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Memelas vs Sopes: What’s the Difference?

Summary of key points

The main difference between memelas and sopes lies in their shape and size. Memelas, originating from Mexico, are substantial, flat discs made of masa dough. On the other hand, sopes, also Mexican in origin, are smaller with a raised edge resembling a mini pie crust when cooked.

When it comes to toppings, both dishes offer a variety of options such as beans, meat, cheese, and salsa. These ingredients can be creatively combined to craft a flavorful snack or a satisfying meal. Some individuals may lean towards memelas for their larger size and robust texture, while others might find the bite-sized sopes more appealing for their convenience.

Ever stared at a menu, puzzled over memelas and sopes? We’ve been there.

Both hail from Mexico. Different regions, different vibes. Memelas are those Oaxacan treats, crispy and smeared with black beans. A layer of savory toppings seals the deal.

Sopes? Picture thicker, with pinched sides. A vessel for your favorite fixings.

We once tried making both in one night. Disaster turned delight.

Memelas and sopes. Not the same beast. Yet both pack a flavor punch.

Ready for a closer look? We’re dishing all.

What are Memelas?

Memelas are a classic Mexican dish that packs a flavorful punch.

These yummy treats feature thick oval-shaped tortillas made from masa dough, topped with tasty ingredients like beans, cheese, meat, or salsa.

This special form of tortilla gives the perfect balance between softness and crunch.

Memelas also vary regionally.

Each area of Mexico puts its own spin on the dish, with toppings and flavors that showcase their local cuisine.

You can find savory black beans in Veracruz or spicy salsa in Oaxaca.

No matter what region, memelas are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

What are Sopes?

Sopes: a Mexican dish. Small, round corn masa tortillas.

Thicker than a tortilla, thinner than a tostada.

Fry them for a crispy outside, soft center.

Toppings? All sorts.

From beans and cheese, to meat and salsa.

Perfect for appetizers or main course.

Craving Mexican flavors? Give sopes a try.

Key Differences Between Memelas and Sopes

Memelas and sopes, two Mexican dishes that can be easily mixed up.

But there are key differences.

Origin and Regional Variations

Memelas and Sopes have their origins in various parts of Mexico, each with its own unique twist.

In Oaxaca and Puebla, Memelas are believed to have originated.

They are thick corn tortillas topped with black beans, cheese, salsa, and different meats or veggies.

The filling is often spiced with cumin, paprika, and chili powder.

Sopes, on the other hand, come from central and northern Mexico.

They are similar to Memelas, but are usually smaller and deeper, resembling a shallow bowl.

This allows for a wider range of fillings, such as beans, meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado.

Both Memelas and Sopes are popular across Mexico.

They capture the essence of Mexican cuisine, while incorporating regional flavors.

Understanding their origin and variations gives us insight into the country’s rich culinary heritage.

People still enjoy them as they are a reminder of Mexican culture.

Ingredients and Dough Used

Memelas and sopes are Mexican dishes with some similarities and differences.

Both have a base of masa, made from corn.

Masa is prepared by grinding dried kernels into a powder.

This is blended with water or broth to make a dough.

Memelas’ dough is made from just masa harina (corn flour) and water/broth.

This is formed into small discs and cooked on a griddle or comal.

Toppings such as beans, cheese, salsa, and avocado are added.

Sopes have a different dough.

It’s made of masa, lard, shortening, salt, and baking powder.

This gives the dough a softer, fluffier texture.

Small dough rounds are hand-shaped and cooked on a griddle.

Memelas and sopes differ in taste and texture due to their ingredients.

Both offer a unique experience for your taste buds.

Enjoy the variety of Mexican cuisine.

Shape, Size, and Texture

Shape, size, and texture are factors that set memelas apart from sopes.

Memelas are round and thicker. Sopes are oval and thinner.

Memelas have a coarser texture compared to sopes’ smoother one.

These qualities give each dish its distinctiveness.

Plus, although both can be topped with beans, cheese, salsa, and meat, their shapes and textures provide a different eating experience for those seeking variety.

Toppings and Fillings

Toppings and fillings are a vital part of memelas and sopes.

These Mexican dishes are famous for their distinct tastes, made with carefully chosen ingredients and culinary knowledge.

The toppings and fillings are key to unlocking their true flavor.

Memelas commonly have refried beans, cheese, salsa, and sometimes meat or vegetables.

Refried beans give a creamy base that enhances other elements.

Cheese adds richness and flavor.

Salsa adds tangy and spicy notes.

Meat or vegetables can be added for more flavor.

Sopes usually have a wider range of toppings.

Refried beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, avocado slices, and crema Mexicana are all used.

This mix not only adds color but also different textures.

The lettuce and avocado balance the beans and cheese.

Fillings make memelas and sopes even more unique.

Memelas usually have simple fillings like chorizo or shredded chicken.

Sopes can have carne asada (grilled steak), pollo en mole (chicken in mole sauce), or mariscos (seafood).

These fillings add to the taste.

In the end, memelas and sopes share similar basics like refried beans and cheese, but it is their toppings and fillings that really set them apart.

Whether you want something simple or a mix of flavors, these Mexican dishes have something for everyone.

Commonalities Between Memelas and Sopes

Memelas and sopes have lots of things in common.

They both use corn dough, which gives them a special flavor and texture.

Plus, they can be topped with an array of yummy ingredients like beans, cheese, salsa, meat, veg, and sour cream.

They’re cooked on a griddle or comal, making them crispy outside and soft inside.

And they have a cultural significance in Mexico, served at street fairs, festivals, and family events.

However, there are differences, too.

Memelas are usually smaller and thicker than sopes.

They are often topped with refried beans, cheese, lettuce, and salsa.

But sopes may also include extras like sour cream and guacamole.

Variations and Regional Specialties

Variations and regional specialties can add an exciting twist to traditional Mexican dishes, like memelas and sopes.

Both distinct in flavor, yet different in preparation and presentation.

Let’s explore the intriguing world of these delectable treats.

Memelas, a variation of the well-known tortilla, have their beginnings in the south of Mexico.

Thick corn masa cakes, cooked on a comal.

Crispy outside, fluffy inside.

Topped with flavorful ingredients, like beans, cheese, salsa and meats or vegetables.

Their round shape and petite size make them a delightful handheld snack or appetizer.

Sopes, from central Mexico, showcase their own unique characteristics.

Different from memelas; oval or circular with raised edges.

The masa is thin and pressed into this shape before it’s cooked.

Then, topped with an array of ingredients like refried beans, shredded meat or chicken, lettuce, sour cream, cheese, salsa verde or roja – enhancing the flavors even more.

Though memelas and sopes have a similar foundation, regional variations bring subtle nuances between them.

For instance, seasonings may differ in masa dough, or local produce may be added.

These intricate details lead to contrasting flavor profiles, making each variation special.

Explore the world of memelas and sopes next time you’re craving an authentic Mexican experience.

Each bite is like a journey through Mexico’s rich culinary heritage.

Best Accompaniments for Memelas and Sopes

Memelas and sopes are Mexican specialties perfect for adding a tasty burst of flavor.

Enjoy them with guacamole, for its creamy texture and zesty burst of flavor.

For a tangy kick, try salsa verde made with tomatillos, cilantro, and chilies.

Pickled red onions add a delightful pop of acidity, plus vibrant color.

For those who enjoy some heat, jalapeños or serrano peppers are perfect.

And don’t forget about crumbled queso fresco for that finishing touch – its mild, crumbly texture creates a delightful medley of flavors and textures.


In conclusion, understanding the difference between memelas and sopes can be tricky.

Both dishes may look similar, but offer quite different flavor profiles depending on their dressing.

All in all, Mexican cooking is full of wonderful surprises like these two tasty treats that make it well worth a deeper exploration.

There are plenty of regional variations to explore across the country – and beyond – so don’t hesitate to try some of them out as often as you can.

Who knows – maybe you’ll discover a completely new favorite food.

Remember these two key points when looking for the differences between memelas and sopes: Memelas have thick maize bases with fillings placed inside, whereas sopes are made with thinner bases that gird the sides and then topped with ingredients.

Knowing this difference will help big-time next time you’re at your local Mexican eatery.

Memelas vs Sopes: What’s the Difference?

Discover the nuances between memelas and sopes with our concise guide. Uncover the key distinctions between these two Mexican dishes, helping you make an informed choice for your next culinary adventure.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Memelas
  • Sopes


  • Choose between memelas and sopes based on your preference.
  • Follow the cooking instructions for your selected dish, using the proper ingredients and techniques.
  • Prepare and assemble them according to your desired toppings and flavors.
  • Enjoy the unique taste experience and explore the diverse world of Mexican cuisine by trying both memelas and sopes on different occasions.
Keyword Memelas vs Sopes
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