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<< back to foods in Mexico

Torta de tamal

A torta de tamal from a street cart in Oaxaca.

What: This street-cart snack is a popular breakfast in both Mexico City and Oaxaca. A tamal (in Oaxaca, it’s typically Oaxaqueño style, with shredded chicken and mole negro) is served in a soft, slightly hollowed-out bolillo roll to create a simple, delicious tamal sandwich. (Of course, its deliciousness hinges on the quality of the tamal, but around here you won't be disappointed.) It’s carb overload, but so good you won’t care. Wash it down with more corn (atole) for good measure. And then take a long walk—you’ll need it!

Where: The tasty torta de tamal pictured here was found on the corner of 5 de Mayo and Morelos in Oaxaca, where a woman sets up a street cart most mornings. The roll was crispy on the outside, soft and chewy inside—an ideal vessel for a perfectly moist tamal. The cart also sells hot chocolate and various tasty atoles.

When: Mon-Sat, 7am-10:30pm (approx.)

Order: A torta de tamal (9p) with a hot chocolate or flavored atole, available here for just 6p. Repeat as necessary.

Good to know: In the same area around the same time, look for the vendors selling massive cups of freshly squeezed orange juice for 10p.

Alternatively: In D.F., keep an eye out in the early mornings for street-corner vendors in the early morning with big old metal pots (tamaleras) and a bag of bread.

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