My dear friend Stacey Tokunaga moved down to Mexico City just over 8 years ago, and I couldn’t wait to get down and visit her. As things worked out, after 3 or 4 trips down to the Mexican capital I also fell in love with the place and followed in Stacey’s footsteps in moving down here. This is a city which really combines modern and traditional culture, and you can enjoy both city life and authentic Mexican experiences during your time here. If you are looking for the authentic Mexican experience then here is what you need to do when you are in Mexico City.
To say that tacos are life would be a massive understatement and you will see in just a few days here just how essential tacos really are to the Mexican culture. On almost every street corner of the city you’ll find vendors who sell an array of different types of tacos, not to mention that almost every restaurant will have a taco option. When finding good tacos in the street, aim for a cart with many people around it, this is a great indicator of the quality of their tacos.
Go To Teotihuacan
Mexico has rich history of ancient civilizations who once lived on these lands, principally the Aztecs and the Mayans. The result is that throughout the country there are many archaeological sites which have been well preserved and give an insight into the past of the country. One of the most impressive of these ruins is the ancient city of Teotihuacan which is juts over an hour outside Mexico City. This sprawling city was home to both the Aztecs and the Mayans before them, and it features two key pyramids and many plazas and living quarters which have been perfectly preserved.
Listen to Mariachis
If you go to Plaza Garibaldi in the Zocalo area of Mexico City you will see many Mariachi groups waiting to play to those who want to hear a song. There is nothing more Mexican than Mariachi music and for the authentic Mexican experience you should head to Garibaldi and pay for a group to play you a couple of songs. Great music played by great musicians.
Visit a Cantina
Cantinas were traditionally working class watering holes where the locals could hear great music and enjoy some food and drink. These days these bars are accessible to everyone and they provide you with the real Mexican experience. Generally what happens is that you pay for your drinks and the food is free, naturally this will mean you pay a slightly higher price for your drinks. The best thing to do here is to go in a small group, but a bottle of rum or whisky for the table and then enjoy as many snacks as you can handle. Traditional music is played in these places and they are a real hotbed of activity where you can experience some real Mexican culture.