Condesa/Roma

 

Mero Toro
Amsterdam 204
Between Chilpancingo and Glorieta de Iztlaccihuatl
Colonia Hipódromo-Condesa
Tel: 5564 7799
Adding to the Condesa’s already veryvibrant restaurant scene comes a new restaurant that blows much of thecompetition away. While many places are a lot like traps because the neighbourhoodattracts such a lot of visitors, both local and foreign, Mero Toro is a sort ofbreath of fresh air. The location, while nothing to speak of, is simplydesigned and made to look warm with generous amounts of wood, which give theplace a very homelike feel. The tables, again, nothing spectacular, but whocares; if you go you’ll be eating sublime food off of them, right from the bread,which is made nearby at their own bakery to the starters, such as a gazpachomade with watermelon, and the main courses, like Mexican style Risotto. Indeed,it’s hard to say what cuisine this place puts out, so rather than fumble withwords, just go visit. It’ll be totally worth it.

Hotel Brick (La Olivia and Moderna)
Orizaba 95, corner of Tabasco
Colonia Roma Norte
Tel: 5525 1100
Hotel Brick actually houses two, verydifferent restaurants; one which they call a lonchería, which is usually thesort of humble lunchtime eatery that many Mexicans eat at but done up and madeto look rather sleek here. And it is pretty, particularly around dusk whenpretty people start coming by to have a few drinks before heading out on a bignight. This place, which is more casual, serves a variety of pizzas, pastas,salads, etc (not very lonchería like) but forget that; come for their breakfasts,which are made in the same oven they bake their pizzas in. For a more elegantdining experience with European fare, try La Moderna at the back of the hotel, which serves less fusion but more fussyFrench fare. Highly recommended are the beef bourguignon and the sea bass.

Casa Rosetta
Colima 166, almost on the corner of Orizaba
Colonia Roma Norte
Tel: 5533 7804
Arguably one of the most beautiful settingsfor a restaurant in an area as urban as la roma, the couple who run thisrestaurant have turned this 1930s mansion into a gorgeous setting that seems itcould be right out of a period film, with each of the different dining roomshaving their own character and decoration. The food is faintly Italian, withthe usual risottos and raviolis and generous helpings of black truffle on manyof the dishes. To start, try one of the Carpaccio and for dessert, try thetiramisu.

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.

Stampa de Mar
Orizaba 28, corner of Puebla
Colonia Roma Norte
Tel: 5207 0741
A very frequently overlooked seafood placein fashionable colonia Roma, Stampa de Mar doesn’t necessarily lack atmospherebut it does come across as quiet. Think romantic dinner or business lunch. Evenfriends, if they aren’t the raucous kind. Whichever way though, the seafood isimpeccably good, taking traditional Mexican dishes and cooking them with fishsuch as the robalo in pipian, where the fish isfirst cooked over coals before being enveloped in a banana leaf and steamedwith pipian; a sauce whose origins go back topre-Hispanic times and include such ingredients as pumpkin seeds, cumin  (which isn’t so pre-Hispanic) and driedchillies.  Also highly recommendedare the stuffed chillies, and the ceviche, whichmany say is the best they have ever had.

Cantina Covadonga
Puebla 121, between Orizaba and Cordoba
Colonia Roma Norte
Tel: 5533 2922
An iconic Mexico City cantina that hasachieved massive popularity as of late because of location and atmosphere,which is a little bizarre because on one side you’ll have a old men playingdominoes, men in suits in another whilst across from them a group of youngthings, sitting around chatting and drinking copious amounts of Tequila or Mescal.The Torta Milaneza, a Mexican style sandwichwith avocado, tomato, Oaxaca cheese and breaded pork, is said to be legendarywhile the piña colada is also outstanding. Comeon a Thursday or Friday night to really catch the atmosphere.

Tacos Gus
Amsterdam 171, corner of GlorietaCitlaltepetl
Colonia Hipodromo-Condesa
Tel: 044 55 1384 3077
Gus, the guy who runs this place, has injust a few short months, turned this into one of the most iconic tacodestinations in Mexico City, offering a huge selection of very healthy andtasty tacos. So creative are his offerings, that his vegetarian options areoften better than his carnivorous choices. He opens for breakfast at 9am andcloses at 4pm but if you want the more popular stuff go before 2.30pm. Makesure you also have whatever his agua del dia is,which is a great way to wash down all that healthy goodness.

Mercado Medellín
Entrances on Calles Medellin, Coahuila,Campeche and Monterrey
Colonia Roma Norte
This covered market has been earning muchacclaim as of late because the quality of produce has improved to reach theupwardly mobile tastes of residents in the surrounding Condesa and Roma neighbourhoodsto such a degree that many consider it more expensive than shopping atsupermarkets. If you plan on cooking yourself though, this is an excellentplace to find local and in-season produce, or even just to have a bite to eat.There are a number of comedores, servinglunchtime fare of which the best is Los Canarios,serving up alambres made with vegetables and cookedwith cheese and your choice of meat.

La Broka
Zacatecas 126-B, between Jalapa and PlazaLuis Cabrera
Colonia Roma Norte
Tel: 4437 4285
La broka’s concept is deceptively simple;come during the daytime and you’ll get a set lunch with no options but lots offrills. Come in the evening, and you’ll get wine with tapas but again, no menu.Everything prepared is at the caprice of the chef and whatever they have in thekitchen. Whether you come during the day or in the evening, the food is alwaysimpeccably prepared, very tasty, creative and, believe it or not, healthy. Anexcellent place to come with friends to absorb the very vibrant atmosphere, oron a date if you want to get lost in the crowd. Follow them on Twitter(@brokabistrot) to find out what they are serving each day for lunch.

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.

El Greco
Michoacán, corner with Nuevo Leon
Colonia Hipodromo-Condesa
Tel: 5553 5742
Tacos arabe do seem somewhat reminiscent ofthe kebabs available afterhours in any European city but be assured these arenot. For a start, they close at 10pm. Moreover, the meat is fresher, themarinade; spicier, all alongside many more Mexican standards like quesofundidos (cheese cooked in a small earthenware bowlover an open fire). This place is run by a Polish immigrant who came in thesixties and has turned his little place into one of the most popular eateriesin the Condesa. Don’t come expecting anything short of a heavy, fatty albeit ohso tasty affair.

La Veracruzana
Medellin 198, corner with Chiapas
Colonia Roma Norte
Tel: 5574 0474
There is really nothing special about thisplace except that it serves simple and very affordable seafood. And while noteverything on the menu is particularly outstanding, such as some of their morecreative concoctions (see under especialidades), their standards are fantastic,such as the quesadillas de cazon (deep fried baby shark quesadillas) and thefiletes, which are basically fish fillets prepared in any number of ways. The caldode mariscos: a soup made with shrimp stock andaccompanied by seafood, is also particularlygood, especially after a long night out drinking! Indeed, while this place isn’tnecessarily a destination, if you’re in the neighbourhood it is definitelyworth a stop by.