Restaurants in Mexico City
By far one of the world's most popular, fun and colourful
cuisines, fiery Mexican fare is loved by many the world over and is
one of the most distinctive styles of food. With plenty of spice
and flavours it packs a real punch! What westerners know as
'Mexican food' includes dishes such as Nachos,
Burritos, Enchiladas and fajitas, tortillas
and tacos, but there is plenty more on offer when
dining out in Mexico City.
Food varies greatly by region in Mexico and this is largely due to the difference in Spanish influence on the indigenous inhabitants. The north of Mexico is known for its beef, goat and ostrich dishes, the Yucatan for its penchant for unique and natural sweetness, the Oaxacan for its savoury tamales, and the west for its dishes like goat birria (goat in a spicy tomato-based sauce).
For an authentic Mexican dining experience, look no further than one of the old converted Haciendas such as Hacienda de los Morales or Antigua Hacienda de Tlalpan on the outskirts of Mexico City, which are actual ranches that have been converted into restaurants. With charming décor, historic architecture and mouth-watering cuisine, these kinds of restaurants attract travellers from far and wide.
Street food is perhaps the most ubiquitous type of food in Mexico City where fast food outlets and puestas (street side food vendors) pepper the streets selling all the usual favourites like tacos, burritos and tortas for a very nice price. However, the central market, La Merced and the Mercado San Juan Arcos de Belem, are the best places to go to indulge on really good, really cheap Mexican fare.
Being in the capital city there are, of course, hundreds of restaurants to choose from where everything from Indian and French to Japanese and Irish cuisine can be enjoyed. Foodies should head for the districts of Polanco, Condesa, Centro, Zona Rosa and Sante Fe to gorge themselves at some of the country's finest restaurants on regional cuisines or just a good old taco.
Tipping in restaurants is the norm with 10% of the bill being the standard for most restaurants which is, of course, at your discretion. Lunches are generally long and lazy and much cheaper than dinners. Travellers should note that most restaurants offer a comida corrida (set menu) and this is a great way of getting a good hearty meal at a reasonable price.
Named for the delicate white flowers that adorn the yucca plant, Izote serves classic Mexican fare in an elegant, minimalist setting. The food is prepared using local ingredients such as yucca flower, cactus, and masa (corn flour), and menu favourites include the lobster enchiladas and barbecue lamb. Try the Tarta Zaachila (chocolate pastry filled with nuts) for dessert. Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, and Sunday for lunch. Reservations recommended.
Address: 513 Av. Presidente Masaryk, Polanco
Telephone: +52 55 5282 3262
Café de Tacuba
Dating back to 1912, Café Tacuba has a very colonial atmosphere, its décor featuring brass lamps, oil paintings and a mural of nuns working in a kitchen. The authentic Mexican menu offers traditional dishes including tamales, enchiladas, chiles rellenos and pozole, while their pastries and hot chocolate are legendary. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner; reservations recommended.
Address: 28 Tacuba, Centro Histórico
Telephone: +52 55 5521 2048
Cantina La Guadalupana
Cantina La Guadalupana is a comfortable, old-fashioned restaurant with a rather nostalgic atmosphere. The restaurant serves complimentary snacks such as jicama slices with lime and chilli, while menu favourites include the beef tartar and the traditional albóndigas (meatballs). Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner; reservations recommended.
Address: 2 Higuera and Caballo Calco, Coyoacán
Telephone: +52 55 5554 6253
La Opera is a luxurious dining venue with dark wood booths and linen-covered tables, its décor featuring gilded baroque ceilings and beautiful oil paintings. An added feature is the bullet hole which revolutionary general, Pancho Villa, supposedly put in the ceiling when he galloped into the restaurant on horseback. The menu offers an array of sumptuous cuisine including Spanish tapas and red snapper with olives and tomatoes. Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, and Sunday for lunch. Reservations recommended.
Address: 10 Cinco de Mayo, Centro Histórico
Telephone: +52 55 5512 8959
Open since 1936, many celebrity diners have frequented the classic-European dining room of Restaurant Danubio, in the Centro Histórico. The restaurant's menu offers superb Spanish cuisine prepared on an ancient coal and firewood stove. The seafood at Restaurant Danubio is excellent - be sure to try the langostinos (baby crayfish). Open daily for lunch and dinner; reservations recommended.
Address: 3 República de Uruguay, Centro Histórico
Telephone: +52 55 5521 0976
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