Wrap a juicy chunk of meat in a warm tortilla and dunk it into a lip-tingling, garlic-and-chile broth at Birrieria Jalisco (Metro: Mariachi Plaza), which serves a simple menu of five goat dishes. Choose a half ($8.25) or full order ($9.75) of birria de chivo, a stew from the central Mexican state of Jalisco, and don’t bother asking for rice and beans.
Stand in line with cops and City Hall lawyers outside of Al & Bea’s (2025 E. 1st St., 323-267-8810; Metro: Soto), which opened in 1966 and is famous for its classic burritos. Keep it simple with a bean-and-cheese burrito ($2.50), and bite into it at one of the sun-faded outdoor tables.
Sample authentic Mexico City street food at La Placita del DF (1859 East 1st St, 323-780-8232; Metro: Mariachi Plaza), where you can eat a cemita ($5), a deliciously sloppy sandwich of breaded steak on a sesame-sprinkled egg roll, or a huarache ($4.50), an oblong maize tortilla topped with peppery beef. Be sure to try the earthy-tasting delicacy huitlacoche (corn fungus), usually served from a can north of the border, but made fresh here and stuffed inside a quesadilla ($4.50).