Where To Eat in Mexico City
I took a trip to Mexico City last December and here’s what I was most excited about: the history, the culture, and—if we’re honest—the margaritas.
Here’s what I didn’t think to be excited about: the food.
Turns out, however, that Mexico City is a veritable hotbed of culinary genius, a firm foodie favorite that rivals other great “eating” cities like New York, San Francisco, and Paris.
But where do you start? How do you know where to eat? Well, my friends, read on.
1. For the best view over the Zocalo–and, arguably, the best guacamole of your life–nothing beats the bar at the top of the Majestic Hotel. Come here before dinner to unwind with a margarita on the rooftop while watching the hustle and bustle of the square below. Ave. Madero 73, Col Centro, Mexico City, 06000. Phone: +52 55 55218600
2. You’ll hear it wherever you go: “I had the best meal of my life at Pujol.” And it’s not hard to see why: the dining room is tranquil, the service discreetly top-notch, and the food nothing short of mindblowingly good. Definitely a special-occasion sort of place, it’s a must on your Mexico City trip. Meat-eaters should make a note to try the venison with cumin sauce; everyone else will love the tamarind margarita. Petrarca 254, Polanco, 11570 Ciudad de México, D.f., Mexico
3. Star chef Patricia Quintana is a star for a reason, and after dinner at her understated gem of a restaurant, Izote, you’ll understand why. Celebrating classic, simple Mexican cooking, Quintana makes wonderful use of indigenous ingredients. The Oaxacan mole is to die for, and you’ve got to try the mescal, made from green agave (tequila is made from blue, FYI.) Mazarik 515, Col. Polanco, 11560 Mexico City. Phone: +52 5552823262
4. You want to try a classic Mexican hot chocolate, you say? No better place than Cafe Tacuba, where you’d be making a grave mistake if you didn’t also order a plate of piping hot churros to dip into it. Carb-lovers rejoice: the sweet sticky breakfast breads are out of this world. Order one of each! Tacuba No. 28 Col. Centro, Del Cuauhtemoc, Cp 06010 Mexico City. Tel: +52 55212048
5. It’s a little off the beaten track–on the campus of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, funnily enough—but Azul y Oro is worth the trek. Chef Ricardo Munoz Zorita works tirelessly to bring good, wholesome, and decidedly budget-friendly food to students, faculty, and the general public, and he does an amazing job. The salads are fantastic, but be sure to try the popular ravioles crujientes rellenos de pato, a kind of deep-fried wonton filled with velvety Oaxacan mole, for something truly different. Centro Cultural Universitario, (near Sala Nezahualcóyotl), Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City. Phone: + 52 5555164017.
6. If you feel like putting on the glad rags and mixing with the beautiful people of Mexico City—and there are a lot of beautiful people in Mexico City—Erawan is your best bet for a great night out. This super trendy restaurant in the chichi Antara Fashion Hall serves up artfully-presented Asian fusion in a sleek space—and as a bonus, there are several clubs and music venues in the same complex, so you can make it a whole evening without even stepping outside. Phone: +52 52813181 Ext 103
7. If there’s one place you eat in Mexico City, it’s got to be a traditional cantina—and there’s no better than La Opera, where legend has it that the bullet hole in the ceiling above one of the booths was put there by Pancho Villa. Opened in 1876, it’s still going strong—thanks, most likely, to its cozy booths and delectable selection of Spanish-style tapas and traditional Mexican fare. 5 de Mayo #10, esquina con Filomena Mata, Colonia Centro. Phone: +52 555512-8959