ll stop by a taqueria that for decades has been serving the area’s office and blue-collar workers from early in the morning to late at night. The specialty here is steak and chorizo tacos served on a handmade tortilla that you can top with salsa and an array of free toppings offered next to the grill: cactus leaves, mashed potatoes, cooked beans, and pickled onions. From there we’ll continue to a street lined with the offices of Mexico’s major newspapers and, naturally, taquerias that for decades have been serving newspaper delivery workers, setting up in the afternoon and serving through night and until 6am to accommodate their schedules. At a sidewalk stall that sets up every evening under a bright yellow tent, we will try hearty tacos de guisado, filled with slow-simmered meats and vegetables.
Right in the heart of downtown we’ll stop for al pastor, the traditional Mexico City taco made out of marinated and spit-roasted thin layers of pork, at one of the oldest joints in the city, frequented by local store owners and shoppers who visit the downtown commercial area. Our next stop will be for tacos de cochinita, the traditional pulled pork from the state of Yucatan, at a whole-in-the-wall gem unknown to even experienced downtown taco connoisseurs.
Since a city can’t survive on tacos alone, our last stop will be at a mezcalería in one of the trendiest areas of downtown where we will try different types of agave spirits, an important part of Mexican culture since colonial times. Once regarded as a drink of Mexico’s poor, these small-batch spirits have today become appreciated for their craft and quality. Run by serious mezcal enthusiasts, the mezcalería has an ever-changing selection of spirits drawn from micro distillers who often produce just enough to supply their own village or town. It’s just another reminder that in this massive city, it’s the small-scale enterprises that keep things running.
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. 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 and are confident that you will enjoy them.
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 book a private tour, 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?
All of our tours are given in English unless requested otherwise. Our guides are locals who speak fluent English. We will also happily do a tour in Spanish if you prefer.
Can vegetarians or vegans take this tour?
Vegetarians, we can alter this tour for with but the guests may need to skip a couple of bites. We don’t recommend this tour for vegans. 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. There is a total of about 3km covered, over 5-6 hours on flat terrain, but many of Mexico City’s sidewalks are not in great shape.
How much food will I get to try?
This is really up to you. We generally taste around a dozen 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?
This walk does stop at several bars and the alcohol is very present so we do not recommend this walk for children. However, our Jamaica Mercado walk and the Xochimilco excursion are very suitable for children.
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
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