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Foodie´s MUSTS & Bars

Benjamin

Foodie´s MUSTS & Bars

Food Scene
From high-brow to low, eating in Mexico City has never been more exciting. You can grab first-rate street tacos for lunch and follow it up with a focused omakase dinner at Pujol (the spot has graced many a best restaurant list). From regionalized Baja cuisine in Condesa to "comida corrida" infused with spices from India, and a pasta temple from a Massimo Bottura disciple, dining out in Mexico City just keeps getting better and better
Simple but sophisticated, MeroToro feels a bit hidden away. The boxy dining room is filled with plain blonde-wood tables and lined with reclaimed wooden planks. Merotoro serves food and wine from Baja California (state in the north of Mexico) plates of seafood and perfectly sweet Sauvignon Blancs. Appetizers made with super fresh seafood are especially delicious and prepare your palate for what's to come. The larger plates, like pork torchon with lentils and a poached egg, or braised beef tongue with beans and charred salsa, are elegant and satisfying. If there's anything with uni, get it.
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Merotoro
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Simple but sophisticated, MeroToro feels a bit hidden away. The boxy dining room is filled with plain blonde-wood tables and lined with reclaimed wooden planks. Merotoro serves food and wine from Baja California (state in the north of Mexico) plates of seafood and perfectly sweet Sauvignon Blancs. Appetizers made with super fresh seafood are especially delicious and prepare your palate for what's to come. The larger plates, like pork torchon with lentils and a poached egg, or braised beef tongue with beans and charred salsa, are elegant and satisfying. If there's anything with uni, get it.
#39 in the 50 best restaurants in Latin America; Simple & Sophisticated, Máximo Bistrot is one of the city's best restaurants, with a true farm-to-table kitchen, a relatively new thing for Mexico City. The menu changes frequently to reflect the seasons and availability of local produce, and García sources fruits and vegetables grown on the nearby chinampas of Xochimilco and the surrounding estado. The food is simple bistro-style: crisp-skinned trout with clams, peas, and wild spinach, or a velvety chicken liver to spread on toast with sweet cherries. Purees, creamy spreads, and sweet sauces find their way onto most plates.
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Máximo Bistrot
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#39 in the 50 best restaurants in Latin America; Simple & Sophisticated, Máximo Bistrot is one of the city's best restaurants, with a true farm-to-table kitchen, a relatively new thing for Mexico City. The menu changes frequently to reflect the seasons and availability of local produce, and García sources fruits and vegetables grown on the nearby chinampas of Xochimilco and the surrounding estado. The food is simple bistro-style: crisp-skinned trout with clams, peas, and wild spinach, or a velvety chicken liver to spread on toast with sweet cherries. Purees, creamy spreads, and sweet sauces find their way onto most plates.
Elegant & Sophisticated, one of the neighborhoods most romantic restaurants. Chef Elena Reygadas’s seasonal dishes blend Italian and Mexican flavors, and the house-made pastas are standouts at Rosetta, set in a Colonia Roma town house. Trust me when I say the reds from Baja California are worth finding on this deep wine list.
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Rosetta Bakery
166 Colima
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Elegant & Sophisticated, one of the neighborhoods most romantic restaurants. Chef Elena Reygadas’s seasonal dishes blend Italian and Mexican flavors, and the house-made pastas are standouts at Rosetta, set in a Colonia Roma town house. Trust me when I say the reds from Baja California are worth finding on this deep wine list.
Make sure you make a reservation in advance! Contratar is one of the busiest restaurants in the city, its also one of the best ones. Mainly specialized in seafood, one of my favorite are tuna tostadas with chipotle mayonnaise and fried leeks, bracing ceviches and aguachiles, whole grilled fish a la talla served with warm totillas and refried black beans. Desserts are exceptional, a waiter will bring over a tray to show you what's available, make sure you order a "carajilo" (Liquor 43 with a shot of espresso) to join dessert.
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Contramar
202 Calle de Durango
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Make sure you make a reservation in advance! Contratar is one of the busiest restaurants in the city, its also one of the best ones. Mainly specialized in seafood, one of my favorite are tuna tostadas with chipotle mayonnaise and fried leeks, bracing ceviches and aguachiles, whole grilled fish a la talla served with warm totillas and refried black beans. Desserts are exceptional, a waiter will bring over a tray to show you what's available, make sure you order a "carajilo" (Liquor 43 with a shot of espresso) to join dessert.
AMAZING PLACE & Good food. In the open-air courtyard of the 17th-century Downtown Mexico Hotel sits the charming Azul Historico, potentially one of the best restaurants in the city. With tall spindly trees, rough-hewn tables, and women making tortillas by hand in the corner, it's a pleasant place for a relaxing late lunch while in the Historic Center. Traditional Mexican food, like spicy and chile-laden "mole negro de oaxaca" is legendary, while the "cochinita pibil" is a classic. There are no wild flourishes here, just well-executed, elegant plates, try the enchiladas in a mild chipotle sauce filled with hibiscus flowers, the same ones used to make the tangy Jamaica drink.
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Azul Historico
30 Calle Isabel la Catolica
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AMAZING PLACE & Good food. In the open-air courtyard of the 17th-century Downtown Mexico Hotel sits the charming Azul Historico, potentially one of the best restaurants in the city. With tall spindly trees, rough-hewn tables, and women making tortillas by hand in the corner, it's a pleasant place for a relaxing late lunch while in the Historic Center. Traditional Mexican food, like spicy and chile-laden "mole negro de oaxaca" is legendary, while the "cochinita pibil" is a classic. There are no wild flourishes here, just well-executed, elegant plates, try the enchiladas in a mild chipotle sauce filled with hibiscus flowers, the same ones used to make the tangy Jamaica drink.
Save for the shrimp po'boy, it's hard to see why La Docena refers to itself as a New Orleans-inspired oyster bar. No matter, the seafood is fresh and there's enough cured ham to please everyone. The raw clams, aguachiles, octopus tostadas, and house-made aioli are especially nice, and the French fries here are some of the best in town. There's only one dessert on the menu: a molten chocolate cake with banana and ice cream, you won't need any other option, this one is THE BEST.
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La Docena
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Save for the shrimp po'boy, it's hard to see why La Docena refers to itself as a New Orleans-inspired oyster bar. No matter, the seafood is fresh and there's enough cured ham to please everyone. The raw clams, aguachiles, octopus tostadas, and house-made aioli are especially nice, and the French fries here are some of the best in town. There's only one dessert on the menu: a molten chocolate cake with banana and ice cream, you won't need any other option, this one is THE BEST.
Los Cocuyos is all about meat (submerged in lard) slow cooked until it falls off the bone and is ready to be folded into tiny tacos. The brisket is one of the best in town; the campechano, a chopped-up mix of beef, longaniza, and a little bit of everything else, is a must-order; and the tripe will convince anyone who was previously on the fence about offal. Each taco is served with two tortillas, brushed with cooking fat and sprinkled with onion and cilantro.
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Los Cocuyos
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Los Cocuyos is all about meat (submerged in lard) slow cooked until it falls off the bone and is ready to be folded into tiny tacos. The brisket is one of the best in town; the campechano, a chopped-up mix of beef, longaniza, and a little bit of everything else, is a must-order; and the tripe will convince anyone who was previously on the fence about offal. Each taco is served with two tortillas, brushed with cooking fat and sprinkled with onion and cilantro.
Chef Enrique Olvera, the celebrity chef behind New York's COSME, offers two different dining options at his highly acclaimed Pujol: a multi-course tasting menu in the formal dining room and a "taco omakase" meal at the low-slung bar featuring various tacos, antojitos, and botanas. You'll likely get to taste Olvera's famed mole madre dish no matter which you choose, it'll just be in taco form at the bar. If you're set on going to Pujol, you'll want to book your reservation before you book your flight.
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Pujol
133 Tennyson
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Chef Enrique Olvera, the celebrity chef behind New York's COSME, offers two different dining options at his highly acclaimed Pujol: a multi-course tasting menu in the formal dining room and a "taco omakase" meal at the low-slung bar featuring various tacos, antojitos, and botanas. You'll likely get to taste Olvera's famed mole madre dish no matter which you choose, it'll just be in taco form at the bar. If you're set on going to Pujol, you'll want to book your reservation before you book your flight.
Sartoria serves immaculate handmade pastas and dead-simple Italian food. It's excellent at sourcing and relies on champion products, seen in an austere, but perfect, plate of 18 month old parmigiano-reggiano drizzled with syrupy balsamic vinegar. Chef Marco Carboni sneaks a few Mexican touches onto the menu, like his use of hoja santa in a soufflé and a bright ceviche with cucumber, but the cooking still feels like it could have come out of the kitchen of a Modense grandmother.
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Sartoria
42 Orizaba
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Sartoria serves immaculate handmade pastas and dead-simple Italian food. It's excellent at sourcing and relies on champion products, seen in an austere, but perfect, plate of 18 month old parmigiano-reggiano drizzled with syrupy balsamic vinegar. Chef Marco Carboni sneaks a few Mexican touches onto the menu, like his use of hoja santa in a soufflé and a bright ceviche with cucumber, but the cooking still feels like it could have come out of the kitchen of a Modense grandmother.
Just around the corner from the apartment, Pasillo de Humo is located upstairs in the newish Mercado Parian, a multi-puesto food hall in the heart of Condesa. The name refers to the passageway in the markets of Oaxaca where dried beef tasajo is hung and smoke-dried. The focus here is on small snacks like plantain croquettes dunked into red mole, traditional crispy flatbread tlayudas with stringy Oaxacan cheese and grilled beef, and pan de yema to go with the hot chocolate.
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Pasillo de Humo
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Just around the corner from the apartment, Pasillo de Humo is located upstairs in the newish Mercado Parian, a multi-puesto food hall in the heart of Condesa. The name refers to the passageway in the markets of Oaxaca where dried beef tasajo is hung and smoke-dried. The focus here is on small snacks like plantain croquettes dunked into red mole, traditional crispy flatbread tlayudas with stringy Oaxacan cheese and grilled beef, and pan de yema to go with the hot chocolate.
Lalo! is a must for breakfast, there are Mexican dishes like chilaquiles en salsa verde and chorizo with eggs, as well as familiar brunch plates like French toast with whipped cream and berries, and a Croque Monsieur. If you've ever wanted to try escamoles (ant larvae), this is a good place to do so. Sautéed in butter, folded into scrambled eggs, then served in a taco with chunks of avocado, they're approachable and almost unnoticeable.
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Lalo!
173 Zacatecas
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Lalo! is a must for breakfast, there are Mexican dishes like chilaquiles en salsa verde and chorizo with eggs, as well as familiar brunch plates like French toast with whipped cream and berries, and a Croque Monsieur. If you've ever wanted to try escamoles (ant larvae), this is a good place to do so. Sautéed in butter, folded into scrambled eggs, then served in a taco with chunks of avocado, they're approachable and almost unnoticeable.
Well-seasoned taquerias like El Greco are harder and harder to come by in Condesa, where rising rents have been the death knell for old-school institutions peddling top-notch tacos. Luckily, El Greco lives on, the tacos "Doneraky" are served Arab-style on a pita instead of a tortilla, and the meat is marinated differently than at other al pastor places, with salt, minced parsley, and onion. Whatever you order, add a side of beans and a slice of flan for dessert.
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Taqueria El Greco
54 Av Michoacán
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Well-seasoned taquerias like El Greco are harder and harder to come by in Condesa, where rising rents have been the death knell for old-school institutions peddling top-notch tacos. Luckily, El Greco lives on, the tacos "Doneraky" are served Arab-style on a pita instead of a tortilla, and the meat is marinated differently than at other al pastor places, with salt, minced parsley, and onion. Whatever you order, add a side of beans and a slice of flan for dessert.
The menu is short and sweet with just three types of meat: al pastor, bistec, and chicharron. Everything can be ordered on corn or flour tortillas and cloaked with cheese. The salsas are piquant, zippy, and incredibly spicy. There are also a few speciality items like quesadilla-like gringas, and piratas. If the pork skins weren't enough, order the fried donut dessert with dulce de leche, crumbled nuts, and banana ice cream.
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Orinoco
253 Insurgentes Sur
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The menu is short and sweet with just three types of meat: al pastor, bistec, and chicharron. Everything can be ordered on corn or flour tortillas and cloaked with cheese. The salsas are piquant, zippy, and incredibly spicy. There are also a few speciality items like quesadilla-like gringas, and piratas. If the pork skins weren't enough, order the fried donut dessert with dulce de leche, crumbled nuts, and banana ice cream.
There are the Pujol fans and then there are the Quintonil acolytes. Representing a new wave Mexican cooking, the kitchen serves a long, 10-course tasting menu that showcases ingredients indigenous to Mexico: corn, beans, squash, chiles, and mushrooms. There are a few meat dishes, and you can also order à la carte if you don't want to commit the time and money to dining here. Desserts, like a burnt corn ice cream, shine as well.
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Quintonil
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There are the Pujol fans and then there are the Quintonil acolytes. Representing a new wave Mexican cooking, the kitchen serves a long, 10-course tasting menu that showcases ingredients indigenous to Mexico: corn, beans, squash, chiles, and mushrooms. There are a few meat dishes, and you can also order à la carte if you don't want to commit the time and money to dining here. Desserts, like a burnt corn ice cream, shine as well.
Drinks & Nightlife
Drinking in Mexico City covers the full spectrum: there’s a lot of high-brow dens focused on mixology alongside working-class drinking holes known as cantinas, with a few newcomers in the mid-range realm. That means there’s the best of both worlds, so you can sling back tequila and Negro Modelos at a storied Matador bar one night, and indulge in a signature cocktail held in a frozen sphere of ice the next. There’s no better city for getting to know tequila, mezcal, and pulque, all agave-based spirits that keep Mexico City rolling. From high to low, our list of where to drink in Mexico City has you covered.
Toledo is here for the tasting. So bring the people you love—let’s eat, share and enjoy the spirit of togetherness from noon till dusk, and play on and on and on…
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Toledo Rooftop
39 Toledo
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Toledo is here for the tasting. So bring the people you love—let’s eat, share and enjoy the spirit of togetherness from noon till dusk, and play on and on and on…
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Supra Roma
151 Av. Álvaro Obregón
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Colima 168 Roma Norte Blanco Colima is located in a spectacular mansion with a bar and a restaurant set in a posh atmosphere. I like this place for late afternoon or late evening drinks. Take a seat at the bar in the lounge area and let the bar staff create a custom cocktail for you or choose from their extensive cocktail list. The drinks here are very good and the music upbeat and the crowd stunning. If you are with a group there is comfortable table seating. The restaurant side has very good food but be it is on the expensive side. They are well known for their seafood Mexican dishes * If you are going to the restaurant sit on the balcony if possible.
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Blanco Colima
168 Colima
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Colima 168 Roma Norte Blanco Colima is located in a spectacular mansion with a bar and a restaurant set in a posh atmosphere. I like this place for late afternoon or late evening drinks. Take a seat at the bar in the lounge area and let the bar staff create a custom cocktail for you or choose from their extensive cocktail list. The drinks here are very good and the music upbeat and the crowd stunning. If you are with a group there is comfortable table seating. The restaurant side has very good food but be it is on the expensive side. They are well known for their seafood Mexican dishes * If you are going to the restaurant sit on the balcony if possible.
Dating back to 1946, La Perla was once a red light venue but is now a very popular and kitschy bar with drag shows. Cover is $9 and best to get there before 10 pm (first show 11:30 pm) if you want a good table.
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La Perla
44 Calle Republica de Cuba
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Dating back to 1946, La Perla was once a red light venue but is now a very popular and kitschy bar with drag shows. Cover is $9 and best to get there before 10 pm (first show 11:30 pm) if you want a good table.
#11 of the 50 best bars in the world, Limantour is considered the ideal for cocktails, so much so that its mixologists train others across the capital. Tons of cocktail connoisseurs flock here to see the art in action, but it's also popular with a generally trendy crowd. Bartenders mix up creative Mexican-infused takes on classic cocktails, and the food, a varied selection of small plates like seafood tostadas and Spanish-style potatoes. There are two locations, Roma and Polanco.
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Licorería Limantour
106 Av. Álvaro Obregón
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#11 of the 50 best bars in the world, Limantour is considered the ideal for cocktails, so much so that its mixologists train others across the capital. Tons of cocktail connoisseurs flock here to see the art in action, but it's also popular with a generally trendy crowd. Bartenders mix up creative Mexican-infused takes on classic cocktails, and the food, a varied selection of small plates like seafood tostadas and Spanish-style potatoes. There are two locations, Roma and Polanco.
A definite cocktail scene, Xaman sets out to have one of the best cocktail menus in the city. Try out drinks made with tea, wild herbs, and fresh fruit juices, like the pale pink Piedra del Mar shaken hard with egg whites and the pulp of tuna fruit. The classics are a wise choice too, like the thyme-infused Moscow Mule. Come here for a nice cocktail at the end of the day, to start a night out, or to simply see what's going on at the forefront of Mexico City's cocktail scene.
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Xaman Bar
6 Copenhague
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A definite cocktail scene, Xaman sets out to have one of the best cocktail menus in the city. Try out drinks made with tea, wild herbs, and fresh fruit juices, like the pale pink Piedra del Mar shaken hard with egg whites and the pulp of tuna fruit. The classics are a wise choice too, like the thyme-infused Moscow Mule. Come here for a nice cocktail at the end of the day, to start a night out, or to simply see what's going on at the forefront of Mexico City's cocktail scene.
You'll have to buzz to get into this mixology-serious cocktail bar that's one of the best in the city for both classic and unique drinks served in special glassware with thoughtful garnishes. Consider the four o'clock punch made with black tea or a hot toddy with chivas regal. The knowledge bartenders take pride in their work, and the crowd is young, beautiful, and achingly hip.
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Baltra Bar
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You'll have to buzz to get into this mixology-serious cocktail bar that's one of the best in the city for both classic and unique drinks served in special glassware with thoughtful garnishes. Consider the four o'clock punch made with black tea or a hot toddy with chivas regal. The knowledge bartenders take pride in their work, and the crowd is young, beautiful, and achingly hip.
Enter through a sliding refrigerator door and head down the steps to this incredibly low-lit speakeasy and cocktail bar in the back of an unassuming restaurant. So long as you have a reservation, entrance should be easy. Cocktails are serious business here, either order one from the menu or tell the bartenders what you like and leave it to them.
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Jules Basement
93 Calle Julio Verne
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Enter through a sliding refrigerator door and head down the steps to this incredibly low-lit speakeasy and cocktail bar in the back of an unassuming restaurant. So long as you have a reservation, entrance should be easy. Cocktails are serious business here, either order one from the menu or tell the bartenders what you like and leave it to them.