One of the things we like when traveling to a different destination is to blend in and enjoy the local lifestyle. While there are many aspects to it, food and schedule are among them. As such, if you’re visiting Mexico City, one of the things you want to know is meal times, like dinner hour.
In a western country, dinner is typically served at 6:00 PM. In Mexico City, the dinner hour comes later, around 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Further, some locals eat as late as 10:00 PM. Thus, you’ll notice that most local restaurants in Mexico City serve appetizers and starters by 6:00 PM.
If you’re planning to visit Mexico City, understanding meal hours is essential since it will help you blend in and understand the way of life around you. Thus, whether you’re meeting with a local or want to feel like one, this article is for you.
Here, we’ll cover everything you need about dinner hour in Mexico City. We’ll also include other meal schedules if you want to know more about how Mexicans enjoy food and eat in the city. After reading, you’ll know what to expect from locals and understand more about them as you explore the city.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
What Time Is Dinner in Mexico City?
Dinner in Mexico City is called La Cena, the day’s last meal. As mentioned earlier, dinner in the city is from around 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, and it usually goes the same in the rest of the country.
It can be surprising for tourists coming from western countries since dinner is usually around 6:00 PM. However, once you get the idea of dinner in the city, you’ll notice why it’s later in the evening.
Why is Dinner Late in Mexico City?
The first thing to note if you want to understand the dinner hour in Mexico City is that it’s different from your traditional dinner if you’re from a western country.
In Mexico City and the rest of the country, the primary dining time happens from midday to early afternoon, which is lunch. This meal usually comes in a big serving size, so they can be completed until the early evening.
Since 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM is almost near bedtime, a full meal will not be suitable. As such, most locals prefer having small snacks, and it’s already dinner for them.
In most cases, that meal can mean grabbing a street taco, preparing a hot drink with a small bread, or getting any snack they can reach. In short, dinner, or La Cena, is only meant to keep them from starving before sleeping.
How Many Meals Do Locals in Mexico City Have?
In a typical household in Mexico City, there would be three main meals a day, namely:
The first meal of the day is called Desayuno, which is breakfast. This meal is tinier than lunchtime. Nonetheless, it’s enough serving to give you the energy to start the day.
If you’re curious to know more about breakfast in the city, you’ll find it interesting to know the best dishes for breakfast. But first, read our article about Mexico City’s Most Popular Breakfast Foods.
The next meal is the main one for locals in Mexico City, and it’s lunchtime called Comida. This meal is the heaviest one of the day and is usually served and enjoyed past midday.
The last meal of the day is dinner, and it’s called Cena. Dinner is the lightest meal of the three since it’s served and enjoyed in the late evening.
Meal Schedule in Mexico City
If it’s your first time visiting Mexico City, you might find meal hours different from what you used to have. As such, here’s what to expect with the meal schedule in the city:
Breakfast Time in Mexico City
Mexico City locals usually eat breakfast between 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM. It can be late for tourists since western countries usually have breakfast early in the morning. Nonetheless, it’s the typical breakfast hour, meaning most restaurants serve breakfast as late as 10:00 AM.
Lunch Time in Mexico City
Lunchtime in Mexico City is usually served from around 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. This is because it’s the main meal of the day for Mexicans, which means it comes in a pretty hefty serving. As such, it’s enough for locals to feel full until the evening.
Dinner Time in Mexico City
As mentioned earlier, Dinner Time in Mexico City is served from around 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, although the latter is the most common time. It’s the lightest meal of the day since it’s served near bedtime.
It’s best to note that 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM is the dinner hour in Mexico City. As such, if you’re exploring the city, you can expect restaurants serving dinner at such hours. It’s also best to note the schedule if you’re meeting out or interacting with locals. Also, don’t expect dinner meals to be hefty since it’s late evening. As such, it’s best to have your fill during lunchtime, around 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
If you’re searching for the best places to eat and enjoy Mexican food, read our article about the Top Restaurants in Mexico City.