Travelling as a family

 

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 a reasonand it has entirely to do with the fantastic food. Their carnitas (braised orroasted pork), which their chefs wake up every morning at 4am to prepare, arejuicy and full of flavour whilst their rotating menu is always full of avariety of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes that do not disappoint. To be ableto try a good selection of things off the menu, come with a group of at leastfour 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.

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.

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 pescado zarandeado; a classic from the Mexican state of Nayarit and is only fit ifyou’re in a group of 3 or more people.

Azul y Oro (Ciudad Universitaria)
Centro Cultural Universitario (near SalaNetzahualcoyotl)
Ciudad Universitaria
Tel: 5622 7135
Cash only and somewhat difficult to reach,if you make the journey out here you will be rewarded with some of the finestMexican cuisine at the most reasonable of price tags imaginable. Their standardmenu includes fantastic moles, excellently prepared fish and a number of fingerfoods like tamales and quesadillas as starters. Every month too, the restaurant does a new, themed menubased from a different part of the country. For dessert, their pastel dechocolate, which comes hot and served with cheeseice cream, is particularly outstanding.

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 orMescal. The Torta Milaneza, a Mexican stylesandwich with avocado, tomato, Oaxaca cheese and breaded pork, is said to belegendary while the piña colada is alsooutstanding. Come on a Thursday or Friday night to really catch the atmosphere.

El Tajín
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.

El Cardenal
Palma 23, between 5 de Mayo and FranciscoI. Madero
Colonia Centro
Tel: 5521 8815
An absolutely classic amongst Mexicans andon the tourist trail, this restaurant has been around for some fifty years,with humble origins but now frequented by many of Mexico’s most famouspersonalities. Glitz aside though, the food is no frills. The breakfast istypically old-school Mexican with all the usual chilaquiles, enchiladas and an aporreado con huevo that is todie for! For lunch, the place is less impressive but still a good showcase ofclassic Mexican gastronomy, offering dishes like chiles rellenos (stuffed chillies), escamoles (anteggs) and of course, mole.

Las Cazuelas de la Abuela
Avenida San Geronimo 630, inside Centrocomercial
San Angel
Tel: 5683 8720
A very family oriented restaurant thatfeels as though its right out of the 1950s, this place is always packed withpeople and it can often be difficult to get a table. The wait however, isusually never that long. Indeed, if you do come, the food will satisfy. All thedishes made with mole and pipian are fantastically prepared as are the quesadillas and the tamales. The only area wherethis restaurant doesn’t match up is in its desserts. That said though, they aretraditional, and very Mexican and worth a try.