It’s easy to think of Mexican food as one cuisine. In reality, while there are common themes, each region has its own excellent specialities. Here are a few regional highlights.

Baja California

In Baja, the sea is all around, so it makes sense that mariscos (seafood) and pescado (fish) dominate menus – the fish taco is an eternal favourite. Northern Baja is home to Mexico’s wine industry, and drinking wine with your meal is far more common here than elsewhere in the country.

The north

Dining in the north, where the land is too dry to grow produce, tends to revolve around grilled meat: the asado (barbecue) is king. Cabrito asado (roast kid) is the classic dish, often served in gargantuan portions and accompanied only by tortillas and salsa. These basic ingredients combine into burritos and fajitas, dishes that have travelled north of the border to become what most of the world thinks of as “Mexican food”.

Central Mexico

With fertile valleys and highlands that receive enough rain to sustain agriculture, central Mexico has the widest range of local ingredients. This is the land of the avocado (and therefore guacamole) and the birthplace of tequila. Mexico’s second city, Guadalajara, excels with its birria, a soupy stew, while coastal towns dish up tasty camarones (prawns). Further south, Oaxaca claims the country’s finest tamales, stuffed corn-meal dough cooked in banana leaves.

The Yucatán

Influenced by the flavours of the Caribbean, an abundance of tropical fruits and the all-powerful burn of the habanero chile, Yucateco cuisine is a world apart from that of central Mexico. The most celebrated dish is cochinita pibil, pork marinated in a recado made from garlic, chiles, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, oregano and vinegar, then wrapped in plantain leaves and grilled.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Mexico features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook