Best Mexican Street Food Recipes To Make on Cinco de Mayo


Mexican street food includes all sorts of unique recipes for food on the go, and foods like elote (corn) and tacos are some of my favorites. Mexican food is often spicy, you can also find low-carb and gluten-free Mexican foods if you know what to look for, and there are a ton of fabulous specialty foods prepared during holidays like Cinco de Mayo.

As a lover of Mexican food and food trucks, I am fascinated with the street foods of Mexico. Every village, town and city has vendors preparing, cooking and selling their delights from push-carts, stands, trailers and small taquerias (taco stands). Tacos, huaraches, tortas, hot dogs and quesadillas are the most common, but you'll find many other delights sold on the streets of every region of Mexico.

Related: 11 Mexican Chocolate Desserts We Want to Make Again and Again

There are reasons to celebrate Mexican heritage all throughout the year. Mexican Independence Day is September 16 and National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 through October 15. Then there's Cinco de Mayo—one of the most festive celebrations of the year. If you’re looking for a way to celebrate, host a party with some of these colorful, tasty and native Mexican recipes. A Hispanic theme is all about delicious food, festive music, family and friends.

Best Street Food Meals

<p>Jeanine Thurston</p>

Jeanine Thurston

1. Carne Asada Tacos: You'll find tacos de carne asada on the streets of every Mexican town or city, as this is everybody's favorite street taco.

2. Lamb Barbacoa Avocado Tacos: Traditional barbacoa is made with meat from a cow’s head (such as cheeks and the jaw), and it's slow-cooked over an open fire, or more traditionally, in a ground pit, which is a hole dug in the ground. This very delicious lamb barbacoa recipe can be easily made at home.

3. Tacos al Pastor with Roasted Pineapple Salsa (Grilled Pork Tacos): These pineapple and pork tacos are a prime example of fusion food—a cross between Middle Eastern spit-grilled meat, and the guajillo-rub grilled pork served by Mexican street vendors. The meat is quite tender and further enhanced by a spicy, deep-red chipotle-based salsa.

4. Tacos de Chorizo: Tacos made with Mexican chorizo are perfect for any time of day; breakfast, lunch or dinner.

5. Blackened Tilapia Fish Tacos with Chipotle Aioli Sauce: Fish + Tortilla = Fish Taco. A favorite taco of coastal areas of Mexico and Baja California.

6. Cochinita Pibil Veal Molotes: Molotes are a common street food, found in Oaxaca. The filling in this recipe is inspired by a pork dish originating in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Related: 5 Creative Mocktails for Cinco de Mayo for Alcohol-Free Fiestas! 

Best Street Food Lunches

<p>Nibbles and Feasts</p>

Nibbles and Feasts

7. Grilled Hot Dog Torta: Take your hot dogs on a trip south of the border.

8. Tortas de Pavo y Aguacate (Turkey and Avocado Sandwich): Leftover turkey makes wonderful sandwiches, Mexican style.

9. Tortilla Wrapped Hot Dogs: These tortilla-wrapped hot dogs are very popular street food in Mexico, and make for a delicious snack to eat while watching football. They are highly addictive and finger-lickin' good.

10. Quesadillas de Flor de Calabaza (Squash Blossom Quesadillas): Make these quesadillas outside on the grill, or indoors on a comal (griddle).

11. Elote en Vaso (Corn in a Cup): This is Mexico’s finest street dish, often sold in styrofoam cups. This is a very common street food seen year-round in Mexico.

12. Elote (Grilled Corn on the Cob with Cilantro Butter): The dish that has made street vendors south of the border famous: The elote en vaso (corn in a cup) version is less messy, but this version is definitely more authentic.

13. Chipotle Chicken Cemita Sandwich: Cemitas are specialty sandwiches that originate in the Mexican state of Puebla. The term ‘cemita’ refers to both the specific type of bread on which the sandwiches are constructed, as well as the finished sandwiches themselves.

14. Mango, Jicama and Cucumber Salad: All of these fruits and vegetables go great with chile powder and lime so it is only natural to combine them all together.

15. Huaraches Topped with Chorizo Refried Beans, Tomatoes and Avocados: A huarache is a flatbread made with masa and looks slightly like a thin sandal sole, hence the name huarache. Huaraches are known as a classic street food topped with just about anything.

Best Street Food Snacks

<p>The Other Side of the Tortilla</p>

The Other Side of the Tortilla

16. Chicharrones de Harina: A deliciously crunchy, salty, orange-colored street food snack eaten with lime juice and drizzled with salsa.

17. Papitas con Limón y Salsa: It’s a very simple and typical Mexican snack. A bag of potato chips in a little plastic bag with a squeeze of lime juice and your choice of salsa.

18. Cebollitas: Grilled green onions are the side dish often served at barbecues and family gatherings. You can also often find them at street food stands around Mexico.

Related: Turn Up Taco Tuesday With 19 Easy-to-Make Cinco de Mayo Appetizers

19. Chalupas: Masa shaped into little boats, lightly fried until crisp, and stuffed with your favorite toppings.

20. Salbutes: Similar to a tostada, but instead are made from fresh masa instead of pre-cooked tortillas. The result is a light golden brown, puffy shell that can be topped with anything from chicken, refried beans, rajas, pork, or elote con rajas.

21. Mexican Pizza ~ Tlayuda con Chorizo y Frijoles: A Tlayuda is a popular street snack in Oaxaca. This street snack consists of an oversized thin corn tortilla grilled over hot coals until crunchy. A thin layer of refried beans serves as the base and the toppings are endless!

22. Cinnamon Churros with Chocolate Dulce de Leche: Growing up, I never ate churros at home, but they were definitely a hometown favorite at church bazaars, festivals, mercados (markets), taquerias (taco stands) and even amusement parks.

Next: How to Make Homemade Mexican Lasagna