What to Eat in Mexico City
Collected by Michael Parker Stainback, AFAR Local Expert
From street food to white-tablecloth restaurants, Mexico City has a meal for every palate and every budget. And local, fresh, and heritage aren't just buzzwords here—they're a way of life. Come taste for yourself!
Londres, Juárez, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Mexico City’s fun speakeasy shows no signs of stopping. Officially a membership club, ambitious gate-crashers (doll up and don’t be pushy; foreign accents not a liability) should look for a rather forlorn, seemingly late-night Calle...
Calle Gral. Prim 95, Juárez, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
The latest dining room by star chef Jair Téllez (of MeroToro fame), Amaya reflects its proprietor’s belief that quality ingredients speak for themselves, with little need for overdramatic presentations or reliance on technological...
Calle Isabel la Catolica 30, Centro Histórico, Centro, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
What began with Azul y Oro—chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita’s high-end university “refectory”—is now a multi-restaurant group famed for an almost museum-like reverence for traditional Mexican cooking in all its...
Londres 95, Juárez, 06600 Juárez, CDMX, Mexico
A stalwart for business lunches since the days of the Mexican Revolution, is there any reason Bellinghausen needs to change? The old-school refinements include rib-sticking steaks, seafood, and Mexican standards, served in generous portions;...
Tabasco 109, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
A chic deli to be sure, Belmondo serves American-style sandwiches like Reubens, tuna melts, grilled cheeses, etc.—about which its young, fashionable adherents rave—but the menu holds some surprises as well, like a barbecued brisket or...
Jalapa 208, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Mexican-food experts Jorge Fitz and Alberto Estúa Zardaín open their warm, whimsically decorated 1913 Colonia Roma town house to visitors and guests (by appointment only) for extraordinary market and cooking experiences—and...
Calle de Tacuba 28, Centro Histórico, Centro, 06010 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
A modest entryway opens onto a bright, colonial Mexico fantasia, complete with blue tiles, crisp white linen, colorful pottery, and would-be-viceregal artworks. Since 1912, Café de Tacuba has opened early and stayed up late to serve classic...
Calle de Durango 200, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
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...
Puebla 121, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
No one quite remembers when the hipsters started flooding into what is still a rather Kiwanis-club-style banquet hall for Mexico’s Spanish community, but they’re here to stay. Arts and media types, often in large, vociferous groups,...
Anatole France 100, Polanco, Polanco III Secc, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Never underestimate the power of shocking pink. The intimate but lively dining room at Dulce Patria—the smash hit by celebrity chef Martha Ortiz—feels not unlike a stage set. Soon after 2 p.m., it starts to fill with high-powered...
Plaza Garibaldi 12, Centro, 06010 Centro, CDMX, Mexico
Full disclosure: It’s authentically tourist-tacky in Plaza Garibaldi, the traditional Mexico City center for mariachi music and culture. But when you’re ready for a serenade, you’re ready. The plaza fills up late at night, every...
Havre 77, Juárez, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Chef Eduardo García (of Lalo and Máximo Bistrot fame) applies his exquisite taste to a more traditionally French bill of fare at Havre 77, a beautiful dining room on what may be the city’s hippest half-block. Just a smattering...
Río Ebro 87, Cuauhtémoc, 06500 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Fans of real-deal sushi-bar Nipponese are united in huzzahs for Rokai, a sliver of a restaurant in a low-key, high-end section of the Cuauhtémoc quarter, north of the Reforma. Japanese-born chefs Hiroshi Kawahito and Daisuke Maeda change up...
Zacatecas 173, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
A wildly colorful, cartoonish emoji mural sets the scene for fun, fabulous Lalo, the casual-chic outpost from chef Eduardo García (whose Máximo Bistrot is adjudged one of the finest spots in the city). Tables for two are the first to...
Agustín Melgar 6, Condesa, 06140 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Lardo, a sister restaurant to chef Elena Reygadas’s Rosetta and her bakery, is especially warm and buzzy on sunny days, when the Condesa restaurant’s full facade of French doors is thrown open and its handsome crowd spills out. The...
Donato Guerra 1, Juárez, 06600 Cuauhtémoc, CDMX, Mexico
Is this polished industrial space, in an odd corner of the Centro, the thinking man’s disco? Organizers prefer to speak in terms of a cultural center, and the installation’s multiple spaces are venues for everything from literary...
06700, Avenida Cuauhtémoc 129, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
What for years was a run-down and, many said, ill-humored and not-so-good cantina has been tendered a complete cute-ification and transformed into Delirio Pushkin, the latest addition to chef Mónica Patiño’s line of beautiful...
Monterrey 116, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Upstairs from her flagship Delirio boutique (also worth a duck-in), a beautiful town house is home to chef Mónica Patiño’s Casa Virginia, featuring a changing seasonal menu that takes creative advantage of Mexico’s...
Calle Tonalá 133, Roma Norte, Roma Nte., 06700 Cuauhtemoc, CDMX, Mexico
Chef Eduardo García’s flagship restaurant continues to excel as one of the city’s (not so) hidden gems. With its tight dining room and just a smattering of sidewalk tables, fans reserve, ask nicely, and beg—and, in one...
Calle Querétaro 225, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
A major driver in the city’s burgeoning food scene, Mercadoroma pays homage to Mexico’s beloved open markets, yet explodes the concept by renting stalls to a dizzying array of purveyors of fine food, beer, wine, and spirits, and other...
Avenida Ámsterdam 204, Hipódromo, 06100 Cuauhtemoc, CDMX, Mexico
A smart space on one of the city’s most attractive residential streets is home to MeroToro, chef Jair Téllez’s paean to the surf-and-turf delights that constitute Baja California cuisine. The vibe is warm and easygoing...
Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico
After a couple of days in Mexico City, once you’re well-rested and adjusted to the altitude, why not try a little street eating? After all, some locals do it every day, and the techniques vendors use have been in place for centuries, if not...
Av. Cuitláhuac 3102, Claveria, 02080 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
This all-but-plain-Jane spot—in Clavería, a neighborhood "no one" knows—is in fact among the most delightful lunches in the city, the project of architect turned chef Gerardo Vázquez Lugo, who decided to take the...
Calle Milan 14, Juárez, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
The establishment bears two names for a reason. Lenox is the front room, a restaurant chasing after that holy grail of U.S.-style diner food that's just refined enough to appeal to the beautiful people (remember Max’s Kansas City?). Tables...
Tennyson 133, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, 11550 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
After years at its original, jewel-box-like (and maybe even a little solemn) location, the city’s high temple of Mexican regional cuisine has moved to a more expansive—some say more relaxed—space. It includes more light, a bar...
Av. Isaac Newton 55, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Chef Jorge Vallejo spent time in the kitchen at Pujol before he and wife Alejandra Flores opened Quintonil, giving the former boss a run for his money. Their place, too, has become a fixture on best-restaurants lists, and is changing how people...
Colima 166, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Perhaps it’s more interested in diner loyalty than in snagging prizes, but chef Elena Reygadas’s original Mexico City restaurant is still beloved—and busier than ever. So while a few greatest hits linger season to season,...
Independiencia # 26 Centro, Barrio Chino, Centro, 06050 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
A step through Tío Pepe’s swinging saloon doors is a walk back in time indeed, to a classic cantina (dating to the 19th century) that, while skewing divey, harbors no ill will toward thirsty people of all stripes. Some regulars prefer...
Calle de Motolinia 20, Centro Histórico, Centro, 06010 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
This chic space—which benefits from the style of the repurposed art deco bank building whose basement it occupies—maintains a reputation as one of the city’s premier (and few) spots to take in authentic jazz, with room on the...
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