Delicious Chiapas food, traditional dishes, and drinks

The most important Chiapas foods are the mole and the tamales, made with herbs and local spices, such as saffron and holy grass.

Delicious Chiapas food, traditional dishes, and drinks
Traditional Chiapas food and drinks. Photo by Ruben Ramirez / Unsplash

Chiapas food has certain features of authenticity. It is a gastronomic mosaic composed of its natural biodiversity, where each place prints its characteristics, defines tastes, and creates habits.  Chiapas gastronomy varies in each region; likewise, it is nourished by the diversity of Mayan ethnic groups and the Zoque of Olmec origin when combined with the Spanish cuisine by the affluence of the Dominican monks. The results are an immense variety of mestizo dishes in the State of Chiapas.

The cuisine of Chiapas gives us the privilege of tasting authentic flavors of Mexico in a variety of dishes based on the indigenous roots that these lands proudly boast. Enjoying a good meal is part of everyday life in Chiapas. The most important are the mole from Chiapas and the tamales from Chiapas, made with herbs and local spices, such as saffron and holy grass. Each region of Chiapas has a culinary specialty. However, some dishes are representative of the entire state since their flavor has gone beyond its borders and their recipes have permeated the taste of Mexicans.

There is food that is distinctive to each region of the state, for example, in San Cristóbal de las Casas, you find rich cold meats like serrano ham and butifarra, the rich cheeses in Ocosingo, and what to say of the corn tamales or tamales of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, as well as its rich pork with mole.

Being a state that is proud to preserve its indigenous roots, the basis of its diet is no exception, so many of its dishes have as main ingredients beans, corn, chickpeas, and other legumes and herbs of the region. Proof of this is the tamales de chipilín, which are present in the festivities of Chiapas, especially on the Day of Candlemas, a celebration that takes place throughout the country on February 2.

In Chiapas, handmade sweets are as varied as food. In San Cristóbal sweet and sweet quince are made; in Chiapa de Corzo the famous sights; in Tuxtla Gutiérrez the puxinú, a sweet made with sorghum covered with honey. If you are visiting any of the cities or towns of Chiapas you will find so much variety when it comes to eating, that the decision will be somewhat difficult. Your options will go from a botanero or a canteen in which to buy a drink you will receive different typical appetizers, to trattorias with Italian specialties or restaurants of gourmet Mexican cuisine.

Chiapas coffee farms

Chiapaneco Coffee Farms such as Ireland, Argovia, Hamburg, and Chiripa, are just some of the many that are responsible for producing this aromatic seed, making the state the main supplier of coffee in Mexico. The climatic conditions, the land, and the extensive experience of the coffee growers have made their quality recognized internationally.

If you feel hot, you can refresh yourself with a delicious tascalate or a pozole, two typical drinks made from corn, which can be tasted in their natural flavor or prepared specially by adding cocoa, milk, horchata, and vanilla. Both are part of the culinary heritage dating from pre-Hispanic times.

The Tamales Chiapanecos is like any good tamale made from corn, in Chiapas, it is prepared in very different ways according to the region visited. But the most famous is the tamales de chipilín, whose knowledge is sweet and very tasty. Others are seasoned with condiments that give it a sweet, salty, enchilada, or marinated flavor. Some of these are prepared with fruit filling like bananas.

Food in Palenque

Palenque is the most important city in the jungle region of Chiapas, famous for its diversity of flora and fauna, as well as for its cultural and gastronomic richness.

In this city they celebrate in a very peculiar way "The Day of the Dead", the tombs and the chapels are decorated in the pantheons with flowers, candles, paper decorations, and crowns of cypress, among others. It is customary to bring the deceased their favorite food, without missing the dessert such as pumpkin, sweet potato and sweet yucca, boiled corn accompanied by polvojuán.

We recommend you to taste the wide variety of traditional beverages typical of the jungle region such as atole sour, atole de granillo, pumpkin atole, and pozole sour water with chile among others; these drinks and some traditional dishes such as tamales, the locals can consume them from the comfort of their home as there are merchants who go from house to house selling them. In the same way, you can find these dishes and drinks in different restaurants in the city.

Do not forget to visit the market where you will have the opportunity to meet a variety of tortillas made by hand with cassava or natural, you can also find yucca pancakes, vegetables, spices, edible plants, traditional sweets, and many products of the region.

Traditional dishes in Palenque

Starters: Zats

Main dishes: stuffed turkey, stuffed cochito, shuti with momo, chanfaína, beef barbecue.

Desserts: Chilacayote, sweet bread, corn fritters.

Drinks: Sour atol, pumpkin atol, granola atol, sour pozole, tavern, tamarind water.

Tamales: Tamal de chipilín, corn tamale, tamal de bola, meat tamale with vegetables, tamal de chaya.

Food in Tuxtla Gutiérrez

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the capital of the State, has a Zoque gastronomic influence, the food of this area is based mainly on corn, such as tortillas, tascalate, and tamales, among other dishes.

The locals expose part of their culinary tradition in the "Gastronomic Fair of the Flower of Cuchunuc" where they offer a sample and vintage of dishes made with this flower, which is made in the Garden Park of the Marimba. It takes place at the end of February and the beginning of March, the season in which the cacahuananche tree blossoms from which it is obtained.

Another natural gastronomic event of great importance during June and July when the rains begin is the arrival of the nucú also known by the following names depending on the region: tzitzim, quiss, and chicatana. It is customary to eat them dry, toasted, and bathed with lemon and a touch of salt.

Typical dishes of Tuxtla Gutiérrez

Starters: Chipilín soup with balls, party soup, street toast, chirmol con huevo bocido, molotitos de plátano.

Tamales: Tamales de chipilín, tamales with milpa leaf, tamal jacuané, tamal de toro pinto, tamale de cambray, Picte de elote.

Exotic food: Roasted Nucú

Main dish: Niguel Juti pork, zispolá / beef stew with chickpea, pork with chard rabbit/venison in ciguamonte, and jerky with beans.

Desserts: Suspiro, Turulete, tanned nanche, tanned jocote, puxinú, nuégados, gaznate

Drinks: Lemon water with chia, tascalate.

Food in Tapachula

Tapachula is characterized by having gastronomy beyond the flavors of seafood because it contains among its dishes the acidity of fruits and the delicious flavor of Chiapas.

The tapachultecos in their parties prepared the palmito stewed with spices; the delicious "sopa de pan de manteca", the little pig in pulique, and the baked pig, the "chompipe" in pulique that today we call a turkey in a mole.

It should be noted that Tapachula food has had a great influence on oriental cuisine, due to a large number of immigrants from eastern countries who live in this city, since eastern food is already part and legacy of the cuisine of Tapachula and this is the cuisine of Chiapas.

They usually drink atoles and among the favorites is the dough with ginger, the green banana flour with cinnamon, cocoa, fat and sweet pepper.

Popular dishes of Tapachula

Starters: Chipilín soup with shrimp, moronga, beef salpicón, rice with pumpkin flower, stewed bledo.

Main courses: Fish in chumul, Kishtan in mole, pork with Chipilín, sea cockroaches with garlic sauce.

Desserts: Sweet banana, corn cake, shortbread.

Drinks: Chocolate, tepache, tizte, pulunche, coyol tavern, atole de masa, atole de pinol, zapuyul, chicha.

Tamales: iguana tamale, masa tamale size, green mass tamale, mumú leaf tamal.

Food in San Cristóbal de las Casas

An enigmatic city is full of mysticism as well as exquisite taste and unequaled sensation on the palate. A great part of its gastronomic recognition has the sausages such as ham and sausage, and sausage of undisputed origin and German influence. Enjoy local dishes such as Asado Coleto, chanfaina, and Tachilhuil. Another dish that emerges from the miscegenation of Spanish and indigenous is the traditional soup of bread, to mention. The desserts of this region date back to ancient times although they underwent important changes that revolutionized the traditional pastry during the seventeenth century with the arrival of the nuns to the Royal City what we know today as San Cristóbal de las Casas.

Corpus Christi is a celebration of the Catholic church destined to celebrate the Eucharist celebrated 60 days after the resurrection Sunday. During this celebration, an exhibition of regional sweets takes place where the sweet craftsmen place positions in which they exhibit and sell their products. If you wish to purchase them at any season of the year, you can find them at the Candy and Craft Market.

Traditional dishes of San Cristóbal de las Casas

Starters: Soup of bread, sausage, sausages, chalupas, sausage, sausage, hearts of palm, tachilhuil, bald bake.

Main dishes: Asado coleto, turkey in mole, chanfaina, beef jerky, marinated pork rib, salted meat.

Desserts: Bread coleto, amaranto, nuégados, caramels of honey, punch, marshmallows, nougat.

Drinks: Mistela, posh, sweet beer, rice with milk, champurrado, atoles, coffee pot.

Tamales: Saffron tamale, ball tamale, mole tamale, coconut tamale.

Chiapa de Corzo food

A Magical town and a gastronomic sanctuary, it is inevitable to say that Chiapa de Corzo envelops us with its flavor and the warmth of its people. The city is full of traditions and customs of Zoque cultural origin. Given this influence, many traditional dishes emerge that today we can delightfully try while visiting.

Dishes such as pepita with tasajo also known as a large meal of Chiapa de Corzo and baked cochito are typical and characteristic of this emblematic city.

Typical dishes of Chiapa de Corzo

Starters: empanadas chiapacorceñas, party soup, chipilín soup with small balls.

Main dishes: Nugget with jerky, baked pork, pork with rice, chiapacorceña pepper, mole almendrado, pork in ninguijuti.

Tamales: Tamal de bola, tamal de chipilín with cheese, tamal de chipilín with chicken, tamal de toro pinto, tamal de jacuané or hierba santa, picte de elote, among others.

Desserts: Nanche and tanned jocote, ante, bolona, marshmallow, nuégados, puxinú, dulce de leche, sigh, nougat, yucca in sweet, sweet squash, and many more.

Drinks: white Pozole with chili, cocoa pozole, tascalate, etc.

Food in Tonalá

Tonalá, the hot land of the Isthmus-Coast region brings its flavors of the sea such as antojitos, toasted turulas made with dried shrimp, the piguas in broth, the fish wrapped in a leaf of Holy grass, sweets made with fruits of their lands, and some loaves like the marquesote. It is a municipality that has a lot of flavors.

The lands around Tonalá contemplate great plains that are propitious for grasslands, from which one of the main economic branches derives and by the same, they are characteristic the milk products of great quality, like the quesillo, the cream cheese, cheese double cream, dry cheese (aged and grated to sprinkle toast and empanadas), cut cheese and the same cream that are included in the diet of the tonaltecos and are always present at the table.

The breeding of cattle makes the tonalteco accustom the meat a lot in its diet.

Popular dishes of Tonalá

Starters: Tostadas turulas, shrimp to the natural one, empanaditas of dogfish, sausages, and pancakes of macabil, soup of chipilín with shrimp and egg, eggs turulos, yucca boiled.

Main dishes: Piguas in broth, crabs in chimpanchole, grilled mullet, roasted udder, beef barbecue, beef broth, breaded shrimp, pork rib in molito, fish fillet, bean with the beef rib.

Desserts: Sweet banana, sweet mango, sweet coyol, sweet chilacayote, sweet papaya, marquesote bread, turulete.

Drinks: Chia water and tepache.

Food in Comitán

The Comiteca gastronomy is full of a strong personality that reflects the meeting of two roots, the native and the Spanish. This region has a wide range of cheeses, sausages, and different appetizers that we can taste from different markets to the best restaurants in the region; most of the typical snacks can be found in cenadurías and inns in the city.

On Sundays after Mass, different merchants usually sell food in the parks outside the churches. Its sweets are a delight you can get in the stalls of itinerant candy merchants who are located around the Parque Central Santo Domingo.

Typical dishes of Comitan

Starters: Chinculguaje, compound bread, Chamorro in pickles, chalupas, salpicón, butifarra, pinched or tortillas with seat, broth of shuti.

Main dishes: Baked leg, tongue in pebre, rotten pot, spinach stew, pork rind with beans, cooked chiapaneco, chanfaina, flocked fish.

Companions: Zaquil, polvo juan, chile -vinegar, pickles.

Tamales: Patzitos de manjar, tamal de mumú or hierba santa, tamalitos pitales, tamal de mole.

Desserts: Chimbo, Africans, before marquesote, sweet peanut, sweet coyol, nuégates, breaded peanut butter, rosquitas de nata, marshmallow, salvadillo with temperante.

Breads: Marquesote, salvadillo.

Drinks: Temperant, white pozole, jocoatole, chilacayote water, liquor comiteco.