Javier Burillo – Important Rules At The Taco Stand


In life there are certain unwritten rules which we all stick to, and the taco stands in Mexico have their own set which you need bear in mind when you visit. Tacos are found all over Mexico and whilst you can buy them in restaurants, there is no doubt that the very best are found on the streets. When you get to a taco stand it may be busy and that means that there will be plenty of eyes on you. Owing to this, it is important that you have a grasp of these unwritten rules in order to successful get your tacos, and enjoy them in the right way.

Here are a few examples of the rules of the taco stand.

No Queue

At first it may appear that there is a queue at the stand, yet that is something which isn’t really done here. In fact if you do stand patiently and wait your turn, it is likely that you are going to be waiting for some time before anyone takes your order. There is very much an arrive and shout your order system here, and as chaotic as it may sound, it does actually work. As soon as you know what you want, try to make eye contact with the staff and then shout out your order.

Salsa Changes

In the large majority of taco stands you will have to dress your own tacos, and that means that you can add as much cilantro, onion, salsa and lime as you like. One particularly important rule to remember is that each taco stand makes their own salsa, which means that all salsas vary in terms of heat. Often you will have a choice between red and green salsas, but the color should not be used as indicator of heat. The best option is to place a small amount of salsa on your plate, and then try it with your finger before you decide to cover the tacos in the sauce. This will help you to avoid burning your mouth of with a hot salsa.

Knowing What You Are Ordering

If you have never enjoyed street tacos before then you may not have a clue what you are ordering. In most cases a good idea here would be to just try a couple of fillings, but you may have to be careful when doing so on the streets of Mexico. The reason for this is that you may end up eating brains, innards or the tongue of an animal. This is fine if you are an adventurous eater, but some don’t like these kind of fillings and this is why you should always know what you are ordering before you shout. My buddy Javier Burillo taught me this lesson midway through me chomping down on a taco filled with pig brains!

Simple rules and tips on getting the very best from your experience at the taco stand during your time in Mexico.

Abel Eino
the authorAbel Eino