When Americans think about Mexican breads, they often think about tortillas — and that’s about it.
But lo’ and behold, there’s a whole world of Mexican bread out there. And trust me, they’re worth getting a better understanding of and even more worth getting a taste of!
I love Mexican breads because they are versatile, fluffy, and delicious. People use Mexican breads in various dishes and at different times of the day, depending on each type of bread’s unique tastes, consistency, shape, size, and other qualities.
In this article, I’ll describe the best Mexican breads, share why I like them, and provide recommendations for when to eat them and what to eat them with.
Soon enough, you’ll be well-versed on Mexican bread and prepared to try a few out!
Bolillo is a type of bread that looks similar to a French baguette but shorter, thicker, and rounder.
It is plain white bread that people typically bake in a stove oven.
I like bolillos because the outside is crunchy, and the inside is soft and fluffy, providing a dynamic and heartwarming consistency.
It’s usually more savory than sweet, but it has a mild flavor either way. This mild flavor makes it ideal for meat and cheese sandwiches or to pair with traditional dishes like mole or birria.
Because it is mild and agreeable for many people, bolillos are versatile, and you can eat them at all times and on various occasions.
A concha is a sweet, traditional Mexican bread that people usually flavored with chocolate or vanilla.
I love that it is so sweet and crunchy, which makes it look and feel similar to a cookie, especially on the outer layer.
The inside is a soft and fluffy texture, similar to “regular” bread, providing a lovely contrast in texture.
It’s one of my favorite types of bread to eat with coffee in the morning because of how sweet it is.
It can also be a great dessert bread to have with tea or milk later on in the day.
If I can get my hands on Mexican hot chocolate, a concha is a perfect snack for dipping into the hot chocolate, which softens up the harder top layer.
Pan de Muerto
Like a concha, a pan de Muerto is a kind of pan dulce called “sweet bread” in English.
Pan de Muerto, meaning “bread of the dead,” is specifically made for Day of the Dead celebrations throughout Mexico.
It’s a round, soft, fluffy bread often adorned with bones and skulls made from the same dough. The bread usually has a sweet, orange-scented flavor to it.
I like this bread because it is special and significant to Mexican culture. Day of the Dead is a time to remember and celebrate loved ones who have passed away, and this bread is eaten as part of the festivities.
I think it’s a beautiful tradition, and I love that the bread is so soft, sweet, and even licorice-like, thanks to the anise.
Rosca de Reyes
A Rosca de Reyes – also called a king’s cake – is a ring-shaped bread that people traditionally eat on Three Kings Day, or the Epiphany.
The bread is often flavored with citrus zest, anise, and rum. It also has hard candy in the center, which symbolizes baby Jesus.
I like this bread because it’s so festive and special. It’s a tradition in Mexico to hide the baby Jesus figurine inside the Rosca de Reyes, and whoever finds this figurine is supposed to host a party on February 2nd.
I love that eating this bread is such a fun way to celebrate the holiday, and I appreciate the complex taste of this bread just as much as its complex story and tradition.
A tortilla is a flatbread made out of wheat flour or cornmeal. It’s soft, round, and thin, making it the perfect vessel for a variety of fillings.
I love tortillas because they’re so versatile. You can use different sizes of tortillas for so many dishes, including but not limited to:
I also appreciate how simple tortillas are. They’re not too dense or light and usually have a neutral flavor that doesn’t overpower the fillings.
Flour tortillas are usually a bit fluffier than corn tortillas, but I like the taste and texture of corn tortillas more.
However, flour tortillas do the trick for bigger items like burritos and enchiladas because they come in bigger sizes and can also hold heavier, juicier fillings better than corn tortillas.
Capirotada is a Mexican dish that is essentially a bread pudding.
It’s made with layers of bolillo or telera bread, cheese, and sweet syrup made from piloncillo, cinnamon, and cloves.
People usually eat this bread pudding on Good Friday, the Friday before Easter.
I love capirotada because it’s such a unique dish. I’ve had my fair share of bread pudding before, but I’ve never had one quite like this.
The sweet and savory flavors come together perfectly, and the cheese provides a lovely creaminess that ties the whole dish together.
This bread pudding is a more indulgent dish, but it’s one that I think is worth splurging on now and then.
Pan De Yema
Pan de Yema is a type of Mexican sweet bread made with eggs, butter, and yema, a type of Spanish custard.
This bread is usually round and soft and has a light yellow color thanks to the yolks in the batter.
I love this bread because it’s so rich and decadent. The custard filling is absolutely delicious, and I love the slightly crunchy texture of the exterior.
This bread is often eaten for breakfast or as a snack, but I think it would be wonderful served as a dessert after a large meal.
Telera is a white bread roll similar to a bolillo.
The differences between telera and bolillo are that telera is usually flatter, has three perforated lines to distinguish between three sections, and has a softer exterior than a bolillo.
Otherwise, the inside of both is very similar in terms of both taste and texture.
Like bolillo, telera bread is perfect for making delicious, stacked sandwiches filled with meats, cheeses, vegetables, and sauces.
I love telera bread because it’s slightly lighter and fluffier than bolillo but still holds up well for sandwiches. It’s the perfect bread to use for a picnic or outdoor gathering.
Pan De Elote
Last but not least is pan de elote, which is Mexican cornbread.
This bread is made with fresh corn, milk, eggs, flour, butter, and a variety of spices. It’s usually sweet, moist, and very flavorful.
I love this bread because it’s the perfect balance of sweet and savory. It’s also very moist and fluffy, which makes it incredibly enjoyable to eat.
The best way to eat pan de elote is to simply spread some butter on it and enjoy it with coffee or tea.
- Pan de Muerto
- Rosca de Reyes
- Pan De Yema
- Pan De Elote
These are some of the best Mexican breads you can try, either at a great Mexican restaurant, bakery, or even at home.
If you’re lucky enough to participate in a traditional Mexican celebration for Easter or Day of the Day, you may even get to try one of the more special, event-specific breads on this list.
However, each bread has its own unique flavor and texture that makes it special in its own way.
So, which of these Mexican breads will you try first? Let us know in the comments!
If you’re looking for something lighter, check out our favorite Mexican snack foods!
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