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Taconomics: Mexico’s Taquerías Are Struggling With Inflation, Too

2:38 PM PST on December 16, 2021

If you’re heading to L.A.'s sister city of Mexico City over the holidays, prepare to pay more for your tacos. A short lesson in taconomics reveals a brutal reality for taqueros trying to sustain their businesses amid surging global inflation.

As the cost of cooking fuel and ingredients like beef, Maseca, and cilantro rapidly rises, inflation is hitting Mexico’s taquerías and small restaurants hard. With no signs that it will let up soon.

Mexico News Daily takes a look at the struggle, noting a .74% monthly rise in costs for small restaurants and taquerías, including a steep hike in the price of meats and produce. For example, the price of red tomatoes climbed 25.38% in November alone, while the fee for some fresh chiles jumped 30.66% that same month. All of which is dialing up the fiscal heat for your favorite salsa de molcajete. Cooking fuel prices, already soaring from a supply shortage spurred by calamitous weather in Texas last winter, remain high despite a slight dip in November.

The owner of Taquería La Esquinita in the city’s northern Zacatenco neighborhood noted for its tripas con suadero and tacos campechanos, mentions that the price for plates and cutlery has also doubled, along with the cost of meat, herbs, and vegetables. As his salsa verde now costs five times the price to produce, he’s been forced to incrementally raise the per peso cost of his tacos de sesos, lengua, and pastor.

Doña Leo, the owner of a tiny 45-year-old taquería in Mexico City’s southeast, puts it plainly to the publication Milenio, disclosing, “Everything that is used in a taquería went up a lot… sometimes we are left with [no money], just satisfaction and the tradition of talking to customers … ”

So if you’re heading to Mexico City over the holidays, be prepared to pay more for your tacos. And please don’t be shy about adding a little more to that bill after that so your taquero and taquera can eat, too.

It’s firmly within the holiday spirit to let your embattled taquería know that you value their life’s work of sustaining of one of civilization’s greatest feats of engineering and capital exchange: the taco.

And should you be staying put in L.A., Hollywood's Tacos Don Manolito's is the city's newest source for CDMX-style tacos, including a killer campechano of its own.

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