Street food is iconic in Mexico and when you’re in town, you’ll never go hungry no matter what time of day or night it is! The first thing that probably pops into your head is tacos. And yes, that is by far the majority of the street food, but there’s a few other options as well. Tijuana street food here we come!
If you grow up in the mid-west like I did, you probably had a cookout with some grilled hotdogs that you wrapped in a cold bun and slathered some ketchup, mustard, and onion on it.
If you grow up in Mexico a hotdog is something you can find in any neighborhood in the afternoon through to late night/early mornings. Not only do you get a grilled hot dog…it could be wrapped in bacon, or bacon and cheese, topped with ketchup, mayo, mustard, jalapeños, onion, grilled mushrooms, or beans all served on a hot steamed bun.
The word Gordita has a few different meanings in different Mexican states, but I can’t say I’ve ever been disappointed. They are just delicious in all forms. In Tijuana, gorditas are made from corn dough that is thicker than a corn tortilla, cooked up on a comal and then someone slices it open and stuffs cheese and butter in there to melt. Then, it’s stuffed with the meat of your choice, onions, cilantro and salsa. To which you add lime, salt and more salsa to your liking.
There is one Tijuana stand in particular that is amazing, it’s called Tacos Puebla. It’s located on the corner of 5th street (Emiliano Zapata) and Av. Francisco Madero (one block down from Revolution Ave).
Tacos, Tacos, Tacos!! The second you hear the word you picture yourself gnawing on something tasty in a tortilla listening to a mariachi band…just me? OK, I kid, I don’t usually hear the mariachi band when I dream of tacos, I’m more of an Angeles Azules kinda lady.
Who created the taco?
According to the man who wrote the book about taco history, tacos started back in the 18th century in the silver mines of Mexico and have evolved ever since. Over time, they have even been influenced by the large Lebanese migrants who first put that pork up on a vertical rotisserie and created tacos arabes (still sold in Puebla) and then adobada/al pastor. The taco has been evolving ever since, in Baja California for example, the fish taco was created since there’s so much fish that is caught in the area.
What can you put in a taco?
These days…anything! In Tijuana, you have all the traditional tacos – all meats and seafood, but then you have places that are experimenting and creating new flavors by fusing cultures, trying new recipes or going vegan. What you can find in the street though is usually tacos varios and meat tacos.
These tacos are usually offered in the morning until they run out sometime in the afternoon. Or they are set up near the nightlife for a midnight snack.
What makes them special is that they have about 10 different homemade dishes to choose from – chile relleno, chicharron in salsa verde, chicken in adobo, etc. Then they put it together in a corn tortilla, refried beans and some rice.
There’s so many! You can find just taco carts of one type of meat to 4 or 5 types of meat. What you’re craving or what’s close by will end up being the determining factor for this category. The two that we frequent the most are located in our neighborhood and provide either an evening snack of taco/quesadilla de adobada or a weekend morning breakfast of birria.
This adobada stand though…hands down has the best quesadillas. First they heat up a flour tortilla, then they throw on some cheese to melt, THEN they flip it over and fry the cheese a little bit before they throw in the adobada, salsa, onion and cilantro… gosh, I’m making myself hungry!
Don’t be afraid…
To try that street food!