Savoring the Flavors of New Mexico: Exploring Top 20 Dishes

 couple eating street tacos at outdoor mexican restaurant

Mexican cuisine is renowned for its bold and complex flavors that are a testament to the country's rich culinary history. From the use of fresh ingredients and bold spices to the fusion of indigenous and European influences, Mexican food is truly a feast for the senses.


One of the best things about Mexican cuisine is the incredible variety of dishes that are available. From street food favorites like tacos and quesadillas to traditional dishes like chiles rellenos and mole, there is something for every palate to enjoy. In this article, we've compiled a list of the top 20 new Mexican foods that you simply must try. Whether you're a fan of spicy and savory dishes or prefer something sweet and indulgent, we've got you covered. So get ready to tantalize your taste buds and discover some new favorites as we explore the diverse and delicious world of Mexican cuisine.


Top 20 Dishes To Try In New Mexico

#1. Chile en Nogada


Chiles en Nogada, a Mexican dish with fruits, spices and walnut sauce


If you're looking for a unique and flavorful dish, then you have to try Chile en Nogada. This dish is traditionally served in Mexico during the month of September and features a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with ground beef, fruits, and spices, and topped with a creamy walnut sauce and pomegranate seeds.

#2. Pozole

Pozole is a traditional soup that is commonly enjoyed in Mexico, especially during the colder months. It is a filling and warming dish that is made with large, tender pieces of hominy, which is a type of corn that has been dried and then soaked in an alkaline solution. The hominy is then simmered with meat, usually pork, and seasoned with a blend of spices, such as chili powder, cumin, and oregano. The result is a flavorful and savory broth that is both hearty and comforting. 


Pozole is typically served with a variety of toppings, including shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, chopped onions, and lime wedges, which add a fresh and zesty contrast to the rich soup.

#3. Tlayudas


Tlayuda with cheese, traditional Mexican food


Tlayudas are a unique and delicious type of Mexican pizza that is popular in Oaxaca. They are made with a large, thin, crispy tortilla that is typically topped with refried beans, cheese, and a variety of meats or vegetables. The toppings can vary depending on personal preference, but some common options include chorizo, avocado, salsa, and cilantro. 


Tlayudas are a perfect option for a quick and filling meal, and they can be enjoyed as a main dish or as an appetizer to share with friends.

#4. Churros

If you have a sweet tooth, then churros are a must-try dessert when exploring Mexican cuisine. These crispy and fluffy fried pastries are often served as street food and are coated in a generous amount of cinnamon sugar. They can be enjoyed plain or with a variety of dips, such as chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, or dulce de leche. Churros are a classic treat that is perfect for satisfying your cravings for something sweet and indulgent.

#5. Cochinita Pibil

Cochinita Pibil is a flavorful and aromatic dish that has its roots in ancient Mayan cuisine. The dish is prepared by marinating pork in achiote paste, which is made with annatto seeds, spices, vinegar, and sour orange juice. The marinated meat is then slow-cooked until it becomes tender and juicy, and is often served with pickled onions and habanero salsa.

#6. Chilaquiles


mexican dish chilaquiles with egg and chicken


Chilaquiles is a classic Mexican breakfast dish that consists of lightly fried tortilla chips that are simmered in a spicy tomato sauce. The tortilla chips are then topped with shredded chicken or scrambled eggs, and cheese, and garnished with cilantro and onions. This flavorful and satisfying dish is often served with a side of refried beans and sliced avocado, making for a hearty and filling meal. There are many variations of chilaquiles, with some recipes incorporating additional ingredients such as chorizo, salsa verde, or black beans. Some versions also use crispy tortilla strips instead of chips, adding a crunchy texture to the dish.


Chilaquiles are a popular breakfast food in Mexico, but can also be enjoyed at any time of the day. They are often served at brunch or as a late-night snack and can be found in many Mexican restaurants and street food stalls

#7. Tamales

Tamales are a popular Mexican dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. They are made by filling a mixture of corn masa dough with a variety of ingredients such as pork, chicken, beef, cheese, beans, or vegetables, and then wrapping them in corn husks. The filled corn husks are then steamed until the masa dough is cooked and has a fluffy texture.


Tamales are often served during special occasions or celebrations, such as Christmas, birthdays, or weddings. They are typically eaten as a main course and are often accompanied by a variety of sides such as salsa, guacamole, and rice. Tamales are versatile dishes that can be customized to suit a variety of tastes and preferences. In addition to traditional fillings, modern variations may include sweet tamales filled with fruit or chocolate, or vegetarian options filled with mushrooms or tofu.


Tamales are not only delicious, but they also have cultural significance in Mexican cuisine and are an important part of the country's culinary heritage.

#8. Sopes

Sopes are a popular Mexican dish that is similar to tostadas but has a thicker and more doughy base. They are made by shaping a thick, fried tortilla into a small, shallow bowl shape, which is then filled with refried beans, shredded meat, vegetables, or cheese, and topped with a variety of toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and salsa. 


Sopes can be made with a variety of ingredients, making them versatile and customizable dishes. They are typically eaten as a snack or appetizer, but can also be served as a main course. In addition to being popular street food, sopes are also a common dish served at Mexican celebrations and festivals.

#9. Enchiladas


Traditional Mexican dish enchiladas with meat, chili red sauce and cheese


Enchiladas are a popular and flavorful Mexican dish that is enjoyed all over the world. The dish is made by first softening corn tortillas in hot oil and then filling them with shredded meat, cheese, or beans. The filled tortillas are then rolled up and placed in a baking dish. A spicy tomato sauce is then poured over the enchiladas and they are topped with cheese and sliced onions. The dish is then baked until the cheese is melted and bubbly.


Enchiladas can be made with a variety of fillings and sauces, and they are often served with rice, refried beans, and guacamole. In some regions of Mexico, the dish is topped with a fried egg, and it is also common to garnish the dish with fresh herbs, such as cilantro. Enchiladas can be customized to suit a range of tastes and dietary needs, making them a versatile and delicious choice for any meal.

#10. Tostadas

Tostadas are a popular Mexican dish that consists of a crispy, fried tortilla that is topped with a layer of refried beans, lettuce, cheese, and your choice of meat or vegetables. The tortilla is typically made from corn or flour and is fried until it is crispy and golden brown. The toppings are then added in layers, starting with the refried beans, followed by shredded lettuce, crumbled cheese, and your choice of meat or vegetables.


Tostadas can be made with a variety of different toppings, including chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or fish, and can be garnished with salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or other condiments. They are often served as an appetizer or as a light meal and are a popular dish at Mexican restaurants and street food vendors. Tostadas are also easy to make at home and can be customized to suit your tastes and preferences.

#11. Flautas

Flautas are a popular Mexican dish that consists of small, rolled-up tortillas filled with meat or cheese and then fried until crispy. The name "flauta" means "flute" in Spanish, and it refers to the shape of the rolled-up tortilla.


Flautas are typically made using flour tortillas, although corn tortillas can also be used. They are often served with guacamole, sour cream, and salsa for dipping. Flautas can be filled with a variety of ingredients, such as shredded chicken, beef, pork, or cheese, and they are a delicious and satisfying dish that is perfect for a quick and easy meal.

#12. Quesadillas

Quesadillas are a classic Mexican dish that is loved by people all over the world. They consist of a tortilla that is filled with cheese and then grilled until crispy. Quesadillas can be made with either flour or corn tortillas, and they can be filled with a variety of ingredients, such as chicken, beef, vegetables, or beans. 

Quesadillas are often served with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa for dipping, and they are a great option for a quick and easy meal or snack.

#13. Camarones al Mojo de Ajo

Camarones al Mojo de Ajo is a delicious Mexican dish that consists of shrimp that has been cooked in a garlic and butter sauce. The name "mojo de ajo" means "garlic sauce" in Spanish, and it refers to the rich and flavorful sauce that the shrimp is cooked in. Camarones al Mojo de Ajo is typically served with rice and beans, and it is a popular dish in coastal regions of Mexico where fresh seafood is readily available. This dish is simple yet flavorful, and it is a great option for a special occasion or a romantic dinner.

#14. Gorditas


 Guacamole,Mexican street food


Gorditas are a popular type of Mexican street food that is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. This dish consists of a thick, fried tortilla that is filled with a variety of delicious ingredients such as meat, cheese, or beans.


The dough for gorditas is made using masa, which is a type of corn flour that is used in many Mexican dishes. The masa is mixed with water and kneaded into a soft dough that is then shaped into small balls. These balls are then flattened into discs and fried in hot oil until they are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Once the gordita shells are cooked, they are ready to be filled with a variety of delicious ingredients. Popular fillings for gorditas include grilled steak, shredded chicken, refried beans, cheese, and avocado. Some gorditas are also topped with lettuce, tomato, salsa, and sour cream for added flavor and texture.


Gorditas are often sold by street vendors or at food markets in Mexico and are a popular snack or light meal option. They are typically served hot and can be eaten on the go, making them a convenient and tasty option for busy people who are on the move.

#15. Carne Asada

Carne asada is a popular dish in Mexican cuisine that translates to "grilled meat." It is made with thinly sliced beef, typically flank or skirt steak, that has been marinated in a blend of citrus juices, garlic, and spices before being grilled over high heat.


Carne asada can be served on its own, as a taco or burrito filling, or as the centerpiece of a larger meal. It is often accompanied by traditional Mexican sides such as rice, beans, guacamole, and pico de gallo. 


In the United States, carne asada has become a popular dish in Mexican-American cuisine and can be found at many taquerias and Mexican restaurants. It is also a favorite for backyard barbecues and outdoor gatherings, where the smoky aroma of grilling meat adds to the festive atmosphere.

#16. Mole

Mole is a complex and flavorful sauce that is an integral part of Mexican cuisine. Its origins can be traced back to pre-Columbian times, and it has since become a symbol of Mexican cultural identity. Mole comes in many different variations, with each region of Mexico having its own unique recipe.


The key ingredient in a mole is the chile pepper, which gives the sauce its characteristic heat and depth of flavor. Other ingredients include spices such as cinnamon and cumin, nuts like almonds and peanuts, and a small amount of chocolate, which adds richness and depth to the sauce. Making mole is a labor-intensive process that involves toasting and grinding the chiles and other ingredients, then simmering them together for hours to create a complex and flavorful sauce. Mole is typically served over chicken or pork and can be accompanied by rice, beans, and tortillas.

#17. Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros is another classic dish that is popular for breakfast in Mexico and beyond. It consists of fried eggs served on a bed of crispy tortillas, topped with spicy tomato-based salsa. This dish is hearty and flavorful and can be customized with additional toppings such as avocado, cheese, or beans.

#18. Ceviche

Ceviche is a refreshing seafood dish that is popular in coastal regions of Mexico. It is made with raw fish or shrimp that has been marinated in lime juice, which "cooks" the fish without heat. Other ingredients such as cilantro, onions, and chili peppers are added to the mix, creating a bright and zesty flavor that is perfect for a hot summer day.

#19. Chiles Rellenos

Chiles Rellenos is a dish that features roasted poblano peppers that have been stuffed with cheese or meat, then coated in egg batter and fried until crispy. This dish is often served with a tomato-based sauce or salsa and can be a great vegetarian option for those looking to explore Mexican cuisine.

#20. Guacamole


Delicious bowl of traditional Mexican nachos and guacamole with chillies, lime, tomatoes


guacamole is a beloved dip that is perfect for sharing with friends and family. It is made with ripe avocados that have been mashed together with lime juice, cilantro, onions, and tomatoes. The resulting dip is creamy and flavorful, with a tangy and slightly spicy kick that is sure to please any palate. Guacamole is typically served with tortilla chips or raw vegetables, and can also be used as a topping for tacos, burritos, or other Mexican dishes.



In conclusion, Mexican cuisine is full of delicious and satisfying dishes that are sure to please any palate. Whether you're in the mood for something spicy, sweet, or savory, there is no shortage of options to choose from. By trying out these 20 new Mexican foods, you'll be able to expand your culinary horizons and discover all the amazing flavors that Mexican cuisine has to offer.


So the next time you're in the mood for some delicious and authentic Mexican food, be sure to give these dishes a try. With their bold flavors, unique ingredients, and rich history, they are sure to become some of your new favorites. Visit Leisure for more information on travel, news, and more related to New Mexico.




What is traditional New Mexican food?

Traditional New Mexican food is a unique blend of Native American, Spanish, and Mexican cuisine that has developed over centuries in the state of New Mexico. Some signature dishes include green chile stew, enchiladas, tamales, and sopapillas.


What are the differences between Mexican and New Mexican food?

Mexican food tends to be spicier and uses more herbs, while New Mexican food uses more chili peppers and has a distinct flavor due to the use of local ingredients like blue corn and Hatch green chiles. New Mexican cuisine also has a strong influence on Native American and Spanish cooking.


What are some famous New Mexican dishes?

Some famous New Mexican dishes include green chile stew, enchiladas, posole, carne adovada, sopapillas, and biscochitos.


What is the most popular food in Mexico?

The most popular food in Mexico is likely tacos, which come in a variety of fillings such as grilled beef, chicken, pork, or fish, and are often topped with onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.


Which five are traditional Mexican dishes?

Five traditional Mexican dishes include:

Tacos al pastor - marinated pork served in a soft corn tortilla with pineapple and onions

Chiles rellenos - roasted poblano peppers stuffed with cheese or meat and coated in egg batter

Enchiladas - corn tortillas filled with meat, cheese, or beans and topped with a chili sauce

Pozole - a hearty soup made with hominy, meat, and spices

Tamales - steamed corn masa dough filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables and wrapped in a corn husk.

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