Restaurants in Mexico City
Mexican fare is by far one of the world's most popular and colourful cuisines, and is one of the most distinctive styles of food. With plenty of spice and flavour it packs a real punch. What westerners know as 'Mexican food' includes dishes such as Nachos, Burritos, Enchiladas and fajitas, tortillas and tacos, but there is plenty more on offer when dining out in Mexico City.
Food varies greatly by region in Mexico and this is largely due to the difference in Spanish influence on the indigenous inhabitants. The north of Mexico is known for its beef, goat and ostrich dishes, the Yucatan for its penchant for natural sweetness, the Oaxacan for its savoury tamales, and the west for its dishes like goat birria (goat in a spicy tomato-based sauce). Mexico City is a wonderful melting pot for these culinary traditions and the best place to sample the variety of Mexican food.
For an authentic Mexican dining experience, look no further than one of the old converted Haciendas, such as Hacienda de los Morales or Antigua Hacienda de Tlalpan on the outskirts of Mexico City, which are actual ranches that have been converted into restaurants. With charming décor, historic architecture and mouth-watering cuisine, these kinds of restaurants attract travellers from far and wide.
Street food is perhaps the most ubiquitous type of food in Mexico City where fast food outlets and puestas (street side food vendors) pepper the streets selling all the usual favourites for very reasonable prices. However, the Central Market, La Merced and the Mercado San Juan Arcos de Belem, are the best places to go to indulge on really good, really cheap Mexican fare.
In the capital city there are, of course, hundreds of restaurants to choose from, with everything from Indian and French to Japanese and Irish cuisine. Foodies should head for the districts of Polanco, Condesa, Centro, Zona Rosa and Sante Fe to gorge themselves at some of the country's finest restaurants on regional cuisines or just a good old taco.
Tipping in restaurants is the norm, with 10 percent of the bill being a good rule of thumb. Lunches are generally long and lazy and much cheaper than dinners. Travellers should note that most restaurants offer a comida corrida (set menu) and this is a great way of getting a good hearty meal at a reasonable price.
Angelopolitano is a very popular restaurant which serves classic Mexican dishes with a modern gourmet twist. The setting is trendy and intimate and the portions are generous and extremely tasty. Downstairs there is a restaurant store selling traditional Mexican preserves and sauces of high quality. They serve lunch and dinner daily. the restaurants open between 10am and 10pm, and stays open a little later on weekends.
Address: Puebla 371, Colonia Roma, Mexico City
Telephone: +52 55 6391 2121
Café de Tacuba
Café Tacuba has a very colonial atmosphere, dating back to 1912. Its décor features brass lamps, oil paintings and a mural of nuns working in a kitchen. The authentic Mexican menu offers traditional dishes including tamales, enchiladas, chiles rellenos and pozole, and their pastries and hot chocolate are legendary. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner; reservations recommended.
Address: 28 Tacuba, Centro Histórico
Telephone: +52 55 5521 2048
La Opera is a luxurious dining venue with dark wood booths and linen-covered tables. The décor features gilded baroque ceilings and beautiful oil paintings, and an added feature is the bullet hole which revolutionary general, Pancho Villa, supposedly put in the ceiling when he galloped into the restaurant on horseback. The menu offers an array of sumptuous cuisine including Spanish tapas and red snapper with olives and tomatoes. It's open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, and Sunday for lunch. Reservations are recommended.
Address: 10 Cinco de Mayo, Centro Histórico
Telephone: +52 55 5512 8959
Open since 1936, many celebrity diners have frequented the classic-European dining room of Restaurant Danubio, in the Centro Histórico. The restaurant's menu offers superb Spanish cuisine prepared on an ancient coal and firewood stove. The seafood at Restaurant Danubio is excellent - be sure to try the langostinos (baby crayfish). It's open daily for lunch and dinner, and reservations are recommended.
Address: 3 Republica de Uruguay, Centro Historico
Telephone: +52 55 5521 0976