Budget ($3100-$4000)

 

El Tajin
Miguel Angel de Quevedo 687
Coyoacán
Tel: 5659 5759 / 5659 4447
Part of the slow food movement, El Tajinaims to showcase Mexican food with inflections of pre-Hispanic influence. Theplace is very elegant, and you’re likely to encounter businessmen having lunchthere but it is also child friendly, with massive grounds in which they canplay. Dishes that stand out are the rolled chicken breast with hoja santa and smothered in mole as well as themixed starter, which includes a variety of Mexican finger foods.Nico’s

Contramar
Durango 200, almost on the corner ofGlorieta Cibeles
Colonia Roma Norte
Tel: 5514 3169 / 5514 9217
Walking into Contramar feels a little bitlike falling into a fishbowl. The walls are blue; you’re surrounded on allsides with only a small door on one side to let you out. What this all concealshowever, is perhaps one of the city’s best locations for seafood. You’ll alsonotice for sure, the impeccably decked out waiters, breezing past tables withbrisk efficiency along with the very pretty clientele who frequent it and cometo see and be seen. Getting past all of this though, and you’ll be treated tosome of the most impressive seafood, from the tostadas de atun, which are a Mexican classic but have a delicate oriental touch tothem.  Follow that with some pescadoal pastor de esmedregal; another Mexican classicthat on street corners looks like a kebab and is typically made with pork. Ifyou’re not full at this point, also highly recommended is the pescadozarandeado; a classic from the Mexican state ofNayarit and is only fit if you’re in a group of 3 or more people.

Dulce Patria
Anatole France 100, corner with Masaryk
Polanco
Tel: 3300 3999
Following the success of her firstrestaurant, Marta Ortiz Chapa has taken her second venture into one of MexicoCity’s finest boutique hotels with a concept that screams Mexican, from thedécor to the food, which is as extravagant and kitsch as you could possiblyimagine with red, satin sofas, gold leaf walls and a floor done in the style ofrosa Mexicana; that iconic pink colour so synonymous with Mexico. The food too,rather than being a fusion of styles, intends to take traditional Mexicandishes, adding an added layer of vibrancy before serving it as typicallyMexican as possible. If the term "so kitsch its cool" means anything, thisplace will be loved.

El Bajío
Alejandro Dumas 7, corner with CamposEliseos
Polanco
Tel: 5281 8245 / 5281 8246
On the face of it, there might not beanything to be particularly impressed about with El Bajio because the décor isso typically standard and looks so much like any other restaurant elsewhere inMexico. Looks however, can be deceiving. This place is popular, and for areason and it has entirely to do with the fantastic food. Their carnitas(braised or roasted pork), which their chefs wake up every morning at 4am toprepare, are juicy and full of flavour whilst their rotating menu is alwaysfull of a variety of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes that do not disappoint.To be able to try a good selection of things off the menu, come with a group ofat least four people. Make sure you also try the cafe de olla (coffee made in a clay pot with cinnamon and piloncillo, a type of processed sugar), which is said to be one of the best inMexico.

Casa Merlos (OBSERVATORIO)
Victoriano Zepeda 80, corner ofex-Arzobispado
Colonia Observatorio
Tel: 5277 4360
Restaurants of this calibre are hard tofind anywhere in the world but what makes this place so much more of a gemisn’t only that it is so hard to find but because the cuisine, as they describeit, is baroque from the seventeenth century. Indeed, the dishes, whetherfaithfully prepared or not, are outstandingly put together making it anexcellent place to come and sample more traditional Mexican dishes such as mole,pipian and even chapulines (grasshoppers). The décor is all done in Pueblan style ceramics. Besure to make a booking; this place operates unusual opening hours and it canoften be hard to get a table.