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CDMXGuide

The Best Restaurants In Mexico City

The best fish tacos you'll have in your life, fine dining tasting menus, and everything else you need to eat and drink in Mexico City.

Between the ancient ruins of Centro Historico, the sprawling art markets in San Angel, and the strong cafe culture of Condesa and Roma, Mexico City is a place you could visit 100 times and always find something new and exciting. And while it’s essential to pepper in the world-class museums, the big green parks, and a few architecture tours on your trip, if you’re like us, the priority will always be about one thing: the food. 

Generally speaking, breakfast and lunch are the main meals here, and dinner tends to be a mere formality—there are lots of places where you can go heavy on lunch and then grab a quick round of tacos or just eat some excellent snacks at a bar later. In this guide, you’ll find incredible seafood, delicious tacos, hearty pozole, and cantinas where you can eat, drink, and dance until late.



ROMA


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Contramar

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200 Durango Col Roma, Ciudad de México
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This is probably not the first time you’ve heard of Contramar, and it won’t be the last. This place has become legendary for its seafood-focused menu, and you should absolutely make a point to come here for the tuna tostadas and whole fish covered in red and green sauce. You want to be here for lunch—the kitchen closes at 6:30pm most nights (8pm Friday and Saturday), and the upbeat, busy restaurant is at its best during the day when the sprawling dining room becomes an all-out party. If this is your first time in CDMX, a meal at Contramar is essential dining.


Plaza Rio de Janeiro could easily be considered the heart of Roma. It’s home to two of the colonia’s most iconic landmarks, La Casa de las Brujas and the statue of David. And it’s where you’ll find some really good restaurants—including Marmota, which might just be the best of them. Run by a lovely Mexican American couple, this place makes some of the heartiest (and best) food in CDMX right now. 

Most of their produce comes from local farms and their meats are all farm-raised. You can also bet that pretty much everything you order (like the smashed baby potatoes with homemade hoja santa yogurt and caviar or the free-range chicken with radicchio salad) will be wood-oven cooked, smokey, and incredibly delicious. Their cocktail menu is impressive, but we always go for one of the many hard cider options here. They go great with anything charred on the menu, which basically means everything.


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photo credit: Guillaume Guevara

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Pollos Poncho

Chicken is something that Mexico excels at, especially when you consider that it’s a key ingredient of enchiladas, mole, and chilaquiles. So a restaurant entirely focused on poultry is a welcome addition to CDMX. The options here are varied: you can get a Middle Eastern-inspired grilled flour tortilla sandwich slathered with labneh and shredded chicken, as well as the city’s most famous dish, tacos al pastor (with chicken subbed in for pork, of course).

We like to come here for a late lunch and get the whole roasted chicken with a side of rice, potatoes, guacamole, and freshly-pressed corn tortillas. Basically, enough to keep you going until your 9pm dinner reservation. The team behind this fun spot runs Mexico’s most famous churros chain, El Moro, so they’re no strangers in excelling at a short menu.


You maybe already know that Orinoco has some of the best tacos in town, but we’re including it on this list anyway. Their tacos de chicharrón, featuring Monterrey-style fried pork rinds, are as hard to describe as they are to forget. You might be accustomed to crispy, potato chip-like slices of chicharron, but the Orinoco version involves a soft, melt-in-your-mouth interior and seared exterior so you get a mixture of textures—topped off with thin slices of avocado, and served with baby roasted potatoes and an array of homemade salsas. And, yes, you should also try their tacos al pastor, arguably the best in all of CDMX. In other words: Orinoco is exactly what you’re looking for after a few rounds of mezcal on a Saturday night—especially since they're open until 3:30am every night.


Pozole is the best thing to have after a night out for a late breakfast or early lunch, and while we fully stand behind that statement, there’s much more to the hominy corn stew than being a simple hangover cure. Have a meal at Pozoles Texcoco and you’ll see what we mean. The decor is fun and relaxed, the food is homey and comforting, and eating here feels a bit like being in a simple Mexican normcore cafeteria. 

Order the Pozole Mixteco, which has a deep and rich pork bone broth and heirloom hominy corn, served with braised pork and tons of toppings, including lettuce, dried chiles, avocado, dried oregano, and more. For dessert, try the Chocoflan: a flan and brownie combination cake topped with nuts and whipped cream.


Noodles are the focus at this newish spot from a chef whose grandfather invented one of Mexico’s most coveted snacks, cacahuates Japoneses, or Japanese peanuts. Following in this family tradition, Fideo Gordo fuses traditional Mexican flavors with well-executed Asian dishes. The lamb obi udon, merging barbacoa with serrano chiles and handmade udon noodles, is a standout on the focused but flavorful menu. Don’t just stick to noodles though: the make-your-own tuna and kampachi taquito appetizer is perfect.


Dooriban’s Korean home-cooking style took Mexico City’s Korean food scene by storm after the chef started making “Kimchi Mama Park” out of a ghost kitchen in colonia Juarez. The success of that kimchi was so notable that a freestanding restaurant was inevitable. The kimchi bokkeumbap, a bacon fried rice with that excellent fermented cabbage, is the main event, only eclipsed by the Korean fried chicken wings with a delightfully messy gochujang sauce. If you’ve spent the day walking around Roma, this is a great way to refuel at lunchtime.


Rosetta might be inside a townhouse in Roma, but it feels like it’s actually inside an Italian villa. It’s a beautiful restaurant where you get the sense that every design detail has been carefully considered. The menu is Italian with a Mexican twist, and is on the more expensive side, but our favorite time to be here is lunch, when the place is full of light, the prices are a little lower, and they serve things like al pastor steak tartare and tagliatelle with chile de árbol and Italian sausage. That said, if you’re traveling with a significant other and looking for a romantic night out, dinner at Rosetta should be at the top of your to-do list.


There might be more excellent tacos per square block in Mexico City than anywhere else in the known universe. And while most of them are filled with delicious meats and fish, we’re pretty confident that there are no better vegan tacos than those found at Por Siempre Vegana. The taco de milanesa, served with avocado, is incredible, and worth the almost constant wait for a table here during peak hours. This spot is affordable, and sticks to mostly one thing: 90% of the menu is tacos. Make sure to take advantage of the unlimited free toppings, too.


Wine bars aren’t really a thing (yet) in CDMX, but if the popularity of this place is any indication, that’s going to change. Hugo feels like a Lower East Side transplant but with a Mexican twist, which we guess is what happens when two former New York residents relocate here and open a place. Their wines, of course, are a highlight—largely natural, many from Mexico’s wine region in Valle de Guadalupe, and they have one of the best varieties of orange wines in the city. 

Small plates are the crux of the menu and they keep things simple, with standouts like crab salad with celery and mustard and roasted chicken. This is definitely one of the hardest places in Roma to get a table during peak hours, so make sure to reserve one or show up when your grandparents would.


Máximo Bistrot is a restaurant that’s kind of French, kind of Mexican, and one of the best spots in town for a hot date or group dinner. It’s a fun atrium-like space with great cocktails made of out-there ingredients, and they do really delicious spins on dishes you’ve seen before, like a caesar salad with headcheese. They also have a great wine list, including some Mexican choices, and operate a breakfast/brunch spot called Lalo! that’s just a few blocks away.


LA CONDESA/HIPODROMO


Cantina del Bosque has a traditional cantina setup—white tablecloths on some tables, a well-stocked bar, mariachis making the rounds—that may feel more kitschy than somewhere that’s a real hot spot. But you can’t judge Cantina del Bosque by its 1937 cover. The service is cordial, attentive, and never pushy. Unlike most cantinas, del Bosque includes a detailed wine list in addition to mezcal, beer, and bourbon options. 

But the real winner is the seafood on the menu. The sea salt-baked fish is deboned tableside, which is pretty fun to watch happen, especially when dining with a group for dinner. Giant shrimp, shells still on, grilled in a rich mix of butter and garlic is another must-try. And make sure to save room for the traditional chocolate mousse for dessert.


Given the large Jewish population in CDMX, you’d be remiss to not try one of the Jerusalem-style spots in the city. Merkavá has quietly become a Condesa institution, and it’s without a doubt our favorite Israeli restaurant in the city. Everything here is incredibly tasty, but the freshly baked kubaneh bread with tahini butter is really something: a simple yet incredible side served warm out of the oven as the butter melts all over it. Other standouts include the roasted cauliflower with za’atar and mint yogurt, as well as the masabacha hummus with green peppers.


The best $2 you can spend in Condesa is Pescadito’s quesotote taco: a corn tortilla filled with an entire chile relleno and fried shrimp. This is a casual, cafeteria-style spot with a short menu of fried shrimp tacos, fried fish tacos, and plenty of beer. And while the menu is short, the variety of unlimited free toppings you can add to your order is anything but, with multiple salsas, coleslaw, and pickled red onion.


There are two sides of Condesa: the touristy area between Parque Mexico and Parque España, and the more residential half. Superette is located in the latter, which also happens to be home to some of the neighborhood’s best neo-colonial architecture. Take a stroll and make a stop here for a galette and a hard apple cider. Like the area itself, it may not be the first place you visit in CDMX, but we can almost guarantee it’ll be one of your favorites. The galettes are delicious (try the classic complete with comté cheese, egg, and ham) and it’s one of the more affordable places to sit down for a quality snack in the neighborhood.


POLANCO


When you tell someone you’re visiting Mexico City, there’s about a 50% chance they’ll respond by saying, “Oh are you going to...what’s that place called?” If you feel like talking to this person, then finish their sentence with “Pujol.” This high-end Mexican spot in the middle of Polanco is one of the best-known restaurants in the world, and it’s where you should go with a small group of friends if you’re looking to have one splurge meal in Mexico City.

Get either the ten-course taco omakase at the bar or one of the tasting menus in the dining room (each one costs around $150 per person). The star of your meal will be the mole, which has been cooking continuously since 2013 and tastes like incredibly light and complex melted chocolate. Reservations open up a year in advance, and you’ll probably need to plan a couple months ahead if you want to get a table.


Quintonil and Pujol have a lot in common. Not only are they both in Polanco, but the chef at Quintonil also worked at Pujol, and Pujol’s most famous dish (the mole madre that’s been cooking since 2013) was initially made to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Quintonil. Quintonil serves one of the best moles we’ve ever had as well, and the menu has a similar focus to Pujol’s on local ingredients and beautiful presentations. 

They offer a rotating tasting menu for about $215 per person or you can order a la carte, in which case you’ll need to order the crab tostada with habanero mayo and the ant chorizo with creamy, cheesy rice. If you can’t get a dinner reservation, which is difficult because they’re only available two months in advance, then come for one of the best lunches in this city. Or any city.


Yes, we know there are a lot of seafood spots on this guide, but Bellopuerto isn’t a traditional limey/spicy seafood restaurant like so many others we know and love. Instead, this place serves things like a short rib and octopus burger—and while your brain might start to hurt just thinking about that, we promise it’s great.

The roasted bone marrow with crispy octopus chicharron and salsa borracha is another thing you should prioritize. It comes with fresh tortillas and will have you wondering what other versions of chicharrones you’ve been missing out on. They also have a great outdoor street garden, and if you need to cool down a bit after lunch/dinner, grab an ice cream and walk around nearby Parque Lincoln.


Located in the old Pujol space, Ticuchi is a flat-out gorgeous restaurant. The place is dark, as in very dark, and while that might make the experience feel sexy and mysterious, the real appeal here is the food. With a heavily vegetarian focus, corn is the star (the women making fresh tortillas in the front kitchen might clue you in). The menu changes often but consistently includes impressive small plates like their staple and outstanding tamal de esquite.


CUAUHTÉMOC


Although the name isn’t exactly family-friendly (ask your Uber driver en route why), this place is great and one of the most interesting new seafood restaurants in CDMX. Focused on Sinaloa-style seafood and started in a simple stand at a nearby market, Don Vergas became a rotating pop-up before finally landing at this stand-alone space in Cuauhtémoc. 

Everything on their menu tastes as fresh as if you were in a Mazatlan seafood shack, but if you have to focus on one thing here, make it the tostada embarazada that’s loaded with shrimp, octopus, crab meat, fish, and scallops. It might just be the biggest, most delicious tostada we’ve ever tried, especially when paired with a michelada or two.


JUAREZ


Taverna may just be the most beautiful restaurant in all of CDMX. It’s housed in a historical hacienda from 1905 that’s recently been restored and most of the restaurant is lit by candlelight. The atmosphere is ideal for a date, a special celebration, or a group dinner that extends late into the night. Most of the Mediterranean-inspired dishes are roasted in a wood-burning oven, and standouts include dates stuffed with chorizo and wrapped in jamon serrano, fried sardines with a sardine aioli, and a beet carpaccio with a pistachio dressing that should be bottled and sold everywhere. Wash it all down with their signature cocktail, the Pin Tonic, made with gin del bosque and giant olives.


Cafe Nin is run by the same team as Panaderia Rosetta in Roma Norte, and we've found that this bakery and cafe has shorter wait times (try to come on a weekday) and the baked goods are just as good. Even though their salads and quiches are great, breakfast is the meal where they excel the most. It’s also strategically located in front of some of Juarez’s best stores, which makes it a great place to fuel up or take a break before or after some shopping.


Not much has changed since Paris 16 opened in 1985. There are still linoleum tiles on the floor, Venetian blinds that keep CDMX’s busy Avenida Reforma outside feeling worlds away, and waiters clad in tuxedos serving lunch even if the vibe is fairly low-key. The food is a mix of general European-inspired dishes, like the outstanding pechuga parmesana, a thinly pressed chicken cutlet covered in a parmesan crust and served on top of mashed potatoes, and a tortilla española expertly prepared with the perfect ratio of potatoes to eggs (heavy on the former). The chatty owner is often there to greet guests while personally overseeing the daily menu himself, and you’ll probably be the only tourist in the place (at least for now).


PEDREGAL


This is the only place on this guide where, although the food is very good, it isn’t the main reason to stop by. There’s a huge menu of solid tacos, tlayudas, and pizzas that all feature local ingredients, but Tetetlán is one of the most unique and eye-catching restaurants we’ve ever seen. Located next to one of the former Luis Barragan houses (Casa Pedregal, which you can and should visit), this huge space is a blend between the Barragan architecture and a more modern setup with a transparent floor exposing the natural volcanic lava stones, and a mix of strange (yet perfect) furniture. There’s a gigantic private book collection scattered throughout the space, which you can browse while eating (or look at post-meal with a carajillo on hand).


SAN MIGUEL CHAPULTEPEC


There aren’t that many great restaurants in the San Miguel Chapultepec colonia despite it being such a centrally-located neighborhood. That’s why we’re glad we have Mari Gold, a Mexican and Indian restaurant that should be your go-to meal after you visit the nearby art gallery Kurimanzutto. Open for breakfast and lunch only, Mari Gold combines Mexican and Indian cuisine into one delicious mix. 

Even though the space is pretty small, with only three long communal tables, plus one more on their back patio, you should still try to go with a group so you can order family-style. They have great vegetarian options like the Molote Tikki, tender dumplings made of beans and sweet plantains with a sweet and spicy sauce, and the Sabudana Vada, which are fried tapioca and potato balls with an incredible herb chutney. Definitely save some room for the refreshing Falooda, homemade sorbet with crispy rice noodles, jam, and condensed milk on top, for dessert.


Comal Oculto has a lot in common with Mari Gold: they’re both relative newcomers to the San Miguel Chapultepec colonia, located near famous art museums, and are smaller spots where you’ll sit at communal tables (Oculto actually only has one table that’s set up in the street). What Comal Oculto lacks in space, it more than makes up for in cuisine. 

The focus is heirloom corn in its many iterations, from wild mushroom sopes to enchiladas ahogadas to lamb shank gorditas. The menu is small and focused, so we can confidently say that it’s impossible to go wrong. Order yourself an hoja santa kombucha and turn this into a healthy(ish) meal, before their last call at 5pm.


AMPLIACIÓN DANIEL GARZA


Cantinas are having a moment in CDMX—they’re where young locals come for a few rounds of chelas and late-night snacks. El Micky is the most notable of the bunch right now, attracting a hip crowd of artists, actors, and creatives who know to get there before 10pm as it fills up quickly. The menu is based on the traditional cuisine of the owner’s mother’s home state of Chiapas, so you’ll find things like a tasty plato botanero that includes a nice assortment of snacks, like frijoles refritos, garnachas, and quesadillas chiapanecas. 

El Micky is about much more than the food, though. The energy is super fun, especially when you’re sipping on their famous tepito-style gomichela (a liter of beer served in a plastic cup filled with gummy bears and a chamoy ring) while dancing to a seriously eclectic playlist. The vibe is distinctly high-low, and it’s nearly impossible not to have a great time partying among the purple neon lighting.


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