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.
Anatole France 100, near corner of 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.
Azul y Oro
Centro Cultural Universitario (near SalaNetzahualcoyotl)
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.
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. Also impressive and usually quite difficult to find in Mexico istheir prosecco.
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.
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.
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.
Denominación de Origen
Hegel 406, corner of 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!
Palma 23, between 5 de Mayo and FranciscoI. Madero
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.
Avenida de la Paz 47, between Revolucionand Insurgentes
Tel: 5616 6964
Daniel Ovadia’s restaurant in San Angel hasbeen a destination in Mexico City for a very long time and it is easy to seewhy. Taking classic Mexican food and giving it some edge, Ovadia has managed tocreate an interesting range of flavours. And though they have a tasting menu,which is definitely worth trying, stick to the main courses because they aremore satisfying. Highly recommended are the tuetano al horno (oven cooked bone marrow) and tacos de canasta, which in addition to being unseen in any restaurant but are aclassic on the streets of Mexico, having been somewhat "gentrified" withoutsacrificing flavour.