CDMXGuide

Where To Eat For Under $10 In Mexico City

$2 tacos, $4 pozole, and more of the best cheap eats in CDMX.
Where To Eat For Under $10 In Mexico City image

photo credit: Andrew Reiner

Mexico City is home to some incredible fine dining restaurants. But eating well during a trip here doesn't mean you’ll have to file bankruptcy when you get home. That’s because some of the best places to eat are also the cheapest, which means you can easily have a great full meal for under $10, give or take the exchange rate.

We’ve included a few classic spots for tacos in this guide, teeny tiny places for aguachiles and chilaquiles, and even a New York-style pizza shop. The only thing we didn’t include are puestos, or street stands, which are even cheaper and all over the city. And if you’re looking for the best restaurants in Mexico City, we’ve got a guide for that too.


THE SPOTS


photo credit: Andrew Reiner

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Roma

$$$$Perfect For:Cheap EatsQuick EatsDay Drinking
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El Parnita tends to get packed after 3pm on Thursdays and Fridays, with people lingering over margaritas, micheladas, and cubas. The classic Mexican pop and cumbia blaring from the speakers and the lively crowds make this one of the most festive restaurants in the area (and potentially the entire city). All their tacos are served on a homemade blue corn tortilla, and the taco carmelita with breaded shrimp and the zacatlan with zucchini are must-orders. Head upstairs to Paramo when it’s time to eat again—it’s a party there, too.


Quesadillas Maria Isabel has been around since 1967, well before luxury boutiques and high-end art galleries took over Polanco. The quesadillas here are prepared by folding raw corn tortillas in half, filling them with ingredients like cheese and chicharrón, and frying them. Go with one potato and one traditional cheese, which are just $2 each and served with a heaping side of sour cream and homemade green salsa. You’re not eating here for the vibes (there’s no music, the chairs are plastic), and it’s cash only, so come with a few pesos in your pocket.


Some locals argue that hard shell tacos aren’t “real” tacos. But we, along with the owners of Los Bernardinos, think hard and soft can peacefully coexist. This small spot in Condesa is the first proper hard shell taco restaurant in CDMX, and their original version (loaded with ground beef, pork, and bacon, plus guacamole, pico de gallo, and salsa) is one of our favorite cheap eats in the area. Get a few of those, plus a chocotaco with homemade vanilla and mazapan ice cream. Plan to hang for a bit to enjoy the playlist of fun, nostalgic Norteño and Mexican classics. If you come by on Tuesdays, you can get three savory tacos for the price of two.


Atlante has two locations in Roma, and was one of the first pizza-by-the-slice restaurants in CDMX. They’re New York in style, but tailored to Mexico City: the tomato sauce is very slightly spiked with chile serrano, and you can always add extra salsa—their best is a spicy mix of chile serranos, cilantro, garlic, and cream. They do traditional plain cheese slices and your standard margherita, but our top pick is the toluqueña with green chorizo, stracciatella, and kale with a slightly crispy crust for $3.50. Before you leave, order the only dessert on the menu: a concha filled with tiramisu.


This Roma Norte spot with mismatched art on the walls offers a $7 daily menu that might just be the best deal on this guide: it includes an agua del día, a soup, an appetizer, a main course, and dessert. You can choose between three different soups, but we’ll save you some time: the chicken consommé is the winner. The rice with plantains is great for an appetizer, and for mains, go with one of the daily specials, like the chicharron en salsa verde. You can eat inside or out, but you’ll get quicker service indoors.


Chilpa started as a tiny restaurant and quickly expanded into a much larger operation that’s open daily for breakfast and lunch. A small $7 order of chilaquiles is enough for a full meal, and our go-to is half salsa medio picante, half muy picante, with a fried egg on top for an extra $2. (You can also add suadero for a few more bucks). Every order of chilaquiles comes with a fresh sourdough roll—save it for the end to polish your plate clean. There’s plenty of seating on the sidewalk, but if you want a more scenic backdrop, Parque Mexico is only a block away.


photo credit: Andrew Reiner

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There are several fondas in San Miguel Chapultepec where you can eat for cheap, but the quality of this one consistently beats the rest. They’re only open for lunch and predominantly cater to local workers, so meals tend to be quick, even though the $7 prix fixe is four courses. The menu changes daily, but you can expect things like chicken breast with spinach purée in a creamy chanterelle mushroom sauce and zucchini stuffed with corn and swiss cheese. Afterward, hit up the nearby galleries and Parque de Chapultepec.


You don’t come to El Rey de los Mariscos for the beauty of the space. Instead, you’re coming for fresh seafood at some of the cheapest prices in the city. It’s located in a three-story converted house with dozens of different rooms for seating—you’ll walk past five-foot-high piles of discarded oyster shells at the entrance, and simmering pots of octopus, shrimp, and calamari. Both the quesadilla de camarones and the paella are excellent orders, especially when paired with a rum and coke that’s mixed tableside.


This is Mexico City’s first real plant-based restaurant, and it’s one of the best spots in the city for fresh juices, acai bowls, and raw snacks. There are a few locations around town, but we like the one in Condesa most—it’s the biggest, and there’s a small grocery store inside where you can buy things like nut butters and vegan “meat” to-go. A perfect order is the $6.50 Habibi Protein Bowl with tangy za'atar dressing and the $3 vitamin-C-loaded Zana Zana juice with carrot, pineapple, orange, lemon, and cardamom. The decor is a bit sterile, but the quality and price make it a worthwhile stop.


Delmar Sinaloense is easily the tiniest restaurant in Polanco—it’s essentially just a small kitchen with some tables and chairs outside. And along with Quesadillas Maria Isabel, it’s also one of the cheapest spots in the neighborhood. They’re famous for their Sinaloa-style spicy aguachile de camaron, which you should definitely order. If you’re still hungry, they make a great tostada de atún with fried leeks and carrots and a perfect shrimp-and-octopus cocktail that's just $6.


You probably already know that Orinoco has some of the best tacos in town, but we’re including it on this list because you might not know they’re only $2 each. And yes, while you should definitely order a round of tacos al pastor, it’s the tacos de chicharrón with Monterrey-style fried pork rinds that keep us coming back again and again. They come topped with thin slices of avocado and are served with baby roasted potatoes and homemade salsas, and the chicharrón has a soft, tender interior and a perfectly seared exterior.


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Roma

Tacos de chicharrón, rich pozole with braised pork, and more things we love to eat in Mexico City’s trendiest neighborhood.