An Introduction to Mexican Breakfasts

chilaquiles with hot choco Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and chilaquiles is my favorite breakfast. The only thing better than chilaquiles in green sauce is chilaquiles in red sauce. That is true unless my favorite street food vendor, Petra, is around. She makes dorados that are a god's gift to mankind. If you are unfamiliar with chilaquiles or dorados and you have an interest in Mexican and Oaxacan foods, this page is meant for you.

The pictures of the meals shown come from family owned restaurants and meals sold by street vendors, both of which are where the lower and middle class eat. Find yourself a place where the locals are eating and you will be fine.

Beverages are at the bottom of the page.


Chilaquiles are fried or dried tortilla chips covered in a slightly spicy green or red sauce topped with cheese and a little onion. Chilaquiles are accompanied with eggs, mexican sausage or tasajo and sometimes beans. Usually the dish is served with hot sauce and cream on side dishes. This is a good meal to get if you like a large breakfast.

The first image below is of chilaquiles en salsa verde con frijoles y huevos revueltos or chilaquiles in green sauce served with black beans and scrambled eggs. Click here for a larger image. The second image is of chilaquiles en salsa roja con chorizo or chilaquiles in red sauce with Mexican sausage topped with cream, cheese and onion. Click here for a larger image. Meals like this cost around 60 pesos or U.S. $3 (Nov. 2017).

Chicharrón en Salsa Roja

Chicharrón en Salsa Roja

Chicharrón en Salsa Roja is pork rind fried in lard, it tastes better than it sounds. Served with beans, tortillas and salsa. Many Mexicans believe that chicharrón en salsa roja helps cure hangovers. Click here for a larger image of chicharrón en salsa roja.



Dorados, also known as flautas, are rolled up tortillas filled with meat or cheese or potatoes. They are usually fried but sometimes are roasted over a grill. They are topped with beans or mayonnaise, lettuce or cabbage and of course, salsa. My favorite food street vendor, Petra, fries her chicken dorados or dorados de pollo in chicken fat and sometimes lard, I wish I had some to eat right now. Click here for a larger image of dorados.



Enchiladas are thin tortillas with a little sauce inside the tortilla and covered with slightly spicy green or red sauce. This orderer included two eggs. One nice thing about Mexican cooking, the varieties of the same dish seem endless; these tortillas were fried with lard giving them a really nice flavor and because the cook decided I was foreigner, no chiles were added into the tomato sauce which was not so good. Click here for a larger image.

Enchiladas Suiza

enchiladas suiza

Enchiladas Suiza are thin tortillas filled with cheese and topped with either a red or green sauce and sometimes a bit of cream. Click here for a larger image of enchiladas suiza.



Enmoladas are made of shredded chicken breast wrapped in a thin tortilla and covered with a mole sauce and topped with cheese, onion and cilantro. The mole sauce in this picture is spicy with a strong chocolate flavor. This meal would cost 60 pesos or U.S.$3 (Feb. 2018). Click here for a larger image of enmoladas.

From past experience I know that mole sauce has special powers and will find its way onto white clothing so beware!


Entomatadas en Salsa Roja con Chorizo

Entomatadas are lightly fried tortillas folded in half, topped with slightly spicy green or red sauce topped with cheese and a little onion. Entomatadas are usually accompanied with beans and some type of egg or meat. The dish is served with a hot sauce and cream. The photo is of entomatadas en salsa roja con chorizo or entomatadas in slightly spicy tomato sauce with Mexican sausage topped with cheese and onion. Click here for a larger image of entomatadas.

Flautas, see Doradoas

Hot Cakes

Hot Cakes is Spanish for pancakes. If you have a finicky eater or just need something "safe", this is it.

Huevos a la Mexicana

Huevos a la Mexicana

Huevos a la Mexicana or eggs Mexican style are scrambled eggs prepared with eggs, tomato, onion, and chiles along with beans and tortillas. The meal is served with hot sauce. Some people, even Mexicans, may find this dish too spicy so you might want to ask for yours without chiles or sin chiles. This meal cost 45 pesos or U.S.$2.50 (Dec. 2017). Click here for a larger image of huevos a la mexicana.



Memilita is a kind of corn bread slightly sweetened, rather flavorless and tough to chew. It is a bread you will want to dip into coffee or hot chocolate to soften the bread. Usually memilitas are only found around the market, sold in plastic bags of 3 for 10 pesos or U.S. 50 cents (Nov. 2017). Click here for a larger image.

Pan Dulce

Pan Dulce

Pan Dulce or sweet breads are sold in the markets and bakeries and there are seemingly countless varieties of sweet breads to be had. Click here for a larger image of sweetbreads.


Quesadillas con papas

Quesadillas are fried tortillas folded in half, stuffed with potatoes or meat and are usually topped with cheese. Salsa is served on the side. This photo of quesadillas con papas was bought from street a vendor for 25 pesos or U.S. $1.50 (Dec. 2017). Click here for a larger image of quesadillas.

Salsa de Huevo Roja

Salsa de Huevo Roja

Salsa de Huevo Roja are eggs cooked in spicy red sauce usually with beans, cheese and tortillas on the side. Many Mexicans believe that salsa de huevo roja helps cure hangovers. Click here for a larger image of salsa de huevo roja.



Sopes are palm sized thick corn tortillas topped with beans, meat, vegetables, cheese and salsa. They are served at all times of the day and are also used as appetizers. Click here for a larger image of sopes.


Aguas de Frutas

aguas de frutas

Aguas de frutas is water with fruit, sugar and ice added. Aguas de frutas, often just referred to as aguas are available to seeming countless varieties, everything from tamarind, orange, cucumber (its actually good), to the ever present jamaica. Every restaurant will have one or two flavors for you to choose from. If you are thirsty or with a group, you can order a pitcher of an agua de (name of fruit), which is something I frequently do, a pitcher or jarra de agua de (fruit name) will cost you around 40 pesos or U.S. $2 (Jan 2020).

Aguas de (frutas) are frequently sold on street corners for 10 pesos or U.S. .50 cents.


Atole is a hot drink made of ground corn flour, sugar, cinnamon and often other flavorings. Sometimes atole is made with rice, oatmeal, wheat or sesame. The blend has a consistency of a thin porridge or oatmeal. I have never seen it sold in restaurants, atole is usually sold on street corners or by street vendors. Atole is a common drink that can be found year round, depending on the size of the cup it will cost 10 to 20 pesos or U.S. .50 cents to a $1 (January 2020).


Café is coffee, sometimes it comes with sugar already included. Most restaurants will not give you free refills of coffee but some that cater to foreigners do. If you see waitress refilling coffee cups, then you get a free refill. If not, and you order another cup of coffee, you will probably be charged for two coffees. A cup of coffee usually goes for around 20 pesos or U.S. $1 (Jan. 2020).

Most of the chain convenient stores, such as "Oxxo" sell strong American style coffee. If you are going through caffeine withdraw, the Mexican version of "Coca-Cola Lite" is loaded with caffeine.

cafe de olla

Café de olla is coffee brewed in a clay pot with cinnamon and sugar added, usually this coffee is a bit weak. The following photo shows a pot of coffee being kept warm on a traditional grill. On the right side of the grill hand made tortillas are getting warmed up.

Nescafé is instant coffee. You will get a cup of hot water that you can add the instant nescafé into; along with sugar. This disgusting beverage can also be found in a decaffeinated form.

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

Chocolate comes in two forms; mixed with water "chocolate de agua" or mixed with milk "chocolate de leche". Chocolate de leche is the best if you can handle the milk. In Oaxaca and in other Mexican states the hot chocolate is traditionally served in bowl (instead of a coffee cup) and is often accompanied with a sweet bread.


Jugos is juice in English. Most restaurants sell fresh orange juice or jugo de naranja and sometimes carrot juice or jugo de zanahoria.

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Footnotes and Notes

  1. Tips for the waiters/waitresses are not included in the price of the meal.
  2. Limes or lemons are served with salads. They serve as a dressing but most importantly, the acidic juice serves as a disinfectant.

Photo Credits

Photos taken by Marc Wilkinson. I, the copyright holder, hereby publish these photos under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0).