What to Buy at a Mexican Grocery Store?

Have you ever shopped at a Mexican grocery store before? If not, you are in for a treat! Cultural grocery stores can be found all around the United States due to the melting pot nature of the country. Because of the large number of Mexican immigrants coming into America, there will likely be a Mexican grocery store within driving distance of your home wherever you are located. This is especially true if you are near the border or along the East and West coasts.
What to Buy at a Mexican Grocery Store?

10 Items You Should Buy At Mexican Grocery Store

Whether you are shopping at these stores because you are Mexican and would like to make some cultural dishes, or you would just like to try something new, here is a handy guide telling you the top 10 things you can search for at a Mexican market.

1. Fresh Tortillas

Fresh Tortillas

The best thing you can purchase when you go to an authentic Mexican food store is fresh tortillas. While it is best to find a place that makes them by hand in-shop, finding stores that sell homemade frozen variations is a good option too. Even locally sourced pre-packaged tortillas will taste better from these markets.

2. Dry Beans

Dry Beans

You do not have to know a lot about this type of cuisine to be aware that one of its major staples is beans! From pinto to black, they can be found in a majority of authentic cultural dishes alongside their mighty companion rice. Look for dry beans in bags at these types of stores, as they will usually be found cheap and in large quantities!

3. Specialty Salsas and Sauces

Specialty Salsas and Sauces

Sick of using Frank’s Red Hot and Tostitos salsa in everything? Try looking for homemade salsas and sauces made by people who know what they are doing. Purchasing house options is an excellent way to support local businesses. If your local Mexican store doesn’t have house products, then try a genuine Mexican brand to get a better sense of what the food is supposed to taste like.

4. Tomatoes

Regardless of what type of dish you are making, there is a good chance that it calls for tomatoes! Check out the produce section of your local Mexican grocery store. You will surely be impressed by the freshness of the food. Oftentimes, the prices are also much lower than those you would find at a traditional American grocer. You will also find a greater tomato variety, as there are lots of different tomatoes involved in Mexican cooking.

5. Peppers

There is a seemingly endless amount of peppers you can insert into your Mexican cooking. If you are a fan of mild ones, then your options include but are not limited to sweet banana peppers, bell peppers, and red roasters. If you are not afraid to give your food a little bit of a kick, then popular options include jalapenos, habaneros, and good old chili peppers.

6. Unique Candies

Unique Candies

Do you have a sweet tooth? Then you are in for a real treat. A staple at any Mexican specialty food shop is candy. If you do not speak Spanish, you may have a hard time identifying what everything is. Since it all tastes good, though, you do not have to worry about this! Most of the time, the candy will either be sold out in the open or transparent packaging so you can at least tell what general type of sweets you are purchasing. This is hands down the aisle where you will find some of the best Mexican products. Just try not to get too carried away!

7. Avocados

Avocados are one of Mexico’s primary exports because they grow so well in several parts of the country. Because they are locally grown in Mexico, you will find these fruits at most Mexican food locations. The most popular side you can incorporate them into is guacamole. However, these fruits go well in lots of other things too and even taste good on their own with a little bit of salt and pepper! Plus, they are known for providing large doses of healthy fats and vitamins. Incorporating this into your regular diet can help your skin, improve your brain functioning, and more!

8. Cilantro and Related Herbs

Mexican cuisine is well-known for its unique use of herbs and spices. If you are not familiar with this type of cooking, then you may not have even heard of a lot of the seasonings that go into the dishes. Cilantro is a popular Mexican item that you can buy. Others include cumin, coriander, chili powder, paprika, and more! This type of food is typically spicy. If you did not grow up eating spicy things, then you are probably better off skipping chili powders and other fiery additives until your palate adjusts to the heat of real Mexican cooking.

9. Soda and Other Beverages

You have probably heard the rumor that Mexican coke and other variations of pop taste better. Well, it’s true! These beverages primarily use real cane sugar, which makes them healthier and naturally sweeter. They are also typically served in glass bottles, which adds to the drinking experience. This being said, before purchasing a beverage, check the label on the back of the bottle to make sure you are getting the real thing. If it says that high fructose corn syrup is inside, then it is likely no different than pop you could buy anywhere else.

10. Baked Goods

Baked Goods

Unless you grew up eating Mexican products, you are probably not familiar with a lot of these sweets, or dulces, as they would be called. If you are a fan of baked goods in general, though, you will not want to pass up trying these typical Mexican things. They blend savory and sweet into genius combinations. Popular pastries and baked goods include churros, conchas, limas, tostados, mantecados, and chilindrinas.

Where to Buy Mexican Groceries?

In the U.S., you are just as likely to come across a family-owned location as a corporate one. Just in case you are closer to a corporate chain, though, below are a couple of popular options.

El Rio Grande

El Rio Grande is a well-known Latin market that is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. It has 5 different locations:

  • Dallas;
  • Fort Worth;
  • Mesquite;
  • Garland;
  • and Grand Prairie.

The El Rio Grande ads that the store puts out on a weekly basis keep its customers satisfied. In addition to offering favorite brands such as Bimbo Bakeries and Nestle, the store also has tasty recipes on its website.


If you have not checked out the Vallarta flyers yet, you are in for a real treat! They allow you to save on everything from meat to produce. You will see some of the lowest prices in your life, including name-brand beverages for as little as 50 cents. You can even have the sales sent right to your phone!

El Super

The El Super deals that this chain puts out are, as its name would imply, super. The saving opportunities cover a massive range of items from household staples like bread and eggs to unique snacks and drinks. Plus, this store is compatible with Instacart, which means you can get your groceries delivered!

Fiesta Foods

There are three different locations of this grocer in Washington. If you live near one, you’ll want to check out the Fiesta Foods Supermarkets ads to save on family-sized product packages and meats. Just make sure you use it before the coupons go void!

Fiesta Mart

Try not to confuse Fiesta Mart offers with the above location. Fiesta Mart’s papers are always stuffed with deals mostly under $5. They allow you to feed even large families for cheap! There are over 60 locations of this retailer in Texas, so it is likely that there is one near you if you’re from this state.


There are nearly 50 locations of Cardenas, all of which offer Cardenas flyers that will please you. In addition to the week-long sale items, the flyers also offer amazing 2- and 3-day sales. This is something relatively unique to this store.

These stores all do a great job of providing their customers with regular coupons and sales papers. They truly prioritize their customers, making sure they are offering them high-quality foods at affordable prices. One upside at shopping at one of the above chains is consistency. At family-owned shops, you never know what you might find on the shelves. Surprises can be pleasant sometimes. However, if you are cooking something specific, you might be better off going to a corporate chain where the same things are always in stock (except for seasonal items).

If you began this article wondering what to buy at a Mexican grocery store, hopefully, the answer has been cleared up for you. These distinctive retailers offer a bona fide look into this amazing culture. Whether it is your original culture or not, you will enjoy tasting Mexican snacks and trying your hand at cooking cultural dishes.