The Most Popular Hispanic Food: Exploring the Culinary Delights

Choose the food you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 14, 2024 07:12
Welcome to StrawPoll, the ultimate destination for foodies and culture enthusiasts! We've cooked up a mouth-watering ranking of "What is the most popular Hispanic food?" and we need your help to spice it up. With thousands of polls and rankings on various topics, we're serving you the chance to vote for your favorite Hispanic dish or even suggest a scrumptious missing option. So, indulge your taste buds and join us on this culinary adventure as we explore the rich flavors and diverse gastronomy of Hispanic cuisine. Satisfy your curiosity and appetite, and let's discover together which dish will be crowned the most popular Hispanic food! Click further to embark on this fiesta of flavors and don't forget, buen provecho!

What Is the Most Popular Hispanic Food?

  1. 1
    Tacos are a staple in Mexican cuisine and are loved for their versatility and flavor. They consist of a tortilla filled with meat, beans, vegetables, and cheese, and are often topped with salsa and guacamole.
    Tacos are a popular Mexican dish that has become a beloved food in America. They consist of a tortilla filled with various ingredients, typically including meat, cheese, vegetables, and salsa. The tortilla is folded around the filling, creating a handheld, portable meal. Tacos are known for their delicious combination of flavors and textures.
    • Variety: Tacos can be made with a wide range of fillings, including beef, chicken, pork, fish, shrimp, or even vegetarian options. This versatility allows for countless variations and customization possibilities.
    • Tortilla: Tacos are traditionally made with a corn tortilla, but flour tortillas are also commonly used. The tortilla serves as the base for holding the fillings together.
    • Salsa and Sauces: Tacos are often accompanied by various salsas and sauces, such as salsa verde, pico de gallo, guacamole, or hot sauce. These condiments add a burst of flavor and enhance the overall experience.
    • Toppings: Tacos can be topped with a variety of ingredients, including shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, sour cream, or avocado. These toppings add freshness, crunch, and additional flavors.
    • Regional Variations: Different regions in Mexico and the United States have their own unique variations of tacos. Examples include street-style tacos, Baja fish tacos, al pastor tacos, carne asada tacos, and more.
  2. 2
    Paella is a popular Spanish dish that originated in the Valencia region. It is a rice dish that is cooked with saffron and a variety of ingredients such as seafood, chicken, and vegetables. The dish is traditionally cooked over an open flame and served as a communal dish.
    Paella is a traditional Spanish rice dish that originated in the Valencia region. It is renowned for its vibrant colors, rich flavors, and enticing aroma. Paella is traditionally cooked in a shallow, wide pan known as a paellera, which allows for even heat distribution and the formation of a delicious crust at the bottom of the rice. The dish typically consists of short-grain rice cooked with a variety of ingredients, such as saffron, chicken, rabbit, seafood (including shrimp, clams, and mussels), and vegetables (such as bell peppers, tomatoes, and green beans). It is seasoned with spices like paprika and often garnished with lemon wedges. Paella is enjoyed as a communal dish, bringing people together to savor the flavors of Spain.
    • Origin: Spain
    • Type of rice: short-grain rice
    • Cooking vessel: a wide, shallow pan called a paellera
    • Key ingredients: saffron, chicken, rabbit, seafood (shrimp, clams, mussels), vegetables (bell peppers, tomatoes, green beans)
    • Seasonings: spices like paprika
  3. 3
    Empanadas are a popular dish in Latin America and Spain. They are a type of pastry that is filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables and are often served as a snack or appetizer. They are also a popular street food in many Latin American countries.
    Empanadas are a popular traditional dish in Colombia, consisting of a savory pastry filled with various ingredients. They are typically deep-fried until golden and crispy, providing a delicious combination of flavors and textures. Empanadas can be found all across Colombia, from street food vendors to upscale restaurants. They are commonly enjoyed as a snack, appetizer, or main dish. The creator of Empanadas is not specific to Colombia, as this dish has variations and influences from various culinary traditions. However, Empanadas are believed to have originated in Spain and were introduced to Colombia during the colonial period.
    • Varieties: There are various types of Empanadas in Colombia, including beef, chicken, pork, cheese, potato, and vegetarian options.
    • Dough: The dough is typically made from a combination of flour, water, and sometimes eggs or butter. It is rolled thin and folded over the filling before being sealed.
    • Filling: The filling can vary depending on the type of Empanada. Beef Empanadas are often filled with ground beef, onions, and spices. Chicken Empanadas may contain shredded chicken, vegetables, and herbs. Cheese Empanadas have a filling of melted cheese, and potato Empanadas are stuffed with seasoned mashed potatoes.
    • Spices: Empanadas are seasoned with a variety of spices, such as cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and chili powder, to enhance the flavors of the filling.
    • Cooking Method: Empanadas are typically deep-fried until golden and crispy. However, they can also be baked or pan-fried for a healthier alternative.
  4. 4
    Arepas are a traditional food from Colombia and Venezuela. They are made from cornmeal dough and are often filled with cheese, meat, or vegetables. They are similar to a sandwich and are often served for breakfast or as a snack.
    Arepas are a staple food in Colombia, popular for their versatility, delicious taste, and ability to satisfy hunger. They are a type of flatbread made primarily from cornmeal dough and are typically round or oval in shape. Arepas can be either grilled, baked, or fried, resulting in varying textures and flavors. They are commonly consumed throughout Colombia and are often enjoyed as a breakfast item, snack, or accompaniment to main meals.
    • Ingredients: Cornmeal, water, salt (optional)
    • Shape: Round or oval
    • Texture: Soft or crunchy, depending on cooking method
    • Cooking methods: Grilled, baked, or fried
    • Sizes: Varies from small bite-sized arepitas to larger meal-sized arepas
  5. 5
    Ceviche is a dish that originated in Peru and is now popular throughout Latin America. It is a seafood dish that is marinated in lime juice and served with onions, peppers, and cilantro. It is often served as an appetizer or as a main course.
    Ceviche is a popular appetizer in Mexico that consists of raw seafood, typically fish, marinated in citrus juices, such as lime or lemon, which effectively 'cooks' the fish. The dish is usually seasoned with various ingredients like onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and chili peppers. The result is a fresh and flavorful seafood dish that is often served chilled.
    • Main Ingredient: Seafood (commonly fish)
    • Marinade: Citrus juices (lime or lemon)
    • Seasonings: Onions, tomatoes, cilantro, chili peppers
    • Preparation: Raw seafood 'cooked' in citrus juices
    • Serving Temperature: Chilled
  6. 6
    Churros are a popular dessert in Spain, Mexico, and other Latin American countries. They are a fried dough pastry that is often served with chocolate sauce or caramel sauce. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and are often enjoyed as a breakfast treat or as a snack.
    Churros are a delicious Spanish dessert consisting of deep-fried dough pastry. They are typically long and cylindrical in shape, with a crispy exterior and soft, doughy interior. Churros are often dusted with sugar and cinnamon, adding a sweet and aromatic flavor to the dessert. They are commonly served hot and are perfect for dipping into a warm cup of hot chocolate or served with a side of dulce de leche.
    • Shape: Long, cylindrical
    • Texture: Crispy exterior, soft interior
    • Coating: Dusted with sugar and cinnamon
    • Serving style: Hot, often with a cup of hot chocolate or dulce de leche
    • Country of origin: Spain
  7. 7
    Pupusas are a traditional food from El Salvador. They are a type of stuffed tortilla that is filled with cheese, meat, or beans. They are often served with a tomato-based sauce and are a popular street food in El Salvador and other Latin American countries.
    Pupusas are a traditional and iconic dish in El Salvador, which is a small country located in Central America. They are thick, round, handmade tortillas filled with various ingredients and cooked on a griddle until they are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
    • Corn masa: Pupusas are made with a special dough called masa, which is typically made from ground corn.
    • Fillings: They can be stuffed with a variety of fillings such as cheese, beans, pork, chicken, loroco (a local edible flower), or a combination of ingredients.
    • Serving: Pupusas are often served with curtido, a pickled cabbage slaw, and a tomato-based salsa.
    • Cooking method: They are cooked on a flat griddle called a comal until they develop a golden-brown color and the filling melts.
    • Popular street food: Pupusas are commonly found in street food stalls, markets, and pupuserias (places specializing in pupusas).
  8. 8
    Arroz con Pollo is a popular dish in Latin America and Spain. It is a rice dish that is cooked with chicken, vegetables, and spices. It is often served as a main course and is a popular comfort food in many Latin American countries.
    Arroz con Pollo is a traditional and flavorful dish that originated in Spain and is popular across Latin America. It is a one-pot meal featuring tender chicken pieces cooked with aromatic rice and a variety of vegetables and spices. The name literally translates to 'rice with chicken' in English.
    • Main Ingredients: Chicken, rice, vegetables (such as bell peppers, tomatoes, peas), spices (such as garlic, saffron, paprika)
    • Cooking Method: Braising or simmering the chicken with the rice and other ingredients in a flavorful broth or sauce
    • Texture: Tender and moist chicken, perfectly cooked rice
    • Flavor Profile: Rich, savory, and aromatic with hints of garlic, saffron, and other spices
    • Variations: Different countries and regions have their own versions of Arroz con Pollo, incorporating local ingredients and spices
    Arroz con Pollo in other rankings
  9. 9
    Guacamole is a dip that is made from mashed avocados, onions, tomatoes, and spices. It is a popular appetizer and is often served with tortilla chips or as a topping for tacos and burritos.
    Guacamole is a creamy and delicious topping made from mashed avocados seasoned with various ingredients. It is a popular Mexican condiment that adds a rich and flavorful element to tacos and other dishes.
    • Main ingredient: Avocado
    • Texture: Creamy and smooth
    • Color: Vibrant green
    • Seasoning: Lime juice, salt, onion, garlic, cilantro, tomato
    • Usage: Condiment, dip
  10. 10
    Flan is a dessert that is popular in Latin America and Spain. It is a creamy custard that is baked in a caramel sauce. It is often served with whipped cream or fruit and is a popular dessert for special occasions.
    Flan is a delicate and creamy custard dessert with a caramel topping. It is made by baking a mixture of eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla until set. The caramelized sugar on top creates a rich and slightly bitter sauce that complements the smooth and sweet custard.
    • Texture: Silky and smooth
    • Flavor: Sweet and creamy with a hint of caramel
    • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
    • Baking Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
    • Chilling Time: 4 hours or overnight

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Ranking factors for popular food

  1. Taste and flavor profile
    The taste and flavor profile of the dish should be appealing and well-liked by a large number of people. This may include the balance of spices, herbs, and other ingredients used in the dish.
  2. Cultural significance
    The dish should have a strong connection with the Hispanic culture and should be a part of traditional or regional cuisine. The dish should represent the culinary heritage and history of the Hispanic community.
  3. Availability and accessibility
    The dish should be easily available in restaurants, food markets, and households across different regions. This means that the ingredients required for the dish should generally be easy to find and the preparation should not require highly specific or rare ingredients.
  4. Popularity in media and pop culture
    The dish's popularity in media outlets, such as television shows, movies, and food blogs, can also contribute to its overall popularity and ranking. This also reflects on the dish's influence in the contemporary food scene.
  5. Preparation and cooking techniques
    The dish should have a unique and authentic preparation and cooking technique that sets it apart from other cuisines. This may include specific ways of marinating, seasoning, or presenting the dish.
  6. Versatility and adaptability
    The dish should be versatile and adaptable to different dietary preferences, such as vegetarian or vegan diets, and should be able to cater to different taste preferences through adjustments in ingredients or spices.
  7. Nutritional value
    The nutritional value of the dish should ideally be well-balanced and provide a good mix of essential nutrients. Health-conscious consumers may be more likely to prefer dishes that are wholesome and nutritious.
  8. Presentation and aesthetics
    The presentation and aesthetics of the dish can also play a part in its popularity. Plating and presentation techniques that make the dish visually appealing can contribute to its overall popularity.
  9. Social media presence
    In the digital age, the popularity of a dish can also be attributed to its presence on social media platforms. Dishes with a strong social media presence and high engagement (e.g. likes, shares, comments) may be considered more popular.
  10. Regional variations and adaptations
    A dish that has multiple regional variations and adaptations can be an indicator of its widespread popularity and acceptance amongst different communities within the Hispanic culture.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular Hispanic food. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or food is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 187 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each food once every 24 hours. The rank of each food is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular hispanic food

Hispanic cuisine is a rich and diverse tapestry of flavors, traditions, and cultural influences. From Mexico to Spain, Latin America to the Caribbean, this vibrant culinary landscape offers a dizzying array of dishes, ingredients, and cooking techniques. Whether you're craving spicy chiles rellenos, savory paella, or sweet flan, there's something for every taste bud in this delicious world of Hispanic food. So, what is the most popular Hispanic food? The answer may surprise you, as there are so many beloved dishes to choose from. Some might say it's tacos, with their crispy shells, juicy fillings, and endless topping options. Others might argue for the tangy, aromatic flavors of ceviche, or the comforting warmth of a steaming bowl of arroz con pollo. And let's not forget about empanadas, churros, tamales, or any number of other mouthwatering treats that are sure to delight your taste buds. No matter which Hispanic food you prefer, one thing is for sure: this cuisine is a celebration of life, love, and community. So grab a fork, dig in, and savor the flavors of this amazing culinary tradition.

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