Mexico City has a bit of everything, from colonial and traditional to some of the most lavish areas you can possibly imagine. In 2016, The New York Times named Mexico City the #1 place to visit and after studying abroad there for 6 months I now understand why. To say the food is delicious would be an understatement. I visited many restaurants during my time there and these are my absolute favorites.
1. Hacienda de los Morales– This is my absolute favorite restaurant! Hacienda de los Morales is located in Polanco which is known as the business/ higher end area of the city where the average meal will cost you about $10-$30 USD. My favorite part of this restaurant is the dessert. When asked to see the dessert menu, you are brought out a cart filled with pastries. Bless the soul who recommended me this restaurant because my sweet tooth has forever changed.
2. Haz tu Loko: Salty or sweet? In my opinion, salty all the way! When visiting the Santa Fe Shopping Center in the northern area of Mexico City, I came across this kiosk filled with countless flavors of chips, candies, and salsas. These kiosks operated similar to self-serve yogurt places where you add everything and anything your heart desires.
3. Plaza en el Centro de Coyoacán- On the streets of the plaza in Coyoacán, you will find an abundance of traditional Mexican food sold by local vendors. If you are traveling with family or want to visit a place where all the locals go, Coyoacán is my best recommendation. In every other stand, you will find Mexican staples, either churros or corn in a cup. The corn is grilled right in front of your eyes and topped with traditional queso fresco, mayonnaise, and butter. You can give it an extra twist by adding lemon, chile, and chile powder to fit your taste buds.
4. Soul La Roma– Located in trendy La Roma lays a restaurant called Soul La Roma. There are about 10 different specialty burgers all which sound and look amazing. I went for the Classic Sauber, which is topped with fondue, white wine, and slices of tender duck. I had my fair share of burgers while in Mexico, but this was the best one yet.
5. El Cardenal– Another one of my favorite “treat yo-self” restaurants, and particularly my parent’s favorite, is El Cardenal. This restaurant has anything your heart desires. Mole? Enchiladas? Escamoles? They’ve got it. I ordered the ceviche de pulpo. Topped with fresh avocado, the ceviche was marinated in lime juice and serrano peppers, perfect for any spicy-food lover. No matter what you order, I can assure you, you will walk out very satisfied. They have several locations spread out through the city. Word of advice, call in advance and make a reservation because this place is always packed.
6. Tacos El Chupacabra– Tacos El Chupacabra is a small taco stand hidden under a main highway named Avenida Rio Churubusco. Here you can order a wide variety of tacos, all which are made right in front of you. When you are given your order, you can top them off with grilled onions, guacamole, different salsas, beans, cilantro, and potatoes. For about $14 pesos (about $.80 USD) this place is perfect for anyone on a budget. Open from 7AM- 3AM, Tacos El Chupacabra has a crowd at all hours, but don’t let the long lines stop you from having some of the most authentic and delicious tacos in Mexico City.
7. Churrería El Moro– Established in 1935, Churrería El Moro is the most classic and popular churro restaurant in Mexico City. This place has a wide variety of churros, churro ice-cream sandwiches, coffee, milkshakes, and hot chocolate. You can top your churros with either sugar or cinnamon and buy a dipping sauce of either cajeta or chocolate for 5 pesos. The best part is that for $1.30 USD you can get four of the crunchiest and perfectly sugar-coated churros. Hello sugar rush!
8. Pastelería Esperanza– This bakery has an assortment of classic, mouthwatering pastries which are hand-made each morning. What I love most about Pastelería Esperanza is the self-serve concept. Another plus, is that the most expensive pastry will only cost you about 10 pesos ($.50 USD). No matter what part of the city you are in, I can assure you that you will see these bakeries at almost every corner.
9. Veranda Bistro– By the Zona Rosa, Hotel Geneve opened its doors more than 110 years ago, making it one of the oldest hotels in the city. This sophisticated hotel has a small gem hidden inside named the Veranda Bistro. I ordered the seared ahi tuna salad and the caprese salad. The fresh mozzarella with thin slices of tomato is the perfect appetizer. The seared ahi tuna salad is filled with flavor as the tuna is seared to perfection. The tangy vinaigrette is the perfect dressing in order to balance out the different textures. Veranda Bistro also serves delicious breakfast where they cook several dishes right in front of you. They have a variety of pan dulce, freshly squeezed juices, quesadillas, and sopes.
10. Cucara Macara- Cucara Macara, located in the Benito Juarez International Airport, has a wide variety of traditional Mexican dishes that will sure please your tummy one last time. I went the basic route and ordered the tacos de carne asada, and boy, was I happy. The perfectly seasoned meat served with a side of refried beans and guacamole was the perfect way to end my studying abroad experience.