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 Pellegrino and the fifth best in Latin America in 2016. It has recently moved from its location on Francisco Petrarca to Tennyson 133 in Polanco. The new space is really stunning.
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.
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.
Café el Cardenal: 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 horchata and flan. A good, fast spot if you are near the Plaza Mayor.
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.
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.
The tree-lined Condesa is one of the best neighborhoods in Mexico City.
Contramar, Durango 200 Condessa: A wonderful place for lunch, particularly in the outside café. It is well-known for its great seafood.
I always enjoy walking through the Condesa neighborhood. One of my favorite spots is Tout Chocolat at Amsterdam 154, Col. Hipodromo Condesa. This is a wonderful chocolate shop that is well worth a visit. The chocolate with mezcal is a great pairing. Nearby you will find Cafe Aimee Sidewalk Cafe & Tartinery Chilpancingo #7, featuring French tartines and Maque Pasteleria/Panaderia for great pastries at Av. Ozuluama #4.
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!
Cafebreria El Pendulo: This is a local chain of six bookstores/cafes from Polanco to Roma and Condesa and Santa Fe. I visited the original Condesa location at Nuevo Leon #115 and loved the vibe where diners sit among the books. They offer music performances as well most evenings as well as on weekend mornings.
La Clandestina Mezcaleria: Thanks to the NY Times, I found this fun spot for mezal in Condesa at Ave. Obregon 298. Here you can sample a number of this popular Mexican liquor from the agave plant. I enjoyed the smoky Mezcal Enmascarado 54%.
Roma and Roma Nte.
Colonia Roma and Roma Nte. are two of hippest neighborhoods with many art galleries, boutiques, great restaurants and small boutique hotels. It is a great area to walk and explore.
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.
Eno Loncheria: This is a local chain of four locations that is a fun, casual spot to grab lunch. Chihuahua 139 in Roma Nte.
Tierra Garat: This is a local coffee chain. I loved the feel of the location in Roma Nte. at Jalapa 99. They have great coffee, cookies, pastries and more.
Also in Roma Nte. is Almanegra Cafe, for coffee, at Tonala #53,
El Moro Churreria: El Moro is one of the oldest churro spots in Mexico City. I visited the location in the Mercado Roma at Queretaro 225 in Col. Roma where I loved the hot chocolate and churros for an afternoon snack. The Mercado is one of the most fun food halls I have seen with a large number of vendors selling food and drinks including sandwiches, salads, tacos, empanadas, asian food, pizza and more.
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.
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.
I recently took a food tour in Queens when visiting New York City through Culinary Backstreets. I was very impressed with the quality and the local guide. They currently offer a number of tours in Mexico City in different districts. I recommend that you check into them when you are in town. I am excited to try one on my next visit.
Padella: Opened in late 2016, this small restaurant is getting great reviews and press. The sleek, warm decor make you think you are dining in someone’s home. I had a great lunch there with a pappardelle pasta with lamb ragu. The owner/chef Diego Isunza is delightful. When I met him, he was heading to Chicago at the invitation of the Mexican government to cook at the National Restaurant Show. General Antonio Leon 70A, San Miguel Chapultepec.
Amaya: Opened by the same team as MeroToro, this is a fun, casual restaurant at General Prim #95 in Col. Juarez. I had a delightful meal with a tomato and burrata salad in olive oil, a fish in a salsa verde with green beans and snap peas and the best coconut panna cotta with mangoes.
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.
Local friends like Pasillo de Humo at Ave. Nuevo Leon 107 Hipodromo, La Docena Oyster Bar and Grill in Roma for oysters, Sesame for Thai food at Colima #183 in Roma Nte. and Blanco Colima in Roma Nte. at Colima #168.
I just read about Mog with its Asian cuisine and La Cerveceria in Condesa for casual dining.
I met Santiago Mogoya through mutual friends. Born in Mexico City, but he started his culinary journey in Spain, where he worked in restaurants such as Arzak in Sebastian and El Bulli by Ferran Adria. Later he worked in Los Angeles, where he spent six years as head chef at the Patina restaurant, rated as one of the best in this city. Today he heads a restaurant group that include, Zaranda Miravalle for fish and seafood in Roma Norte, Cancino for brick oven pizza in several locations and the Cafe Paraiso night club in Roma Norte. I am excited to try them on my next trip to the city.
He also started Barro de Cobre mezcal and opened a brewery with a fun beer garden in Queretaro called Cervecera Hercules.
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