The Best Mexico City Cooking Class and Market Tour: Aura Cocina Review

If you are looking for the best Mexico City cooking class, then you’ve come to the right place! I recently took a spectacular, five-hour cooking class during my time in Mexico City.

In addition to cooking a four-course meal of authentic Mexican food, the class we chose also included a market tour and street food tasting. Talk about value!

Also, as my regular readers know, I have to eat gluten free due to celiac disease. The cooking school we chose had a naturally gluten free menu, and was experienced with accommodating dietary restrictions including gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, and more!

Read more about my recommended Mexico City cooking class below.

Note: Our cooking class was provided complimentary in exchange for this honest review. However, like always, you can rest assured that I only share my true opinions here on Endless Distances.

Sarah holding salsa at mexico city cooking class
We made salsa as part of our cooking class!

How to Choose a Mexico City Cooking Class

There are a lot of cooking classes in Mexico City so it can be hard to choose which one to take. Some of the top cooking schools in Mexico City include:

Ultimately, we chose the company Aura Cocina and their class called Authentic Mexican Cooking Class & Market Tour.

We chose them for a few key reasons. First of all, I LOVED that this class included a market tour and street food tasting in addition to the cooking. Now, that’s bang for your buck!

The four-course, authentic menu sounded incredible, as well. From white mole to corn cake, I was in.

And finally, they could handle my dietary restriction of being gluten free. Not only did Aura Cocina answer all my gluten-related questions before booking, but in my research I discovered my fellow celiac travel blogger Matt had taken a class with them previously and loved it. Word of mouth is perhaps the best recommendation of all!

mexico city cooking class mezcal
There is optional mezcal – a bonus 🙂
Dan cooking corn tortillas
Dan cooking the tortillas!

Aura Cocina Cooking School: The Details

Aura Cocina is a wonderful cooking school based in Mexico City. They have two cooking studio locations: one in Roma Norte and one in Coyoacan.

I describe our cooking class experience in detail below, but I’ll start with the basics.

Cooking class types:

Our cooking class started at 9:30am and lasted around five hours, including a market tour with street food tastings before we dove into cooking.

Prices are around 1,950 MXN / $114 USD per person which is very competitive with other Mexico City cooking classes, especially considering this class includes a market tour whereas many others do not.

Aura Cocina mexico city cooking class during tour of mercado medellin
Our cooking class group during the market tour portion!
mexico city cooking class
Team work makes the authentic Mexican recipes work.

Dietary Requirements: Gluten Free, Vegan, and More

Like I mentioned above, a big reason I personally loved Aura Cocina is that they were able to accommodate dietary restrictions so well!

I have celiac disease and must eat strictly gluten free. Before booking, I spoke to them over Whatsapp and they assured me that they are experienced at working with gluten free guests, and actually most of the menu is naturally gluten free.

On the day of our class, the entire cooking class menu was gluten free! I was expecting to have to adjust some of the dishes but that wasn’t the case. It made me feel so safe.

If you have other dietary restrictions, be sure to reach out to Aura Cocina ahead of time and ask. I know that they also offer a special vegan cooking class twice a week!

Sarah with blue corn quesadilla
The street food stall we visited was gluten free and celiac safe! YUM.
gluten free corn cake at cooking class in Mexico city
The corn cake was naturally gluten free!

The Best Mexico City Cooking Class and Market Tour: Our Experience with Aura Cocina

I want to give you all a quick review of my personal experience with Aura Cocina’s Authentic Mexican Cooking Class. Don’t worry, I won’t give away too much fun stuff!

Hopefully by the end of this review you will have a better idea of whether you want to take this cooking class when you’re in Mexico City (I guarantee you’ll also be craving Mexican food, too!).

Welcome Drinks

Dan and I arrived to Aura Cocina’s Roma Norte location around 9:30am, where we were greeted by our teacher, Lorena, and five fellow classmates (from the USA, UK, and Argentina!).

I particularly enjoyed the complimentary coffees, while we learned about how the day was going to go. Then, we were off!

Coffee – much needed!

Street Food Tasting

Our day began with a breakfast of street food tasting!

On our walk to the market, we stopped at a couple stalls. First, we tried squash blossom quesadillas on blue corn tortillas.

Not only were these mouthwateringly delicious, but they were gluten free because nothing else was being cooked on the grill surface (which happens a lot in Mexico City). Score!

We also tried these sweet, hot pink tamales called tamales dulces, which were so unusual.

Sarah with blue corn quesadillas
The squash blossom quesadillas were the BOMB.
tamales dulces
Hot pink tamales dulces! Basically, corn candy.

Market Tour

Then, we spent some time exploring Mercado Medellin.

With Lorena, we wandered the colorful aisles taking it all in. Of course, we took the occasional pause for lessons on chili peppers, photos of flowers, and an extensive bug tasting.

Yup, you read that right…! (I won’t spoil too much of it here).

bugs at mercado medellin
Spot the bugs…
chili peppers at mercado medellin in mexico city
Fresh chili peppers.
dried chili peppers mercado medellin
Dried chili peppers.

Ingredients: The Key to Everything

Back in the colorful cooking studio, we took our places at a big table and started preparing ingredients (with some thirst-quenching aguas frescas!).

We were introduced to various shades of corn kernels, chili peppers, cacti, and more. Then, the chopping began!

corn kernels
We began with an introduction to all these different types of corn!
mexico city cooking class ingredients on table

Sope: A Mexican Antojito

Our appetizer for the day was a sope, or Mexican antojito (snack).

A sope is essentially a patty of masa (corn) with the edges slightly built up to make a shallow bowl. Once cooked, it’s topped with beans, peppers, tomatoes, salsas, and other ingredients.

sopes a mexican antojito

Making the Salsas

Salsas are an essential part of any authentic Mexican meal. We learned how to make two Mexican salsas:

  • Green sauce
  • Red molcajete sauce

This involved a lot of grinding, chopping, squeezing, grinding, taste testing, and more grinding!

I loved that we got to make our very own salsas and personalize them to our own spice tolerance (and taste test each others’ salsas – which was quite funny to experience everyone’s different spice level preferences!).

red salsa
Grinding the salsa ingredients!
Sarah with salsa
My completed (very spicy) salsa.
Sarah and Dan making salsa at Aura Cocina cooking class in Mexico City
Dan and I making our salsa!


For our next course, we made mextlapiques, which is a very authentic Mexican dish that I’d never even heard of before!

Basically, these are tamales without the masa filling. Instead, the corn husk is filled with vegetables, cheese, peppers, etc., and then topped with a handmade spearmint sauce.

Mextlapiques in progress.
Our Mextlapiques – filled with peppers, cheese, tomatoes, sauce, beans, and more!

White Mole

The main course was chicken in a white mole sauce. I was so excited that this class included a mole.

Have you heard of mole before? There are many different types (think: white, green, red, black, etc.). A mole is a thick, flavorful sauce made from special blends of nuts, seeds, spices, peppers, and more.

Some moles contain bread as a thickener, but luckily for me our cooking class did not! But again, if you are gluten free or have other dietary restrictions, you should confirm ahead of time in case recipes change.

Aura Cocina white mole
White mole with chicken.
white mole

Handmaking Tortillas

Of course, when in Mexico you have to learn to make corn tortillas!

Having traveled through Latin America, Dan and I had recently made tortillas at a cooking class in Antigua Guatemala and a cooking class in Granada Nicaragua.

You’d think we’d be tortillas experts… right? WRONG.

Every country makes tortillas differently and it was so fun (and low key humbling) to learn the Mexican way.

Dan making tortillas
Dan cooking the tortillas!
corn tortillas mexico city cooking class
All of our tortillas in their many sizes and shapes, ha!

Corn Cake

And finally, we come to dessert. AKA my favorite dish we made!

For dessert, we prepared an authentic Mexican corn cake… that was naturally gluten free!

It’s hard to describe how delicious (and unique) this corn cake was. I guess you will have to take the cooking class to find out!

gluten free corn cake
I was blown away by this corn cake, and the fact that it was naturally gluten free!
Sarah with corn cake
Obviously, very pleased with my corn cake.
Sarah eating gluten free corn cake
Sooo good. This class is worth it for the corn cake alone!

Enjoying our Meal

After everything was chopped, ground, tied up, boiled, fried, and baked… it was time to EAT!

After four or so hours eating, exploring, and cooking alongside our teachers and classmates, it was so comfortable and fun to sit down to a meal together and continue chatting.

Dan and I also opted for the optional mezcal to accompany our meal – which came with an orange slice and chili flakes. Yum.

The cooked Mextlapiques, ready to gobble.
Mezcal at a Mexico City cooking class
Mezcal to top it all off.


Something I loved about Aura Cocina’s cooking class was that they sent us home with a detailed packet of recipes so we could make this food once we got home.

Too often, cooking classes don’t do this and I end up never making the food again. Recipes are the gift that keeps on giving!

white book that reads "authentic Mexican cooking class recipes"
This little recipe booklet is now my Mexican cooking holy grail!

But Wait… Chili Pepper to the Eyeball!

Lastly, I have to share a little story that is funny… but only in retrospect.

During the salsa-making portion of the class, Dan had the unfortunate luck to squeeze an extremely spicy chili pepper just so and a tiny droplet of its juice squirted directly into his eyeball.

The chances of that happening are super low but what can I say? Dan’s special, LOL.

As you can imagine, this was incredibly painful for him and my first reaction was “oh my God, do we need to go to a hospital?!”.

However, our teachers were AMAZING and helped him through it. They told him to just keep his eyes closed and that the “spice” would come out as his eyes teared up.

Dan said he could literally feel the spice traveling across his eye and through his tear duct but… it worked! After about 10 minutes he could open his eyes again. His vision was fine and he was pain free.

I know that’s kind of a random anecdote (and hopefully this doesn’t happen to you!) but I think it is just another example of how wonderful Aura Cocina is and how you are in very capable hands when you book their cooking class.

Dan with eyes closed after being squirted by a chili pepper
Poor Dan, chili to the eye!
The culprits!!

Is This the Best Mexico City Cooking Class?

I make a point of taking cooking classes when I travel. The Authentic Mexican Cooking Class & Market Tour was one of my very favorites from anywhere in the world.

The market tour and street food tasting in addition to the actual cooking class adds a lot of value, in my opinion. It’s basically like getting two-for-one!

Of course, like everyone else I have not personally taken every Mexico City cooking class in existence. However, having taken a dozen or so during my time in Latin America, I can say with confidence that it doesn’t get much (if any) better than Aura Cocina!

Sarah with Dan and Lorena, the Aura Cocina cooking class teacher
Dan and I with Lorena, our teacher!

Final Thoughts on Aura Cocina’s Cooking Class in Mexico City

Food is a huge reason to visit Mexico City and what better way to understand (and taste) it than a cooking class?

I highly recommend taking a cooking class in Mexico City and my personal recommendation is Aura Cocina, and specifically their Authentic Mexican Cooking Class & Market Tour.

Classes book up so be sure to reserve your spot at least a couple weeks in advance. And remember to message them about any dietary restrictions. They did an amazing job accommodating my gluten free diet!

Pin it for later…
This Mexico City cooking class has the best of both worlds: a four-course authentic Mexican menu and a market tour. Read the full review here.
This Mexico City cooking class has the best of both worlds: a four-course authentic Mexican menu and a market tour. Read the full review here.

Note: Our cooking class was provided complimentary in exchange for this honest review. However, like always, you can rest assured that I only share my true opinions here on Endless Distances!

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