Gringa de pastor – a Mexico City mutation of taco and quesadilla

As happens with many culinary creations, the exact origin of the gringa de pastor has multiple and mythic overtones. Its tasty flavor has more than a few vying for invention rights of a dish so characteristic of Mexico City. 

dónde comer las mejores gringas en cdmx
Photo: Sargento

The origin of gringas

One accepted history claims that it originated in the Anzures neighborhood in 1969, a period rife with foreign students in this area. Apparently, two American girls (Jennifer Anderson and Sharon Smith as the legend goes) frequently visited the taqueria El Fogoncito and used to order their tacos in flour tortillas for fear that the corn tortilla would stain their teeth yellow. This generated curiosity among the other diners, who then began to ask the taqueros to prepare their tacos “como a las gringas” or “a la gringa.” Over time the term “gringa” was coined to refer to a taco al pastor with cheese and pineapple in a flour tortilla. 

dónde comer las mejores gringas en CDMX
Photo: Food Service

Another version says that gringas are actually the rebellious daughters of carne asada tacos, which were introduced to the north of the country, specifically Monterrey, due to American influence. This story relates them more to burritos of the north than to quesadillas, which are much more common in central and southern Mexico. 

dónde comer las mejores gringas en cdmx
Photo: ©carlosrojas20 via

Regardless of their origin, locals and tourists alike know that gringas de pastor are perfect for satisfying any craving. It’s not for nothing that the famed Taste Atlas (the food world’s travel guide) ranked gringas in their top 50 best street foods in the world. One more reason to be proud of the creations that arise throughout Mexico. 

In service to this culinary jewel, here are three taquerias where you can go taste one (or several):

El Pastorcito

dónde comer mejores gringas cdmx
Photo: Sharon

Lorenzo Boturini 4503, Aeronáutica Militar, Venustiano Carranza

El Fogoncito

dónde comer las mejores gringas de cdmx el fogoncito
Photo: El Fogoncito

Leibniz 54, Anzures, Miguel Hidalgo

T. 55 5531 6497

IG. @elfogoncitooficial

El Vilsito

dónde comer las mejores gringas cdmx
Photo: Marco Beteta

Petén 248 y, Av. Universidad, Narvarte Poniente

T. 55 5536 3636

IG. @tacoselvilsito

El Farolito

dónde comer las mejores gringas cdmx el farolito
Photo: El Farolito

Insurgentes 866 esq. Ameyalco, Del Valle Centro, Benito Juárez

T. 55 5920 2982

IG. @tacoselfarolito_mx

El Tizoncito

dónde comer las mejores gringas en cdmx el tizoncito
Photo: Tripadvisor

See locations

IG. @eltizoncitomx

El Califa

dónde comer las mejores gringas cdmx el califa
Photo: El Califa

Alfonso Reyes 273, Condesa, Cuauhtémoc

T. 55 5271 6285IG. @elcalifa_mx

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