If you are traveling to Mexico City, you will be traveling to one of the world’s hottest food scenes. Both Mexican cuisine and international alike, this megapolis has got a bit of it all. Many Top Chef’s are opening up new restaurants here as well, so make sure to add it to your next North American itinerary if you’re looking to get your grub on, al 100!
Opened in 2019 and a contender for the Best Restaurant Opening of The Year in CDMX (as locals affectionately refer to Mexico City), Elly’s offers a taste of the Mediterranean, south of the border. Chef Elly Fraser, who originally hails from New York City partnered up with Andres Hernan, a serial restaurateur to offer a NYC-esque culinary experience while still paying homage to Elly’s homely take on cuisine, only using the freshest of ingredients and constantly changing up the menu to offer dishes inspired by North Africa, Italy (her heritage), Greece, Lebanon, Israel, French, and much more. A must visit when in Mexico City.
You can find Elly’s at Hamburgo 310 in the Juarez neighborhood.
Cocina Conchita, or “Conchita” as fondly called by Mexico City’s residents is the federal district’s newest hotspot for the classic ceviche, tostadas, seafood, and drinks. Conchita is the brainchild of celebrated chef Diego Hernández Baquedano to bring the best of Baja, California cuisine to landlocked Mexico City. For mouth-watering seafood outside the shorelines of Mexico, locals will surely tell you this is your go-to restaurant. Conchita is something that you should not miss.
As one of the preferred fine dining venues in Mexico City, Pujol uses only local ingredients combined with ancient as well as modern cooking techniques to create its one of a kind menu. Chef and owner Enrique Olvera attempts to ignite memory and nostalgia within its local patrons by introducing classic Mexican flavors in surprising ways. Even as Olvera changes his menu from time to time, his trademark Mole Madre, Mole Nuevo will always be in the bill of fare. Pujol was included in the list of the world’s 50 best restaurants in 2013. This year, it also garnered the award for best Restaurant in North America 2019.
Cantina El Sella
Your gastronomic tour in Mexico City will only be complete by visiting a traditional Mexican cantina. Though you’ll need to deviate from the usual routine and go to the Hospital General metro stop, this cantina is worth the trip. Inexpensive and scrumptious, travelers can enjoy a hearty, family style meal for only 300 pesos which is just around 15 USD. Mexico City locals love El Sella not only for its unquestionably delicious food, but for its neighborly and friendly atmosphere that is felt from the moment you walk in through the doors. Indeed, it is a place for family and food, and visitors to this small cantina will experience what it means to enjoy a meal in Mexico.
This up-to-the-minute taco establishment was conceived by Gustavo Rosas Millán, a member of the family responsible for Tacos El Guero, the most acclaimed taco joint in Condesa since 1968. Gustavo recently left his family’s restaurant to take his skills elsewhere spurred by the desire to try new ingredients and flavors. The extensive menu presents nearly 20 different kinds of tacos, of which over half are either vegetarian or vegan. The stewed taco fillings are cooked using fresh, organic ingredients, and are stored in large clay pots which are piled on top of the serving counter. Although Tacos Gus fits only five tables, patrons’ passion for this fresh and unique version of a Mexican staple makes standing to eat meaningful.
Nestled in the popular neighborhoods of La Condesa and Hipodromo is one of Mexico City’s most cherished restaurants by locals and tourists alike. If you seek a classy meal in Mexico City, then go to La Capital. Like the excellent restaurants on this list, La Capital plays on the popular restaurant theme of “cantina chic” which has become a buzzword around Mexico. La Capital may seem like a traditional Mexican restaurant, but it’s gourmet dishes are not the classic Mexican fare. This is the perfect place for those venturing out of their comfort zone, to try dishes like chili-encrusted tuna or duck enchiladas – when in Mexico, right?
With food made with the freshest ingredients, a well-curated great (largely natural) wine selection, and always vibey scene, Cicatriz is a neighborhood staple in Mexico City’s up-and-coming Juarez neighborhood. Their continuous service means you’ll find local creatives camped here eating (and working) all day and into the early evening. Desirable favorites on the menu include the hummus-avocado sandwich on freshly baked focaccia and the ensalada de atún with avocado and cucumber.
Mexico City is replete with history and the flower market known as Mercado Jamaica is a big part of that — in the past this area was a waterway on the Eastern edge of the ancient Aztec island city Tenochtitlan and acted as a sort of port and delivery everything from produce to fresh goods to the city. Today, Mercado Jamaica is the main flower market in Mexico City and you’ll not only find fresh cut flowers but some of the most delectable foods — flor de calabaza (squash blossom) quesadillas — too! That and classic breakfast pastries, elotes, esquites, fresh juices, and guacamole, you’ll leave this market with a yummy multi-sensory overload.
When you visit these wonderful establishments, you have to realize that you’re tasting a piece of history. Mexican food doesn’t get any better than this. Of course there are tons of other wonderful Mexican restaurants around Mexico City, other places that you need to see and taste as well, but these are a few of our favorites. If you are visiting Mexico City, just ask some of the locals which are the best restaurants to go to, and where a foodie can fill their inner demon to satisfaction, and we will bet you that some of these restaurants will be on the list. If you’re going, we envy you, but we won’t envy you too much because we will be there as well one of these days again soon.