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Huevos agorhados as seen from above on a pink tablecloth surrounded by sides during a breakfast in Mexico

Mexican Breakfast Guide: How to Enjoy Breakfast in Mexico

Mexico isn’t just one of our favorite countries to travel in, it’s one of our favorite countries to eat in–and that starts with enjoying a delicious Mexican breakfast every morning.

Breakfast in Mexico is filling and varied, with plenty of different dishes on offer and portion sizes big enough to get you ready for a day of exploring.

While, like the rest of Mexican cuisine, breakfast can vary quite a bit depending on what region you’re in, there are some staples that are fairly easy to come by just about everywhere.

Planning a trip to Mexico and wondering what a typical Mexican breakfast will look like during your trip? Here’s what to expect to see on the menu!

Popular Breakfast Dishes in Mexico

Huevos Rancheros

Perhaps the most popular Mexican breakfast food outside of Mexico, huevos rancheros consist of fried eggs covered in a tomato-based sauce.

2 huevos rancheros as seen from above with red sauce on top and avocado to the left side

Huevos Divorciados

Very similar to huevos rancheros, huevos divorciados include two fried eggs each covered in a different sauce, typically one red sauce and one green sauce.

Chilaquiles

Corn tortillas cut into quarters and then lightly fried make up the basis of chilaquiles. 

The pile of fried chips is then coated with sauce (red or green) and toppings, often including raw onions, avocado, and fried eggs, are added.

Pile of chilaquiles with green sauce topped with a fried eggs with a fork about to dive in. Chilaquiles are a typical Mexican breakfast dish.

Tamales

Tamales are popular in Mexico during any time of day, of course, but these masa-based delights make for an excellent breakfast in Mexico!

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Huevos Motuleños

Originally from the town of Motul, this Mexican breakfast dish is popular in the Yucatan.

With a base of fried eggs (you’ll notice these feature in lots of typical Mexican breakfasts!), to make huevos motuleños the eggs are then topped with a variety of things, often including cheese, beans, ham, and–perhaps most surprisingly, at least to me–peas.

Fried plantains are generally served on the side.

Huevos motulenos on a white plate, a typical Mexican breakfast in the yucatan

Huevos a la Mexicana

Huevos a la Mexicana is the most common Mexican breakfast food to be made with scrambled eggs.

The scrambled eggs are mixed with onion, tomato, and chilis, and are delicious!

Huevos a la Mexicana on a white plate with a small serving of beans behind it and a blue mug in the back right of the photo

Enfrijoladas

Traditionally made with leftovers, enfrijoladas can vary dramatically in their fillings, but the basics remain the same: enchiladas smothered in a black bean puree.

This is one of the first things I ever ate in Mexico City, and it was so tasty that it has stuck with me for years!

Molletes

You can think of molletes as an open-faced sandwich, or perhaps as a tostada on bread: toasted bread is covered in beans, cheese, and perhaps other toppings, and then enjoyed as an easy breakfast (or snack).

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Pan Dulce

Literally translated as “sweet bread”, pan dulce is a broad term that covers sweet pastries, breads, and cookies.

You won’t generally find them on a menu at a restaurant when eating breakfast in Mexico, but they’re very popular for breakfast at a bakery or as a street food–and they go excellently with coffee.

Tray of pan dulce options on a wooden table. Pan dulce is a popular food in Mexico

Typical Sides With a Mexican Breakfast

Tortillas

Fresh corn tortillas–perfect for scooping up virtually any of the egg dishes outlined above–are a fantastic addition to any breakfast table.

Stack of fresh corn tortillas in the foreground with the hands of a woman shaping another tortilla in the background

Beans

Beans, usually refried but sometimes whole or partially crushed, are very often served on the side of a Mexican breakfast.

Fruit

Fresh, local fruit is a popular and delicious side.

Triangle white plate stacked with tropical fruit including dragonfruit and a banana at a breakfast in Mexico

Fried Plantains

This is my own bias talking, but well-fried plantains may just be one of the best foods on the planet: crispy on the outside, gooey and sweet on the inside, they make the perfect side dish when eating breakfast in Mexico.

Rice

A small scoop of rice is a common side when eating breakfast in Mexico.

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What to Drink With Breakfast in Mexico 

Atole

Atole is a sweet drink made with a starch base (usually masa), which is mixed with water and sweet spices like sugar and cinnamon to create a creamy, warm drink.

Atole is particularly popular with tamales, and it’s definitely worth trying when in Mexico!

Cup of atole in an orange mug with tamales behind it and pan dulce to the left of it.

Coffee

Popular, self-explanatory, and definitely a common sight on breakfast tables in Mexico!

Fruit & Vegetable Juice

Fruit or vegetable juice is often offered as a side with breakfast in Mexico, and not just basic options like orange or mango–versions that mix the juices of a few local fruits and vegetables together onsite are common and tasty!

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A Typical Mexican Breakfast at a Restaurant

If you go to a restaurant in Mexico for breakfast, you can usually expect to see, at the very least, huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, and huevos a la Mexicana on the menu, and usually a few options beyond that!

Sides vary, so ask if you’re curious, but a small serving of beans is extremely common, and sometimes other sides will be included as well.

Unless you specify or the dish calls for something else, eggs are typically served fried with a runny yolk.

Mexican breakfast spread at a restaurant on a white tablecloth with a fruit juice at each place setting

A Typical Mexican Breakfast at a Hotel

Many hotels in Mexico include breakfast, and while the quality of the breakfast can vary, if it’s a cooked (not continental) breakfast, it’ll usually be great!

Depending on the size of the hotel, there may be a limited menu, or the waiter may simply ask how you would like your eggs cooked.

While this post does outline specific Mexican breakfast dishes, at a small hotel it wouldn’t be uncommon to be served a basic breakfast of eggs cooked to order, tortillas, a small side of beans, and coffee.

Often other options for sides, like rice and avocado, will often be available as well.

Interior courtyard of Casa Aluxes Hotel in Valladolid Mexico

Spanish Phrases for Ordering Breakfast in Mexico

Traveling abroad is always a fun opportunity to stretch your language skills, and there’s no better chance to try out some Spanish when ordering breakfast in Mexico!

Since it’s something you’ll do every day, you’ll likely retain vocabulary more easily than you would for something you say once, and while you can often get by with pointing, it’s much more satisfying to be able to communicate well.

Here are a few simple Spanish phrases to keep in mind when ordering breakfast in Mexico:

Me gusta/Me gustaría — I would like… (The second is more formal.)

Con — With

Sin — Without

Outdoor restaurant in Mexico with red tablecloths and red umbrellas shading the tables

Gracias — Thank you

Huevos — Eggs

Huevos Revueltos — Scrambled Eggs

Café — Coffee

Leche — Milk

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Plátanos — Plantains

Frijoles — Beans

Arroz — Rice

Aguacate — Avocado

Queso — Cheese

A photo of a typical Mexican breakfast as seen from above, black and red text on a white background reads "how to enjoy breakfast in Mexico"

 

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