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  • Writer's pictureSpiced Cranachan

Tortas La Hormiga

Throughout my time in Mexico I made a point of of avoiding restaurants or anywhere I had to sit in. Prices had inflated after the 2020 pandemic but the flavours hadn't changed, and I was on somewhat of a shoestring budget.

I had been a little disappointed in the food so far, especially after the ranting and raving I had heard from other travellers. I was beginning to think I had made a mistake - until I decided to visit Oaxaca.

The colourful streets hosted some amazing food stalls, and after the sun went down the world outside smelled of grilled corn, meat and charcoal.

I would wander for hours going street to street, mercado to mercado, often following my nose or some vague directions of a local.

This was how I found Tortas La Hormiga; a small food truck, inconspicuously parked on the corner of the Conzatti Garden.

It first opened its shutters in 1989, serving cakes and drinks to passers by. And over 30 years later, it still caters to anyone wandering by with a rumble in their belly who catches the scent of warm tortas on the air.

The truck sells warm, puffy and loaded tortas, which is the Mexican equivalent of a sandwich or roll. You can order your tortas to come with a number of fillings, including tasajo, jamon, quesillo, picadillo, piña or ever pork milanese. They top each off with pickled peppers and melted cheese.

We ordered the red sausage and pierna tortas... and I honestly think it was one of the best meals I had in Mexico. The chorizo was sharp, the pork was succulent, the tortas themselves were warm and soft, with a nice crunch when I bit into the crust. The pickled peppers added a much needed tang that lifted the entire meal.

Were I not completely full with one torta, I surely would have returned for another... and maybe and third or fourth.

My recommendation for a Oaxaca lunch? Head to La Hormiga, grab a torta and sit in the gardens for an hour. It's a much needed break from the city and a much needed burst of flavour you never knew you needed.

Like I said, the best food in Mexico isn't found behind four walls: it's on the streets, best eaten in the sun with an agua fresca in hand.


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