Where To Eat The Famous Fish & Other Iconic Dishes In Mexico City
If you talk to anyone who’s just returned from Mexico City, you’ll quickly gather that a lot of travelers read the same guides and eat the same things. But we’ll be the first to tell you that they don’t actually do this just because they look pretty on Instagram: the red and green grilled fish, guava pastries, and all the tacos are indeed extremely delicious.
So even though the eating and drinking opportunities in CDMX are endless, you should try everything you keep seeing everywhere—and we’ve got the perfect itinerary for you to do just that. If you get lost along the way, just locate your nearest digital nomad. They’re probably headed to the same place that you are (and yes, they’re regulars at this point, and yes, they know the owner super well).
START YOUR DAY WITH A GUAVA PASTRY
You’ll run into long lines and possibly portable ring lights at Panaderia Rosetta, a bakery that makes the famous guava pastry. Sure, join the line if you want, but they also operate Cafe Nin in Juarez, where you can get that same pastry stuffed with guava paste and cream cheese (which, yes, really is that good) and spend less time waiting.
The inside is small, but they have a leafy seating area out front with tables for maximum enjoyment and minimum crumbs. You’ll also be conveniently located by some of Juarez’s best shops for some post-butter, pre-fish browsing. However, if you’ve romanticized waiting in line at Panaderia Rosetta, then by all means, do it. This is your day.
IT'S TIME FOR THE FISH
The dining room at Contramar is large and airy, the service is impeccable, the wine is fantastic, and during lunch, this place turns into one of the best parties we’ve ever been to. The pescado a la talla is a butterflied fish cooked with green salsa on one side and red salsa on the other and is served alongside various taco fixings, which will result in both a very pleasant DIY situation and the photo you and all your followers have been waiting for.
The entirety of the seafood-focused menu is worth your time, including the tuna tostadas, but if you’re unsure about what else to order, just take a look around and see how everyone else is doing it. There’s a lot you can learn from the businessmen next to you who are eating octopus and drinking micheladas with clamato.
And if you’re reading all of this knowing full well you made not a single reservation before you arrived, don’t worry—Contramar’s sister restaurant, Entremar, also serves the famous fish tostadas, so try for a table there if the planning didn’t go quite as planned.
PUT ON YOUR ADIDAS & DRINK SOME WINE
When you emerge from the world of Contramar in a white wine-soaked haze, the only thing you’ll be thinking about is whether you’ll be able to squeeze in another lunch at Contramar before you leave. So while you seriously consider extending your vacation, it’s time to drink more wine.
Hugo El Wine Bar in Roma is run by two New York transplants, and tables here are usually full of people wearing Adidas and talking about how remote work really changed everything. For the best chance of a table, swing by during those few hours between lunch and dinner, when it becomes clear that if you don’t keep going you will just fall asleep. Hugo’s wine list is largely natural bottles from Mexico’s wine region, so it’ll almost feel like you’re at your local wine bar, except you’ll probably feel happier, and more on vacation.
DON'T MAKE A DINNER RESERVATION (EAT TACOS INSTEAD)
You could make a reservation at Pujol for the mole (which, last time we checked, was 3,093 days old), but after a big lunch in the city of big lunches, maybe you should just eat tacos instead.
The cochinita pibil tacos at El Turix in Polanco reign supreme, but after a few glasses of wine at Hugo, you might not be able to walk miles for them. Lucky for you, good tacos are everywhere in CDMX, so your next stop is going to be the Roma location of Taqueria Orinoco, which will do wonders for your wine-induced hunger. Yes, order the al pastor tacos, but also try the taco de chicharrón, which involves a melt-in-your-mouth interior and a seared exterior that might render you speechless as you approach the counter to order another round.
And if the tacos de chicharrón convince you that your evening won’t be complete without a full-on taco crawl, we, of course have options: head to Tacos Don Juan for quesabirria tacos, grab the best vegan tacos in the city at Por Siempre Vegana, or order a variety of tacos de guisado at Tacos Hola el Güero (make sure to add a hard-boiled egg).
DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY AT A MICKEY MOUSE-THEMED CANTINA
When you enter El Micky (yes, like the mouse), a hotspot cantina in Ampliación Daniel Garza, you might find yourself wondering why there aren’t more Mickey Mouse-themed bars out there. And if you just read that sentence and thought: huh, doesn’t ring a bell, then you’re welcome. Because after a day of eating and drinking things that everyone else has, it’s time to do something a little different. And within the walls of this Mickey Mouse-themed cantina, the influenced (you) will become the influencer (future you).
El Micky is where you’ll find people trying to be DJs and people that are friends with people trying to be DJs having a drink and eating snacks from the owner’s mother’s home state of Chiapas. You’re here for the famous tepito-style gomichela (a liter of beer served in a plastic cup filled with gummy bears and a chamoy ring), so order one of these and then spend the night dancing under neon purple lights and wall decals of Mickey Mouse—he’s wearing a bandana, and his tongue out.