What Breakfast is like in Mexico

breakfast Mexico

What breakfast is like in Mexico

If you have been curious as to what people in Mexico eat for breakfast or are going to Mexico on vacation, we will give you a good description here. Mexico is not known for its breakfast offerings as much as other countries, but there are some great options to try. Mexico may not offer “typical” breakfast items found in other places, but we are sure you will not miss them with the variety of food available in Mexico. 

What do Mexicans eat for breakfast?

What you eat for breakfast in Mexico depends a little on what part of the country you are in and your economic status. Mexico is a very large country with regional traditions and different ingredients available. However, there are a lot of similarities of what people eat for breakfast. 

In general, Mexicans eat very small breakfast compared to many places in the world. Part of this is tradition and the other part is economics. Since many families cannot spend a lot for each meal, breakfast often consists of a small bite and coffee. These small bites might be some bread from the local bakery or tacos, panuchos or salbutes. What are panuchos and salbutes you ask? Panuchos and Salbutes are a similar street food made from a fried corn tortilla. Panuchos have a bean spread and are often topped with shredded chichen or hard-boiled eggs with salsa on the side. Salbutes have different combinations of shredded chicken or hardboiled egg with salsa, shredded cabbage, marinated onions and perhaps a cream dressing. 

Even though the above is what many people eat for breakfast in Mexico, you will not find most restaurants and hotels serving this to guests. People realize that tourists have different taste and hotels and restaurants want to give more offerings to guests. Below we will expand on what things you can find for breakfast and things you should be sure to try. 

breakfast Mexico
This is what a panucho is. Many people in Mexico buy these from street carts to start their day.

What are typical Mexican breakfast dishes?

Drinks for breakfast in Mexico

Surely coffee comes to mind for many when they want a beverage to go with breakfast. If you love coffee, you are in luck because some of the best coffee in the world is grown in Mexico. The states of Oaxaca, Veracruz, and Chiapas are some of the biggest producers. You might not know these states, but rather the names from the side of coffee bags. Good hotels say what coffee they serve because it is a statement of pride and honor to serve good Mexican coffee. 

Most all-inclusive large hotels will not serve gourmet coffee, but you can enjoy a good cup in many smaller mid to upper-level hotels. There is even a special type of coffee served in Mexico. It is called cafĂ© de olla. This literally means coffee of the pot. It is made with coffee, a brown sugar and spices like cinnamon. It is a fragrant sweet coffee that goes great with a piece of sweet bread in the morning. 

Tea in Mexico is not that often drank as well as found to be gourmet quality. Most of the time you will be offered a selection of teas from the grocery store. Mexico is not known, and for good reason, to be a tea drinking nation. 

The really bright spot for breakfast beverages is the juices! Mexico has a lot of fresh fruit, and these are made into juice or sometimes a smoothie called a “licuado“. Since Mexico is a large country with a warm climate, you can find bananas, oranges, grapefruit, papaya, mamay, pineapple, Mangos, guava, and many more tropical fruits. Be sure to have some fresh juice in Mexico with your breakfast. 

mexico breakfast
Fresh fruit is a great find on many breakfast tables in Mexico. Be sure to try some local tropical fruit. 

Typical food found on breakfast menus

Since Mexico is a neighbor or the Unites States, it has adopted or added on some of the breakfast customs. You will find many common breakfast foods on the menu but here are some more unique to Mexico. 

  • Chilaquiles- this dish consists of fried tortilla chips soaked in a red or green salsa. Sometimes these can be served with cheese, chicken or egg. 
  • Eggs with chaya- in all forms of eggs, chaya can be added. This is a green spinach like super food that grows on bushes. It is common in the Yucatan region. Sometimes at all-inclusive buffets it will be labeled as spinach. Chaya does not have a strong taste, but it is full of vitamins. 
  • Nopal cactus- these hardy cacti can be cut up and added to egg dishes or grilled with cheese on top. Nopal can get a little slimy when cooked but and it is not as popular a taste. 
  • Refried beans. These are often a side dish on the plate. 
  • Fresh fruit- this is a big thing you can find everywhere in Mexico for breakfast. Enjoy tropical fruits like papaya, mangos, guava, and dragon fruit.  

Interesting note: the concept of brunch in Mexico is not common nor understood well. Often only in larger cities with international visitors you will find brunch being offered. 

Other related articles to consider

The Best Breakfast Restaurants in Playa Del Carmen Guide

All the best brunch places in Playa Del Carmen

Great coffee shops in Playa Del Carmen

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  1. I’m mexican, and there are a bunch of things here that I’ve never heard of, like panuchos and Salbutes? What are those? ?

    Chilaquiles are indeed very Mexican, and every family has them for breakfast

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