Journey to the heartland of Mexico to uncover some of its most deeply rooted culinary traditions.
While Mexico has always been a favorite destination for soaking up the rays and relaxing on the sand, there’s a whole lot more to experience apart from its beaches. The country is home to a wide variety of very distinct regional and local gastronomic specialties drawing on a centuries-old culinary tradition. An in-depth exploration will expand what you currently know about Mexican food and will provide you with an entirely new concept of what a taco can be.
It’s difficult to visit Mexico and not notice the consistent quality of food surrounding you. Perhaps the secret is a complete appreciation for and understanding of the native ingredients’ potential and versatility, exemplified in the tortillas and moles. Whatever it may be, one can find a variety of quality dining options ranging from modern, fine-dining restaurants like Enrique Olvera’s Pujol, to street food and market stalls where it’s difficult to choose a favorite vendor. Mexico is a must-visit for any adventurous gourmand and a trip with Sapore is the perfect opportunity to immerse oneself in the traditional and modern culinary culture.
Day 1 — Arrival
Arrival in Mexico City. Private transfer to the hotel for 3 nights. Welcome Mexican wine tasting.
Day 2 — Mexico City
Morning cultural touring. Cantina and pulqueria lunch experience. Evening street food and craft beer tour.
Day 3 — Mexico City
Morning market tour. Afternoon cooking class. Dinner at one of Mexico City’s top restaurants.
Day 4 — Mexico City to Puebla
Morning private transfer to Puebla. Check in to your hotel for 2 nights. Afternoon city tour. Evening street food experience.
Day 5 — Puebla
Morning visit to Atlixco and San Baltazar Atlimeyaya. Lunch at a local market. Evening at leisure.
Day 6 — Puebla to Oaxaca
Morning private transfer to Oaxaca. En route, touring of Tehuacan. Evening walking tour in Oaxaca.
Day 7 — Oaxaca
Morning touring of archaeological sites. Lunch with a local Zapotec family. Afternoon mezcal experience. Dinner at one of Oaxaca’s top restaurants.
Day 8 — Oaxaca
Morning private transfer and touring of Monte Alban. Afternoon lunch barbacoa tasting. Evening at leisure.
Day 9 — Departure
Private transfer to Oaxaca airport for departure flight.
Pulqueria & Cantina Experience
Take a break from exploring Mexico City’s historic center at a nearby pulqueria, a traditional lunchtime watering hole. Here you can sample various flavors of pulque, a milky, tart, low-alcohol beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant, a process dating back to pre-Hispanic times. You’ll no doubt have worked up an appetite by now, so we suggest continuing the party at one of the DF’s cantinas, often serving up free, small plates of humble foods like fried pork chunks, as long as you continue drinking!
Market Visit & Cooking Class
No trip to Mexico is complete without a visit to one of its lively markets. Start the morning off with a fresh pastry and cinnamon-infused coffee at one of our favorites, Mercado Medellin, a neighborhood institution in Colonia Roma. After stocking up on some ingredients, take a short walk through the vibrant neighborhood to your chef-guide’s completely restored belle-époque home where you will spend the rest of the afternoon fixing up traditional dishes and enjoying the fruits of your labor in the home’s tranquil garden.
Street Food Experience
Sizzling tortillas and frying pork are just a few of the aromas that you will come to associate with a walk down Oaxaca’s streets, where in between the city’s historical sites, you’re bound to happen upon some unforgettable cheap eats. Follow your local guide through this street food paradise, and throw down some tacos al pastor, a freshly fried tlacoyo, or some crispy chicarron, and wash it down with a cold fruit juice or beer.
Latin America’s Top Restaurants
Although it would be easy to spend your time (and money!) sampling the seemingly endless curbside culinary options, you would be missing out by not experiencing some of the contemporary, fine-dining options on a visit to Mexico’s heartland. Check out the always-evolving culinary scene and experience some of the high-end, refined takes on Mexican classics like Pujol’s mole madre in DF, or the sopa de fideos at Oaxaca’s Pitiona.
Traditional Zapotec Meal
About 25 kilometers outside of Oaxaca nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Juarez Mountains is the small village of Teotitlan del Valle. Dating back to the early 1400’s, the town is considered to be one of the original Zapotec settlements and continues to maintain its traditional culture to this day. Visit the town market with your host to gather ingredients for lunch before arriving to her home to spend time with the family, who in addition to cooking, are also skilled in weaving and candle making. Lunch will be cooked over their open-fire stove and comal, a flat griddle used for frying tortillas, and the delicious moles, tamales, and maybe even some chapulines (grasshoppers!) will make for an unforgettable meal.
“Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, también.” Journey through the valley of Oaxaca to two different pueblos famous for their production of premium mezcal in simple yet authentic distilleries. Far off the typical tourist track, these towns have been making this smoky spirit for generations, some still even utilizing the pre-Columbian clay stills during the distillation. Learn about the process, and how different types of wild and cultivated agave create distinct flavor profiles. And best of all, taste straight from the source, sampling different styles including tobala, espadin, cuish, pechuga, and more.
This sprawling capital city can at times feel intimidating, but its open-air markets, sidewalk taco stands, and high-end dining all make DF easily one of the finest food cities in the Americas.