Traditional Food in Mexico City
Collected by Julie Schwietert Collazo, AFAR Local Expert
Although you can get cutting-edge food inspired by the molecular gastronomy movement, the trends du jour don’t eclipse the delicious variety of traditional meals to be had across Mexico City. Here’s where to find the city’s most authentic dishes, from tacos and tamales to mole, chilaquiles, sweet treats, and more.
Calle Bahía de las Palmas 37, Verónica Anzúres, 11300 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
La Fonda del Recuerdo is one of those places (though not uncommon in Mexico City) where the servers are still called waiters and they dress like it: white button-down shirts topped with black vests, matched with black trousers. Everything here is...
Oregon 752, Local J, Benito Juarez, Colonia del Valle Centro, Col del Valle Centro, 03100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
If you've never eaten a taco in Mexico, then perhaps you think, "Well, a taco is a taco is a taco." Not so, as you'll find out if you swing by Tacos Joven for an order of their tacos en canasta ("tacos in a basket"). Since 1971, this fast-food...
Manuel María Contreras 18-A, San Rafael, 06470 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
People from all over the country come to live in the capital, and they bring their culinary traditions with them. One of those traditions is the tamale from Oaxaca, and on any given night in the city, you'll hear vendors on bicycles play the...
Calle de la Palma 23, Centro Histórico, Centro, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
For breakfast at El Cardenal you can gently tear open fresh pastries, dip them in cool clotted cream, and follow them with classic Mexican hot chocolate. Of course you might rather order the squash blossom omelet or the escamole--ant eggs...
Insurgentes Sur 295, Hipódromo, 06100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
One of the most storied dishes in Mexican cuisine—many Americans know it from Laura Esquivel's novel, Like Water for Chocolate or its film adaptation—is mole. What many Americans may not know, however, is that there are many kinds of mole—from red...
Alejandro Dumas 7, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, 11550 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Mexico redefines "breakfast of champions." No wimpy cereals or simple scrambled eggs here. No, the first meal of the day, when done right, will hold you straight until the traditional Mexican lunch time, which is 3:00 pm. There are numerous...
Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas 42, Centro Histórico, Centro, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
El Moro has been turning out churros and creamy hot chocolate 24 hours a day since 1935. You can have your churros three ways—with sugar, with sugar and cinnamon, or with cajeta, a creamy caramel—and your hot chocolate one of four ways—Mexican,...
Calle Río Elba 32-A, Cuauhtémoc, 06500 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Some of Mexico's most luscious chilled treats can be had at the chain of popsicle and ice cream shops that operate under the name "La Michoacana." The brand, which has outposts all over Mexico City (and the country, for that matter), is from the...
República de Uruguay 74, Centro, 06000 Cuauhtémoc, CDMX, Mexico
There may be bakeries with pastries that are just as good or even better than those sold at Pasteleria Ideal, but tradition and atmosphere practically dictate that you should take an obligatory spin through the Ideal first. This massive bakery...
Campos Elíseos 218, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Chapulín is a restaurant that aims to fuse Mexico's traditions and contemporary influences into a single experience. That idea isn't found just on the menu—where diners will find dishes like scallops with jicama and green melon—but also in the...
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