New decade, new list! This year was a little bit harder to me to come up with a list that didn’t have the exact same restaurants I’m constantly visiting and recommending BUT after a lot of eating and drinking here they are, roundup of my favorites is here!
You’ll find restaurants and food joints you might otherwise overlook but still have amazing food to offer.
You’ll find a brief story each place and what I recommend you get, I’ll throw in some lingo every now and then as well so you can feel like a pro when ordering. Star the map found at the bottom of the page to automatically download it to your phone.
If you feel the need for a professional taco eater to show you around, please head down to my website dedicated only to food tours: Devoured!
P.S. This year I also included some of my favorite spots to spend the night, so you get an amazing experience in Mexico City all around!
(Very) Casual Eating
- Expendio de Maíz sin Nombre: Even though it’s been open for more than a year I only tried it out a few months ago and it rapidly went to the very top of my list. Think of this place as the ultimate Mexican Omakase, where you just sit down, let them know if there’s any food restriction and let yourself be surprised by each dish that comes out of their beautiful, open kitchen. A truly ode to corn and heirloom Mexican ingredients.
- Tierra Adentro Cocina: This amazing spot is open for breakfast and lunch. Their food is inspired in traditional Mexican recipes from all over the country, presented in a beautiful, fancy and elevated way but without losing its soul. Even though it might not be in the trendy and popular neighborhoods, but hey, you’re here to live life as a local. Get their pig shaped cookies or their chamomile pannacotta.
- Restaurante Sin Nombre (a.k.a. No Name Place): Understated spot with such great food. The classic itacate (masa stuffed with cheese, fava bean puree, tomato and wrapped in hoja santa treat), the perfectly grilled octopus or their amazing cactus salad are perfect for dinner before a night out in the downtown area. Try their mezcales, their itacate and the cactus salad.
- Los Tolucos: An iconic old-school restaurant with Guerrero style pozole. Choose from the green or white variations, add avocado, lime, chili powder and enjoy with a tostada on the side.
- Maíz de Cacao: A place dedicated to food from the mid part of the country also known as huasteca. Most of it is corn based and made with heirloom seasonal produce. Try the tamales or the esquites.
- Cal y Maíz: An new-school tortillería working directly with corn producers with heirloom corn and respecting seasonalities. The most important thing here is the quality of the produce and the excellent Nixtamal technique. Their tortillas are incredible which makes their quesadillas some of the tastiest in the city.
- Masala y Maíz: An old favorite of mine just relocated to the hippest neighbourhood: Juárez. Their seamless combination of Mexican, Indian and African flavors is still in my top culinary experiences in the city, and to top it all, they always have a very interesting natural wine selection that’ll keep you coming for more.
Tacos & street food
- El Vilsito: Still my favorite Pastor taco even after all these years of constant taco hunting. A car workshop during nightime. Their pastor is to die for, but their gringa and the volcán charro are amazing as well. Perfect for an after-party bite since it’s open until 3am. Their pastor torta is to die for.
- Tacos “El Betín”: This year I’m giving away my favorite and best kept secret. This little taqueria on a corner os San Rafael neighborhood has been a place I exclusively take my favorite people to. Their taco de tripa and their suadero are just to die for, and the pastor is also quite special. There is absolutely nothing that can be improved in this place, my absolute favorite. Get one pastor, one suadero, one tripa.
- Esquites at Reforma 222: One of the most popular evening snacks are esquites: corn kernels cooked with herbs, sometimes boiled others grilled and toped with lime juice, mayonnaise, cheese and chilli powder. This particular spot adds an extra layer of flavor with their amazing salsa macha (chili oil with roasted peanuts, garlic and seeds).
- Tortas poblanas: Literally a tiny hole in the wall in the heart of the historic center. Their turkey is slow cooked in fat for a long period of time which makes uniquely juicy. Served on a slightly crispy and warm bread roll with avocado and chipotle. Start with one torta and repeat until necessary.
- Lucio: Technically speaking this is a restaurant, but made it to this part of the list due to their weekly events dedicated to only tacos. Each Tuesday they invite a different chef from all around the country to come up with a series of tacos. The ambiance and craft beer complete the experience. Add some tepache to your taco order.
Coffee & Breakfast
- Forte: Great place for Mexican coffee and delicious pastries. Ask for their concha and the tascalate, a cacao & corn based drink from Chiapas mixed with cold brew. They also host party nights on Fridays and Saturdays.
- Aleli: Come here for an amazing sit-down breakfast with elevated versions of traditional Mexican breakfast. And while you’re there please get their worldly famous sumptuous cheesecake.
- Almanegra Cafe: Always at the top of my favorite coffee places. This time I’m adding their newest location in the Portales neighborhood. Same amazing coffee but now with the best company: pastries from Costra! Try their amazing gibraltar.
- Farmacia Internacional: The most beautiful building in the city is home of this all day breakfast spot. Their egg in a jar is everything you could expect from a self indulgent breakfast. Pair with one of their natural wines for better results.
- Costra: Still going strong as my preferred Sunday stop to start the day. Their recently added donuts are almost as good as their classic pastries. Get a garibaldi to feel in heaven.
- Lalo!: I almost didn’t include it on this year’s list but went with it at the end. So simple and yet so good, their chilaquiles are amazing, their conchas and their eggs with chilaca will always be a perfect start to the day. Get their concha served with a dollop of white chocolate ganache on top.
Ice cream & sweets
- Joe Gelato: Not a week goes by without me stepping into this small place in Juarez to be surprised (yet again) by Joe’s amazing gelato flavors. Savory and herbal options are always available but their olive oil gelato is unmissable.
- Glace Bistro: in the heart of condesa lies this very little spot with all-natural ice cream. They also vary their selection so let yourself be surprised and guided by their owner Mauricio.
- Chocolateria La Rifa: If you want to try cacao based drinks this is definitely your spot. Perfectly frothy drinks whether mixed with water or milk are being poured all day long. You could also try any of their chocolate bars, all 70% of cacao and made with Mexican beans from small producers mostly from the state of Chiapas.
- Bigotes de leche: Get to the beautiful Narvarte neighborhood even if it’s just to try this ice cream spot. The decoration is as retro cool as their ice cream is delicious. I love the fig and gorgonzola but their floats made with Mexican sodas are always a safe bet.
- Dulcería de Celaya: A complete time machine. This little spot sells traditional Mexican most of it are made in-house so you’ll get the freshest of the fresh. Their lagrimitas are little, colorful explosions of flavors. Try their jamoncillo, a pumpkin seed based candy.
Cocktails & Beer
- Hanky Panky: Not only did they make it to the top 50 best bars in the world this year but they also improved considerably their food menu. Contact them directly through instagram if you want to get a reservation.
- Jardín Juárez: An outdoors option with craft beer. They have both national and imported beers and host different kinds of events over the weekends. Perfect to start a Sunday.
- Fifty Mills: Inside of the Four Seasons hotel. May sound like a fancy option but once you’re inside you realize is definitely not. Sit at the bar and let the friendly bartenders surprise you with their amazing cocktails.
- Kaito Bar Izakaya: Still my favorite cocktail in the city: Umami wolf is one of those sweet, savory, refreshing, delicious drinks I could have all night long. The place is also great for some karaoke action at their hidden backroom. My favorite drink in the whole city: Umami Wolf!
- Ignacia guesthouse: With only 5 beautiful monochromatic rooms available and a gorgeous cacti garden, this place in the heart of Roma also offers great Mexican breakfast every morning, concierge service and a happy hour in the afternoon.
- Casa Pancha: A very new and minimalistic boutique hostel in Condesa. You can choose to stay in a shared room with cool individual capsules or if you prefer your own bathroom they also have private rooms with enormous beds, and spacious common ares perfect for remote working.
- Casa Comtesse: An elegant mansion with very tall ceilings, a peaceful courtyard and lots of art in constant rotation. Comtesse has only 7 rooms, serve breakfast in their communal table every morning, has an in-house art gallery and some very fine mezcal bottles.
- The Local Way, Culiacán: For those who prefer to feel at home, by renting a whole private apartment with equipped kitchen that’s decorated with Mexican art and design objects in its entirety but with full concierge service. Think of an AirBnB, only better.
- Chaya BnB: Situated right in the historic center right next to the big Alameda park. Chaya offers breakfast every morning in their communal table with one of the best views in the neighborhood. Their hammocks are the best place for a quick nap after a day of exploring the city. Also, they have a room with the most amazing bathtub I’ve ever seen.
Hope you enjoy your time in Mexico City!
If you’re up for a more thorough and guided experience please visit my food tour website: Devoured!
* Don’t forget to “star” the map *
Need help planning your trip? Think of us as you Culinary Concierges, send us an email at email@example.com