Mexico City is a growing ‘Foodie Destination”. Some of our recommendations include:
Pujol Restaurant: Make sure you try Pujol which is among the most innovative restaurants anywhere. Chef Enrique Olvera is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. It was named Mexico’s Top Restaurant by San Pelligrino and the fifth best in Latin America in 2016. It has recently moved from its location on Franciso Petrarca to Tennyson 133 in Polanco.
San Angel Inn, Diego Rivera 50, San Angel 55 16 22 22: A wonderful setting for a long comida in a former Carmelite monastery, from 1692, with beautiful gardens. It is good to make a reservation and be sure to request an outside table in the courtyard.
Contramar, Durango 200 Condessa: A wonderful place for lunch, particularly in the outside café. It is well-known for its great seafood.
Café de Tacuba, Tacuba 28, Centro Histórico: Stop in for a coffee at this café which opened in 1912 in a 17th century mansion. It is very old world with the waitresses all in white.
Café el Cardinal: Traditional restaurant with good atmosphere. It is a good place for breakfast or lunch.
La Rambla Loncheria: Located at Motolinia 38, in the heart of the Centro Historico. After seeing it in my Wallpaper* City Guide to Mexico City, I made sure I went for lunch upon arriving in town. This is definitely a local’s spot which has been there since 1928. The interior is pink and red with red leatherette banquettes. The owner was very friendly and was pleased to see his restaurant featured in the book. There were musicians and good lunch fare of turkey tortas and tacos. I liked the tacos, along with horchatta and flan. A good, fast spot if you are near the Plaza Mayor.
I enjoyed walking through the Condesa neighborhood with friends before dinner. We came across Tout Chocolat at Amsterdam 154, Col. Hipodromo Condesa. This is a wonderful chocolate shop that is well worth a visit.
MeroToro: Located at Amsterdam 204, Col. Hipodromo Condesa, this is a great restaurant opened in 2010 by the chef of Contramar which we recommend also. I read about it in the NY Times. It features the cuisine of Baja California so it is a mix of meat and fish, or Baja surf and turf, thus the name. I had a wonderful meal with friends so I was able to taste a number of dishes. The bone marrow risotto with red wine was amazing as was the scallop appetizer. I had a great tomato salad and red snapper with clams in a green broth. I also loved the Wagyu beef cheeks. We tried four desserts all of which were interesting and good. The Jamaica ice with mescal, the chocolate fondant cake with a corn ice cream, and the banana cake with banana ice cream were all really good. It was listed in 2013 as number 26 in the top 50 Restaurants in Latin America!
Hacienda de los Morales: Located in Vázquez de Mella 525, Col. del Bosque, this is a beautiful restaurant in an old hacienda in the heart of Bosque de Chapultepec or Chapultepec Park. I have been twice in the past (my first time in the early 1980’s) for great food and atmosphere.
Maison Belen: Located in Polanco at Emilio Castelar 31 B, this is a fun locals café and bakery which bills itself as a petit bistro and patisserie. They have nice outdoor seating as well as a fun indoor lounge area. This is where I had Easter brunch with friends. The food was good and they had wonderful cookies, croissants and pastries. It was a fun atmosphere and the owner, who had lived in France, was fun and friendly. Check it out if you want something low key in Polanco.
Tori Tori: This is a great new Japanese restaurant located in Polanco at Anatole France 71B. I checked out the amazing design but it was not open. I have seen pictures at night and it is fantastic all lit up in blue. It has received several recent design awards. It is high on the list for dinner on my next trip.
Sanborns at Francisco Madero 4: Make sure you stop for a meal or coffee at the Casas de los Azulejos in the Centro Historico. This is a 16th century house of blue tiles on the outside, that now houses the original Sanborns restaurant and store. The covered, light-filled courtyard is most attractive and a great place to enjoy a meal or snack. There is also a mural by Jose Clemente Orozco on the landing of the staircase.
Quintonil: I read about Quintonil having been listed as number 31 in the top 50 restaurants in Latin America. I enjoyed a really wonderful dining experience in this small Polano restaurant. They offer inside dining as well as outside dining on their small covered patio in the rear. They offer small and large plates as well as a multi-course tasting menu. I opted for a starter, a main course and a dessert, but with the bread and three other complementary small dishes served by the chefs, I had a full tasting menu!
My dinner consisted of bread with a huitlacoche butter, a light ceviche or almost a gazpacho of nopal or cactus, a smoked crab tostado with a tostado topped with herbs and radishes that you eat along with the crab in a habanero mayonnaise. The main course was a wonderful dish of turkey with a green pipian mole and baby carrots, a turnip puree topped with small plaintain chips. They then served a cactus lime sorbet topped with a salt made with burned corn husks. The dessert was a wonderful grilled mango, with chocolate, black Zapotec, fermented manguey syrup and a mango/pulque sorbet. The final treat was a chocolate atole served with a small pan dulce or sweet bread. The food was really wonderful and the service excellent.
Bar Tomate: This is the Grupo Tragaluz restaurant in Polanco in Mexico City. I became a fan of this restaurant group when in Spain, having eaten in two of their restaurants in Barcelona and one in Madrid. This second floor restaurant at Emilio Castelar #229 is large, bright and open with a very contemporary design. It has a large menu featuring meat, fish, Spanish style pizzas and other Spanish specialties. The gazpacho was excellent and I enjoyed my fish entrée. The arugula salad, topped with crab meat, looked excellent and will be on my list for next time.
Maximo Bistrot: This is a popular neighborhood restaurant in the Roma neighborhood. It is a small café with indoor and outdoor seating. The food is excellent and I enjoyed a quinoa salad with peas and a beautiful filet of fish with a turnip foam/sauce and spinach. The combination of zapote, strawberry and mango sorbets was the perfect end to a dinner with local friends. It came highly recommend by other local “foodie” friends as well as my hotel.
Panaderia Rosetta at Colima 179 in Col. Roma, is a great spot for a quick sandwich, coffee or wonderful pastry. I had a great scone and a latte mid-afternoon. It is small but attractive. Their restaurant, Rosetta, is located in a gorgeous old mansion at Colima 166, a block away.
Casa Lamm: This is a beautiful cultural center found in the middle of Col. Roma. In the center courtyard, there is a gorgeous, contemporary restaurant called 99 – Nueve Nueve Bistro. Alvaro Obregon #99.
I just read about Mog with its Asian cuisine and La Cerveceria in Condesa for casual dining and Biko, based on great reviews and the fact it was rated in the Top 50 Restaurants in Latin America in 2013.
A good friend and chef in San Miguel loves Lalo in Roma for its great breakfasts. It is located at Zacatecas 173, between Monterrey and Tonala, across from Maximo Bistro. It is owned by Maximo chef Eduardo Garcia.