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Monterrey Cuisine | What to Eat in Monterrey
The cuisine in the north of Mexico tends to be very different to that of the rest of the country. Its semi-desert soil forced the Spanish colonizers to import cattle, starting the tradition of the cattle ranches and the consumption of meat in the region. One of the highlights is the tender cut called "arrachera", which is very typical of the region. Unlike other states in Mexico, tortillas here are normally made from flour rather than corn, and a regional favorite is "sobaqueras", which are huge flour tortillas.
Cabrito Asado (Roasted Goat Kid)
The specialty in Monterrey is goat kid slow-cooked over a charcoal fire, giving it a unique, smoky taste. The locals say that if you haven't tried "cabrito", it's like you haven't really visited Monterrey. To ensure the meat is tender and juicy, the kid is normally still a suckling, and no more than 40 days old. The dish is traditionally accompanied by flour tortillas, "frijoles borrachos" (a bean stew cooked in beer), and "pico de gallo" salsa, all washed down with an ice-cold beer.
El Rey del Cabrito
There is an endless array of restaurants that sell this delicacy, but El Rey del Cabrito is, without a doubt, one of the places most popular with the locals, celebrities, and tourists seeking this famous dish. When you go in you'll be able to see the grill to your left, with lots of goat kids roasting on stakes over the charcoal. The restaurant also serves other cuts of steak, as well as local specialty dishes.
Carne Seca (Dried Meat)
Thanks to the dry, arid climate of Monterrey, the Tlaxcalteca people preserved the meat of the animals they hunted by leaving it to dry in the sun. Nowadays dried meat has become a common dish in the homes of the people of Monterrey, something they fry with eggs for the traditional "machaca", or eat by itself with lime and salt, a preparation called "carne zaraza".
At this restaurant you can enjoy tasty regional Mexican cuisine. The house specialty is "machaca con huevo" (dried beef with egg). There are numerous branches of this restaurant throughout the city, with the main one located on the Monterrey-Laredo federal highway. Don't forget to buy some of the candy and handicrafts that are also sold here!
The weekends are made to be spent with friends and family, and the tradition of grilling outside is a fantastic excuse to get together and enjoy good company and great food. The "nortenos" (people from the north of Mexico) can choose from a wide variety of different steaks both at home and in the restaurants, with some of the most popular being arrachera, T-bone, fillet mignon, and sirloin, along with roast beef.
Cuajitos de Zuazua
"Cuajitos de Zuazua" comes from an old Spanish recipe, which was for a stew using the intestines and stomach of the goat. Nowadays it is prepared with the tough parts of the cow, including the chest, neck, and back, seasoning them with chili, onion, and tomato. It is boiled for eight hours, resulting in a delicious stew that's full of protein.
Almost impossible to leave off the menu of any steakhouse, roast pork is definitely a firm favorite with the locals and visitors to the city. It's often served here as pieces of pork bathed in an irresistible marinade of dried poblano and guajillo chilies seasoned with laurel, oregano, pepper, and cumin, among other spices.
Originally from Zuazua, Nuevo Leon, the "empalmes" are grilled tortillas filled with beans, oregano, chili, and butter. Other ingredients can be added, such as chorizo, beef, and cheese.
Villa de Santiago
The town of Villa de Santiago is well-known for the high quality and variety of its restaurants, in which you'll find traditional dishes like roast pork, and dried meat stew, along with regional specialties like "cabrito" and grilled steaks. You'll even see international specialty dishes, which lend a touch of modernity to this "Magic Town" located just 30 minutes from Monterrey.
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