Street Tacos Are 10 Times Better Than Restaurant Ones

PHOTO: Tacos Marvichi, a sidewalk taco stand, is an institution in Polanco, a ritzy neighborhood in Mexico City.
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A couple years ago I went to a magazine party near the ritzy Polanco district in Mexico City. Polanco isn't a place where I would necessarily hang out on a weekend night, but friends from L.A. were in town to DJ at a party. As we were leaving – tipsy, hungry, and not exactly flush with cash – the taco gods smiled. We stumbled upon a true D.F. sidewalk taco spot.

The stand was surrounded with people and crackling with energy at four in the morning. It had all the good meats – bistec, pollo, chorizo – a full barrage of salsas, queso, and all the Mexican Coke or Boing de guava that your heart could desire. And it was just steps from Polanco's embassies and trendy antros that cater to people who like $15 martinis. I was in heaven, and left a bit ashamed by my own stereotyping. Time and time again, this megalopolis of 20 million people reminds me that one can never hold on to assumed truths about any neighborhood's profile.

Because at the end of the day, everyone in Mexico is a taco lover. No matter your class or zip code, Polanco happens to be an epicenter of excellent street food. In that spirit, here's a hands-on take, if you will, of some of those offerings. As you will see, street food in Polanco can be as delicious – and as precarious – as anywhere else in DF. Brunch at the corner, anyone?

Journalist Daniel Hernandez is a San Diego native who has been covering culture in Mexico since 2007. His book, "Down and Delirious in Mexico City," was published by Simon & Schuster. He lives in Mexico City's Centro neighborhood and his favorite taco is a "campechano de bistec y chorizo" with fries and beans on top.

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