Pambazo vs Torta: Can You Spot These Differences?

Since both the pambazo and the torta come from Mexican cuisine, many people believe that they are identical. Yet, these two differ in several aspects. Check out our article to identify the critical differences between pambazos and tortas! 

Quick Facts


  • Bread: Pan basso
  • Filling: Basic potato with chorizo filling
  • Taste: Spicy, crispy, meaty 


  • Bread: Bolillo or telera
  • Filling: A variety of fillings
  • Taste: Various flavors, depending on the fillings

Related: 30+ Mexican foods, so good you can’t ignore them!

What is a pambazo?

A pambazo is pretty distinguishable from any other sandwich in the world due to its unique recipe

To make one, the cook needs to soak pan basso, a traditional Mexican bread, in a special chili sauce, and then fry it in hot oil until crisp. After that, the filling is prepared with potatoes, chorizo, refried beans, shredded lettuce, meat, and salty cheese.

When the filling is set, he then puts each element into the crispy, bright red bread and puts a bit of sour cream on top. Now, this hot delicious meal is ready to satisfy any hungry stomach.

Though remarkably tasty, this sandwich rarely appears in any place outside of Mexico. This is because the bread, pan basso, is not easy to find beyond the border. Also, even when you try to substitute it with any other type of bread, its flavor may not be as delicious as the original. 

What is a torta?

Another Mexican sandwich that has gained lots of popularity is the torta. This Mexican street food has been many people’s favorite because it is typically considered the best combination of a sandwich and a taco. You can fill it with anything from beans and creamy avocado to cheese and the meat of your choice. Simply imagine your favorite taco toppings inside a sandwich. That’s pretty much the correct image of a torta.  

The types of bread used in the recipe are bolillo and telera, which were believed to be smaller versions of the French baguette. Based on the customer’s preferences, this Mexican sandwich may be served after being partially dipped or drowned in spicy salsa. 

Although there are several versions of tortas nowadays, professionals indicated that the most traditional ones are filled with fried pork carnitas. 

Pambazo vs Torta: Key Differences

Despite their similar origins, these two Mexican sandwiches differ in several aspects, including the bread used to make them, their fillings, and their flavor. Keep reading to gain the upper hand on how to distinguish between these two!


Pambazo is made from pan basso, a chewy, tough white bread. Unlike many high-class loaves of bread, this pan basso is made from low-quality wheat. Thus, it was initially invented to help the lower classes in society stay full. However, as time passes, pan basso is now being utilized to make pambazo because its texture enables this dish to have an exquisite flavor. 

The softness allows this bread to absorb a great deal of sauce before frying. Also, even after it’s fried in the hot oil, pan basso still manages to become crispy, creating a magnificent dining experience for consumers. 

Meanwhile, tortas have bolillo or telera as their main ingredients. While the former shares some similarities with soft French baguettes, the latter type of bread tends to be softer, flatter, and rounder than regular French white bread rolls. 


The basic filling of a pambazo always contains potatoes sauteed with chorizo alongside some toppings such as creamy beans, lettuce, chicken, cheese, and crema — the Mexican sour cream. 

On the contrary, its corresponding sandwich, torta, has varieties of fillings, including but not limited to pork loin (torta de lomo), pork leg (torta de pierna), turkey (torta de pava), and carnitas (torta de carnitas).   

Also, there are several well-known types of tortas. For example, torta ahogada has an amazing spicy sauce poured over it and is Guadalajara’s signature sandwich. Some other flavorful options include torta cubana, torta de tamal, or torta de milanesa.


Being related to tacos, tortas’ flavors are pretty similar. And since they are served in various recipes and ingredients, there are tons of beautiful flavor combinations for you to choose from. 

Though it doesn’t come with as many options as the other sandwich, the pambazo manages to win a lot of people’s hearts. Because all of the ingredients in this sandwich go well together, it is remarkably spicy, crispy, meaty, and indeed mouthwatering. 

Is the Mexican torta healthy?

The Mexican torta is relatively nutritious. Sparkpeople reports that a serving of it typically provides you with around 320.6 calories. These calories come from 18.2g of protein, 11.0g of fat, and 39.8g of carbohydrates. If you are not on a diet, like a low-carb or keto, a torta can be regarded as a fast, balanced, and delicious meal. 

Are pambazos spicy?

Though their bread is dipped in chile sauces called guajillo, not all pambazos are spicy. Depending on how the cook seasons the sandwich, you may get a flavorful yet mild pambazo or a spicy, delicious version of it.

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