I love Mexican food. Always have. But there's something transcendent about the street food we tried in Mexico City.
For starters, it's clear that Mexicans love street food. All the good places had big crowds all the time, with vendors churning out tacos, quesadillas, tortas, enchiladas, huaraches and on and on.
There's also a range of vendor types, from people with "carts" to literal holes in the walls (ad hoc kitchens assembled every day in a depression in the wall of a big building) to indoor market stands where you sit at a narrow board-like table surrounding the kitchen.
Somehow, the cheese and corn and all the ingredients taste better in Mexico City than anywhere else I've tried Mexican food.
As a capitalist, I assume the quality of street food in Mexico City result from free-market competition. The Greater Mexico City area has about 21 million people living and eating there. Make awesome tacos, and the crowds reward you with business. Make so-so tacos and be ignored and go out of business.
Mexico City is also a magnet for people from all over Mexico. The country has 31 states, not including the city itself, which like Washington D.C. isn't a state or in a state. Each of these Mexican states has a rich and unique food culture, and each is represented in Mexico City by countless food operations. Unlike in American cities like New York or Chicago, where street food is radically international, Mexico City street food represents the Mexican food in all its variety and regionality.
In any event, we plan to return to Mexico City a.s.a.p. and spend some quality time scarfing amazing street food.