Skip To Content

    15 Mexican Foods Served In America That Are Really Different From What's Served In Mexico

    "Basically, if they serve it in Taco Bell, we don't have it here."

    by ,

    Hi, I'm Daniella and I'm American.

    I love writing about the ways the United States takes a spin on food from other countries.


    This is Fer. She's my friend from Mexico who was really curious to hear about the Mexican American foods that are common in the US.

    Together, we're a match made in heaven! Here are some of the Mexican foods served in the United States that Fer gave me her perspective on:

    1. Nachos aren't a staple in Mexican restaurants — people in Mexico usually go to American restaurants to eat them.

    Olgamiltsova / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    "You don't go to a Mexican restaurant to order nachos. You order it in places where you'd order American or Tex-Mex food, which we consider a totally different thing than Mexican cuisine."

    2. The chalupas from Taco Bell look VERY different from the chalupas found in Mexico.

    Photoeuphoria / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    "Chalupas are from a specific state called Puebla. They're not a national dish, and they don't look like tacos at all and they're also not hard. I hate it. That's wrong. That's really wrong."

    3. Sweet potatoes are hardly ever added to Mexican dishes.

    Magda Travis / Getty Images/EyeEm

    "We don't really use sweet potato here. I mean, you can buy one sweet potato from a cart as street food or dessert, but it's not really used in Mexican cuisine. There's a hipster thing with it where it's just now happening, but it's not traditional."

    4. They use white corn instead of sweet yellow corn in Mexico.

    Valentinrussanov / Getty Images

    "If we have corn with the cojita cheese, it'll be white corn. You would never find the sweet yellow corn in the streets of Mexico."

    5. "Lemons" in Mexico are different than "lemons" in the US.

    Claire Plumridge / Getty Images

    "We have a special lemon called 'the Mexican lemon.' The one you use, we call limes."

    6. People from Mexico consider Taco Bell to be American food.

    Boston Globe / Boston Globe via Getty Images

    "Mexicans prefer Chipotle way more than Taco Bell. We do have burritos here, and burritos are part of our culture, but only in certain states. We respect burritos, but not hard shell tacos. Some people do like Taco Bell and get it when they're in the US, but they see it as American food."

    7. It's nearly impossible to find burrito bowls in Mexico.

    Alexpro9500 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    "We do not have that option anywhere here. If you go to a burrito place, you will never find bowls."

    8. It's more common to have steak tacos than ground beef tacos in Mexico.

    Subsociety / Getty Images

    "We call it 'carne molida.' We do have that, but it's not very common in tacos. We almost never order a taco with ground beef. It's more common to have steak tacos. We don't usually order just ground meat because it's not spicy enough for us, but it's part of a dish called 'picadillo' with vegetables and sauce." 

    9. "Queso" is not something you'd find in a restaurant in Mexico.

    Ncognet0 / Getty Images

    "We do not have that. I've heard about it when the characters from shows like The Bold Type order 'Mexican' food, but I can't associate it with anything I've ever seen before in Mexican restaurants."

    10. Palomas are a more common tequila beverage than margaritas in Mexico.

    Greg Chapel / Getty Images/EyeEm

    "It's not super common to order margaritas at a restaurant. If you like tequila here, you'd order a paloma. We do order margaritas when we're feeling like old white ladies. It's a joke that it's a white old lady thing. That's what they do when they wanna feel wild, so we do that."

    11. Frozen Mexican food isn't very popular in Mexico due to the surplus of fresh options in close vicinity.

    Donnichols / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    "We do not do that a lot. There are very few people that actually do that. Why would you eat a frozen taco if you could go to the street and have a cheap one? We do have frozen burritos, and I think that's more common." 

    12. Chimichangas are typically found in the north of Mexico, and a lot of Mexicans are only familiar with them through TV shows.

    Grandriver / Getty Images

    "They're in every TV show as Mexican food. I have no idea where I could go now (in Mexico City) and find a chimichanga. They're more common in the north, but I've heard about them in American shows mostly."

    13. Chili con carne is not a thing in Mexico.

    Brian Hagiwara / Getty Images

    "We do not do that here often. That's very Tex-Mex. I know there are actually chili competitions in the United States. Like...WTF?"

    14. Burritos and tacos with eggs in them are hard to find in Mexico.

    Adshooter / Getty Images

    "In Mexico, every taco is a breakfast taco and every burrito is a breakfast burrito. The egg part is not common."

    15. And finally, Tabasco sauce is not a staple in Mexico.

    Pioneer111 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    "We do not use Tabasco sauce. There are some people who put it on pizza or something, but it's very rare to see them put it on Mexican food."

    Are there any Mexican foods you've had in the United States that are really different from what you've eaten in Mexico? Let us know in the comments for a chance to be featured in a BuzzFeed Community post or video.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form