“Master Chef Enrique, his … Slowly sipping and savoring mezcal is more like wine tasting than the quickly downed tequila shot. Puerto Vallarta. Ambient lighting creates the seductive dining room at the renowned Pujol restaurant in Mexico City. Best Dining in Mexico City, Central Mexico and Gulf Coast: See 255,052 Tripadvisor traveler reviews of 6,722 Mexico City restaurants and search by cuisine, price, location, and more. Rust-colored ceramic bowls and grizzled mortars-and-pestles called molcajetes are stacked like archaeological artifacts beneath the counter. This is just the kind of fancy hotel snack and international comfort food you want as you sip a ginger margarita (or one of the hotel’s endless Mexican craft beers, if that’s more your speed) and watch the world go by. © 2020 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. I was especially taken by the rajas con crema, featuring chunky strips of poblano pepper with rich cream, cheese and onion. So for now, I will highlight some of the more accessible food pleasures at this high-end resort-in-the-city. While American Express Card Member benefits are highlighted in this publication, including through the links indicated below, the content of this article was independently written by the editorial staff at Meredith. Part of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic food traditions, the diamond-shaped blue corn tlacoyo is cooked on a small metal griddle with a shelf inside for the hot coals and often holds a mash of fava beans and cactus salad and cheese. In Mexico City you’ll find interesting fusions of traditional cuisine and new techniques, from foams to craft cocktails and the same kind of sophisticated food that trend-scouting urbanites hunt for in New York, Paris or Rome. Often, of course, they are one and the same, but not always. At the city’s other legendary lunch spot, Restaurante Nicos, I tucked into fillet of trout, the flesh steamed in a tamale wrapper and perfumed with the pungent herb epazote. They are, though, indisputably a part of how Mexico City eats today. I crowded into a tiny eating area at Pescadería El Puerto de Alvarado, a stall in the Centro’s San Juan Market, for sweet, briny “chocolate” clams, plucked straight from the ice, and I settled into the plush, ocean-liner-like dining room of Carmela y Sal, in tony Polanco, for pejelagarto, a toothy garfish native to Tabasco, served as a “taco” on crisp, cold disks of cabbage. Calle Liverpool 44a; 52-55-5705-3491. At Contramar, where squadrons of waiters swoop in and out between the tables of politicians, actors, and other important Chilangos (as Mexico City dwellers are called), rolling the circular tables around like military ordnance, I downed chef Gabriela Cámara’s famous tuna tostadas. Benjamín Hill 146; 52-55-5271-3515. The gourmet, fine-dining food scene in Mexico City has to be seen to be believed. Pia Riverola. Absolute perfection. But Mexico City is thrillingly, maximally, urban in more ways than just these: The way it fills the airplane window as you first glimpse it, mile after mile of streets and buildings, spilling to the horizon in all directions. On the side, fried baby artichokes with dry jocoque. After a few days, I felt a bit like a tamale myself. Benjamín Hill 146; 52-55-5271-3515. They are for sale at local markets, and pop up in a variety of dishes, as an add-in to guacamole, a taco filling, a coffee-like puree sprinkled on dishes. “Someone will be like, ‘I got all these beautiful pears. Going there can feel like that dream of suddenly discovering an unknown extra room in your house, if that room was Paris. Get shell-shocked by the tacos at El Bajio. Service is exceptional, the staff unobtrusive but incredibly knowledgeable and the dark, velvet-encased atmosphere undeniably sexy. I am embarrassed to say before I visited Mexico City, I didn’t really “get” mezcal. Though only in her early forties, Reygades qualifies as something of a grande dame—one of a group of women, including Contramar’s Gabriela Cámara and restaurateur and TV personality Mónica Patiño, who have defined Mexico City’s food scene. A taquito providing a cracker-thin platform for beans and cecina, the salted beef. The buzz of infinite human activity. “The Mexico City food scene is truly rich, presenting a kaleidoscope of flavor,” said David Cáceres, co-founder and head baker of La Panadería, in a news release. The incredible turkey tortas at the street food stand Tortas Tortas (54 Dolores Street in the downtown historic center) operated by Luis “Luigi” Buenrostro come accessorized with avocado and homemade chipotle salsa and like all great street food, demand to be eaten standing, right then and there, salsa dripping down your arm, as soon as they’re dished up. Seek them out whenever and wherever you can. It sounds so simple: an avocado pizza with thin slices of Mexico’s favorite fruit layered like rose petals, cooked on a thin pizza crust and topped with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of serrano chili and a mist of lime. Chantico, a restaurant and bar inspired by the modern culinary scene of Mexico City, quietly opened its doors Monday afternoon. The Phoenix … It’s called Expendio de Maíz Sin Nombre, or “the corn shop without a name.” Coming upon it, on the otherwise gentrified Avenida Yucatán in Roma Norte, you feel you have stumbled onto a stage set: a dark, cavern-like re-creation of a rural Mexican kitchen, open to the street, built from roughhewn black stone and dominated by a comal, a wide, smooth cooking surface. With such a vibrant food revolution happening, it can be tricky to know just where to spend your pesos. affiliated with American Express Company or its subsidiaries. The hippest Brooklyn watering hole has nothing on the complex cocktails and ambient pre-Hispanic cool at Xaman run by French owners Romain Morice and Anthony Zamora (more on this in a later story) where I got to unleash my inner bartender and create some of their signature cocktails. The best part of this approach is that it can lead travelers to excellent food and culinary experiences that they might otherwise might not have had, and thus to a better understanding and appreciation of Mexico City’s food scene. The food scene in Mexico City is one of the most exhilarating on the planet; some people come here just to eat. Another lunchtime favorite in Mexico City is street tacos. Why Mexico City's Dining Scene Is Worth Planning a Trip Around. View Terms of Service If the food and style these places create do not seem sufficiently “Mexican,” well, that opens a set of metaphysical questions about place and culture and “authenticity” that confronts nearly every modern traveler in our ever-shrinking, ever-more-similar world, whether to New Orleans or Paris, or Indianapolis, or Minsk. There are also bike lanes and boutiques and bookstores. From left: The main room at Carmela y Sal, in the Polanco neighborhood; scallop and uchovas tiradito at Meroma. Featured here is the incomparable carrot salsa at Fonda Mayora in Mexico City. 5: Escamoles para taquear at Los Danzantes. Calle Liverpool 44a; 52-55-5705-3491. Food in Mexico City is farm-to-table inventive, defined by fresh flavors and unexpected combinations (crickets and tacos! The mezcal in Tornés’s jug was clear as rainwater but rich and wild-tasting. Máximo Bistrot. But just in case, there are plastic benches to perch on if you want to savor this local delicacy with a modicum of dignity. While many still rate Peru as a better foodie destination for haute cuisine lovers in Latin America, Mexico City and its top chefs are fighting back against that assertion, and you could happily eat your way through restaurants run solely by famous chefs for the duration of your stay. All rights reserved. Featured here is the menu at the classic churros and chocolate Mexico City restaurant El Moro. It’s bewildering, a little frightening, containing multitudes, ultimately unknowable, though I was determined to do my best. In short, use common sense, trust your gut (literally) and, when in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Privacy Statement. All rights reserved. Why you should go: Clued-in travelers have long headed … Featured here is one of the street vendors who serve tortas and other delicacies from small stands in the historic district of Mexico City. Chef Jair Téllez is as much an undeniable fan of the pig as any of the Southern-born chefs I love in Atlanta, so expect pig’s ears and other swine delicacies to show up on the menu. But it is that magical taste and color of the blue corn that transports this dish to another place entirely. Foodie heaven. Pastor is king in Mexico City, and thus this list leans heavily towards the spitted pork. As many words as Inuits are said to have for snow, so too do Mexicans for nixtamal corn—boiled and soaked in an alkaline solution, then pulverized to make masa—in its various incarnations: formed into disk-shaped sopes and football-shaped tlacoyos, stuffed with beans to make huaraches or stuffed itself into corn husks or banana leaves to make tamales. As a dessert at the swanky St. Regis, Mexico City encapsulates the wave of globally-influenced spreading! Are, though I was determined to do my best find cool people Eating, drinking, and cuisines. 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