Home Articles How Much Food You Can Buy in Mazatlán for Five Bucks

How Much Food You Can Buy in Mazatlán for Five Bucks

Shopping cart with produce
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Even though I’ve lived on the west coast of Mexico for 16 years, I still find myself surprised at how much food you can buy in Mazatlán for five bucks, or about $100 pesos, once you get away from the tourist and resort areas,

A big part of the lower food costs in Mexico are the small cafés called comida corrida, or street food. They are usually tucked away on side streets in the hotel zone of Mazatlán, where the employees go to eat, but you can find them anywhere. They’re worth finding for low prices, simple home-cooked Mexican foods and lots of local flavor. Commonly there are a couple of meal options for the day, with a fixed price that includes a drink, hot entrée and dessert.

Just this morning I enjoyed a lovely breakfast of a spinach and cheese omelet, steaming hot fresh-made corn tortillas and a small side salad for just $100 pesos. And while prices are going up (like in the rest of the world) I find I can still eat well for around five bucks. That’s what a simple breakfast of a bagel sandwich, standard American bacon and eggs, French toast or waffle costs in Mazatlán.

A street café in the main square in Mazatlán, Mexico
Credit: Robert H Ellis | Shutterstock

If a friend and I want to meet for a cappuccino or latte, $100 pesos will cover both of us. And at my favorite bakery, we can get four big all-butter croissants: two to eat there, and one for each of us to take home. What’s not to love?

Prices quoted in this article are based on Mazatlán-only as of June 2022. Please keep in mind that Mexico is a big country and most likely costs will be different elsewhere.

If you like going out to eat, here are some other examples of what $100 pesos will get you:

  • Three to 10 street tacos
  • Three restaurant tacos
  • A BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato sandwich)
  • A fresh dorado dinner
  • A basic hamburger with fries
  • Two large chicken burgers at Puro Pollo
  • Eight boneless chicken wings and a beer on tap
  • A big bowl of seafood or tortilla soup
  • A nice-sized order of shrimp or fish ceviche
  • A medium one-topping pizza at Domino’s
  • Almost a pound of grilled pork ribs

Another option is to go to a local shop for pollo rostizado: $99 pesos for half of a roasted chicken with potatoes, tortillas and salsa, all cooked fresh and packed up neatly for takeout. Or, for something really simple, how about an instant noodle cup? You can easily buy 9-10 cups of most brands for $100 pesos.

Countertop with fruits and vegetables
Credit: Ronald Sumners | Shutterstock

Prices drop even more once you’re cooking in your own kitchen. As a single retiree living mostly off my Social Security checks, I have to watch what I spend. But I’ve found that my budget easily accommodates enough fresh produce, dairy products, meats and seafood to keep me healthy, happy and inspired in the kitchen, because prices are so reasonable. And buying seasonal helps keep costs even lower. For example, right now, $100 pesos buys you five pineapples or two kilos (6-8) of mangos. I’ll freeze mango in chunks or purée to have in the fall and winter when they’re out of season.

Mexico's "green gold" avocados
Credit: freepik

For $100 pesos for each item, I can keep my refrigerator stocked with these basics:

  • Two dozen eggs
  • 8 yellow lemons
  • 3+ kilos / 7 lbs. small Colima limes
  • 8-10 pounds of tomatoes
  • 3 big avocados
  • 2-3 eggplants
  • 5 pounds of fresh ginger or turmeric root
  • 6 heads of iceberg lettuce
  • 10 lbs. of carrots
  • 3+ kilos / 7 lbs. white potatoes
  • 5 kilos / 10 lbs. white onions
  • 4 quarts of organic milk from a local dairy
  • 2 kilos Washington State apples
  • A pound of raw shelled pecan halves
  • 1liter of heavy whipping cream (crema para batir)
  • 3 pkg. of Philadelphia cream cheese

Condiments and sandwich “fixins” also are affordable. For $100 pesos per item or less, I can buy:

  • 3 (13 oz.) pkg. Heinz mustard
  • 3 (567 g) Heinz ketchup
  • 1 (32 oz.) jar Best Foods mayonnaise
  • Two big loaves of whole wheat sourdough bread, baked fresh at a local bakery
  • 7 oz. package aged cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb. Oaxaca cheese ($168/kilo)
  • 1 kilo sliced premium ham

It’s true that imported foods can be expensive, but because the basics are so reasonable, I feel OK about splurging on other things. You have to keep an eye out in the “gourmet” or imported food sections of your grocery store and watch for deals. I’ve found the shelves to be a constantly changing repertoire of wonderful or peculiar imported foods, with wildly irrational pricing. For that same $100 pesos, I can buy per item:

  • 2 (15.3 oz.) boxes of Hungry Jack instant mashed potatoes
  • 3 boxes (30 cookies) fortune cookies
  • 1 box Eggo waffles
  • 2 Duncan Hines boxed cake mixes
  • 8 oz. ball of imported Italian mozzarella cheese
  • 4 pkgs. Barilla imported Italian pasta
  • 12 oz. jar imported Spanish capers
  • 7 oz. bar imported Danish Lurpak butter (with change)
  • 5 packs of Trident gum
  • 2 (6 oz.) bags Lay’s or Ruffles potato chips
  • 2 lb. jar of (fabulous) imported German pickles

What about protein? At my local butcher I can get buy two big boneless, skinless whole chicken breasts for $100 pesos. Nearby at the fish market I’ll pick up a pound of fresh-caught swordfish or dorado or a pound of 3-inch, wild-caught, flash-frozen whole shrimp.

Prices at the grocery store are reasonable too, all coming in around $100 pesos:

  • 1+ lb. whole Bachoco chicken
  • 1 kilo Bachoco skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • A little under a kilo of mixed ground beef & pork
  • 1 kilo ground beef (80/20)
  • 1 lb. beef milanesa
  • 5 cans Tuny 100% tuna

In recent years, more and more organic “health foods” are available throughout Mexico, whether you shop in a store or online through Amazon Mexico. For $100 pesos (or less) you can buy these products:

  • 1 lb. bag organic coconut flour
  • 1 kilo of organic extra-long grain brown rice or organic black beans
  • Three (one quart) containers of almond milk
  • 2 liters organic plain, fruit or coconut yogurt
  • 2 liters coconut/almond milk drink
  • Half-pound of organic Chiapas coffee beans

How about something to drink? Choose from three fresh cocos frios, two liters of fresh-squeezed orange juice or a 16 oz. fruit smoothie, made to order? Each will only set you back about $100 pesos.

Or these other drink options:

  • Two 10-liter bottles purified water
  • 4 imported Italian San Pellegino natural fruit sodas
  • 4 big bottles Topo-Chico mineral water
  • 2 big bottles original Coca-Cola

Right about now you’re probably feeling like having an adult beverage. That $100 pesos will get you an 8-pack of Pacifico or Tecate beer, a 16-ounce draft of artisan beer (plus another 5-ounce pour) or a cocktail made with name-brand alcohol. It’s Happy Hour somewhere!