Barbacoa: Mutton cooked underground and served in tortillas.
Burritos: Wheat flour tortilla filled with meat or
Carne Asada: Thin slices of grilled beef served with
corn or wheat flour tortillas.
Carnitas: Chunks of roasted pork. (A bit greasy, but
delicious). Fill tortilla with meat, add avocado, coriander.
Cebollitas: Grilled onions along with anything and are
great with lime and salt.
Cecina: Dried slices of beef or pork prepared in all
sorts of sauces or grilled.
Ceviche: Raw fish or other seafood marinated for hours
in lime juice and served as a cocktail with chopped onion,
avocado, coriander and tomato.
Chuleta: A beef (res), pork (cerdo) or lamb chop.
Chicharron: Fried pork rind served with carnitas or
other types of cooked meat. A popular appetizer with tortillas
Chilaquiles: Fried tortilla chips served in a platter
with sauce and cheese sprinkled on top. Often comes with
shredded chicken or a fried egg on top. Popular for breakfast.
Chile en Nogada: Chile pepper (hot) filled with a meat
stuffing, batter-fried and covered with a creamy walnut sauce.
Pomegrante seeds and a bit of parsley are sprinkled on top to
represent the red, white and green color of the Mexican flag.
Specialty of the summer season.
Chile Relleno: Deep fried pepper (hot) stuffed with
cheese or meat and covered with tomato sauce.
Chorizo: Spicy Mexican sausage served in a variety of
Cochinita Pibil: Shredded pork served with a spicy
sauce — a specialty of the Yucatán Peninsula.
Enchiladas: A semi-fried corn tortilla filled with
chicken and covered with a mild chile, sauce and sometimes onion
Flan: Rich custard topped with a caramel sauce.
Flor de Calabaza: Squash flowers served in quesadillas
or as a side dish.
Frijoles: Standard Mexican boiled bean dish served
with just about everything. Refritos are beans mashed and fried
in oil or lard.
Gorditas: Fried corn dough filled with refried beans
and topped with cream, cheese and lettuce.
Guacamole: The most popular “mole”. Mashed avocado
with tomato, onion, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Huauchinango
al Mojo de Ajo: Red snapper fried with lots of chopped garlic.
Served in filet or the complete fish (entero).
Huitlacoche: A mushroom-like fungus taken from ears of
corn. A real treat served in quesadillas, as a garnish or as a
filling in various dishes.
Machaca: Dried shredded beef, sauteed and served with
wheat flour tortillas. Sometimes served with eggs or in various
sauces. (Popular in the northern states).
Menudo: Pieces of intestine served in broth.
Milanesa: Breaded pork, beef or chicken steak. Fried
and served with tortillas.
Mole [MO-lay]: A truly Mexican sauce composed of
chocolate, ground chili peppers and lots of spices. Usually
poured over chicken or enchiladas. There are various types of
moles, including Poblano, Oaxaqueño and pipian. (A bit spicy,
but a side dish of avocado helps cool the tongue).
Natilla: A thin custard pudding.
Nopales: Prickly pear cactus leaves — most popular in
salads or grilled in tacos.
Pancita: Cow’s stomach served in rich broth.
Pozole: Hearty hominy soup with shredded pork and
garnished with lettuce, radishes, chopped onion, oregano and
Quesadillas: Fried tortillas filled with cheese,
chopped beef, potatoes, beans, squash flowers or many other
possible combinations. Served with hot sauce.
Queso Fundido: Melted cheese served with either corn
or wheat flour tortillas, sort of fondue style.
Salsa: Spicy sauce served with everything in varying
degrees of hot. May be red or green or made of chopped onion,
tomato, and chili peppers. Every restaurant has its own
Sopes: A grilled tortilla covered with hot sauce,
sprinkled cheese and chopped onion.
Tacos: A soft corn tortilla filled with meat, chicken
or pork. Very unlike U.S.-style tacos.
Tamales: Banana leaves or corn husks filled with corn
meal and sometimes pieces of chicken or pork. Sweet tamales are
flavored with sugar and served as a desert.
Tortas: A hard-crust roll filled with meat or cheese
and tomato, avocado, onion, cream, chili pepper or hot sauce.
Tortillas: Basic part of a Mexican meal. Tortillas are
made of ground corn or wheat flour (popular fried, in the
northern states of the country). Best served hot, they are
Tostadas: Fried corn tortilla covered with shredded
chicken or beef, tomatoes, lettuce, cream, chili peppers and
The word caliente refers to hot (to the touch).
Picante or picoso refers to food that is spicy hot.