There are many misconceptions about Mexican food: many people think that it's just tacos, burritos and re-fried beans, but that's just the start of what Mexico has to offer. Mexico's food offerings are in fact incredibly diverse and vary greatly from place to place. Here are some of the country's best destinations for foodies and some of the dishes you shouldn't miss in each location.
Oaxaca has long been known as a culinary destination. This is one of the states with the most biodiversity and it's also very culturally diverse, with 16 different ethnolinguistic groups. This diversity is also present in the cuisine, with a great variety of foods to try, from the fried grasshoppers known as chapulines to the giant prepared tortillas known as tlayudas. This destination should be on any foodie's list of places not to miss.
Dishes to try: mole, tlayudas, quesillo, tamales, chapulines
During the colonial period, nuns from the convents of Santa Rosa and Santa Monica invented the recipes for some of the dishes for which Puebla is famous. The creative nuns made use of a blend of European and Mexican ingredients in order to create mole poblano and chiles en nogada, two of the city's signature dishes. Besides sampling these, foodies visiting Puebla ahould take a stroll down la calle de los dulces "candy street," to try some of Puebla's traditional sweets.
Dishes to try: chiles en nogada, dulces de camote, mole poblano, cemitas, chalupas
When UNESCO designated traditional Mexican cuisine as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity, the state of Michoacan got a special mention for its traditional culinary practices. Michoacan's capital city, Morelia, is a perfect place from which to explore the region and sample its varied dishes.
Dishes to try: carnitas, enchiladas placeras, uchepos, corundas, churipo, ate
As one of the largest cities in the world, it comes as no surprise that Mexico City has a great variety of food vendors and restaurants to choose from. In this city, you're likely to find examples of the cuisines of the different regions of Mexico, but also some dishes to which chilangos are especially partial. A street food tour is a great way to try some of the local delights if you're intimidated by the array of choices available. Book a tour with Eat Mexico for a connoisseur's look into the varied food options the big city has to offer.
Dishes to try: tacos al pastor, pozole, tlacoyos
Merida, the capital of Yucatan state, is an excellent spot to sample Yucatecan cuisine. This is one of Mexico's most distinctive cuisines, the result of a combination of Mayan and European ingredients and techniques. The fact that this area developed in relative isolation from the rest of the country accounts for this area's different flavors.
Dishes to try: cochinita pibil, sopa de lima, queso relleno, papadzules
Puerto Vallarta is fast gaining a reputation as a gourmet destination. The delectable choices run the gamut from taco stands on the beach to fancy white tablecloth restaurants. Dedicated foodies will want to time their visit to coincide with either the Puerto Vallarta Gourmet Festival held each November or Restaurant Week in May, but you can take a taco tour with Vallarta Food Tours anytime you visit.