Are you curious about what time dinner is eaten in Mexico? Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we will explore the dining customs of Mexico and uncover the typical time at which Mexicans sit down to enjoy their evening meal. From the vibrant street food culture to traditional family gatherings, get ready to discover the fascinating dining habits of this lively country. Get ready to satisfy your hunger for knowledge as we uncover the answer to the burning question: What time is dinner eaten in Mexico?

What Time Is Dinner Eaten In Mexico?

Traditional Mexican Meal Times

In Mexico, meal times are an important part of daily life and culture. Each meal has its own significance, and the timings vary depending on the region, work schedules, and social customs. This article will delve into the traditional Mexican meal times, focusing on breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We will explore the typical foods consumed during these meals, as well as the factors that influence the timing of dinner. So, let’s dive in and discover the vibrant culinary traditions of Mexico!


Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day in Mexico. It provides the necessary fuel to kickstart your day and keep you energized. In Mexican households, breakfast is typically a hearty affair, with a wide variety of dishes to choose from. From the famous chilaquiles (fried tortilla chips topped with salsa, cheese, and eggs) to the simple but satisfying huevos rancheros (fried eggs served on a tortilla with a flavorful sauce), breakfast in Mexico is a true feast for the senses.

Typical Breakfast Foods

Aside from chilaquiles and huevos rancheros, there are many other popular breakfast foods in Mexico. One such dish is molletes, which are open-faced sandwiches made with a crusty bread roll topped with refried beans, melted cheese, and sometimes, pico de gallo or avocado. Another favorite is tamales, which are steamed corn husks filled with a variety of savory or sweet fillings, such as shredded chicken, cheese, or even chocolate.

Breakfast Time in Mexico

Breakfast time in Mexico usually falls between 7:00 AM and 10:00 AM. It is a leisurely meal enjoyed with family and loved ones before starting the day’s activities. Mexican breakfasts are often accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate or coffee, providing a warm and comforting start to the day. Whether you prefer a traditional Mexican breakfast or something lighter, there is something for everyone to enjoy during this important mealtime.


Lunch is another significant meal in Mexico and is often the main meal of the day. It is common for Mexican families and colleagues to gather for lunch, creating a sense of community and fostering social connections. Lunchtime in Mexico is a time to relax, savor a delicious meal, and take a break from the day’s responsibilities.

Traditional Lunch Foods

Mexican cuisine is known for its rich flavors and diverse ingredients, and lunchtime is no exception. Tacos, enchiladas, and burritos are popular choices for lunch, offering a variety of fillings such as grilled meats, beans, and flavorful salsas. Another beloved dish is pozole, a hearty soup made with hominy corn and meat, typically pork. It is often garnished with shredded lettuce, radishes, and lime, adding freshness and vibrant colors to the dish.

Lunch Time in Mexico

Lunchtime in Mexico usually falls between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. This midday meal is an important part of the Mexican culture and is often enjoyed with family, friends, or coworkers. Unlike in some countries where lunch is a rushed and solitary affair, Mexicans take the time to savor their food, engage in lively conversations, and enjoy the company of others. It is a time to refuel and recharge before continuing with the remainder of the day.


Dinner in Mexico is typically a lighter meal compared to breakfast and lunch. It serves as a way to wind down after a long day and allows individuals to enjoy a satisfying but not overly heavy meal before heading to bed. Dinner in Mexico varies in timing and preferences, and several factors can influence when and what is eaten during this mealtime.

Traditional Dinner Foods

Mexican cuisine offers a myriad of mouthwatering dinner options. Tacos al pastor, which consist of marinated pork cooked on a vertical spit, are a popular choice for dinner. Other favorites include tlayudas, which are large tortillas topped with beans, Oaxaca cheese, and various meats; and chiles en nogada, which are poblano peppers stuffed with a savory mixture of meat, fruits, and spices, and topped with a delicate walnut sauce.

Dinner Time in Mexico

The timing of dinner in Mexico can vary significantly and is influenced by several factors such as regional variations, work culture, social events, and family dynamics. Generally, dinner is consumed between 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM, but let’s take a closer look at the factors that affect dinner time in Mexico.

Factors Influencing Dinner Time

Regional Variations

Mexico’s vast geography and regional diversity contribute to variations in dinner time. In a country as large as Mexico, what is considered dinner time in one region may differ from another. For example, people in northern Mexico tend to have dinner earlier, around 7:00 PM, while those in central and southern regions may enjoy dinner between 8:00 PM and 9:00 PM.

Urban vs. Rural

The distinction between urban and rural areas also plays a role in dinner time differences. Due to various factors such as work schedules, access to amenities, and social customs, people in urban areas often have dinner later compared to those in rural settings. The faster pace of city life and the availability of evening entertainment options tend to extend dinner time for urban dwellers.

Work Culture

The work culture in Mexico greatly influences dinner time. Traditionally, work hours in Mexico were from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, allowing individuals to have an early dinner. However, with changes in work schedules and the rise of shiftwork, dinner times have become more varied. Those working late shifts may have dinner later than the traditional 7:00 PM dinner slot.

Social Events

Social events such as dinner parties, cultural festivals, and celebratory events often impact dinner time. Depending on the nature of the event, dinner may be served earlier or later than usual. For instance, a festive gathering may involve a late dinner to allow guests to enjoy the festivities before sitting down for a meal.

Family Dynamics

Family dynamics also play a significant role in determining dinner time. Mexican families cherish mealtime as an opportunity to bond and connect with each other. Depending on their schedules and commitments, some families may have dinner earlier to accommodate everyone, while others may choose to have a later dinner to allow for more family time.

What Time Is Dinner Eaten In Mexico?

Regional Variations in Dinner Time

As mentioned earlier, dinner time in Mexico can vary regionally. Let’s take a closer look at the dinner time customs in three main regions of the country.

Northern Mexico

In northern Mexico, where the influence of the United States is strong, dinner is often eaten earlier compared to other regions. Families in northern Mexico typically have dinner around 7:00 PM, aligning more closely with the dinner timings in the United States. This cultural overlap has contributed to a slightly different dinner time tradition in this region.

Central Mexico

In central Mexico, dinner time is usually between 8:00 PM and 9:00 PM. This region includes bustling cities like Mexico City, and the later dinner time allows for people to finish work, commuting, and other daily responsibilities before sitting down for a meal. The vibrant nightlife in central Mexico often leads to later dinner times, as people tend to socialize and enjoy the city’s offerings prior to dining.

Southern Mexico

In southern Mexico, dinner is often eaten around 8:00 PM or later. The slower pace of life, combined with the influence of indigenous cultures, contributes to a more relaxed approach to dinner time. Families and communities in this region often gather for dinner, sharing stories and traditions that have been passed down through generations.

Urban vs. Rural Differences

The difference between urban and rural areas in Mexico also affects dinner time customs. Let’s explore the distinctions between these settings.

Urban Areas

In urban areas, dinner time tends to be later on average due to the hustle and bustle of city life. The availability of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options after work hours often leads to a delay in dinner time. Urban dwellers tend to have more flexibility in their schedules, allowing for a leisurely dinner that is enjoyed with family and friends.

Rural Areas

In contrast, dinner time in rural areas can be slightly earlier compared to urban settings. The slower pace of life and the reliance on agricultural activities often result in earlier dinner times. Rural communities often prioritize early meals to ensure that individuals have enough time to rest and prepare for the next day’s activities.

What Time Is Dinner Eaten In Mexico?

Work Culture and Dinner Time

The work culture in Mexico has a significant impact on dinner time. Let’s explore the relationship between work and dinner in more detail.

Traditional Work Hours

Traditionally, work hours in Mexico were from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, allowing individuals to have dinner earlier in the evening. This schedule aligned with the traditional dinner time of 7:00 PM, allowing ample time for relaxation and socializing after the meal.

Shiftwork and Dinner

With the rise of shiftwork and a more flexible work culture, dinner times have become more varied. Individuals working late shifts may have their dinner later in the evening, aligning with the end of their workday. This flexibility has allowed workers to adapt their dinner time to suit their work schedules and personal preferences.

Late Dinners in Some Industries

Certain industries, such as hospitality and entertainment, often require employees to work late into the evening. This can result in dinner times being pushed back to accommodate the demands of the job. For example, restaurant workers who serve dinner to customers may have their own dinner much later, sometimes past 10:00 PM.

Social Events and Dinner Time

Social events are an integral part of Mexican culture and often influence dinner time. Let’s explore the connection between social events and dinner in more detail.

Dinner Parties

Dinner parties are a common social event in Mexico, allowing friends and family to gather and celebrate special occasions. These gatherings often involve a sit-down meal and can extend late into the evening. Dinner parties usually have a later dinner time, ensuring that guests have time to arrive, socialize, and enjoy the festivities before sitting down for the main meal.

Cultural Festivals

Cultural festivals in Mexico are renowned for their vibrant colors, music, and, of course, delicious food. These festivals often feature food stalls and stands selling a wide variety of traditional dishes. Dinner time during cultural festivals may be slightly later, as participants are often immersed in the festivities and want to sample the culinary delights on offer.

Celebratory Events

On occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, dinner time may be adjusted to allow for special celebrations. Families and friends may gather for a late dinner, providing ample time for preparations and ensuring that everyone can enjoy the festivities together. Celebratory events often have a jovial atmosphere, with meals spanning an extended duration.

What Time Is Dinner Eaten In Mexico?


The traditional Mexican meal times of breakfast, lunch, and dinner are an essential part of the country’s culture. Each meal offers a unique culinary experience, featuring a wide array of flavorful and diverse dishes. While breakfast and lunch tend to have more specific timing, dinner time in Mexico can vary significantly due to factors such as regional variations, urban versus rural lifestyle, work culture, social events, and family dynamics.

Whether you find yourself savoring a delicious breakfast before exploring the sights, enjoying a leisurely lunch with loved ones, or indulging in a satisfying dinner, Mexican meal times provide an opportunity to connect with others, appreciate the country’s rich culinary heritage, and create lasting memories. So, embrace the vibrant flavors and colorful traditions, and remember that no matter the time, a delicious meal in Mexico is always waiting to be enjoyed.


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