When visiting Mexico or craving Mexican snacks, it can be hard to know which tasty treats to choose from the wide array of options. With so many delicious Mexican snacks available, how do you decide what to buy? Here are some quick answers to common questions about the best and most authentic Mexican snacks to purchase.
What are some classic Mexican snack foods?
Some of the most classic and beloved Mexican snack foods include:
- Chips and salsa – Corn tortilla chips served with salsa come in many flavors like tomatillo, avocado, mango, and more.
- Tamales – Savory masa dough with fillings like cheese, chicken, pork, or chili peppers, wrapped and steamed in corn husks or banana leaves.
- Tacos – Small corn or flour tortillas filled with meats, cheese, veggies, and other ingredients, perfect for snacking.
- Tostadas – Flat, crispy fried tortillas topped with refried beans, lettuce, cheese, meat, and more.
- Quesadillas – Grilled tortillas filled with cheese and other ingredients like meats, veggies, and peppers.
- Elote – Grilled corn on the cob slathered in cream, cheese, chili powder and lime.
- Churros – Fried dough pastry sticks rolled in cinnamon and sugar.
What traditional Mexican candy and sweets make good snacks?
Some classic Mexican candy and sweet snacks include:
- Cajeta – Thick, creamy dulce de leche caramel sauce and spread.
- Arroz con leche – Sweet rice pudding made with cinnamon.
- Cocada – Coconut candy made from caramelized coconut, milk, and sugar.
- Jamoncillo – Milk fudge with anise and citrus flavors.
- Obleas – Thin sweet wafers sandwiching cajeta and other fillings.
- Turrón – Nougat made with nuts, honey, sugar, egg whites, and sometimes chocolate or fruit.
- Ate – Small, colorful, fruit-flavored marzipan bars.
- Palanquetas – Milks candies in flavors like coconut, pecan, or amaranth.
What spicy, crunchy snack foods are popular in Mexico?
Some of the spiciest, crunchiest Mexican snack foods include:
- Chicharrones – Crispy fried pork rind or skin snacks.
- Tostilocos – Tortilla chips topped with cueritos, jicama, cucumber, lime juice, hot sauce, and seasonings.
- Botanas – Bar snacks like spicy peanuts, habanero-flavored almonds and pistachios.
- Salcedo – Spicy dried salted plums, mango, and chili pepper rings.
- Chapulines – Roasted grasshoppers with chili powder and lime.
- Cueritos – Marinated pork rind or skin chips.
- Papas locas – Crazy potatoes – Hot, crunchy potato sticks or chips flavored with chili powder.
What traditional baked goods and bread make good portable Mexican snacks?
Some of the best traditional Mexican bakery items and breads for snacking on the go include:
- Conchas – Sweet bread rolls topped with a signature shell-shaped ‘concha’ topping.
- Marranitos – Sweet bread rolls shaped and decorated like miniature pigs.
- Piedras – Light, hollow, popcorn-textured bread rolls.
- Donas – Glazed and sprinkled Mexican doughnuts in flavors like chocolate and cinnamon-sugar.
- Orejas – Crispy fried pastry with a shape like an ear that’s dusted in sugar.
- Empanadas – Hand pies filled with sweet or savory fillings like fruit, custard, meat, cheese or beans.
- Gorditas – Thick, baked corn pockets stuffed with cheese, meat, beans, or other fillings.
What Mexican candies and snacks make good gifts or souvenirs?
Some iconic Mexican candies and snacks that make excellent edible gifts and souvenirs include:
- Mazapan – Marzipan and peanut candies shaped into fun designs.
- Amaranto alebrijes – Whimsical marzipan creatures made with amaranth.
- Tunas – Prickly pear or cactus fruit candies.
- Mango chilimos – Mango lollipops rolled in chili powder.
- Duvalin – Colorful, two-toned ice cream popsicles.
- Alegrías – Sweet puffed amaranth mixed with honey, sesame seeds, and peanuts.
- Cocadas – Edible coconut candy that keeps well.
- Caballitos – Miniature chocolate horses.
What traditional salsas and hot sauces are delicious Mexican food gifts?
Some of the best authentic Mexican salsas and hot sauces to give as edible souvenirs include:
- Salsa verde or roja – Green or red tomatillo and chili pepper salsas.
- Mango habanero salsa – Sweet, hot mango and habanero chile salsa.
- Chipotle salsa – Smoked jalapeño salsa.
- Salsa casera – Chunky homemade-style tomato salsa.
- Chamoy hot sauce – A sweet, sour, and spicy sauce made from chile, fruit, and spices.
- Chile de arbol hot sauce – Very spicy sauce from the petite arbol chiles.
- Valentina and Cholula hot sauces – Famous Mexican hot sauce brands.
What are some savory, filling snack foods that are popular street foods in Mexico?
Some hearty, savory Mexican street food snacks include:
- Elote – Grilled corn with toppings like crema, cheese, and chili powder.
- Esquites – Cups of fresh corn kernels tossed in mayo, lime, chili powder and cotija cheese.
- Garnachas – Thick, soft corn tortillas topped with meat, onions, cilantro and hot sauce.
- Sopes and tlacoyos – Thick, small, fried corn masa cakes topped with beans, meat, lettuce, cheese and crema.
- Tacos dorados – Fried rolled tacos filled with chicken or beef and other taco fillings.
- Torta ahogadas – Birote salted rolls soaked in a spicy arbol chile sauce and filled with pork carnitas.
- Huaraches – Oblong fried masa base topped like pizza with meat, beans, cheese, lettuce, and crema.
Which chili-seasoned dried fruits, vegetables, and nuts make for good Mexican snacks?
Some popular chili-spiced dried fruits, veggies, and nuts in Mexican snack cuisine include:
- Mangos con chili – Sweet mango slices dusted with chili powder.
- Pepitas – Roasted pumpkin seeds seasoned with chili flavors.
- Almendras con chili – Chili powder coated almonds.
- Chile y limón peanuts – Peanuts tossed in lime and chili powder.
- Japanese peanuts – Peanuts coated in a crunchy cinnamon chili glaze.
- Sal de gusano – Chili powder and dried worm-salted pumpkin seeds.
- Estrellas de chile – Chili-seasoned star-shaped potato chips.
What chocolate-based Mexican candies and snacks should you try?
Some of the best chocolatey Mexican confections include:
- Chocolate azteca – Bold, spicy dark chocolate with chilies, cinnamon, almonds and vanilla.
- Abuelita chocolate tablets – Rich chocolate tablets for making Mexican hot chocolate.
- Chocolate Fantasia – Whimsical, decorated chocolates in fun shapes like cacti.
- Chocolate cajeta – Chocolate candy made with the rich dulce de leche caramel cajeta.
- Chocotorros – Churro-shaped chocolate filled puff pastries.
- Chocolate Tacos – Crunchy waffle or cone “taco shells” filled with nutella or cajeta.
What Mexican candies have unique and interesting flavors?
Some uniquely flavored Mexican candies to try include:
- Obleas – Sweet wafer sheets sandwiching flavors like cajeta, coconut, peppermint, or berry jam.
- Tunas – Crunchy, sweet dried cactus fruit candy.
- Lucas Mango – Mango flavored powdery candy with chile and salt.
- Pulparindo – Sweet, sour tamarind pulp candy.
- Duvalin – Colorful two-toned popsicles in unique flavors like cucumber-chamoy and pineapple-chili.
- Caballitos – Marzipan horse-shaped candies in tropical fruit flavors like guava, pineapple, and coconut.
- Coyote – Sour gummy candies in flavors like mango, tamarind, and lime.
What regions of Mexico produce the best snacks?
Some top regions in Mexico for iconic snack foods include:
- Mexico City – Churros, donas, obleas, sweet breads, gorditas.
- Puebla – Mole sauce, pipian sauce, camotes, cemita sandwiches.
- Jalisco – Tejuino corn drink, shrimp ceviche tostadas, birria.
- Oaxaca – Chapulines, Oaxacan-style chocolate, tlayudas, memelitas.
- Veracruz – Fish and shrimp cocktails, tortas de papa con chorizo, toritos.
- Yucatan – Coconut candy, sopa de lima, papadzules, panuchos.
- Baja California – Fish tacos, ceviche, dates with bacon.
Every Mexican region has its own iconic, must-try snacks that give you a true taste of the cuisine.
What are some vegetarian-friendly snack options?
Some tasty meatless Mexican snack options include:
- Guacamole and chips
- Cheese quesadillas
- Esquites – Corn cups
- Nopales – Grilled cactus
- Empanadas de platano – Fried banana turnovers
- Chiles rellenos – Roasted, stuffed peppers
- Elote – Grilled corn on the cob
- Arroz con leche – Sweet rice pudding
- Platanos con crema – Bananas with cream and cinnamon
- Churros – Cinnamon-sugar dough sticks
What are some healthy Mexican snack options?
Some of the healthier traditional Mexican snack ideas include:
- Jicama sticks
- Cucumber rounds with lime and chili powder
- Guacamole with veggie slices
- Quesadillas on whole grain tortillas
- Baked corn chips with salsa
- Roasted pepitas and chickpeas
- Mango with chili powder
- Oatmeal cookies with almonds and cranberries
- Pinole powder shakes
- Cantaloupe agua fresca
What are the best Mexican snacks for kids and families?
Great Mexican snack options for kids include:
- Fresh mango slices
- Quesadillas cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters
- Bean and cheese dip with tortilla chips
- Shredded chicken taquitos
- Mexican rice pudding – Arroz con leche
- Fruit paletas – popsicles
- Cinnamon sugar buñuelos – fritters
- Hot chocolate with cinnamon
- Sweet corn tamalitos – mini tamales
What snacks should you avoid or be cautious of when traveling in Mexico?
Some snacks to be cautious of while traveling in Mexico include:
- Raw or undercooked meat
- Uncooked vegetables and garnishes
- Unpasteurized cheese and dairy products
- Tap water and ice cubes
- Large buffets with food sitting out
- Expired packaged snacks
- Foods sold by unlicensed street vendors
- Anything that appears dirty, spoiled or contaminated
When in doubt, stick to fresh fruits you peel yourself, bottled drinks and snacks from reputable vendors.
With its incredible diversity of flavors and ingredients, Mexican snack cuisine offers something for everyone. Iconic treats like spicy salsas and churros are just the start of the many tasty portable bites you can enjoy from Mexico. Trying regional specialties and unique sweets provides a delicious way to explore the country. Just be thoughtful of any dietary restrictions, freshness and hygiene when choosing snacks on your travels. With so many options, from hearty street foods to sweet candies, you’re sure to find new favorite bites on your snacking adventures in Mexico.