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Inside Paradero Conocido.
Paradero Conocido

The 38 Essential Mexico City Restaurants

Quesabirria at a popular Tijuana-style taqueria, soft shell crab and short rib from Quintonil chef Jorge Vallejo, Reubens at a hotspot in Condesa’s growing Jewish deli scene, and more of Mexico City’s best food

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Inside Paradero Conocido.
| Paradero Conocido

The first thing any visitor to the Mexican capital will take in — probably while staring out the window in awe as their airplane descends over the intense, urbanity-on-steroids sprawl — is the sheer size of this town, 573 square miles in total. It’s densely populated and patchworked with distinct neighborhoods, each with its own culinary identity. It would take several lifetimes to get to know all of the street stands, holes in the wall, neighborhood favorites, and high-end destinations in this city.

Yet this list — 38 restaurants, dishes, and culinary experiences that define Mexico City’s gastronomic identity — should offer a comprehensive starting point for any visitor. It includes the obvious and the overexposed; it also includes hidden gems. It covers longtime buzzing neighborhoods like Roma and Condesa, as well as newer destination districts like San Miguel Chapultepec and Juarez. There are tacos, tortas, tasting menus, and tamales. There are enough sweets to satisfy the most dedicated concha enthusiast and some old-school breakfasts for the nostalgists. Whatever the type of place, it provides standout food and a taste of something visitors can’t get back home.

Updated, December 2023:

As Mexico City closes out 2023, many new restaurants are reproducing the year’s winning formula: bistro-inspired menus, packed natural wine lists, and (sometimes over-hyped) vinyl sound systems. Especially in desirable neighborhoods with a heavy influx of international visitors, this style has mostly ensured smooth sailing in an increasingly competitive market.

Among the most notable new additions to the essential lineup, Maizajo has been an excellent addition to Condesa, delivering quality food at reasonable prices in two formats: a taco menu served over the counter and a sit-down experience. Given Chilangos’ current obsession with Norteño culture, Northern-style tacos are having a moment at places like Tijuana-inspired El Compita Tacos and Barbacoa Gonzalitos, which reopened after a few months due to a long-overdue relocation. Finally, after a decade focusing on fine dining restaurant Quintonil, chef Jorge Vallejo ventured into the casual arena alongside chef Fernando Torres at Aúna, a project that created a solid fanbase in Polanco in just a few months.

We update this list quarterly to make sure it reflects the ever-changing Mexico City dining scene.

Natalia de la Rosa is a Mexican food writer, mezcal collector, and culinary guide based in Mexico City.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Lago Algo

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Take a stroll in Bosque de Chapultepec and end the outing with brunch at Lago Algo. This hybrid contemporary art gallery and restaurant is set in a fine example of Mexico’s Brutalist architecture dating back to the late 1960s, with a dining room that overlooks Chapultepec’s lake. The seasonal art exhibits always prove engaging, often taking advantage of the space in creative ways. When you’re done perusing the artwork, try the endive salad, the cheese ravioli with pumpkin broth, or the glazed pork chop with cauliflower and caramelized onion.

A dining area with a striking curved ceiling.
The stunning dining area at Lago Algo.
Lago Algo

Aúna Café

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A new addition to Polanco’s dining scene, Aúna is the most recent project of Quintonil chef Jorge Vallejo, alongside chef Fernando Torres, who oversees the culinary program. The kitchen focuses on traceability and quality ingredients, creating vegetable-forward dishes like roasted tomatoes with black garlic dip, squash blossoms stuffed with mushroom cream, or roasted sweet potato with mascarpone and harissa. Chef Torres’s skills shine through the soft shell crab with red curry and the braised-to-perfection short rib with roasted shishito peppers. Overall, Aúna’s menu is fresh air in Polanco’s oversaturated fine dining scene, complete with a well-curated wine list.

A server pours sauce into a bowl of aguachile.
Aguachile at Aúna.
Aúna Cafe.

Perpetually ranked highly on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Pujol has built a remarkable legacy in fine dining. Throughout the years, the restaurant has evolved into a multi-course vegetarian or pescatarian experience while holding true to Enrique Olvera’s values of sustainability, respect for Mexican culinary heritage, and local ingredients. Chef de cuisine Jesus Duron has elevated the experience since taking over in 2020, executing the tasting menu and taco omakase. Reservations are hard to come by, so book at least three months in advance.

A chef plates scorch marked green beans over puree on a tortilla.
Plating at Pujol.
Pujol

Siembra Tortillería

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What started in 2019 as a tortilla shop with a casual taquería has become a beautifully designed corn-centric restaurant in Polanco, a natural evolution under chefs Karina Mejía and Israel Montero. The aroma of corn wafts from the semi-open kitchen, where half the space is dedicated to nixtamal tanks and comales that produce fresh tortillas, crisp blue and yellow tostadas, and crusty sopes. An array of dishes utilize corn from Tlaxcala, like velvety escamol (ant larva) sopes, soft-shell crab tacos, and pork belly gorditas. Order the shrimp aguachile to really appreciate the texture of the restaurant’s tostada, a perfect crunchy carrier for all things seafood, and finish with the lukewarm chocolate tamal with cacao nibs.

A hand holds a tostada overflowing with fish and fixings.
Tostada de hamachi.
Siembra Tortillería

Marne Panadería

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Marne’s pastries are contenders for the best treats in Mexico City. The croissant technique is unrivaled, and the space in San Miguel de Chapultepec feels more like a baker’s workshop than a cafe. Along with pastries, the staff offer excellent hospitality and specialty coffee to go with casual breakfasts of scrambled eggs with brioche, a small selection of sandwiches, and French toast. 

A hand holds a plate with a single large croissant, folded with tight layers of dough.
The croissant at Marne.
Marne

Comal Oculto

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Comal Oculto is a small but sweet eatery in the San Miguel Chapultepec neighborhood with a menu based on hardy antojitos like flautas, enmoladas, and tlacoyos. The restaurant focuses on breakfast and lunch, so pair your fresh-from-the-comal snacks with hot chocolate or cafe de olla. The flauta ahogada with mole and the bean tlacoyo with avocado leaf are favorites among customers.

A closeup on a flauta ahogada, drizzled with sauce and topped with herbs.
Flauta ahogada.
Comal Oculto

Maizajo

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Chef Santiago Muñoz founded Maizajo in 2016 as a corn-centric research project, sourcing native corn from small communities in Mexico to produce quality tortillas from 100-percent nixtamalized dough. After several years of operating in the Azcapotzalco neighborhood, Maizajo opened a new space in Condesa, where the corn-grinding operation is joined by a counter-service taqueria and a terrace on the second floor for dining in. The menu includes tacos made with rib-eye, brisket, and longaniza (sausage), as well as volcanes (corn tostadas with various fillings covered with a cheese crust) and gorditas. Weekends are especially lively on the terrace, where wine and craft beer pair with an elevated menu of dishes like black mole, brisket, and roasted leak, or oxtail with cegueza, an Oaxacan sauce thickened with red corn.

Patrons stand at a taco counter.
The counter-service taqueria.
Maizajo

Malcriado

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Malcriado is a small specialty coffee shop in the morning and a wine bar by night. Under the direction of Colombian chef Valeria Vázquez, the kitchen turns out a no-fuss lunch and early dinner menu that draws inspiration from Mediterranean flavors with dishes like sardine and parsley salad, chicken Milanese, and short rib ragu. Though indoor seating is limited, Malcriado takes advantage of Condesa’s tradition of sidewalk seating, creating a vibrant social scene outside to complement the food and wine. The options for breakfast at Malcriado are solid as well, though not out of the ordinary for the neighborhood; chilaquiles, shakshuka, or an Italian ham with fig sandwich all kick off the day right.

Four arancini surrounding a small bowl of dipping sauce.
Arancini at Malcriado.
Malcriado

Niv is a star in the well established wine bar scene in Mexico City. The project brings together two wine insiders — wine importer Tanguy de Bodinat and Eneida Fuentes, the former beverage director of Pujol — who created an intimate yet vibrant space. The wine list features small producers from France, Italy, Germany, and Mexico with effervescent pet nats, fun oranges, and classic labels from Burgundy. The culinary menu, executed by chef Diego Martínez, matches the quality of the wines; the toasted beef carpaccio and wild mackerel sashimi have become favorites, and be sure to finish with the mamey creme brulee. Since opening day, the restaurant has become a neighborhood social spot in Condesa thanks to its candle-lit backroom, where diners can finish the evening with cocktails, infused rums, and late-night snacks while listening to visiting DJs and Niv’s eclectic vinyl collection.

A bar interior with tables set along a plush banquette, soft lighting, a large back-lit backbar, and lots of pink and gold tones.
Inside Niv.
Niv

Botánico

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Located in a restored art deco mansion in Condesa, Botánico is the first solo project of chef Alejandra Navarro, an alum of acclaimed Mexican fine dining restaurant Quintonil. The lush courtyard is an elegant setting for a long afternoon of cocktails, wine, and shareable plates. The menu has an international touch, so expect dishes that combine flavors from all over the world with high-quality ingredients. When in doubt, go for the oyster platters, fried squid, and pork Milanese with a salad of field mustard and buttermilk dressing.

A restaurant patio enshrouded in foliage with blond wood tables, chairs, and canopy.
Botánico’s idyllic courtyard.
Botánico

Ostrería 109

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At Ostreria 109, chef Raúl Valencia pays homage to the culinary traditions of the Mexican coastline with wood-fired cooking. Staying away from cliche seafaring designs, the restaurant feels urban and modern. The food matches the setting; the elegant raw menu includes options like sea snail with catch-of-the-day ceviche or 15-day aged toro tartar with chintextle adobo. Grilled over a mix of oak and cherry wood, the oysters with sobrassada and the arroz a la tumbada with octopus and shrimp are among the menu’s best dishes. The exciting Mexican, French, and Italian wines are reasonably priced too.

A clay pot of oysters with sobrassada.
Oysters with sobrassada.
Ostrería 109

Head to Caiman in la Condesa to try some of the most avant-garde creations from Mexican wine country. The food menu is designed to complement the cocktail and wine experience, with munchy snacks like french fries with mussels and quail egg, or canned items for no-fuss clientele. The classic cocktails are well-executed, but explore the house pet-nat selection, which comes mostly from Baja California. The vibe is chill but the bar still delivers that Condesa it factor.

From above, two tostadas presented on wooden tablets.
Tostadas at Caiman.
Caiman

Farmacia Internacional Condesa

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This casual coffee and breakfast spot in Condesa satisfies many cravings, from cinnamon rolls to French toast with scrambled eggs to a biscuit with a fried egg and bacon. Restauranteurs Andrea Strobl and Adriana Hernández have created a home-away-from-home spot with indoor and outdoor seating and a lovely counter where you can enjoy your daily cup of coffee alongside a freshly baked pastry from Farmacia’s repertoire. Starting mid-week until Saturday, the cafe offers small bites like crab cakes and fried chicken wings with spicy morita chile sauce to pair with a short but sweet cocktail list.

A glass pastry case with handles, in front of greenery.
Pastries at Farmacia Internacional.
Farmacia Internacional Condesa

Mendl Delicatessen

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The most recent addition to the cluster of Jewish restaurants in Condesa, Mendel takes cues from New York’s delis. Since opening in spring 2023, the restaurant has gathered an eclectic following of locals and international visitors while catering to the Ashkenazi Jewish community in Mexico City. Mendel offers quality pastrami sandwiches and Reubens, bagels, and dishes like latkes, matzo ball soup, whitefish salad, and veal schnitzel. The deli is conveniently located just a few steps from Parque Mexico, and it’s become a popular option for weekend brunch. The dining space is lush and welcoming, and the pastry display by the entrance can inspire an appetite.

Salazar

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The top three reasons to go to Salazar are location, location, and location. The restaurant sits on a rooftop overlooking one of the most iconic roundabouts of Mexico City, creating the perfect atmosphere to enjoy dinner and cocktails during golden hour. Chef Allan Yañez’s menu combines bistro classics and family-style, country recipes, with dishes like organic roast chicken (sourced from an owner’s farm, which supplies the restaurant) with confit tomatoes, grilled shrimp with leek emulsion, or aged Pat LaFrieda rib-eye with sauerkraut. The portions are large enough to share, and the wine list includes beautiful organic and biodynamic bottlings. With stellar service and hospitality, it’s hard not to spend hours indulging in martinis and dessert after the meal is over.

A city skyline view from a large dining room fitted with huge windows.
Looking out from Salazar.
Salazar

Canton Mexicali

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Chinese Mexican cuisine in Baja California dates back to the mid-1800s, when immigrants from China arrived to work in farming and railroad construction. Eventually, Mexican and Chinese food cultures mingled in cafes, dive bars, and restaurants to create a local fusion cuisine. To taste a piece of that culinary history, head to Canton Mexicali. The restaurant is a bit cramped and dimly lit in red and yellow hues, but it feels like the perfect setting for the wide array of dishes like pork wontons; green fried rice mixed with green beans, green fava beans, and chickpeas; dan dan peanut noodles; and chile relleno with garlic and ginger. Don’t forget to order the carne Mexicali and chile shrimp, house specialties. Dishes are meant to be shared family style, ideally with a round or two of house cocktails or wine. Since opening, Canton Mexicali has become the popular kid on the block, so reservations are strongly recommended. The restaurant closes at 1 a.m., making it a strong contender for late-night dinners.

A diner picks a cucumber from a plate of spring rolls and other items.
A full plate at Canton Mexicali.
Canton Mexicali

Handshake Speakeasy

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With sleek 1920s decorations in a hidden, speakeasy-inspired space, Handshake offers a cocktail menu by award-winning Dutch bartender Eric Van Beek. Since relocating to Colonia Juarez in 2021, the bar has taken off as a drinking destination, with guests eager to try the famous clarified piña colada or the bar’s take on more modern classics like the pornstar martini, with vodka, pineapple, passion fruit, and vanilla. Seating is limited, reservations are a must, and guests have a window of 90 minutes to enjoy the experience.

A verity of cocktails in various shades, glassware, and garnishes.
Drinks at Handshake.
Handshake Speakeasy

El Compita Taqueria

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For a taste of Tijuana-style tacos in Mexico City, head to El Compita Tacos in the Roma Sur neighborhood. The project started as a Northern-style beef birria stand before evolving into a permanent taco spot. Stick to the Tijuana classics like the quesabirria, served on a crispy tortilla and topped with beans, or the carne asada taco wrapped with a hand-made corn or flour tortilla.

Two tacos overflowing with meat and guacamole.
Tacos at El Compita Taqueria.
El Compita Taqueria

Start your evening with an aperitif at Oropel, a small vermouth-focused bar that, since opening in summer 2022, has become one of the go-to drinking spots for the hospitality and service industry in Mexico City. The bar’s wide vermouth selection features close to 30 options, including dry, sweet, red, rosé, and white, alongside a house vermouth spritz. If bitter vermouth is not your cup of aperitif, order from the solid, by-the-glass wine list. The food menu is tapa-style, with items like tinned sardines or squid served with aioli and red peppers. There’s a happy hour rush from 5 to 7 p.m.

A hand holds a deep red cocktail, with two others nearby.
Drinks at Oropel.
Oropel

686 Bar

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Located above EM (also on this list), 686 impeccably edits classic cocktails for a 2022 drinking audience. Enjoy pre- or post-dinner libations like the Aviator, a take on an Aviation made with Armonico gin, St. Germain, and citrus, or the much sought-after Negroni Sbagliato (which was on the menu here before the cocktail’s viral moment). If the drinks make you a bit hungry, indulge in fried chicken or roasted baby corn.

Chef Giuseppe Lacorazza sources seasonal seafood from Mercado de la Viga (Mexico City’s largest seafood market) and uses it to make effortless, homey dishes that mix Mexican influences with some global flair. The avocado tostada with furikake is one of Fugaz’s most popular dishes, and it’s always on the menu, but check out other house specialties like the chilpachole (a corn and seafood soup), gnocchi with mussels, and white bean stew with clams. Lacorazza’s menu reflects his ongoing culinary research, which he shares periodically in his newsletter, Gula. The restaurant sits on a busy avenue in Roma Norte and works best for a casual late lunch or dinner.

Slices of fish on an avocado-covered tostada.
Avocado tostada.
Fernando Farfán

Marmota

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Overlooking Plaza Río de Janeiro — Roma Norte’s social epicenter — Marmota integrates woodfire cooking and a kaleidoscope of fresh, seasonal ingredients from the sea and inland. The inspiration for the project comes from the time chefs Federico Patiño and Poppy Powell spent in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, so the space feels open, rustic, and communal. The menu is solid, casual, and inviting, with lots of roasted veggies, reductions, and sourdough bread. Try the wild boar chorizo with cured berries, the grilled baby corn, the smoked cornish hen, or the heirloom tomatoes with mustard and confit garlic. Marmota has the best grilled cheese with tomato soup in town.

A gloopy grilled cheese sandwich, on a platter.
Grilled cheese.
Marmota

Café de Nadie

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A cafe by day and bar by night, Café de Nadie has become a favorite in the Roma Norte district since opening in 2020. Visit during happy hour to sip one (or two or three) of the bar’s cocktails while contemplating the wonders of the high-definition sound system, which plays hits from a well-curated vinyl collection. The bar’s signature cocktails use Mexican spirits like sotol, charanda, bacanora, and mezcal, but the martini and Americano are perfectly balanced as well.

A brown drink in a nick and nora glass garnished with an olive, beside a small bowl of snacks.
A cocktail at Café de Nadie.
Café de Nadie

Mux Restaurante

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Chef Diana López del Río devoted several years to culinary research focused on the food traditions of small towns in different regions of Mexico. The menu at her Colonia Roma restaurant, Mux, is a collection of recipes she learned while cooking side by side with cocineras in the field. Along with especially friendly and eager hospitality, expect dishes prepared traditionally with masa, lots of moles, fermented drinks, and escabeches.

An airy restaurant interior with tables set around large interior windows.
Inside Mux.
Mux Restaurante

Located in a restored Art Deco building overlooking colonia Roma’s most iconic park, Pigeon delights diners with a thoughtful approach to ingredient sourcing and seasonality. Chefs Mercedes Bernal and Rodney Cusic are behind the culinary project, inspired by casual European taverns. Though the menu isn’t vegetarian, options with vegetables are plenty and delicious, like roasted carrots with creamy tofu, rice with eggplant and turmeric, and rice croquettes with mushrooms and mozzarella. If you want something hardier, the roasted chicken with harissa and lemongrass is an excellent option, while the steak tartare with capers is a favorite among locals. It’s worth checking out the cocktail menu, designed by the team behind Pigeon’s sister cocktail bar, Brujas, next door.

A wide bowl of gnocchi topped with cheese and squash blossoms.
Gnocchis at Pigeon.
Pigeon

Oregonian chef Jacob Harth and restaurateur Enrique Lascuráin run Sarde, which is inspired by the cuisine of Corsica and Sardinia. The restaurant’s menu is primarily focused on seafood, including elegantly plated dishes like totoaba tartare, mackerel with celery vinegar, or tuna carpaccio with schmaltz and pickled chile. Simple preparations highlight the team’s efforts to select sustainable items for their pantry and source seafood fished responsibly. The wine program focuses on underappreciated wine regions, with an exciting selection of bubbles and whites by the glass. The restaurant is small and well-edited in ambiance, and the open kitchen lets out noise from the service rush, so expect to hear plenty of “Yes, chef!” throughout your visit.

A piece of fish sliced into small portions and arranged geometrically.
Mackerel with celery vinegar.
Jacob Harth

El Tigre Silencioso

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Mexico City loves Baja California, and El Tigre Silencioso delivers what Chilangos crave. Chef David Castro Hussong brings his signature cooking to the menu, with homey Baja flavors like a chile relleno taco prepared with pasilla chiles, oxtail with noodles, and tuna with creamy butter, avocado, and a touch of wakame. The portions are small, so order a few starters and mains to share, and expect tons of wines from the best producers in Baja California. The casual menu creates a playful contrast with the restaurant’s European ambiance in a restored turn-of-the-century mansion. The place has been the new favorite in Roma Norte since opening in late 2022, so make a reservation or prepare to wait.

Dishes and cocktails on a dappled outdoor table.
A sunny brunch at El Tigre Silencioso.
El Tigre Silencioso

Martínez

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Martínez offers good food and good wine in a casual-yet-chic setting, with an open kitchen that invites diners to watch the team in action. Located on Calle Puebla in Roma Norte, the cozy restaurant focuses on French-inspired dishes like vol-au-vent with celeriac and asparagus, steak frites with bearnaise sauce, or grilled leeks with dates and burrata. Overall expect lots of grilled items and creamy flavors on your plate. Give the bar seating a chance; it’s the perfect spot to sip a nice bottle of chardonnay while enjoying some oysters with mignonette. Reservations are strongly suggested, especially on weekends.

A dining room lit by a large window, with the name Marínez on the glass.
Inside Marínez.
Marínez

Somsaa Wine & Tea Room

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Somsaa is the third project by Thai chefs Somsri and Rachadaporn Raksamran, who have made a name for themselves in Mexico City’s food scene by recreating the flavors of their culinary heritage. Somsaa’s South Asian menu plays within traditions and classic dishes, while allowing the Raksamran sisters to innovate. Start with the baos crostini with king salmon, ikura, and nam jim sauce, before moving onto the super crispy fried chicken with spicy lemongrass or the Singapore-style chilli crab. Save room for dessert, when you should try an assortment of mooncakes, which come with fillings like sala cider or cured duck egg. The tea service is casual, with organic blends carefully selected for quality, and the cocktail menu focuses on tea infusions too. The wine list concentrates on pet-nats and sparkling wine, adding an elegant, effervescent touch to the entire dining experience.

Hands clink cups of tea, over an array of sweets.
Tea service and sweets at Somsaa.
Somsaa Wine & Tea Room

Máximo Bistrot

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Chef Eduardo “Lalo” García and his wife, Gabriela López, are the ultimate power couple of the Mexico City restaurant scene, having created a solid restaurant group grounded in sustainable and local ingredient sourcing, superb culinary technique, and attentive hospitality. In July 2022, their Maximo Bistrot entered the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list, cementing its place in the arena of fine dining. After more than a decade of culinary experience, García still holds his position on the kitchen pass at Maximo, where the menu reimagines classic dishes to celebrate Mexican flavors and French techniques. Come in the summer to try various foraged mushrooms.

Gloved hands apply sauce to four whole cauliflowers on a spit
Adding sauce to whole cauliflower
Máximo Bistrot [Facebook]

Barbacoa Gonzalitos

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After several years of weekend-only operation, Barbacoa Gonzalitos relocated to Colima Street in Roma Norte and extended service from Tuesday to Sunday. Chef Israel Mata has kept the menu of hearty Northeastern-style tacos the same, adding a couple of mouth-watering tortas stuffed with items like beef barbacoa or machaca (Northern-style dry, shredded beef), the latter paired with scrambled eggs and salsa. Make sure to order  bestsellers like the chile relleno taco and the asado de puerco. The new location is excellent for brunching over tacos and several rounds of micheladas.

A hand squeezes a squeeze bottle of green sauce onto a meaty, saucy taco.
Finishing a taco at Barbacoa Gonzalitos.
Barbacoa Gonzalitos

One of a number of small, casual, trendy neighborhood restaurants, Pargot caters to Roma Sur. The restaurant sits on a quiet street, with most of the seating outside, and the service is informal yet attentive. Chef Alexis Ayala creates a playful, personal menu based on his Mexican culinary background with Mediterranean influences, emphasizing seasonality and ingredient sourcing. The Ensenada tostadas with smoked leek, the fish kibbe, and the pork tetela with fabada (bean) sauce are tasty options. Come by for a super casual lunch.

Three croquetas topped with gray sauce on a bed of dried corn.
Croquetas.
Pargot

Mexico City is saturated with casual bistros and wine bars, so it takes some great cooking for one to rise above. Cana, the first solo project from chef Fabiola Escobosa, offers just that, with well-tuned flavors in dishes like foie gras with pear compote, cod croquettes, chive dumplings, creamy rice with squid, and steak frites. But if you’re just looking to indulge in a burger and a house martini, Cana has your back (the burger is only available when sitting at the bar). The restaurant pulls a local crowd, and the staff are knowledgeable and familiar, making Cana a great addition to the neighborhood.

A plate of creamy golden rice topped with slices of mushroom.
Creamy rice with mushrooms.
Cana

Inspired by classic trattorias, Darosa offers rustic Italian flavors in a petite, down-to-earth restaurant in the Juarez neighborhood. The menu winds through cacio e pepe suppli, ricotta with spinach gnudi, and an endive, chive, and pecan salad before hitting its stride at pasta. Order the rigatoni with beef ragu, the tagliolini a la puttanesca, and the house lasagna. Portions are on the small side, so order a couple of entrees and appetizers for a complete meal. Leave enough room for the hazelnut tiramisu and classic cannoli too.

A large bowl of pasta with herbs.
Pasta at Darosa.
Darosa

Ojo Rojo Diner

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Mexico City’s dining scene has become increasingly international, including restaurant genres from the U.S. Ojo Rojo is the second project by chef Scarlett Lindeman in Mexico City, run alongside Jhotzi Reyna and Francisco Reed, where she serves diner comfort staples — grilled cheese, Reubens, tomato soup, pancakes — with a few creative updates here and there. Ojo Rojo takes a more local perspective in the beverage program, including a michelada spiked with mezcal, salt-rimmed margaritas, and the perfect mezcal Negroni.

An unseen hand pours coffee into a mug beside a plate of mixed breakfast items.
Breakfast at Ojo Rojo.
Ojo Rojo Diner

Paradero Conocido

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For a solid, casual Mexican-inspired breakfast or lunch, head to Paradero Conocido. The small restaurant was opened in late 2022 by chef Sofía García, who wanted to create a welcoming space to bring together the local community of Centro Histórico. Paradero Conocido’s menu is small and based on popular, homey Mexican dishes like chilaquiles topped with cecina, crab gorditas, sopes with fried eggs, and comforting chicken soup.

A dish of meat, sliced avocado, onions, herbs, and salsa, with coffee alongside.
Breakfast at Paradero Conocido.
Paradero Conocido

Caracol de Mar

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If you schedule a visit to Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral, book a reservation at Caracol de Mar, just a few steps from the iconic landmark. The restaurant sits on the inner patio of the boutique Círculo Mexicano hotel, creating a quiet oasis in the restored colonial architecture away from the hectic energy of Centro Histórico. As a sister restaurant of Mexico City’s ever-popular Contramar, Caracol de Mar has the quality stamp of acclaimed restaurateur chef Gabriela Cámara. Expect a sustainably sourced and seasonal seafood-focused menu executed by Peruvian chef Álvaro Vázquez, who showcases delicate flavors from his homeland like hoja santa ceviche with leche de tigre and choclo (crunchy Peruvian corn) or grilled octopus with salsa macha and white corn puree. Don’t skip dessert; the citrus meringue is a playful spin on Contramar’s famous strawberry meringue.

Octopus legs sticking out from a bed of greens.
Pulpo.
Caracol de Mar

Taco crawl in Centro Histórico

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For a rapid-fire overview of Mexico City’s ever-growing street food scene, join a walking tour of the curb-side gems that make the city a mouth-watering metropolis. One good option is Club Tengo Hambre, which offers a multi-stop parade through the best taquerías and hidden stands downtown.

A taco on a plastic-wrapped plate, topped with deep red stewy meat.
A taco from Club Tengo Hambre’s tour.
Club Tengo Hambre

Lago Algo

Take a stroll in Bosque de Chapultepec and end the outing with brunch at Lago Algo. This hybrid contemporary art gallery and restaurant is set in a fine example of Mexico’s Brutalist architecture dating back to the late 1960s, with a dining room that overlooks Chapultepec’s lake. The seasonal art exhibits always prove engaging, often taking advantage of the space in creative ways. When you’re done perusing the artwork, try the endive salad, the cheese ravioli with pumpkin broth, or the glazed pork chop with cauliflower and caramelized onion.

A dining area with a striking curved ceiling.
The stunning dining area at Lago Algo.
Lago Algo

Aúna Café

A new addition to Polanco’s dining scene, Aúna is the most recent project of Quintonil chef Jorge Vallejo, alongside chef Fernando Torres, who oversees the culinary program. The kitchen focuses on traceability and quality ingredients, creating vegetable-forward dishes like roasted tomatoes with black garlic dip, squash blossoms stuffed with mushroom cream, or roasted sweet potato with mascarpone and harissa. Chef Torres’s skills shine through the soft shell crab with red curry and the braised-to-perfection short rib with roasted shishito peppers. Overall, Aúna’s menu is fresh air in Polanco’s oversaturated fine dining scene, complete with a well-curated wine list.

A server pours sauce into a bowl of aguachile.
Aguachile at Aúna.
Aúna Cafe.

Pujol

Perpetually ranked highly on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Pujol has built a remarkable legacy in fine dining. Throughout the years, the restaurant has evolved into a multi-course vegetarian or pescatarian experience while holding true to Enrique Olvera’s values of sustainability, respect for Mexican culinary heritage, and local ingredients. Chef de cuisine Jesus Duron has elevated the experience since taking over in 2020, executing the tasting menu and taco omakase. Reservations are hard to come by, so book at least three months in advance.

A chef plates scorch marked green beans over puree on a tortilla.
Plating at Pujol.
Pujol

Siembra Tortillería

What started in 2019 as a tortilla shop with a casual taquería has become a beautifully designed corn-centric restaurant in Polanco, a natural evolution under chefs Karina Mejía and Israel Montero. The aroma of corn wafts from the semi-open kitchen, where half the space is dedicated to nixtamal tanks and comales that produce fresh tortillas, crisp blue and yellow tostadas, and crusty sopes. An array of dishes utilize corn from Tlaxcala, like velvety escamol (ant larva) sopes, soft-shell crab tacos, and pork belly gorditas. Order the shrimp aguachile to really appreciate the texture of the restaurant’s tostada, a perfect crunchy carrier for all things seafood, and finish with the lukewarm chocolate tamal with cacao nibs.

A hand holds a tostada overflowing with fish and fixings.
Tostada de hamachi.
Siembra Tortillería

Marne Panadería

Marne’s pastries are contenders for the best treats in Mexico City. The croissant technique is unrivaled, and the space in San Miguel de Chapultepec feels more like a baker’s workshop than a cafe. Along with pastries, the staff offer excellent hospitality and specialty coffee to go with casual breakfasts of scrambled eggs with brioche, a small selection of sandwiches, and French toast. 

A hand holds a plate with a single large croissant, folded with tight layers of dough.
The croissant at Marne.
Marne

Comal Oculto

Comal Oculto is a small but sweet eatery in the San Miguel Chapultepec neighborhood with a menu based on hardy antojitos like flautas, enmoladas, and tlacoyos. The restaurant focuses on breakfast and lunch, so pair your fresh-from-the-comal snacks with hot chocolate or cafe de olla. The flauta ahogada with mole and the bean tlacoyo with avocado leaf are favorites among customers.