Mexico City is in abundance of of cafes, restaurants and bars to suit any vibe. You’ll leave with a restaurant and bar list longer than when you arrive just because of the sheer amount of places to eat and drink. Over the week I spent in Mexico City these spots were marvellous highlights to my trip that I absolutely had to write home about.
This captivating capital city is best explored by individual district. I’ve divided up each enchilada joint and craft gin bar by barrio to help you navigate your way through this incomprehensibly huge city.
Farmacia Internacional. An old pharmacy turned hipster breakfast spot. Avocado on toast complimented by any plant based milk coffee you could ever imagine. Whilst this isn’t in the slightest bit Mexican inspired food, it’s a really good breakfast joint and worth a visit.
If you find yourself with a belly rumble in Centro, Tacos de Canasta “los especiales” is definitely a good place to start. Tacos de Canasta which translates as “basket tacos” are street style tacos and they get their name from the fact they’re cooked at home and carried in a basket to the streets to be sold. The Los Especiales street stall became so popular with lengthly queues for their famous tacos de canasta that they eventually opened up a permanent residency downtown. Despite their success, the price has never increased and you can still expect to pay 5 pesos a taco (roughly 20p). Help yourself from a tub on the countertop and prepare yourself for a local, cheap eat that you won’t regret.
Check out Comedor Lucerna for dinner. This is a funky enclosed shared space with neon signs and colourful umbrellas hanging from the ceiling. It has numerous food vendors and bars that cater to everyone. Get the tostadas de atún from El Camaron Ahogado they are sublime! All nicely washed down with a carajillo the Mexican version of an Espresso Martini.
Grab a cocktail at Downtown rooftop bar. This place is a very cool hostel with a chic rooftop bar. Drinks are good and not absurdly expensive for location and setting. Order the mezcal chilli and rosemary cocktail if you fancy a citrus and ever so slightly savoury Mexican drink.
ROMA / CONDESA
Pozole at La Casa de Toño
A Mexican style stew is a dish perceived to be more healthy than its deep fried counterparts on this list. Pozole is a heartwarming Mexican broth made from hominy (giant corn) and meat. Opt for mushrooms instead if you are vegetarian and have the soup topped with shredded lettuce, radish and a squeeze of lime. The broth has a real kick, it’s smokey and spicy and every slurp leaves you wanting more. The best pozole is served at Casa de Toño which has numerous outlets all over town.
Mix it up:
Mercado Roma is home to plenty of food spots here and a hidden rooftop bar feels like a secret garden in the city. Grab your food and head up to the rooftop to feel like you are hanging out in an enchanted garden. Their cocktail list at the bar are obscure yet oddly satisfying. Preserved lemons and brine lace the Martin Miller gin cocktails and surprisingly it works.
El Faraon taqueria which serves up the ever so popular pastor tacos. The process of making these succulently marinated pork tacos was brought to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants many years ago and is prepared the same way shawarma is. Served with coriander, white onion and pineapple in small corn tortillas.
For the best pastor tacos in Mexico City head to Taqueria Los Pericos. The tiny tacos will set you back 5 pesos each (20p) and are simple, authentic and flavoursome. Tender pork topped with pineapple, coriander and white onion goes very nicely with a beer or two. Just round the corner from here is another truly authentic Mexican meal that shouldn’t go amiss (try a progressive dinner in one evening like we did). El Rey de las Ahogadas serves up arguably the city’s best flautas. Tortillas stuffed with meat or cheese, rolled up like cigars, deep fried and served with a tangy green sauce. Both the restaurants aren’t in any of the four neighbourhoods listed on here, yet they deserve a mention for being delicious and cheap.
A sweet treat:
Churrería El Moro
This famous churrería has plenty spots around town. Hot and fresh churros laced in sweet cinnamon sugar make a perfect afternoon sweet treat in the Mexican heat. At the Roma outlet you can order the churros as ice cream sandwiches and don’t forget to order a chocolate dipping sauce to go with.
Gin Gin – This bar serves amazing gin and tonics however it’s pricey for CDMX. You can expect to pay around £10 a cocktail which in some local taquerías would cover a whole group meal. However, this hip spot is worth the visit. Stunning decor and incredible cocktails (all gin based) Order the Gin Mare with lemon oil and rosemary. (Next door el Faroan tacos)
But first, coffee:
For the best almond milk flat white you’ll have in Mexico City head to Cucurucho Coffee shop. Beans sourced from all over Mexico are roasted in their tiny coffee shop, you can even pick up a bag or two to take home with you.
In Polanquito grab brunch at Ojo de Agua. The serene gardens surround this health food shop and cafe. A yoga studio is located upstairs and whilst stretching might not be on the cards that day, ordering their zingy and delicious chilaquiles dish with a fresh juice is definitely something you shouldn’t pass by.
Café Negro. Their coffee is as good as their decor and this place is next level. The homemade macadamia nut milk is creamy and rich and their mochas have a hint of cinnamon.
Dine at Alverre for gooey, cheesy Enchiladas Suizas. These chicken stuffed tortillas are drenched in a zingy green sauce and topped with a criminal amount of melted cheese.
For somewhere with a little more atmosphere head to Cantina La Coyoacana. This authentic Mexican restaurant with a live mariachi band. So order tacos and sip on mezcal whilst listening to the wonderful live music right at your table. The best seats in the house are in the walled courtyard outside. It’s worth the wait for a table.