With almost 20 years at the helm of a dining room that’s jammed every afternoon, Gabriela Cámara at Contramar must be doing something right. For one, the seafood on offer—traditional, even homey recipes, impeccably prepared—is among the freshest available. Service is quick, yet warm and enjoyable. It brings in a well-dressed, deliberately coiffed crowd that loves table-hopping, seeing and being seen, and air-kissing; but most of all, they relish digging into house specialties like the fish carnitas, the legendary tuna tostadas, and the grilled pescado a la talla (ordered by weight, and served in a red adobo or a parsley rub). Some afternoons (especially Fridays) you can’t believe the waiters have actually squeezed one more person in, yet everyone is very glad they came. Desserts are especially recommended. Open for lunch only—which may explain the sense of urgency at the door.

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Decadence reigns in Mexico City

Probably one of the most popular and efficient lunchtime restaurants in the DF.

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