After a year-long hiatus due to the uncertainty of COVID times and restaurant closures my list of favorite places is back with all the best food and drinks you’ll find in Mexico City (according to well… me).
Being that there are so many other great lists with all the famous spots in the city such as Eater’s 38 Essential Restaurants where you’ll find staples and institutions such as Contramar, Maximo Bistrot, Pujol, Meroma and so on, I still gave in to the temptation of coming up with my own.
And it’s not that I don’t enjoy those lists and visiting any of those amazingly delicious spots, I just think there’s so much more to discover in this city of over 24 million people!
So on this list I’m trying to include restaurants and taco joints that are outside of the same old neighborhoods people always tend to visit to maybe tempt you to venture towards new grounds.
If you feel the need for a professional taco eater to show you around, please head down to my website dedicated only to food experiences: Devoured!
This year I’ll be focusing on a different neighborhood each month on a new series called MEET THE HOOD, so keep checking the website to find out where you should be going next.
And as usual, there is an extra section added to the list. This year is all about places I recommend for those who’ve been to Mexico City previously and are ready to explore the not-so-Mexican side of it.
**As always all addresses and locations are in the map found at the bottom of the page.**
**Click on the star to automatically download it to your phone.**
Casual & Very Casual Eating
- Expendio de Maíz sin Nombre: Still at the head of my list, I 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. Let them know when to stop, and your rate will depend on the number of courses you had. I’ve only been able to get passed the 3rd course, it’s A LOT of food. (Instagram)
- 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. This cute little spot is located in the Portales neighborhood, which makes it a perfect stop when you’re on your way to Frida Kahlo’s museum or the southern part of the city in general. (Instagram)
- Marigold: From the same creative minds of the amazing Masala y Maíz, and located in their former location in the San Miguel Chapultepec colonia. This is where chefs Saqib and Norma set their culinary imagination free and come up with a menu that’s seamlessly mixes all their inspirations and results in an amazing feast for both eyes and tastebuds. (Instagram)
- Pollo Bruto: Think roasted chicken, but covered in amazing tasty salsas. Choose a flour or corn tortilla, burritos or tacos, pair with a guacamole with corn kernels and wash it down with an orange-ade with a touch of mezcal or a tiny beer. A simple but solid menu in a cute little street of Roma. Also, a part of my “New School Taquerias” roundup. (Instagram)
- Siembra Tortilleria: There are few places I’d recommend in the Polanco neighborhood and this is right at the top of the list (along with Taqueria El Turix but I’ve mentioned that in a previous list). This cute spot with very few seats is dedicated to heirloom corn, nixtamal, and corn-based “antojitos” (or small bites) and tacos. Talk to the chefs and enjoy their passion for corn and fresh, seasonal ingredients. (Instagram)
- Ticuchi: Where Pujol used to be a few years ago, we now find its extra casual little sister. With a menu mostly inspired in Oaxaca an its ingredients, Ticuchi is a perfect spot for amazing drinks, mezcal and small plates. The cost is absolutely affordable as well as the ambiance.(Instagram)
- Itacate del Mar: From the same mind behind the always incredible Contramar, comes this hidden gem in the Historic Centre. Itacate del Mar, along with its sister Caracol, offer one of the best breakfasts in the area, an unsuprisingly good seafood menu full of tostadas and other traditional dishes as well as an incredible drink menu with only Mexican Handcrafted spirits and small batch mezcales. (Instagram)
Non-Mexican spots I absolutely adore and just HAD to share with you.
Once again, I would strongly encourage you to try out Mexican food spots during your first (or even second) trip to the city, since that’s exactly what we excel at and not necessarily other countries’s gastronomy.
- Choza: Easily the one place I’ve visited the most in the past year and a half. This hidden rooftop eatery is Chef Tyler’s playground, where he gets to show off his wicked culinary skills (mostly inspired in Thai and Asian street food) with local, seasonal ingredients. Add an original Daiquiri machine brought all the way from New Orleans, an exquisite vinyl record collection, an extremely sophisticated high fidelity sound system and with a rowdy but good-natured crowd to become your new favorite weekend spot. (Be aware that there might be a really long waiting time on Saturdays and there are no reservations) Get the whole fish for bigger groups of people, but seriously everything I’ve had here is outstanding. (Instagram)
- Makan: Maybe the last type of cuisine you would think of when coming to Mexico City is Singaporean but boy oh boy you’d be so mistaken if you didn’t pay a visit to Mario and Maryann when in town. Their lovely red-chaired restaurant in Roma is home of the most amazing chicken rice and laksa you’ve ever dreamed of. Reservations are highly encouraged. (Instagram)
- Esquina Común: This reservation only spot, available on weekends is the lovechild of Ana Dolores and Carlos Perez. Their inspiration comes from Spanish, Peruvian and Mexican cuisine combined beautifully into a menu that makes you feel like you are eating at a friend’s home. All of it paired with Natural wines at a very reasonable price and the most amazingly kind service. (Instagram)
- Pliin: Chef’s table takes a whole new meaning with this culinary pop-up. With a previous reservation you can access Antonio Balassone’s home and enjoy one private dinner with ingredients and dishes inspired in classic Italian, but with a modern twist. Drinks are also exceptional as well as de atmosphere. To book send a DM to their instagram.
- Dooriban: Korean food made with love. From their banchan to their noodles and everything in between including their amazing kimchelada. Yes, that means a michelada made with delicious kimchi juices. Perfect place also for people watching and just hanging out. (Instagram)
Tacos & Street Food
- 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 Rules: 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 chili powder. This particular spot adds an extra layer of flavor with their amazing salsa macha (chili oil with roasted peanuts, garlic and seeds). Don’t think about it, just do it. (Instagram)
- Mixiote Tacos: Been there since 1986 and still going strong. This street stand is only open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and it’s a must when visiting Juarez neighborhood. Mixiotes are sheep meat seasoned with a mix of spices, avocado and bay leaf, cinammon among others then steamed inside parchment paper sachets. Tacos are served on a couple of warm tortillas and you can (and should) top them with pinapple, nopales, lime, salt and the salsa of your choice. Eat them while standing up so you can fit more in.
- Cariñito Tacos: This is part of the new trend of giving a pretty innovative twist to the classic Tacos. I call them New School Taquerias and I wrote a whole post about it. Here the star is pork belly, mixed with amazing asian flavors, top notch ingredients and a cute stading-only area. (Also included in the New-School Taquerias list). (Instagram)
- La Pingüica: Tacos al Pastor, as you might know are Mexico City staple. These are the kind made with no fresh pineapple but instead a spoonful of delicious caramelized onions. The size of their pastor spit gives aways how popular they are among locals. They also have suadero (braised beef tacos) and their salsa is on its own the perfect excuse to travel to the area.
Coffee & Breakfast
- Forte: Great place for Mexican coffee and some of the most delicious pastries I’ve had in the city. Ask for their concha and the tascalate, a cacao & corn based drink from Chiapas mixed with cold brew. They also have incredible pizza and an amazing selection of natural wines to drink with. (Instagram)
- Avellaneda: If you happen to be in Coyoacan neighborhood, you must try this amazing little spot. With some of the best baristas in town and international acclaimed amazing roasters, this is the perfect place to satisfy your caffeine needs. Their cold brew based drinks are also unmissable. (Instagram)
- Almanegra Cafe: Always at the top of my favorite coffee places. Newest location in the Escandon neighborhood. Same amazing coffee but now a few blocks away from Condesa in a not-so-already-in-the-known area. As always, their cold brew and Gibraltar is on spot. (Instagram)
- Casa del Fuego: Located in Cuauhtemoc neighborhood not only do they have their roasted and coffee shop called Cucurucho, but they also play with amazing breakfast foods in their spot next door. Their tomato stuffed with goat cheese and egg is out of this world. And their sandwiches are perfect for an easy Sunday morning. (Instagram)
- Farmacia Internacional: The most beautiful building in the city is home of this cute all-day-breakfast spot. Their egg in a jar is everything you’s want for an indulgent breakfast and their homemade pop tart is outstanding. Pair with one of their natural wines for better results or even a mimosa. (Instagram)
- Camino a Comala: In the gorgeous San Rafael barrio, this is one of the favorite places for locals to work or hang out. They roast their own coffee and hace a cute terrace where you can easily lose track of time either talking to an old friend, reading a book or working away on your laptop. (Instagram)
- Blom: This spot is both one of my favorite spots for coffee & natural wine, but mostly it’s one of my ultimate favorite places for relaxing and people watching on a Sunday afternoon. If you’re in luck, you might bump into one of their guest chefs and projects that wouls prepare amazing food in the tiniest of grills right at the curbside. (Instagram)
- Yonke: New cozy little spot in the Tabacalera neighborhood right next to the Revolution Monument (so yes, away from all crowds). Working with some of the best roasters in the country, this cute spot had the most amazing idea those in search for their caffeine fix: Popurrí – a 5 or 10 course tasting of incredible coffee based drinks ending with a tiny cocktail that’s not for the faint of heart and at an incredibly reasonable price. Great place to just hang out. (Instagram)
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. (Instagram)
- Chocolatería 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. (Instagram)
- 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.
Wine, Cocktails & Beer
- Cafe de Nadie: New cool kid in the Roma neighborhood. A listening bar with some of the best quality sound you’ll find in the city, along with amazing cocktails and the most delicious menu curated by the Makan chefs. They always have either guest chefs or guest DJ’s so it’ll most likely be a fun place to be at. (Instagram)
- Jardín Juárez: An outdoors option with craft beer. They have both national and imported beers and host an amazing bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys on Weekend brunch. Also is open air and dog friendly. (Instagram)
- Escorpio: If there is natural wine mecca in the city this has to be it. Bottles from all over the world and at all different price ranges. Whether you like to sip on incredibly funky wines or not, there is a bottle for you here. They also have a fridge to keep your drink at perfect temperature and ready to go. Keep an eye on them as they sometime have Meet the brewer sessions and offer different tastings. (Instagram)
- Baltra: Limantour’s little darker sister located in Condesa has the best Martini nights on Tuesdays and a very laid back, cozy vibe. Get here early as it tends to get really busy at nights. (Instagram)
- Simple Cerveceria: Great tap room with over 12 lines in Juarez neighborhood with an amazing in-house restaurant called Niss. Beer is great, sometimes they offer cider or Natural wines and they have a really popular Mexican gin called Armonico. Great place for a post work drink with friends. (Instagram)
- Tlecan Mezcaleria: If you’re looking for an amazing Mezcal selection, great spirits like sotol and raicilla, traditional drinks like pulque and incredible cocktails along with a great atmosphere that’s somewhere between a bar and a club, this is definitely your spot.
- Meroma: Even though this should be on everyone’s list as one of the best restaurants in town, they should also be known because of their amazing wine selection and mostly their incredibly delicious Bloody Mary made with mezcal. Getting one at their gorgeous downstairs bar on a Sunday afternoon is a must. (Instagram)
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!
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