Denominación de Orígen
Hegel 406, corner Masaryk
Tel: 5255 0612
With Mexico’s colonial history andrelationship with Spain, one would expect to find more Spanish food in the citythan there really is. One place amongst the slim pickings though, really doesstand out. Denominación de Origen, (which is aclassification given to products with a particular origin, such as wines andhoneys) is a total gem. While it may not be better than what is available inSpain, the food here is nonetheless outstanding and is a representation ofeverything sublime has to offer, such as croquetas, jamon Serrano (for which one theyhave recently won awards for having the best meat carvers), crema catalana and everything in between. The fish dishes here are particularlygood. Don’t forget the wine, either!
Anatole France 100, corner with Masaryk
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.
Alejandro Dumas 7, corner with CamposEliseos
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.
Emilio Castelar 212, between Ibsen andGoldsmith
Tel: 5280 6449
This no frills hole in the wall serves up aselection of tacos, tortas and other botanas madewith cochinita; a slow roasted pork dish from the Yucatan Peninsula, made withorange, chillies and roasting it in banana leaf under the ground. While thisplace doesn’t cook its meat under the ground, it is still pretty special; somuch so that it manages to haul in huge crowds around lunchtime. Be careful notto get too close to where they prepare the cochinita; many an office worker hasreturned to the office embarrassed, with oily, orange coloured stains on crisp,white shirts.
Torcuato Tasso 330, between Masaryk andHoracio
Tel: 5254 5624 / 5531 9696
Particularly for big groups, Los Arcos is afantastic place to eat; tacos can be ordered to satisfy several people, as canthe ceviches, aguachiles and just about everything else. And that is what makes this placeso fantastic; while you can order main dishes and main courses, these are notthe focus of the menu, but rather large groups who want to share a variety ofthings. It is also an excellent place to sample Sinaloan cuisine, which isnoted for its ability with fish and shellfish. Particularly good are the tacosgobernador, which are made with shrimp, cheese andcooked over a griddle.
Hacienda de los Morales
Vazquez de Mella 525, between Periferico andHoracio
Tel: 5283 3000
Once upon a time, about thirty years ago,this place was known not only for its beautiful location but also foroutstanding food. Today, while everywhere else has moved on in terms ofcuisine, Hacienda de los Morales is still the same. As a result, their dishesfeel a little old and their food, somewhat out of touch though it is by nomeans bad at all. The real attraction of this place though, is the grounds thatare reminiscent of a colonial mansion. Make sure to call in advance, as it ishugely popular for weddings.
Masaryk 407, between Calderon de la Barcaand Lafontaine
Tel: 5282 2064
The executive chef, Mikel Alonso and hissidekick, Gerard Bellver, have managed to create a restaurant that has beenlisted as one of the 50 best in the world. Indeed, Bellver (who studied underFerran Adria at El Bulli in Gerona, Spain), likes to describe the food as"sumptious with surprises" and that it certainly is. At the upper end ofrestaurant dining in Mexico City, Biko provides an experience that really isimpeccable on every level, from food to service and even to the design, whichmakes fantastic use of sunlight without it being too overbearing. Highlyrecommended is the tasting menu with an accompanied wine course, allowing for variedpanoply of flavours that really do jump around the palate. Come with a bigbudget and an appetite for rich, but not heavy food.