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Is it safe to eat on the street in Mexico City?

Quesadillas street food in mexico city lesley tellez

Many U.S. travelers in Mexico hold fast to a few overblown myths about culinary life here: Don't trust the water, ever, and avoid those tempting street tacos! Blogger Lesley Tellez suggests a more liberating approach.

"It's a myth that eating any street food in Mexico City will make you sick," writes Tellez, a former Dallas Morning News reporter who now lives in the Mexican capital. At her blog, the Mija Chronicles, Tellez lists a few tips on how to pick and navigate among this city's countless stands of sizzling tacos, fragrant quesadillas and steaming tamales:

1. Pick a street food stand that looks crowded.

2. Glance around and see if the stand looks clean.

3. Who takes the money?

4. The food must be freshly prepared.

5. Feel free to make small talk while you eat, if you speak Spanish.

6. Go during peak hours.

For the details, read the whole post here. Reader comments are also illuminating. One recommends: "Open containers of help-yourself salsa or lime wedges?! I prefer that a place serve its salsas in re-purposed bottles to squirt or pour. Lime wedges should just be handed out."

The Mija Chronicles is part of an active and flourishing food-blogger community in this foodie's dream of a city. La Plaza sometimes peeks into Good Food in Mexico City by Nicholas Gilman, and the blog by food historian Rachel Laudan, who posted earlier this year, "Mexican Potatoes. Why Are They So Lousy?"

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

Photo: A woman prepares quesadilla at a street stand in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City. Credit: Lesley Tellez / The Mija Chronicles

Comments () | Archives (3)

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Anything right on the Zocalo is fine! I don't know why people always snob street food cuz I have never once been sick from anything i've eaten on the street in any part of Mexico, esquites, tacos, cemitas, memelas. I figure, if you can stand up to a bacon dog in LA you should be fine anywhere.

I suffered from diverticulitis in united states,every 2 months,now that I reside in mexico city,I have not had one attack of diverticulitis,its been 8 months now...

I'll admit, some tlacoyos have engaged in warfare in my belly. But it's always worth it. I do have to give a nod to a torta spot on Rio Gualdaquivir, corner with Rio Lerma, near the Angel. The pierna is divine. Don't be afraid!


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