Life and Travel in Puebla, Mexico

Tag Archives: Street food

When you first come to Puebla, you may find yourself confused as to when you can find your favorite street foods actually being sold, and why certain products at the store seem to be called the same thing even if they are completely different. If language is failing you, or the quesadilla lady is never there whenever you have a hankering, then here are a few tips:

  1. Quesadillas, tamales, and gorditas: Since these are all considered breakfast foods, you won’t find them after 11am or noon. Arrive later than that and you’ll discover that your favorite vendor is scraping off his/her grill and packing up the gas tank. Tamales are available as early as 4am outside the clubs in Cholula, or 7am in most areas, while quesadillas and gorditas pop up around 9am-ish.

Side Note: Your quesadilla will not necessarily come with cheese. The word itself refers to a folded tortilla with some sort of filling. See this discussion from the magazine Chilango.

A torta de tamal, or tamale in a sandwich. Only available until roughly 11am!

A torta de tamal, or tamale in a sandwich. Only available until roughly 11am!

2. Halls: “Why do people here always have sore throats? They eat Halls like there’s no tomorrow!,” you might be thinking. Or, as my mom said when I offered her one, “No, thanks, I’m fine. Is your throat hurting?” Actually, Halls are used as breath mints in Mexico, and you’ll find them in every flavor you can think of. I even once found limited-edition “Paloma” (tequila with grapefruit soda) flavor.

Limited Beer and Lime Flavor. I told you there are some weird flavors! (From be-side.blogspot.com)

Limited Edition Beer and Lime Flavor. I told you there are some weird flavors! (From be-side.blogspot.com)

3. Jamón: Why, you wonder, does “jamón de pavo” exist? How can a lunchmeat be turkey and ham at the same time? The thing is, “jamón,” which you probably learned as “ham,” is just the generic word for “lunchmeat.” So you  can buy “turkey ham,” “turkey breast ham,” “pork ham,” and so on.

A big block of good ole

A big block of good ole “turkey ham.”

4. Carne: Speaking of meat, “carne” is another word you should know how to use. It does refer to meat in general, and you can request “carne de puerco” (pork), “carne de res” (beef), etc. However, most people use it only for red meats. If you’re a vegetarian but all you tell someone is that you don’t eat “carne,” then you’ll be served a healthy portion of chicken!

5. Calabaza vs. Calabacita: “Squash” and “little squash” are not quite what they seem. “Calabaza” refers to large squashes in general, sometimes pumpkin, while “calabacita” is actually “zucchini.”

Calabacitas.

Calabacitas.

Calabaza.

Calabaza.

6. Galletas saladas y dulces: Yes, “galletas” refers to both cookies and crackers. If you’re looking for some Ritz, get “galletas saladas,” and if you want Chips Ahoy, then ask for just “galletas.”

Galletas Saladas. This is like the Mexican version of Ritz (which is also sold here).

Galletas Saladas. This is like the Mexican version of Ritz (which is also sold here).

I hope that helps to clear up some of your confusion about the food here!


Cecina (salted meat) and longaniza (sausage) at a fair-- with salsa and toppings at hand, of course.

All the makings of a cecina taco: tortillas, cecina (salted meat), longaniza (sausage), salsa, avocado, onions, radishes, and cheese.

I don’t know the answer, but Buzzfeed has prepared a handy quiz (“¿Puedes adivinar qué taco es con sólo verlo?”) about whether or not you can identify twelve types of tacos in Mexico.

I got two wrong answers, one because I identified the meat incorrectly and one because the name, “taco acorazado,” isn’t used here in Puebla. Street food names vary quite a bit from state to state and even town to town.


While most people were out of town at the beach, or downtown at the festivities, I spent the whole weekend relaxing. I took the dogs to La Malinche, I went for a couple bike rides, and I ate traditional food. A great long weekend, if you ask me!

Another side trail on La Malinche.

Another side trail on La Malinche.

A "chancla," which is a white bread roll filled with meat (chicken in this case) and served covered in spicy meat sauce, lettuce, avocado, and onion.

A “chancla,” which is a white bread roll filled with meat (chicken in this case) and served covered in spicy meat sauce, lettuce, avocado, and onion.


The beer we bought at Puebla's beer festival. All of the beers were local except for a few from other states. The beers, from left to right, are from Baja California Sur, Mexico City, and Puebla (the last two).

The beer we bought at Puebla’s beer festival. All of the beers were local except for a few from other states. The beers, from left to right, are from Baja California Sur, Mexico City (middle), and Puebla (the last two).

Summer fruit: Prickly pear fruit (tunas), lychees (lichis), and peaches (duraznos).

Summer fruit: Prickly pear fruit (tunas), lychees (lichis), and peaches (duraznos).

Fried grasshoppers (chapulines). They're delicious on their own or in quesadillas.

Fried grasshoppers (chapulines). They’re delicious on their own or in quesadillas.

Roasted elote, or corn on the cob with mayonnaise, cheese, and salsa. Usually elote is boiled, but the roasted kind is really tasty.

Roasted elote, or corn on the cob with mayonnaise, cheese, and salsa. Usually elote is boiled, but the roasted kind is really tasty.


1. Try the street food. Sure, everyone goes straight for the mole (that spicy chocolate sauce on chicken), and it’s certainly worth checking out. But a lot of people avoid the street food, which is actually incredible and shouldn’t be missed. I asked my boyfriend and my best friend what their favorite was, and all three of us came up with different options: tacos al pastor (pork roasted on a spit and served in little tortillas with pineapple, cilantro, and salsa), quesadillas con chorizo (a quesadilla the size of your forearm, stuffed with Oaxacan stringy cheese and bright red chorizo), and tlacoyos (triangles of tortilla dough filled with beans and covered in salsa and cheese). There are so many more options out there, so make sure you try at least one! (For best taste and hygiene, pick a place that has a lot of other people ordering food).

Cecina (salted meat) and longaniza (sausage) at a fair-- with salsa and toppings at hand, of course.

Cecina (salted meat) and longaniza (sausage) at a fair– with salsa, handmaid tortillas, and toppings, of course.

They really are the size of your arm. (Photo courtesy of Isaiah Cambron)

They really are the size of your forearm. (Photo courtesy of Isaiah Cambron)


Fried corn with mayonnaise, sour cream, lime, cheese, and three salsas, all on top of green chile-flavored Tostitos. Even my dog likes them!

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