After a whole year of trying and eating and drinking all over town, my new favorites list is here! Some spots made the cut again and some are completely new.
This list is designed as an alternative for travelers coming to Mexico City who are in love with food. You’ll find restaurants and food joints you might not find in major websites (except for a couple that are quite renown like Limantour and Maximo Bistrot) and it’s to help you discover spots you might otherwise overlook. This does not mean I dislike places like Pujol, Quintonil or Contramar but you can easily find those in any other publication.
Categories might have changed slightly this year but the idea is basically the same: you’ll find a brief story each place and what I recommend you to order (sometimes even how to do so). The map found at the bottom of the page can be starred as a favorite, which will automatically download it to your phone.
Hope this list becomes a tool for you to easily navigate through the city and its vibrant food scene and feel free to check out the Food Tour section if you want me to show you around other amazing spots (not listed here!) while we talk about food, history & more.
- Restaurante Sin Nombre (a.k.a. No Name Place): Still at the top of my list. Such a 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, the newly added tender corn and their aromatic guava dessert are perfect for a night out in the downtown area. Try something from their wine selection, or even better, their mezcales.
- Cocina Lucio: A restaurant with Modern Mexican cuisine. They brew their own beer and tepache (fermented pineapple drink). Their stuffed squash blossoms are amazing and so are the caramelised figs. Check out their social media to find out who’s the guest chef hosting their weekly Taco Tuesday.
- Alba Cocina Local: Mexican ingredients treated in a very special innovative way. Their breakfasts are as comforting as Mexican and the whole menu is spectacular. Their wine selection is outstanding.
- El Sella: An old-school cantina located right outside the touristy area. Get their chamorro (shank) and Spanish tortilla while downing an old-fashioned cuba libre.
- Salón Ríos: A modern Cantina with great food an amazing prices. The duck Tacos de Canasta are great and the chamorro (shank) has such tender meat it falls off the bone basically just by looking at it. The octopus Salbutes (a puffed fried tortilla) are also on point!
- Covadonga: A special cantina. During weekdays you’ll see fans of traditional Spanish cuisine and weekends it turns into hipsterland. However their atmosphere and their food is always great. A big selection of tequilas is available so get a bandera (means flag in Spainish and you’ll get a glass of Tequila, a glass of lime juice and a glasss of a red juice called sangrita).
- Comixcal: Not only Oaxacan food, but VERY regional Oaxacan food. Great prices and incredibly amazing flavors you won’t find anywhere else in the city..
- Masala y Maíz: Home of my favorite meal of 2018. A cute place with a concrete communal table and warm and welcoming atmosphere. Their food seamlessly blends flavors, ingredients and aromas from Mexico, Africa and India. Get the esquites for sure and their crazy good donuts!
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.
- Los Parados: An oldie but goodie. At this place you have to order and pay first, then get the food. Secret menu: “poblano con bisteck en tostada”. Say it exactly like that and it’ll be one of your favorite bites forever.
- Tacos Orinoco: Fairly new to the city. Order and pay first, get a number and take it to your table. Secret menu: “Una costra de chicharrón en harina”. Get their dessert called buñuelo is amazing!
- Taquería Por Siempre Vegano: Do not judge before trying. Even thought it’s vegan, their tacos and desserts are great. Order their oyster mushrooms taco and get their brownies.
- Mariscos Orizaba: A street stand with FRESH seafood. Get any of their crispy tostadas and caldo de camarón (shrimp broth).
Cocktails & Beer
- Trappist: Great place for Mexican micro brews.Mostly bottled and with no fix menu. Get whatever the bartender suggests.
- Tasting Room: If your preffer beer on tap, this is you spot. They offer over 10 different kinds of beer including their own house brews under the Morenos brand.
- Maison Artemisia: Enter a beautiful colonial house and walk upstairs and to find a tiny bar with great drinks and relaxed atmosphere. Get the “Salmoncito” for a gin, ginger & grapefruit treat. Better to call in advance to reserve if visiting during weekends.
- Licorería Limantour: The classic one. Avoid going to their brother spot in Polanco and just make your way down to Roma. Sit at the bar, talk to the tenders, have fun sipping on their extremely accurate suggestions.
- Xaman Bar: A little bit of a hidden location. The whole concept will make you feel like you’re entering a world of mysticism and magic. The drinks are also made with ingredients such as roots, flowers and other great spices. They have huge drinks made to share with your companion.
- Kaito Bar Izakaya: “If you see the cat, come inside” Go upstairs and if you feel hungry get something from their asian inspired menu. Get their great savory cocktail called “Umami wolf” with brine, celery salt and goodness. There’s also a hidden room in the back you can reserve for you and a group of friends to karaoke all night.
- Mis Mezcales: The best place to buy (and even try) great Mezcales and libations from all over the country. Made by small producers and perfectly labeled to take home abroad with you. Omar will be there to share a little bit of his knowledge and walk you through the vast world of Mexican spirits.
- Museo de Arte Popular: (found in google as Folk Art Museum) Yes, the museum is great and all, but the shop will leave you speechless. From clothing to paintings, towels and various ornaments it’s all beautiful.
- Cintli: If you want to buy corn and masa based items this is your spot. Corn is bought from small producers, seasonal and fair trade. The atole (a warm masa drink) and tortillas are exceptional.
- Utilitario Mexicano: Get the old-school Mexican utensils and kitchenware at this spot. Glasses are made in Mexico and incredibly cute. Enamel bowls and strainers, volcanic rock mortars, cute aprons and even natural soaps are also found.
Coffee & Breakfast
- Costra: Favorite spot for a slow morning. Get a concha, a sugary garibaldi, their cheesecake and berries pastries are breathtaking.
- Forte Cafe: A comfy spot to get an amazing cup of coffee and a pastry on the side. Get their babka or a concha and a delicately prepared drip coffee.
- Café Passmar: Inside a very traditional market (right in the middle). One of the first speciality coffee bars in town. The homemade food is on spot even if the service can get a bit slow. The chilaquiles for breakfast and albondigas (meatballs) for lunch are out of this world.
- Buna: Great Mexican coffee beans, and great drinks. Get an espresso or a chemex and get one of their ever changing pastries. Perfect for people-watching.
- Cafe Nin: Cute spot in Juarez with the same pastries you’d find at Rosetta, which makes this a can’t miss. Get their carrot, ginger and jícama juice and chilaquiles. If here during weekends arrive before 10. The berries berniler is on point!
- Farmacia Internacional: Walk downstairs and into one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Get a coffee and a scone accompanied by their amazing avocado toast. They also have extraordinary Mexican sips like cold brew, artisanal beer and Natural wine.
- Lalo!: Still one of my favorites. If here on a weekend try to get arrive before 10am. Sit at the huge communal table and get their chilaquiles, their mascarpone toast and the chilaca eggs.
- Almanegra Cafe: With very sleek design and amazing coffee beans both national and imported. One of the very few places offering a nitro cold brew. Get one for their pastries specially made to pair the coffee like the chocolate croissant and the chocolate tart.
- Casa Del Fuego: A very small spot in the Cuahutemoc neighborhood. Coffee lovers put their knowledge and care into every single cup. Their avocado toast and their french toast with banana are insanely good and comforting.
Ice cream & Sweets
- Joe Gelato: The most amazing, weird and ever-changing gelato flavors. Here you get to try all of their options available before choosing a triad of sweet goodness in a cup or a chocolate cone. Don’t be shy, Joe will let you try all flavors, if that’s what it takes for you to find your favorite one.
- Bigotes de leche: Cute decoration with moustaches everywhere. They have a rotating menu that always involves fruits and dishes of the season. Try their “puffs” a warm brioche ice cream sandwich.
- La Rifa Chocolatería: Located in a very cute square in the heart of Juarez. The specialize in everything cocoa & chocolate. From cookies, bombon, drinks and even liquors. Try their chocolate con agua (chocolate with water) and their chocolate tamales.
- Nevería Roxy: A very classic, old-fashioned looking ice cream and shakes spot. Try their mamey, chocolate or mint options. A seasonal fruit with papaya color and sweet potato flavor. Pro tip: helados are water based and Nieves are water based.
- Maximo Bistrot: Always a safe bet. The amazing attention to detail and utter respect for ingredient’s flavors and seasonalities are magnificent. Easier to book through OpenTable.
- Amaya: The creator of the most famous Mexican natural wine and their amazing eatery in the city. Get the soft shell crab.
- Sartoria: The best Italian food I’ve had in the city, ingredients are top quality and every single bite is a treat. They also have a breakfast menu which includes chilaquiles with burrata!
Hope you enjoy your time in Mexico City and please let me know if you decide to visit one (or more) of the spots mentioned here, I want to know about it!
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