Best of : Top 10 Restaurants in Mexico City


The first time I went to Mexico City, I fell in love with its food scene, and I keep coming back to gorge on the mole, tamales and chocolates ! It's heartbreaking to make a selection, as the gastronomic offer is so vast in the city, but here is my advice for a short visit in the capital:



1. Pujol


Restaurant type

A benchmark in contemporary Mexican cuisine for almost 20 years. Chef Enrique Olvera's flagship restaurant has progressed up to the 9th place on the list of the world's 50 best restaurants; it opened in 2000, moved from Petrarca to Tennysson, Polanco, in 2017, and the renewal of its menu is a constant that gives it this fame.


It's definitively a serious place, with a darker atmosphere that contrasts with the colourful streets of the Mexican capital.


Why go there?

The best restaurant in Mexico cultivates the seasonings, textures and backgrounds of Mexican cuisine, combined with the organic vegetable garden it models and produces in the same garden as the place. Pujol's trademark is the availability of the products and the freshness of the ingredients.


If you've never tried Mezcal, let the sommelier take you through a Mezcal tasting experience at the end of the meal.








The menu

The mole madre with hoja santa tortillas is the only permanent and exclusive dish. Oaxacan black mole is made with dried fruits, nuts, and herbs, among other ingredients. There's also the omakase taco bar, an eight- to ten-course tasting bar with a selection of drinks.


Here some snaps from the tasting I enjoyed there :



2. Máximo Bistrot Local


What is that ?

Maximo Bistrot Local's pantry is over two-thirds full with ingredients sourced from local farms, including Xochimilco crops. Chef Eduardo Garcia, along with his wife and business partner Gabriela Lopez, opened this restaurant in 2012 with the aim of serving dishes from fair trade and agriculture.


Their specialties

Eduardo García has an outstanding resume in spaces such as Le Bernardin (New York, three Michelin stars) and Pujol. The restaurant follows the strict philosophy of supporting national products; sophisticated dishes without falling for the ostentatious presentation that you can accompany with craft beer or wine.


What can we try?

The menu changes daily, but never fails to impress with items like mashed asparagus and carrots, chicatana ants or serrano chili.


3. Sud 777


What is the concept ?

Representing product cuisine and a multi-concept restaurant based in a typical old Pedregal house, Sud 777 is signed by chef Edgar Núñez and comes to life among mirrors of water and fresh plant ingredients.


What is the setting?

It is currently number 56 on the World Best list, and 16th on the list of the 50 best restaurants in Latin America. The interior gives pride of place to wood, stone and facades, a collaboration between Sergio Berger (Niz-Chauvet architects) and designer Adan Carabes.


On the menu

The main compass is the tasting menu: rotating, avant-garde and traditional at the same time, with a golden chili stuffed with bitter chocolate and crunchy cocoa.


4. Quintonil


My favorite ! Each time I am in Mexico City, I enjoy a lunch or a dinner at Quintonil !



What is Quintonil?

Quintonil arrives as an expression of Mexican cuisine and plant essences, picturesque and completely different flavors (for the better). This year, the restaurant, run by Jorge Vallejo and Alejandra Flores, lands in 27th place in The World's 50 Best, a list it has become familiar with since 2015.


What is the particularity?

Food focuses on products extracted from the earth, emphasizing their flavor and the importance of nutrients. The balance of each dish is perfect, executions that bring contemporary Mexican cuisine to its heyday. All this from the frying pans of a subtle Polanco kitchen.


Which dish is to recommend?

Chapulin and bean adobos, artichoke tamales, infusions of chili peppers and glazed onions to harness the sensations of national roots. The nixtamalized tomato braised in meat juice and a reduction of vegetables is a must-try.


The tasting menu is gorgeous, generous, and lasts 4 hours. The A La Carte menu is fabulous, I always choose the A La Carte now, but for travellers willing to experience Mexican gastronomy at its best, go for the tasting, at the counter if possible.


5. Garum


A definition of Garum

Named after fermented Roman fish sauce. Garum, by Vicente Torres (Best Chef Millesime 2011), specializes in Mediterranean cuisine in balance with local products, which makes the menu changing, but always innovative. In the heart of Polanco, this is the place to try really modern and creative food. The dishes are made with the ingredients in season, carefully arranged, transformed and presented. Each dish is as beautiful as it is tasty, but the aspect I enjoyed the most was the surprises you can find in every mouthful. Yes, you know you’re about to eat tomato, but when it’s in your mouth, it’s the tastiest and curiously different tomato you’ve ever tasted.


What are the influences?

It is not a simple culinary signature, it is the care for details and respect for the products, a suggestion to be flavor purists and to go back to the origins. The menu is based on a balance between local products and Mediterranean influences.


The dishes to savor

Chocolate clam with beer, sangrita and salty air, is the translation of a michelada into an excellent cold starter.


6. Rosetta


What are the origins?

In this Porfirian mansion you will find the composition of Italian cuisine with Mexican touches, where there are no clichés. They use ingredients, especially seafood, in recipes like a grandmother would. Flashes of creativity from chef Elena Reygadas.


What atmosphere?

Seasonal ingredients at their best, a very friendly atmosphere in the afternoon and very romantic in the evening. As if that weren't enough, the success of their bakery resulted in two sites (Roma and Juárez) specializing in sweet and savory bread.


What can we taste?

Mole verde with Quelites for the taste of herbs and with wild touches without losing the creaminess; white chocolate criollo cocoa and hoja santa, the dessert that unmasks the fears of experimentation.


7. Contramar


Another of my top top favorites, for fish/seafood amateurs only !


First impressions

Big, buzzy dining room flanked with floor-to-ceiling windows in the front and an iconic blue mural behind the bar. Waiters in black bow ties speed around large tables draped in crisp white tablecloths.The artsy-upper crust of the La Condesa neighborhood, hangers-on following the scene, businessmen on lengthy lunches, and a smattering of tourists.


What not to miss: the food is well-executed: tuna tostadas with chipotle mayonnaise and fried leeks, bracing ceviches and aguachiles, whole grilled fish a la talla served with warm tortillas and refried black beans. Dessert is exceptional— a waiter will bring over a tray to show you what's available, but just order as many as you can handle


What’s the real-real on why we’re coming here? It's best to come here with an appetite and order several small dishes to share. It's some of the best seafood in Mexico City and definitely a splurge for most locals.


8. Merotoro


What is that ?

Baja Californian cuisine with an urban twist, dishes that try to be as faithful as possible to same-day ingredients, carefully chosen and used generously by Chef Jair Tellez.


Why go there?

Worrying about the origin of the ingredients in a kitchen dedicated to the gastronomy of another state is a challenge that Merotoro takes on every day. That’s why they print the menu daily, adapting it to the season and the chef’s inspiration.


What can we try?

Try the pork jaw with egg, the classic that stays on the menu with a glass of wine recommended by the waiters. You will travel to a corner of Mexico that is taking more and more place in the world of gastronomy.


An even more personal tip : don't take the dessert a Merotoro, but save some sweet space for Tout Chocolat's delicacies that you can find 2 blocks away from Merotoro, walking clockwise in this lovely green district of Hippodromo.


9. Carmela y Sal


What inspirations?

It's a journey full of flavor and creativity, the names of dishes that arouse curiosity like a fairy tale brings out its characters. Chef Gaby Ruíz opened this restaurant in Lomas Virreyes offering imaginative cuisine influenced by the state of Tabasco.


The little extra

The food here is a gig, as the menu guides you through the prelude, interlude, climax and outro. National ingredients in original combinations and an appearance as delectable as its flavors. For example, small packets of plantain served in what looks like a crescent moon.


What can we try?

A surprisingly dynamic duo of pesto jicama accompanied by green grapes and pistachios, and fish wrapped in hoja santa al mone.


10. Lalo !


In summary

A gastronomic relationship with the countryside and its products, a hallmark of sustainable cuisine at CDMX with low-cost dishes. Chef Eduardo García, who also heads Maximo Bistro above, offers for breakfast, lunch and brunch an affordable experience, sharing his care about the origin of ingredients and the importance of agriculture in the restaurant industry.


The good points

Eduardo has a background in haute cuisine, having worked at the Bernardin, a three Michelin star restaurant in New York. Its design is original and designed for conviviality between diners since the long table of 30 people lends itself to sharing experiences and unparalleled flavors.


The best dishes

The pork in green sauce, the salmon pancake or the eggs with bacon, gruyère and chives that you can accompany with a mimosa or a homemade soda. A vegetarian option is the county-stuffed squash blossoms.


Again, it's heartbreaking to reduce to 10, but those ones are the ones I visit without hesitation as well ! Consistent, delicious, authentic, nice... you can't be disappointed to say the least ! It will be my pleasure to help you design your dream trip to Mexico, and plan foodie stops along the way ! Drop me a note at designmeatrip@buscotravel.net


 

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