Mexico City is not only known for its multiple award-winning restaurants, but also for its underrated food stands serving tacos, tostadas, and other delights. This means that, when it comes to food, this vibrant city will please pretty much every type of traveler (and eater). So, if you are planning a trip to CDMX soon, read on to find the best restaurants to visit while here.
In this post, I’m bringing you a combination of fine dining and low-key places to eat in Mexico City. However, one thing you need to know is that the restaurant scene in Mexico City is very hot, especially among the more popular ones. So, to guarantee a spot in some of these restaurants, I’d say that, as a rule of thumb, advanced reservation is required.
Also, as a bonus, at the end of the post, you’ll find a list of a few favorite coffee shops to visit while in Mexico City, as well as a few bars to quench your thirst for either pre or after-dinner drinks.
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Best Restaurants in Mexico City
Pujol is probably the most known and best restaurant in Mexico City. The restaurant is currently number 5 on both the world’s best list and on Latin America’s best list.
The Mexican food found at Pujol features indigenous ingredients. Book in advance its multi-course tasting menu in the dining room or the “taco omakase” menu at the bar. And when I mean to reserve a spot in advance, I mean before or as soon as you book your flight.
Another restaurant featured on the world’s best list, Quintonil is currently number 9 in the world and number 8 in Latin America. Their 10-course tasting menu features modern Mexican cuisine with fresh ingredients and can also be paired with an international selection of wine.
If the 10-course menu seems too much for you, they also have an a la carte menu. Also, advanced reservation is strongly encouraged (at least two months in advance).
Pro tip: if you want to splurge on dinner, visit either Pujol or Quintonil (or maybe both?) while in Mexico City.
Contramar is one of the top restaurants in Mexico City and the go-to for seafood in the city. It’s located in one of the best neighborhoods in Mexico City, La Condesa, and after your meal, you can stroll around the neighborhood or find a nice coffee shop in the area.
Though the entire menu at Contramar is great, the tuna tostadas are the best part of it. Plus, you can’t go wrong with the red and green grilled fish, ceviche, palomas, and margaritas.
Maximo Bistrot Local
One of the most charming restaurants in CDMX, Maximo Bistrot Local is also number 33 in Latin America. In this farm-to-table restaurant the fresh, local ingredients are cooked to perfection and offer a great combination of flavors in a mix of European and Mexican cuisines.
The menu changes seasonally, but I’m sure you’ll have a good meal regardless of the time of year when you visit it.
While Merotoro is currently number 72 on Latin America’s best list, it managed to end up high on my personal list of best restaurants in CDMX. The one-page menu features pork, beef, and fresh seafood from Baja California.
Although not very common among tourists, the fresh, flavorful dishes at Merotoro are enjoyable at every bite.
El Huequito is a low-key chain of taquerias in Mexico City, most famous for its al pastor tacos. There are many spots in the city, and while some have tables to sit down and eat, in the one located near Centro Historico you’ll eat in a classic style while standing on the sidewalk.
If in doubt on what to order, grab a bunch of al pastor tacos – I recommend ordering no less than three (you won’t regret it!).
El Hidalguense is another excellent restaurant in Mexico City and is famous for its barbacoa (slow-cooked lamb). The meat is cooked in the nearby state of Hidalgo (hence the name) and trucked to the city for its many visitors that are craving this specialty.
One thing to know is that you order the barbacoa by the kilo, and they provide fresh tortillas and salsas to go with it. In my personal experience, the order of queso asado plus ¼ of barbacoa was enough for 2 not very hungry people. So, if two of you are hungry then go for half a kilo.
Also, plan your visit according to their opening time since El Hidalguense operates from Friday to Sunday only.
When you feel like you’re craving something other than tacos, it’s time to pay a visit to Restaurante Rosetta. This Italian restaurant is in my favorite neighborhood in Mexico City, Roma Norte, and is set in a mansion with charming décor. Rosetta is also one of the top restaurants on Latin America’s best list.
Pro tip: when done with your meal, if you still have room for dessert, stop by the neighbor Helados Cometa for ice cream.
Lardo is a well-known restaurant in CDMX for being the sister restaurant of Rosetta. The European-Mexican menu is especially craved on weekends for brunch for their terrific croque monsieur. If tired of tacos while in the city, their pizzas are also very tasty.
Though not a restaurant per se, Panadería Rosetta is a must-visit bakery in Mexico City. Over the weekend, lines start early with tourists and locals looking for their guava pastries, cinnamon rolls, croissants, and other freshly baked treats.
There are two Panadería Rosetta locations in CDMX, with the most classic one being in Roma Norte.
Sud 777 is yet another restaurant in Mexico City featured on the world’s best list (number 57 in the world and number 12 in Latin America). Their tasting menu, which includes fresh vegetables from Mexican cuisine, changes to incorporate the best ingredients offered by the season.
Though not really in the bustle of the more touristy areas of Mexico City, Sud 777 is a great place to stop for a meal while in the city – if not on your first visit, save it for when you return.
El Moro Churreria
El Moro Churreria is a Mexico City institution. As you probably guessed, their specialty is churros, and you’ll want to visit them more than once throughout your time in the city.
One order of churros comes with 4 good-sized ones which can also come with chocolate and dulce de leche dip (for an extra fee). To drink, their hot chocolate options will please everybody, with Mexican, Spanish, and French-style among the options (the thick Spanish hot chocolate is my favorite).
You can find this Instagramable blue and white tile place in many locations across the city such as Roma Norte, La Condesa, Polanco, and Centro Historico.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE TO READ: Top Spots to See in Mexico City’s Historic Center (+ One Day Itinerary)
Bonus 1: Bars to Stop by for Drinks in Mexico City
Here are 3 bars you should consider paying a visit to while in Mexico City, either before or after dinner:
Bonus 2: Best Coffee Shops in Mexico City
When it’s time to sip a coffee, the offer of coffee shops in Mexico City won’t disappoint you.
What to know for visiting Mexico City
Mexico offers visa exceptions to visitors from various countries, including the US and the European Union, for stays up to 180 days. Also, at the moment, there are no covid-19 restrictions for entering Mexico. Travelers don’t need to present proof of vaccination to enter the country, nor negative covid-19 test results. However, when planning your trip to Mexico, be sure to check the latest information and requirements for your specific country.
The voltage in Mexico is 127 V, and the power plugs and sockets are type A and B (the same as the US).
The currency used in Mexico is the Mexican Peso (MXN). You can check the current exchange rate on Google. Though restaurants in Mexico City accept international cards, it’s always good to carry some cash for small transactions.
Best time to visit Mexico City
The best time to visit Mexico City is during spring or fall (from September to November and from March to May). Summers are typically rainy, and winters are chilly.
Where to stay in Mexico City
I recommend booking your hotels on Booking.com to get the best rate and other perks such as genius discounts and free cancellation if your plans change. Some of the best hotels to stay in Mexico City are:
- Downtown: this hotel is one of the Design Hotels in Mexico City that sits next to many attractions of the Centro Histórico. The building is a restored 17th-century palace with an outdoor pool on the rooftop with perfect city views.
- Círculo Mexicano: a lovely design hotel located in the heart of the Historic Center of Mexico City, so you’ll be able to walk to the Zócalo and Palacio de Bellas Artes from here. The best room at Círculo Mexicano is The Balcony Suite which offers direct views of the Catedral Metropolitana. Also, don’t forget to check out the hotel’s rooftop pool when wanting to cool down.
- Nima Local House Hotel: a boutique hotel set in La Roma, close to some of the best cafés and restaurants in Mexico City. This 4-room hotel is lovely and the perfect place to unwind in Mexico City.
- Four Seasons Mexico City: an award-winning 5-star hotel located in Juarez, near Bosque de Chapultepec. It has spacious and comfortable rooms, an Italian restaurant, a bakery offering Mexican and French pastries, and a cool cocktail bar. From here, you can walk along the charming streets towards the neighborhoods of Condesa and Polanco. The Four Seasons Mexico City is where I stayed, and I recommend it 10/10.
- The Ritz-Carlton: a luxury hotel within walking distance from Bosque de Chapultepec, one of the top places to see in Mexico City. Here, the modern rooms offer impressive views of the city, and the indoor swimming pool is fascinating.
Ever since the pandemic, travel insurance has become almost essential for every type of travel. My recommended travel insurance platform is SquareMouth – the best tool for searching for the best option amongst travel insurance companies. SquareMouth allows travelers to instantly purchase a travel insurance policy from every major provider in the US, and it also makes clear each policy’s COVID-related coverage.
Now that you have the list of top restaurants to visit in Mexico City, it’s time to start planning. For this, bookmark and share this list with your travel buddies to find it easier later! Also, save this on your Pinterest!
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