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Typical Veracruz food, synthesis of native with Hispanic

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The typical food of Veracruz has an important base of sea ​​products. Not in vain, this region is located in the Gulf of Mexico and not only has many kilometers of coastline, but also the city that gives it its name has the most important port in the country.

Veracruz was also the first city the Spaniards founded in Mexico. Therefore, the Hispanic component It is very present in its gastronomy. This is combined with pre-Columbian Mesoamerican tradition and with elements of african and caribbean cuisine to give birth to a gastronomy as powerful as it is delicious in terms of flavors. If you want to know more about the typical foods of Veracruz, we encourage you to keep reading.

The typical cuisine of Veracruz: A bit of history

Everything we have told you about the gastronomy of Veracruz is enriched, in turn, by the products grown in the lands of the state, very fertile and rich in biodiversity thanks to the tropical and subtropical climates it has.

But the first thing we want to tell you is a little history of typical Veracruz cuisine. The Spaniards brought many products from their diet. Between them, beans, rice, wheat and lemon. But also meats like pork or that of chicken and jewelry like olive oil and the Garlic.

Once established in Veracruz, the new settlers began to cultivate other products, some already traditional in the pre-Columbian diet, while others were less popular. Among them were the cornthe coffee and fruits like pineapple, coconut, sapodilla, mango, guava or orange.


corn tacos

Already in the 19th century, new emigrants arrived from different parts of the world who enriched the gastronomy of Veracruz with traditions arabs, Caribbean and coming from European countries. All this gave rise to three variants cuisine in the typical of this Mexican state. Let’s see them.

  • Creole cuisine with Afro-American influences. As the name suggests, it fuses Spanish, indigenous and African culinary elements. It is the majority and among the typical products it uses are cassava, which the Spaniards called yam precisely because of its appearance similar to this African tuber; the corn; sugar or spices such as allspice and tamarind.
  • Huastec cuisine. It is based on the tradition of teens, located in the northern part of Veracruz. Its authentic protagonist is corn in various variants such as white, purple or red. Among its typical recipes are the zacahuill, a tamale or pasta, precisely made of corn, which is filled with meat from different animals; the mole of nopales and the huasteco broth.
  • Totonac cuisine. Equally typical of the north, it is based on corn itself, chili peppers and beans. Among its typical dishes are different types of atole (corn-based drinks originating in pre-Hispanic times) and Tamales.
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Typical Veracruz Food: The Most Popular Dishes

As we said, the typical food of Veracruz has an important base of seafoodbut also includes delicious sauces based on local products. We are going to show you some of these dishes.

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Veracruz-style fish

Veracruz-style fish dish

Veracruz-style fish

Precisely this dish combines the two things: the fruits of the sea and those of the land of Veracruz. It can be made with any fish from the region, from spiny dogfish to cabrilla, bass, tilapia and basa. However, the most widely used is snapperknown locally as snappera very tasty reef fish.

However, the secret of this typical recipe lies in the sauce which, curiously, is one of the few made in Mexico that no itching. Its ingredients are olive oil, bay leaf, salt and pepper, onion, tomato, parsley, garlic, oregano, olives and capers.

Its preparation is quite simple, because once the sauce is obtained, it is prepared with the fish in the oven. Just to give it a spicy touch, you can add chile cuaresmeño and served with white rice or potatoes. Without a doubt, a gastronomic marvel.

Arroz a la tumbada, another delicacy of typical Veracruz cuisine

Elongated rice plate

Arroz a la tumbada, one of the staple foods of typical Veracruz cuisine

One could say that it is the equivalent of our seafood paella, although it has its peculiarities. Its ingredients, in addition to rice, are shrimp, crabs, clams and other seafood to which a sofrite made with garlic, onion, tomato and red pepper. Finally, its flavor is enhanced with parsley leaves, oregano, coriander and epazote.

It seems that the origins of this dish can be found in the diet of the fishermen who, in the 19th century, practiced their trade on the coast of Veracruz. And, out of curiosity, we will tell you that it is called “a la tumbada” to indicate that it is prepared soup.

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Chopped or pinched



Very popular in the center of the region, they are nothing more than corn tortillas with sauce on top and seasoned with ranchero cheese and onion. They get the name pinchedprecisely, because the edges of the cake are pinched so that the sauce does not fall.

They look like the soup which are made in the rest of the country and, if you want to eat something typical in Veracruz, we recommend them because they are delicious. However, the natives of the region generally take them as breakfast.

Zacahuil or Sacahuil


Filling for zacahuil

The Tamale It is very popular, not only in Veracruz, but also throughout Mexico. As you know, it’s cooked corn wrapped in its own husk. However, zacahuil is the result of Huasteca cuisine, as we have already told you.

It is precisely a giant tamale, perhaps the largest you can find in the whole country. But it has more history. Corn dough is prepared in this recipe as the natives did hundreds of years ago. Thus, it gives rise to a mass called nixtamal which has fewer crushed grains and a more broken appearance.

This dough is filled with lard, peppers and pork or turkey meatamong other ingredients. The latter is a large bird native to America that looks like a turkey.

crab chilpachole


crab chilpachole

Typical Veracruz food also includes soups very tasty and strong. This is the case of chilpachole, whose origins are attributed to French cuisine. ‘Cause it’s nothing but a seafood soup made with fish and crab (a typical blue crab from the coast of Veracruz).

However, chilpachole is much stronger than traditional seafood broth. To begin with, it is made consistent with corn dough. And, in addition, it contains onion, dried pepper, tomato, garlic and epazote. All these ingredients give it a texture similar to atolea drink of pre-Hispanic origin that we have already mentioned, although traditionally sweet.

lighter is the Izote flower broth. Its base is this plant native to Central America and it also usually contains shrimp, chives, tomato, epazote and wee ears. In turn, this is a paste made from pumpkin seeds, which is also used for other dishes.

the mogo mogo


Banana mogo, another typical Veracruz food delicacy

Among all the typical dishes of Veracruz, this is probably one of those with the most obvious african roots. Because, also called machucois nothing but mashed green bananas.

To do this, these are cooked with the skin on in boiling water. When their lids burst, they are removed and butter and salt are added to crush them until they have the right texture. But this dish is not ready yet. The mash is left to cool in the refrigerator to harden and then fried. It will usually be served as an accompaniment to beans.

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the pastry

some masafinas


If the dishes we have mentioned so far are delicious, the confectionery of Veracruz is not left out. Almost all of his recipes are based on wheat and, among the most curious sweets, we will cite the chogostasballs that carry edible clay and whose origin dates back to pre-Hispanic times.

More traditional are duchessesa kind of tacos stuffed with coconut meringue, and the masafinas, shortbread covered with sugar and cinnamon. For his part, the tetamal It is a paste of corn and sugar flavored with anise and served hot and wrapped in a berijao leaf.

The pumpkin It is the protagonist of several Veracruz candies. This is the case of donutsalthough, in this regard, the most popular are throats, which are filled with meringue. Finally, the pemolas These are donuts made from cornmeal, butter and sugar and the Marzipan from Veracruz It is characterized by the presence of peanut instead of almond.

The drinks

little bull

runaway bull

We have already told you about atole, which comes in different flavors depending on the fruit it is prepared with. Thus, we can speak of banana, pumpkin, corn or atole de coyol (a fruit similar to coconut). It is also eaten in Veracruz on Horchata, although it is not made like in Spain. There it is made with rice and cinnamon or vanilla.

Even more typical are drinks like menyulmade with mint, and the poo. The latter will be delicious, since it contains cocoa, rice, cinnamon and fruits such as azquiote. Finally, the little bull It is an alcoholic cocktail whose ingredients are cane liquor, condensed milk and peanut butter, although it is also made in other flavors such as mango.

In conclusion, we talked about the typical food from Veracruz. As you will see, it includes dishes of all kinds, all more delicious. But Veracruz does not only stand out for its gastronomy, it is worth knowing that, we also encourage you to explore what to visit in Veracruz. If you dare not do so due to pandemic limitations, here is an article on country travel requirements so you can do so without fear.

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