Monday, July 18, 2011


(includes Ecatepec)

Centro Histórico (Colonia Doctores)
El Moro – 42 Eje Central Lazaro Cardenas; 011-52-55-5512-0896;; since 1935; 4 different types of hot chocolate; churreria for breakfast or late night, near downtown.

Cuauhtémoc (Condesa, Roma, Roma Norte, San Rafael & Santa Maria la Ribera)
Cafe De Raiz – 132 Merida (Roma Norte); 011-52-55-5574-9307; coffee shop & café tucked into small space; hidden jewel that proudly represents regional cuisine of Veracruz; owner Mardonio Carballo prepares simple but delicious breakfasts & lunches, starting with coffee, which is of highest quality; for breakfast try concha veracruzana, sweet roll cut in half, stuffed with refried beans and melted manchego cheese; also good tamal de arroz con champiñones, rice tamal with mushrooms, made with whole grains of rice wrapped in banana leaves and foil (typically known as a tamal chino, or “Chinese tamal,” in Veracruz because rice paste replaces corn masa; main dishes include huevos huastecos, scrambled eggs cooked with sausage, chorizo, ham and/or cheese, or made in classical a la mexicana style, with combination of onion, tomato and fresh green chili, usually jalapeño or serrano.
Cafe La Habana – 62 Avenida Morelos (Juárez); 011-52-55-5535-2620; since 1952“Tn Roberto Bolaño’s “T”he Savage Detectives,” the Café Quito is based on the Café La Habana; this coffee shop near downtown is a traditional and enigmatic part of Mexico City; around 1954 Fidel Castro and Che Guevara used to meet here; well-known as meeting point for important journalist and writers, such as Octavio Paz or Gabriel García Marquez; now, it’s a traditional restaurant where you can eat some Mexican food and talk about the history of the place; order enchiladas.
Frutos Prohibidos – 244 Amsterdam (Condesa); 011-52-55-5264-5808;; for fresh juice or coffee.
Nevería Roxy – 89 Avenida Fernando Montes de Oca (Condesa); 011-52-55-5286-1258;; old-fashioned ice cream parlor; homemade ice cream & milk shakes; try zapote and/or chico-zapote (2 different things), mamey (de agua not de leche).

Benito Juárez (Del Carmen, Narvarte, Mixcoac, Planta Baja, Portales, Venustiano Carranza & Zona Rosa)
El Centauro – 2216 Division del Norte (Portales); 011-52-55-5605-2908;; traditional cantina with formica-topped tables & Mexican celebrity murals (past & present-ish), including Mexican cinema’s golden age’s biggest stars: Pedro Infante & Maria Felix.
La Polar – 129 Guillermo Prieto (San Rafael); 011-52-55-5546-5066;; classic in all senses except, that is, for its unusual claim to be “family cantina,” leading to rare children sightings (accompanying parents) for drink & certain cap on excess; also known for Oreja de Elephante (2 large veal pieces that look like elephant’s ears).

Centro Histórico (Colonia Doctores)
Azul Histórico – 30 Isabel la Católica (between Calles Francisco Madero & 16 de Septiembre); 011-52-55-5510-1316;; former Palacio de los Condes de Miravalle; in one of area’s few remaining 17th Century palaces; open-air restaurant crowned by towering 100-year-old laurel trees.
Bósforo Mezcaleria – 31 Luis Moya; 011-52-55-5512-1991;ósforo-Mezcaleria/280170022102134; tipplers who are mezcal (agave-based spirit) fans will enjoy sips on offer; atmosphere is dark & dive-y.
Los Canallas – 58 Calle Regina; 011-52-55-5709-1200;; Argentine café with comedy & live jazz; if you order mojito, you may get kissed.
Cantina La Opera – 10 Avenida 5 de Mayo; 011-52-55-5512-8959;; lovely dark wood, brass & mirrors; excellent margaritas; still has bullet holes left by Pancho Villa.
Cantina Salón España – 25 Luis González Obregón; 011-52-55-5704-0014;; tequila lovers’ mecca; dive-y; do not confuse with other Salón España.
Las Duelistas – 28 Aranda (alongside Mercado San Juan); 011-52-55-1394-0958;; now graffitied with pre-Hispanic psychedelia, classic (over 100 years-old) pulquería; pulque still dispensed straight from barrel, under Aztec mural ceiling, in various flavors, like celery, coconut, mango & peanut.
La Faena – 49 Venustiana Carranza; 011-52-55-5510-4417;; worth visit just for oddness; forgotten relic doubles as bullfighting museum, with matadors in sequined outfits glaring intently from dusty cases & bucolic grazing bull canvases; occupies cavernous space in old building.
Hostel Virreyes – 8 José María Izazaga; 011-52-55-5521-4181;; great bar.
El Hostería La Bota – 40 Peatonal San Jerónimo; 011-52-55-5709-9016;; ask for Chalice (wine & cranberry cocktail); sells poetry, too.
Salón Marrakech 2.0 – 18 Calle República de Cuba;; gay nightclub, predominantly lesbian; very silly; young, fun crowd.
Pasagüero – 33 Avenida Motolinía; 011-52-55-5521-6112; pasagû; historic building with transformed ground level space for various cultural happenings, particularly rock & electronica; features front café-bar (from 11:00-23:00) with cheap chelas (cold beers).
La Perla – 44 República de Cuba; 011-52-55-1997-9001;; do not wear jewelry because rough area; retro lounge & drag club with Mexico City’s most famous performers.
St. Regis Hotel (King Cole Bar) – 439 Paseo de la Reforma; 011-52-55-5533-2969;
Salón España – 25 Calle Republica de Argentina; 011-52-55-5702-1719;; tequila lovers’ mecca (more than 250 labels); founded in 1925 by Spanish refugees who entered country before Spanish Civil War; can play dominoes, chess & cards.
Salon Tenampa – 12 Plaza Garbialdi; 011-52-55-5526-6176;; founded in 1923; wonderfully tacky; extensive mariachi history (originating in Jalisco) documented in wall murals.

La Guadalupana – 2 Higuera; 011-52-55-5554-6253; long-time favorite with intelligentsia; also among few cantinas worth visiting in south of city; recent makeover in rather nondescript style has scrubbed away some of charm; still friendly & simple; dating from 1928; always packed; wall-mounted bulls’ heads add carnage to bar’s bullfighting theme; comfortable, jovial cantina; operation is as traditional as menu; for those who are only drinking, waiters bring customary small plates of complimentary snacks (called botanas) that range from crisp jicama slices with lime & chile to pigs’ feet in red sauce; easy to imagine communist conversations bouncing off walls here in Frida & Diego’s day.

Cuauhtémoc (Condesa, Roma, Roma Norte, San Rafael & Santa Maria la Ribera)
La Botica – 396 Calle Campeche & Atlixco y Tamaulipas (Hipódromo Condesa); 011-52-55-5211-6045;; 30 varieties of tequila, including one in which chicken breasts are steeped during distillation.
El Centenario – 42 Vicente Suarez (Condesa); 011-52-55-5553-5451;; small cantina with tiled walls & pretty wooden bar in Condesa’s heart; refreshingly normal; prices, however, make no such concessions.
Covadonga – 121 Puebla (Roma); 011-52-55-5533-2701;; cavernous room with decor unchanged since 1950s; Spanish-style cantina (as opposed to Mexican-style); waiters push heavy wooden tables around like Tetris to accommodate large groups & deliver glasses of rum in highballs with sides of soda water; crowd is lively mix of crusty regulars, journalists & packs of young hipsters.
Bar Montejo – 261 Benjamin Franklin (Condesa); 011-52-55-5516-5851;; multi-floored, pale yellow monstrosity that somehow manages to feel close to cozy; excellent sopa de lima & suckling pig.
La Clandestina – 298 Álvaro Obregón (Condesa); 011-52-55-5212-1871;; reed roof backlit in green & yellow; place to hit for all your agave-based needs; character-rich space, moody & candle-lit; mezcaleria.
El Palenquito – 39 Avenida Álvaro Obregón (Roma Norte, between Frontera & Merida); 011-52-55-5207-8617;; newest mezcaleri­a from agave authority Karla Moles.

Miguel Hidalgo (Chapultepec, Del Bosque, Escandon, Polanco, San Miguel Chapultepec & Verónica Anzúres)
Ivoire – 95 Emilio Castelar (Polanco); 011-52-55-5280-0477;; French-Mexican; rooftop bar.
El Leon de Oro – 103 Avenida Marti (Excandon); 011-52-55-7751-5516;; mid-sized cantina with relaxed atmosphere, among better places to have conversation; ideal for getting into national football match spirit; geometric stained, brown & gold glass windows & golden domes add 60-70s kitsch touch.
El Mirador de Chapultepec – 606 Avenida Chapultepec (Chapultepec); 011-52-86-2161-2165;; traditional cantina; dominos after lunch.

Álvaro Obregón & Cuajimalpa (San Ángel & Santa Fe)
Distrito Capital – 37 Avenida Juan Salvador Agraz, 5th Floor (Santa Fe); 011-52-55-5257-1300;; Jetson-like quality.

Benito Juárez (Del Carmen, Narvarte, Mixcoac, Planta Baja, Portales, Venustiano Carranza & Zona Rosa)
City Express EBC Reforma – 21 Havre; 011-52-55-1102-0280;; teaching hotel; cheap & clean.
Four Seasons – 500 Paseo de la Reforma; 011-52-55-5230-1818;
Hotel Geneve – 130 Londres Avenida (Zona Rosa); 011-52-55-5080-0800;; modern accommodations in antique setting; cozy bar & beautiful breakfast alcove.

Centro Histórico (Colonia Doctores)
Downtown Mexico – 30 Isabel la Católica; 011-52-55-5282-2199;; blends colonial 17th Century grandeur with industrial, raw edge; integrates local indigenous culture while celebrating its colonial location; originally known as “Palacio de los Condes de Miravalle,” is next to other colonial landmarks on cobbled street; ornate detailing around facade windows & stone-forge staircase with intricate handrails sit alongside grey volcanic rock walls & handmade cement tiles; 17 rooms & suites possess bohemian-chic, stripped-back elegance; street-side rooms have balconies to take in views, while others look over lush, perfectly manicured patio; immense terrace covers entire rooftop; pool.
Gran Hotel de la Ciudad de Mexico – 82 Avenida 16 de Septiembre; 011-52-55-1083-7700;; magnificent Art Nouveau lobby; terrific views from rooftop bar.

Cuauhtémoc (Condesa, Roma, Roma Norte, San Rafael & Santa Maria la Ribera)
Hotel Brick – 95 Orizaba (Roma); 011-52-55-5525-1100;
Casa del Arbol Rojo – 6 Calle Culiacán (Condesa); 011-52-55-5584-3829;; incredibly beautiful & welcoming guest house.
La Casona – 280 Calle de Durango; 011-52-55-5286-3001;; small boutique; terrific location & excellent meals in small restaurant that looks out over small patio; ask for large room on 1st floor.
Condesa DF – 102 Avenida Veracruz (Condesa); 011-52-55-5241-2600;; cleverly designed, modern hotel wrapped in 1928 exterior; just off Parque Espana; no detail unconsidered; can use hotel bikes.
Hippodrome Hotel – 188 Avenida México (Condesa); 011-52-55-6798-3974;; former Art Deco apartment building; 16 rooms; thoroughly modern; good restaurant on-site; June-July are best months; Rooms 101, 201, 301 & 401 have street views; penthouse has rooftop terrace & owner’s car access.
Marquis Reforma – 465 Paseo de la Reforma; 011-52-55-5229-1200;; in middle of arts & financial district; art deco style; popular with business travelers.
St. Regis – 439 Paseo de La Reforma; 011-52-55-5228-1818;

Miguel Hidalgo (Chapultepec, Del Bosque, Escandon, Polanco, San Miguel Chapultepec & Verónica Anzúres)
Las Alcobas – 390 Avenida Presidente Masaryk; 011-52-55-3300-3900;; 10-minute walk from metro station; refined hotel on tree-lined street near Museo Nacional de Antropología & Chapultepec Castle; rosewood furnishings & Italian linens; contemporary rooms come with free Wi-Fi & flat-screen TVs with Bose speaker systems; minibars & separate sitting areas; rainfall showerheads & whirlpool tubs; upgraded rooms overlook private courtyard or bustling street; room service offered; breakfast & parking are included; other amenities include 2 high-end restaurants, as well as bar, luxe spa & fitness room.
Hotel Habita – 201 Avenida Presidente Masaryk (Polanco); 011-52-55-5282-3100;; 9 years old; 1st “design” boutique; upscale but low-key place to stay.
InterContinental Presidente Mexico City – 218 Campos Elíseos (Polanco); 011-52-55-5327-7700;; where diplomats stay; great location.
W Mexico City – 252 Campos Eliseos (Polanco); 011-52-55-9138-1800;; short walk from Anthropology Museum.

Álvaro Obregón & Cuajimalpa (San Ángel & Santa Fe)
Distrito Capital – 37 Juan Salvador Agraz, 5th Floor (Santa Fe); 011-52-55-5257-1300;; amazing views.
Restaurante Antiguo San Ángel Inn – 50 Diego Rivera (San Ángel); 011-52-55-5616-1402;; former Carmelite monastery; dark mahogany furniture, crisp white table linens, exquisite blue-&-white Talavera place settings, & impeccable service; restrained opulence in 18th Century hacienda setting; some international fine-dining dishes (like duck in blackberry sauce), Mexican delicacies are stars, like crepes of huitlacoche or jewel-like dish of escamoles; dessert tray displays everything from rich chocolate cake to Bavarian cream with strawberries & cajeta (goats-milk caramel).

Benito Juárez (Del Carmen, Narvarte, Mixcoac, Planta Baja, Portales, Venustiano Carranza & Zona Rosa)
Fonda el Refugio – 166 Calle Liverpool (Zona Rosa); 011-52-55-5525-8128;; small restaurant that has been serving authentic Mexican food for more than 57 years; artists, politicians, writers & all kinds of celebrities have dined here over all those decades; Octavio Paz chose this restaurant’s food for his banquet after receiving Nobel Prize in literature in 1990; in recent years food quality declined; but, recently, this classic high-end restaurant has come back; a “must.”
Mi Gusto Es – 1709 Diagonal San Antonio (Narvarte); 011-52-55-5235-3217;; seafood in informal setting.
Reforma 500 – 500 Paseo de la Reforma; 011-52-55-5230-1808;; restaurant at 4 Seasons; romantic fountain courtyard.
Romulo’s Qué Mariscos – Yacatas (Narvarte, on corner of Uxmal, behind Mercado); 011-52-55-5530-5340;; former puesto (street stand) that has grown to fill market space around it; menu includes abalone ceviche, huge “chocolate” clams served raw & city’s best agua chile, fiery shellfish ceviche.
Turtux – 57 Avenida de la Paz (San Ángel, on Plaza del Carmen); 011-52-55-5550-3632;; name is Mayan for “butterfly”; affable chef & gastronome Margarita Salinas de Carrillo is notable cooking teacher & has cooked for President Obama; multi-regional food (“tweaked traditional”); try laminillas de pulpo al cilantro (octopus, sliced razor thin & drizzled with simple little cilantro salsa), fideo seco (classic dried noodle dish) with avocado, chili & local cheese, terciopelo de hongos, borreguito en pulque con ayocotes (falling-apart tender mutton & corn dumplings in brick-red sauce, made fruity & deep with fresh pulque), and/or totol en mole de pistache (young turkey in pistachio mole); desserts are all as good as they sound: tarta Eréndira de chocolate de metate y chiles secos, for example.

Centro Histórico (Colonia Doctores)
Azul – 30 Isabel la Católica (between Calles Francisco Madero & 16 de Septiembre, at Downtown Hotel, former Palacio de los Condes de Miravalle); 011-52-55-5510-1316;; in one of area’s few remaining 17th Century palaces; red, volcanic rock facade, magnificent patios & stone-forged staircase with 1945 original mural by Manuel Rodriguez Lozano; wooden beams, ribbed ceiling vaults & clay floor tiles; restaurant, which comfortably seats 100 fills central patio & is surrounded by 1st-floor balconies; open-air restaurant crowned by towering 100-year-old laurel trees; during summer rainy season, enormous cover spreads over entire patio; tables, specially made for restaurant, hand-branded with Centro Histórico street names; opens early (8 a.m.) for business breakfasts; menu identical to that at Azul/Condesa; fabulous food; try deep-green cilantro cream soup, topped with sliced almonds & crema de mesa (Mexican table cream) or ensalada de pera con queso Roquefort as appetizers; for entrees filete de res con chichilo (filet mignon with dark Oaxaca mole made with chile seed ashes & ground, dried avocado leaves, served over sliced, steamed chayote & accompanied by pickled red onions & chochoyones (little Oaxacan corn dough dumplings)) or pechuga de pollo con mole negro (boneless chicken breast with Oaxacan black mole, topped with single fried sweet plátano macho (super-ripe plantain) slice & cilantro sprig; make reservation.
Hostería la Bota – 40 San Jeronimo (Centro); 011-52-55-5709-9016;ía-La-Bota-120099684674038; known for lively atmosphere & well-executed international cuisine; good music, stylish décor & friendly staff; relaxed & enjoyable place to go, whether you’re just having casual pint & tacos or full meal such as enchiladas served with home-made salsa verde.
Los Canallas – 58 Calle Regina; 011-52-55-5709-1200;; Argentine café with comedy & live jazz.
El Cardenal – 23 Palma (Centro Sur); 011-52-55-5521-8815;; upscale venue concentrating on food over surroundings (you could be in any luxury hotel in any city) — & how! for lunch, try 1 of Oaxacan moles — colorado, rojo, or almendrado (almond); but real treat is breakfast, replete with frothy hot chocolate, enchiladas & fresh-baked pan dulce; other locations in at Hilton Hotel Mexico City Reforma, San Angel (32 Avenida de la Paz 32 & Lomas de Chapultepec (215 Avenida Paseo de Las Palmas, near Colonia Polanco), share obsession with quality & tradition, & in less sterile surroundings.
La Casa de las Sirenas – 32 Calle Republica de Guatemala (behind Cathedral); 011-52-55-5704-3273;; Zócalo views from rooftop patio.
El Danubio – 3 Republica de Uruguay (Centro Histórico); 011-52-55-5521-0976;; opened in 1936 by Basques who had escaped Spanish Civil War; has kept same external appearance over decades; even has original coal fire stove inside, which is still in use today; specializes in fish & seafood, with highlights that include langostinos a la plancha, although its vast menu of over 110 dishes has something for all tastes; reserve table in advance.
Los Girasoles – 8 Calle de Tacuba (Centro Histórico, on Plaza Manuel Tolsa); 011-52-55-5510-0630;; pre-Hispanic cuisine: maguey worms, ant larvae & fried grasshoppers; menu also offers modern Mexican cuisine for less adventurous; in restored, colonial house, block away from Bellas Artes; seating both inside & outside in covered terrace, which provides lovely view of Plaza Manuel Tolsa.
Gotan – 17 Pedro Baranda (Centro Histórico); 011-52-55-5535-2136;; offers authentic Argentinian cuisine, using recipes passed down through generations; efficient & friendly service alongside outstanding dishes; favorite among locals; Argentinian so meat-based dishes are outstanding; empanadas, in particular, are spectacular; fantastic desserts run close second.
Limosneros – 3 Avenida Ignacio Allende; 011-52-55-5521-5576;; chic Mexi-dining; 2-story Spanish colonial building once home to local artisan’s guild, whose members collected funds (limosnas, i.e., “donations”) to build various public buildings; same family owns venerable Café Tacuba, around corner; exposed volcanic stone walls, brick ceilings, & cantera doorways; updates classics in hip, modern, but unpretentious way; breakfast on weekends & features birria, rich goat broth-stew from Jalisco.
El Mayor (Libreria Porrua) – 15 Calle República de Argentina (Centro Histórico); 011-52-55-5704-7580;; out of sight above book store; inviting cafe-bar with marvelous terrace; looks out onto Historic Center, sight will take your breath away.
‎●El Mesón del Cid, Humboldt – 61 Humboldt (Centro Histórico); 011-52-55-5512-7629;; Spanish restaurant opened in 1972; interior dominated by stained-glass windows & fireplace; contemporary & traditional dishes prepared by Spanish chefs on weekdays; however, it is weekend that is most fun here; on Saturday nights, chefs prepare 4-course medieval banquet where costumed waiters serve guests; entertainment is provided by student vocal group, juggler & magician.
Restaurante Bar La Opera – 10 Avenida 5 de Mayo (Centro Histórico); 011-52-55-5512-8959;; open over 100 years; once favored by Gabriel García Marquez, all Mexican presidents & General Francisco Villa, who supposedly left mark in roof when he shot at it (look up & you can still see hole); elegant French-style décor & friendly atmosphere pair well with fresh, beautifully presented Mexican cuisine; all regularly accompanied by live mariachi band.
Padrinos – 30 Calle Isabel la Catolica (Centro Histórico); 011-52-55-5510-2409; ; in former 17th Century palace close to Mexico City’s main square, Zócalo; combines retro-style interior & excellent food; from traditional Mexican dishes such as fresh seafood tostadas to international fusion plates, vast menu & great drink selection; best enjoyed along with balmy evening in garden or on terrace.
Puro Corazón – 11 Monte de Piedad (Centro Histórico); 011-52-55-5510-8903;; located on 6th floor; spectacular views of Zócalo & Metropolitan Cathedral, which you can enjoy from terrace; restaurant offers traditional Mexican dishes made with native ingredients, but many with contemporary twist; chef will also prepare made-to-order meals on request; wash down with particularly good margaritas.
Hosteria Santo Domingo – 70-72 Belisario Domínguez; 011-52-55-5510-1434;; oldest restaurant in Mexico City; whipping up classic Mexican fare since 1860; festive atmosphere, enhanced by live piano music; menu offers numerous dishes, but everyone comes here for chile en nogada (enormous poblano chili pepper stuffed with ground meat, dried fruit & bathed in creamy walnut sauce).
Sofia Garcia Osorio – 31 Luis Moya (attached to Bósforo Mezcaleria); 011-52-55-5512-1991;ósforo-Mezcaleria/280170022102134; with only 7 tables, Sofia Garcia Osorio’s unnamed place (“What’s important is you & experience, not restaurant or me,” she says) can accommodate 28 diners at time; located on sketchy side street near Paseo de la Reforma (broad avenue diagonally bisecting city), restaurant offers hopeful evidence that Mexico City’s faded center is making much-touted & overdue comeback; despite its location between defunct theater & convenience store, Ms. Garcia Osorio’s place draws patrons from throughout city; Garcia Osorio likes to keep things simple at her restaurant, turning out densely flavorful meals using most basic of ingredients & means; “Real food doesn’t need lot of adornment,” she says, “I don’t like menus that say, ‘Oh, this is plate with blah-blah- blah.’ We try to leave out explanation & let flavor speak for itself”; cooks in cast-iron or clay comal pans & where possible, without oil, Garcia Osorio renders subtle fare, like moist organic saddle of rabbit in smoky peanut mole, or guacamole studded with nuggets of green tomato, frills of pipicha, & mysterious ingredient that pops on tongue like piece of Freshen-up gum (toasted grasshoppers).
Cafe Tacuba – 28 Calle de Tacuba; 011-52-55-5521-2048;; fresh-baked bread; essential breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack stop downtown; opened in 1912 in old convent; at entrance to main dining room, huge 18th Century oil paintings depicting mole poblano invention.
El Zefiro – 24 San Jerónimo; 011-52-55-5709-7983;; culinary school & restaurant.

Café Azul y Oro – 3000 Insurgentes Sur (at Ciudad Universitaria, in New Faculty of Engineering Building), on 2nd floor, above bookstore); 011-52-55-5622-7135;; both architectural & culinary adventure; set on National Autonomous University of Mexico campus; traditional Oaxaca recipes; cafe run by chef Ricardo Munoz Zurita, Diccionario Enciclopedico De Gastronomia Mexicana author; many mole types; reasonable comida corrida; try cochinita pibil (pork with marinated onions & tomatoes sauce in orange (or tangerine) rind, wrapped in banana leaf along with very soft, thick corn tortillas & black beans); also duck ravioli in Oaxacan mole; for dessert, pastel mamey (sweet, fruity custard-like cake with rich chocolate & caramel sauces) & nieve de leche quemada; open for breakfast; close early (around 6 pm on weekdays, slightly later on weekends).
Bellinghausen – 95 Londres (Zona Rosa); 011-52-5207-6149; authentic Mexican with Spanish touch; popular for over 3 generations.
El Tajin – 687 Miguel Angel de Quevedo; 011-52-55-5659-5759;; culinary anthropologist, Alicia Gironella De’Angeli, prepares menu; spectacular; try ancho chile stuffed with seafood & smothered with guacamole.

Cuauhtémoc (Condesa, Roma, Roma Norte, San Rafael & Santa Maria la Ribera)
Capicua – 66 Avenida Nuevo León (Condesa); 011-52-55-5286-3697;; tapas bar with convivial atmosphere; minimalist; crowd very cool.
Contramar – 200 Calle Durango (Condesa); 011-52-55-5514-9217;; hot spot; specializes in seafood; open for lunch only; simple, unpretentious Mexican seafood (tuna tostadas, Zihuatanejo fish stripes & fish a la talla).
Casa Lamm – 99 Álvaro Obregón (Roma); 011-52-55-5525-3938;; beautifully landscaped 1911 mansion that serves excellent breakfasts; cultural center in Colonia Roma & short walk to art galleries.
Los Dorados de Durango – 67 Morelia (Roma); 011-52-55-5514-1583; taqueria; Friday is “Bohemian” night; must see; comfort food; best torta al pastor in city.
Flor de Lis – 21 Calle Huichapan (Condesa); 011-52-55-3693-5195;; venerable; offers many types tamales, including those steamed in banana leaves.
Fonda la Veracruzana – 198 Presidente Medellín (Roma, on corner of Chiapas); 011-52-55-5574-0474;; lunch spot on several best restaurant lists; unbelievably fresh Peruvian seafood.
El Hidalguense – 155 Campeche (Roma); 011-52-55-5564-0538;; cash, no credit cards; masterful (12-hour) Hidalgo-style barbacoa (tender lamb & mutton, slow-cooked over mesquite); family in business for nearly 4 decades (Mexico City restaurant going strong for 15 years); most people order barbacoa tacos & consommé, flavored with mutton drippings; wash it all down with pulque (fresh, pre-tequila, semi-fermented mulch from agave plant heart).
La Lavandería – 298 Álvaro Obregón (Condesa); 011-52-55-3706-6762; pozole; reed roof backlit in green & yellow; also, burgers, sandwiches, tacos, etc.
Maximo Bistrot – 133 Calle Tonalá (Roma Norte); 011-52-55-5264-4291;; cool & chic; French, Italian, Spanish fusion; best brandade de morue this side of Seine River; airy & sunny during day, warm & cozy at night; lovely, old tile floors; comfortable wooden bistro chairs & tables; ambient music low; kitchen open to view & run by Chef Eduardo García, formerly of esteemed Pujol, also worked at Manhattan’s star-strewn Le Bernardín; 5-6 appetizers & same number platos fuertes; try for grilled octopus drizzled with guajillo emulsion.
MeroToro – 204 Calle Amsterdam (Condesa); 011-52-55-5564-7799;; seafood & steaks.
Mi Gusto Es – 324 Torcuato Tasso (Polanco); 011-52-55-5254-5678;; seafood in informal setting.
La Toma de Tequila – 28 Toluca (at Baja California & Centro Medico Station); 011-52-55-5584-5250;; Chihuahua cuisine; lovely, clean atmosphere.

Miguel Hidalgo (Chapultepec, Del Bosque, Escandon, Polanco, San Miguel Chapultepec & Verónica Anzúres)
Agua y Sal Cebicheria – 199 Campos Elíseos (Polanco); 011-52-55-5282-2746;; widely acclaimed as among best seafood restaurants, if not one of best restaurants in general, in Mexico City – & it delivers; from flawless Mexican service, to adventurous & innovative ceviches, to the fresh seafood necessary to pull them off, this was a treat well worth the high (by Mexican standards), but not unreasonable, price..
Astrid & Gastón – 117 Tennyson (Polanco); 011-52-55-5282-2666;; 1 of half-dozen outposts of famed Peruvian restaurant (created by chef Gaston Acurio & wife Astrid Gutsche); so-called Nuevo Andean food is really Peruvian classics done with bit of flair & dash of fusion (Asian influences, in particular, in preparations); ceviche is star here (tasting menu recommended); try those topped with leche de tigre (literally “tiger’s milk,” citrus-based marinade of lime juice, onions, chile, salt & pepper along with bit of fish juice); but don’t just stop with ceviche; try noble robado fish, served in miso sauce with crunchy oysters; or go for causa, potato dish (staple in Peru) served mashed with slight hint of chile spice & topped with tuna, crab & avocado cream; restaurant itself is open, airy, clean & modern with touches of dark wood, ample space between tables & outdoor terrace with fireplace.
El Bajío – 2709 Avenida Cuitlahuac (Polanco); 011-52-55-5234-3763;; run by famous chef, Carmen Titita Ramirez Degollado & daughter; traditional & regional dishes, such as empanadas de platano rellenos de frijol (tortilla bread with potatoes & beans).
Biko – 407 Presidente Masaryk (Polanco); 011-52-55-5282-2064;; considered among world’s best 50 restaurants; Basque restaurant.
Bros Oyster Bar – 226 Lope de Vega (Polanco); 011-52-55-5250-1325;; versatile restaurant & oyster bar, with spectacular view of Soumaya art museum; casual atmosphere.
Dulce Patria – 100 Anatole France (Polanco, next to Las Alcobas Hotel); 011-52-55-3300-3999;; playful spirit of chef Martha Ortiz Chapa’s aesthetic begins at restaurant entrance with pink front doors & large gold, baroque design; from entrance, can see lights in green & pink green dangling from ceiling; chairs are decorated with flourishes of embroidery typically found on Oaxacan blouses & floors are painted bright red; Ortiz Chapa, Frida Kahlo fan, captures her spirit in food presentation even: multicolor quesadillas, salsas in patriotic colors (green & red with dash of white from onions) & colorful crepe-paper wrapped cookies; brilliance is not limited to vibrant colors, it’s also in flavors; variety of aguas frescas, including agua de Jamaica (sweet hibiscus water) & horchata (rice drink) with rose petals; eclectic menu includes ceviche with black sapote, cream of Papantla vanilla beans, squash flower in cream, carnitas in pipicha sauce & various moles, of which black chicken is most successful; dessert is playful presentation on miniature toy carousel of petit fours & traditional sweets such as tamarind coconut candies.
La Fonda del Recuerdo – 37 Bahía de las Palmas (Verónica Anzúres); 011-52-55-8112-7476;; popular fonda has made name for itself celebrating culture & food of Veracruz State; alongside simple fish & seafood platters are toritos, sweet but potent drinks made from sugarcane liquor & tropical fruit juices; every day, jarocho (Veracruz-style) & mariachi groups provide live entertainment, which makes for festive, if noisy, environment; music starts between 1-3 pm & often continues well into evening.
Gloutonnerie – 142 Campos Eliseos (Polanco); 011-52-55-5250-0981;; bistro with wide Mexican wine range.
Hacienda de Los Morales – 525 Avenida Juan Vázquez de Mella (Del Bosque); 011-52-55-5283-3000;; restored hacienda for grand meals, although can go in casual attire; beautiful, brick-vaulted ceilings are worth trip alone.
Ivoire – 95 Emilio Castelar (Polanco); 011-52-55-5280-0477;; French-Mexican; try lobster risotto.
Jaso – 88 Calle Newton (Polanco); 011-52-55-5545-7476;; considered, with Pujol, among best restaurants in Mexico City; excellent desserts, too.
Mora Blanca – 135 Calle Emilio Castelar (Polanco); 011-52-55-5280-4358;; classic French cuisine inspired by Polanco area, where French families in early 20th Century European-style houses; elegant dishes, almost stately, evoke other times but, at same time, comfortable & reminiscent of French country food (stews, meats & strong cheeses).
Mp Cafe Bistro – 10 Andrés Bello (Polanco); 011-52-55-5280-2506;; upscale, Asian Fusion.
La No. 20 Cantina – 10 Calle Andrés Bello (Polanco); 011-52-55-5281-3524;; can be quite loud; good drinks & food; can be loud.
Puerto Madero – 110 Avenue Presidente Masaryk (Polanco); 011-52-55-5203-7369;; sprawling, somewhat pre-fab-feeling steak emporium that could be located anywhere from Houston to Hong Kong; but some of best Argentine-style steaks in city; menu is fairly basic; chops & steaks, featuring traditional Argentine cuts (all carefully explained on menu), are topnotch; bife de lomo, for example (more or less super-size filet mignon) is nicely aged, just fatty enough, smokily seared on outside & rare within; a la carte sides uniformly well done; wine options are plentiful & reasonably priced; fairly long waits are rule.
Pujol – 254 Francisco Petrarca (Polanco, between Homero & Horacio); 011-52-55-5545-4111;; fancy, Mexican fusion; arguably Mexico’s best gourmet restaurant; contemporary take on classic Mexican dishes in minimalist setting; famed Chef Enrique Olvera regularly reinvents menu, which is presented as menú degustación, multiple-course tasting extravaganza; might take up to several weeks to get table so reserve well ahead of time.
Quintonil – 55 Newton (Polanco); 011-52-55-5280-1660;; means “amaranth leaf”; Chef Jorge Vallejo, his wife, Alejandra Flores (restaurant’s designer) create modern Mexican cuisine dishes that appeal to both eye & palate; unassuming entrance leads to airy interior that’s about 4 times size of what you might expect from façade; inside, Flores showcases her experience in design & restoration: antique furniture shares space with modern, sleek tables & clean wood-paneled walls; for palate, flavors are deftly combined & presented with equal care & expertise; each meal begins with bread dish filled with seasoned beans; constants on menu include: chilacayotes (squash) in house mole, shrimp tamale in chilpachole sauce, or clam aguachile; menu adjusts to what’s in season; for more complete Mexican experience consider comida corrida, tasting menu with some of restaurant’s best dishes for about $55 US.
Romina – 716 Avenida Homero (Polanco); 011-52-55-4432-4432;; some of city’s best & most authentic Italian.
Taquería El Turix – 212 Calle Emilio Castelar (Polanco); 011-52-55-5280-6449;; dingy looking but ethereal cochinita pibil tortas (slow-cooked pork sandwiches).
Villa Maria – 704 Avenida Homero (Polanco); 011-52-55-5203-0306;; sunny, open restaurant with casual atmosphere; mariachi house band.

Antigua Hacienda de Tlalpan – 4619 Calzada de Tlalpan; 011-52-55-5655-7888;; authentic, regal, Mexican food; established presence; grounds are painstakingly maintained.

Artisans of Leisure – 18 East 16th Street (New York); 212-243-3239;; all-day, bespoke, architectural tours by company whose Mexico City rolodex are massive.

Álvaro Obregón & Cuajimalpa (San Ángel & Santa Fe)
Bazar del Sabado – 11 Plaza de San Jacinto (San Ángel); 011-52-55-5616-0082;; Saturday flea market for handicrafts & street artists; also, check out adjacent flower market.

Benito Juárez (Del Carmen, Narvarte, Mixcoac, Planta Baja, Portales, Venustiano Carranza & Zona Rosa)
Fonart Store – 691 Avenida Patriotismo (Mixcoac); 011-52-55-5093-6000;; part of Federal-operated chain of 3 handicraft stores.
Fonart Store – Galería Reforma, 116 Avenida Paseo de la Reforma (Planta Baja); 011-52-55-5093-6000;; part of Federal-operated chain of 3 handicraft stores.
Happening Concept Store – 10-C Madero (San Ángel); 011-52-55-5550-8971;; one place where you can go for everything: coffee, accessories, home items, baby clothes, bathing suits; designers are mostly from Mexico City.

Centro Histórico (Colonia Doctores)
Fonart Store – Galería Juárez, 89 Avenida Juárez (Centro Histórico); 011-52-5521-0171;; part of Federal-operated chain of 3 handicraft stores.
Fusion | Casa de Diseñadores – 37 Londres; 011-52-55-116-328;; really pretty colonial house that hosts permanent vendors & small food places.
Mercado Indepencia – 40 Avenida Independencia; 011-52-55-4135-8809;; gourmet market with cafes as well as stalls.
Mercado de San Juan – 21 Calle de Ernesto Pugibet (Centro Histórico, between José María Marroquí & Luis Moya);; small but mighty; both wholesaler to restaurants & tourist attraction; food available almost nowhere else in Mexico found here: bitter melon, wild boar, deep green baby zucchini, living escargots, fresh-killed deer & rabbit, ready-to-cook osso bucco, jamón or chile serrano, skinned goat heads, live, red maguey worms, baby artichokes, imported cheeses & dried sausages, baby bok choy, etc.
Mercado de La Lagunilla – 46 López Rayón (Centro Histórico); 011-52-55-7173-9667;; open on Sundays only; antiques & curios market.
Mercado de Sonora – 419 Calle Fray Servando Teresa de Mier (Venustiano Carranza); 011-52-55-57680-6620;; “witchcraft market.”

Cuauhtémoc (Condesa, Roma, Roma Norte, San Rafael & Santa Maria la Ribera)
Bodet Libros & Regalos – 115 Jaime Torres Bodet; 011-52-55-5547-2632;; charming bookstore.
Gallerie OMR – 100 Calle Córdoba (Roma); 011-52-55-5207-1080;; local art scene “grande dame,” representing numerous prominent, Mexican artists.
Garash Galeria – 49 Álvaro Obregón (Roma); 011-52-55-5207-9858;; represents younger, edgier local artists.
Marso Galería de Arte Contemporáneo – 37 Berlín (San Rafael); 011-52-55-6276-2275;; artists’ collective.
MUCA Roma – 51 Tonalá (Roma); 011-52-55-5511-8867;; represents younger, edgier, local artists.
Preteen Gallery – 58 Calle Joaquín Velázquez de León (San Rafael); 011-52-852-8191-7021 (Ocula);; tiny studio art gallery in pink courtyard.
Soho Condesa – 100 Atlixco (Condesa); 011-52-55-5553-1730; boutique for men’s & women’s clothing, as well as accessories such as sunglasses.
Taller Tlamaxcalli Juguete Artesanal y Cartoneria – 129 Chihuahua (Roma Norte); 011-52-55-5584-5613;; art supplies but also street fair quality.
Tenderete – 130 Jalapa (Roma Norte, at Guanajuato); 011-52-55-5564-8404;; silver jewelry, hand-painted t-shirts, stuffed animals, hand-drawn journals & more.
Yautepec – 154 Melchor Ocampo (San Rafael); 011-52-55-5256-5533;; art gallery.

Miguel Hidalgo (Chapultepec, Del Bosque, Escandon, Polanco, San Miguel Chapultepec & Verónica Anzúres)
Enrique Guerrero – 103 Calle General Juan Cano (San Miguel Chapultepec); 011-52-55-5280-5183;; local artists.
Ezequiel Farca – 158 Campos Elíseos (Polanco); 011-310-525-41625;; home furnishings.
Kurimanzutto – 94 Gobierno Rafael Rebollar (San Miguel de Chapultepec); 011-52-55-5256-2408;; local artists.
Pineda Covalin – 215 Campos Eliseos (Polanco); 011-52-55-5280-2720;; boutique created by 2 Mexican designers; integrates Mexican culture & traditions into fashionable designs.
Antonio Solito Napoli – 124 Aristóteles (Polanco); 011-52-55-5282-1600;; tailor; brother famous in Naples.
Nina Menocal – 56 Gobernador Rafael Rebollar (San Miguel Chapultepec); 011-52-55-5564-7443;; art gallery that represents prominent local artists.
Tane Orfebres – 430 Presidente Masaryk (Polanco); 011-52-55-5282-6200;; sterling flatware & tableware.

Álvaro Obregón & Cuajimalpa (San Ángel & Santa Fe)
San Ángel – small hamlet with lovely square; see Plaza San Jacinto, where numerous restaurants; also, weekend bazaar is regular feature.

Benito Juárez (Del Carmen, Narvarte, Mixcoac, Planta Baja, Portales, Venustiano Carranza & Zona Rosa)
Fusion Bazaar – 39 Calle Londres (); 011-52-55-5511-6328;; featuring work by local, independent designers of embroidered slippers, purses, etc.
La Fundación | Leo Matiz – 7 Calle París (Del Carmen); 011-52-55-3667-7202;; must call 1st to see if exhibit showing.

Centro Histórico (Colonia Doctores)
Alameda Park – beside Palacio de Bellas Artes.
Casa Vecino – 7 1er Callejon de Mesones; 011-52-55-5709-1540;; contemporary art center.
José Luis Cuevas Museum – 13 Calle Academia (Centro Histórico); 011-52-55-5522-0156;; Jose Luis Cuevas is among Mexico’s most celebrated artists; large modern art collection.
Ex Teresa Arte Actual – 8 Calle Licenciado Verdad; 011-52-55-4122-8020;; former Baroque church, featuring changing installation programs.
Laboratorio Arte Alameda – 7 Dr. Mora (Centro Histórico); 011-52-55-8647-5660;; modern Mexican art.
La Merced Market – Calle Rosario (Centro Histórico); 011-52-55-5522-7250;; crowded maze of stalls where locals meet.
Museo de Arte Popular – 11 Calle Revillagigedo (Centro Histórico); 011-52-55-5510-2201;; great folk art collection.
Museo Interactivo de Economia – 17 Calle de Tacuba; 011-52-55-5130-4600;; building is splendid; how money coined, circular economic activity flow, gdp & social indicators.
Museo Mexicano del Diseño – 74 Avenida Francisco I. Madero (Centro Histórico); 011-52-55-5510-8771;; big gift shop & café; museum intended to provide design space for local designers, in which to make money from craft; small contemporary Mexican design expositions shown in back room made of brick, where can see old archways from Cortés’ patio, built, in part, on top of Moctezuma’s pyramid.
Museo Mural Diego Rivera – Calle Balderas (Cuauhtémoc, at Balderas & Colon); 011-52-55-5510-2329;; mural, Dream of Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park.
Museo Nacional de Arte, INBA – 8 Calle de Tacuba; 011-52-55-8647-5430;; housed in neoclassical building (old Palace of Communications, recognizable by Manuel Tolsá’s large equestrian statue of Charles IV of Spain, who was monarch just before Mexico gained independence); includes large collection representing Mexican art’s history, from mid-16th to mid-20th Century; museum founded in 1982 as Museo Nacional de Arte & re-inaugurated in 2000; MUNAL is Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes subdivision; permanent collection panoramically views fine arts development in Mexico; subdivided into 3 distinct periods; 1st covers colonial period from 1550-1821; 2nd covers 1st century after Independence; 3rd covers period after Mexican Revolution to 1950s.
National Palace – Plaza de la Constitución (Centro Histórico); 011-52-55-3688-1255;; inside this grandiose colonial palace, extensive Diego Rivera murals (painted 1929 & 1951) that depict Mexican civilization from arrival of Quetzalcóatl (Aztec plumed serpent god) to post-revolutionary period; 9 murals covering east & north walls on 1st level above patio chronicle indigenous life before Spanish conquest.
San Juan Market – 21 Calle de Ernesto Pugibe (by Plaza de San Juan);; supplies restaurants with “exotic” ingredients (from crickets & crocodile steaks to wild morel mushrooms).
Templo Mayor – 8 Seminario (Centro Histórico); 011-52-55-4040-5600;

Casa Alvardo(Fonoteca Nacional) – ; built in 18th Century under Andalusian & Moorish influence; originally home of Zelia Nuttall, early de-coder of Mayan symbology; since has hosted many institutions, including Ministry of Finance & Public Credit, Encyclopedia of Mexico, & Octavio Paz Foundation office; current resident is comprehensive archive of country’s most important audiovisual records.
Coyoacán – Mexico City suburb; cobblestone streets lined with stately mansions, beautiful plazas, art galleries & restaurants; pre-Hispanic center founded on ancient lakeshore, government seat during Tenochtitlan reconstruction; 16th Century Franciscan cloister.
Museo Casa Frida Kahlo – 247 Londres; 011-52-55-5554-5999;
Museo Casa Leon Trotsky – 410 Rio Churubusco; 011-52-55-5658-8732;

Cuauhtémoc (Condesa, Roma, Roma Norte, San Rafael & Santa Maria la Ribera)
Biblioteca Vasconcelos – Eje 1 Norte Mosqueta (Cuauhtemoc); 011-52-55-9157-2800;; gigantic, gorgeous structure, which covers 400K' square & holds more than 470K books; designed by Alberto Kalach, features transparent walls, hive-like bookshelves & mismatched floors; visitors can take in massive white whale skeleton covered in graphite rings by artist Gabriel Orozco; outside, garden.
Casa Lamm – 99 Álvaro Obregón (Roma); 011-52-55-5525-3938;; beautifully landscaped 1911 mansion & cultural center in Colonia Roma & short walk to art galleries.
Condesa Neighborhood – lush neighborhood; start at Parque Mexico (intersection of Avenidas Mexico & Sonora); Atlixco is side-street that is boutique hub.
Kiosco Morisco de Santa Maria la Ribera – Calle Salvador Díaz Mirón (Cuauhtémoc); 011-52-55-7269-9414;; designed in fanciful Moorish style; domed bandstand originally built for Mexican Pavilion at 1884-1885 New Orleans World’s Fair.
Lucha Libre – 197 Calle Dr. Lavista (Cuauhtémoc); 011-52-55-588-0266 (Arena Mexico);; also go to Ticketmaster; take Metro Linea 1 to Cuauhtemoc station, walk east on Avenida Cuauhtemoc to Dr. Río de la Loza; go block east on Loza, turn south on Dr. Carmona y Valle; Arena less than block down on street’s east side.
Museo Experimental El Eco – 43 James Sullivan (San Rafael); 011-52-55-5535-5186;; historically significant; founded in ‘50s; from open-air Godard screenings to modern installations.
Museo de Geologia – 176 Jaime Torres Bodet; 011-52-55-5547-3948;; open since 1906; dinosaurs, gems & rocks.
Museo Universitario del Chopo – 10 Doctor Enrique González Martínez (Santa María la Ribera); 011-52-55-5546- 8490;; set in cast-iron structure that dates from 20th Century’s turn; contemporary art museum; among hottest art spaces in town.
Zócalo – on Zócalo’s northeastern corner, Templo Mayor; flanked by Metropolitan Cathedral & National Palace; note Diego Rivera mural inside National Palace.

Fundacion/Coleccion Jumex – 303 Boulevard Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Colonia Santa Maria Tulpetlac); 011-52-55-5395-2618;; by private appointment only; among South America’s largest private collections; housed in factory building on city’s outskirts.

Miguel Hidalgo (Chapultepec, Del Bosque, Escandon, Polanco, San Miguel Chapultepec & Verónica Anzúres)
Casa Barragán – 12-14 General Francisco Ramírez (Ampliación Daniel Garza); 011-52-55-5515-4908;; home & studio of famed architect, Luis Barragan; built in 1949; now gallery & museum; declared World Heritage site in 2004; make sure to visit Ortega Gardens next door; check website to visit Casa Prieto (in Pedregal) and/or Cuadra San Cristobal.
Casa Gilardi – 82 General Antonio León (San Miguel Chapultepec); 011-52-55-5271-3575;; last house built entirely by legendary Mexican architect Luis Barragán; now home of Martin Luque & family; constructed after Barragán formally retired; Barragán, who originally didn’t want to take on project, found himself inspired by astonishing jacaranda tree around which house is built.
Castle Chapultepec – Bosque de Chapultepec; 011-52-55-5286-9920;; visible reminder of Mexico’s bygone aristocracy; stands atop Chapultepec Hill; begun in 1785 but not completed until after independence, when it became national military academy; when Emperor Maximilian & Empress Carlota arrived in 1864, they refurbished it as their residence.
Museo Rufino Tamayo – 51 Paseo de la Reforma (Polanco, at Gandhi); 011-52-55-4122-8200;; must see stop.
Museo Soumaya – 303 Boulevard Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; 011-52-55-1103-9800;; Carlos Slim Helu’s museum; art.
National Anthropology Museum – Paseo de la Reforma (Polanco, at Gandhi); 011-52-55-5553-1902;

San Agustin Church – 2 Plaza Constitucion; 011-52-55-5573-2373;; Tlalpan Chapel (designed by Barragan) nearby.
Tlalpan Chapel – 2 Plaza Constitucion; 011-52-55-5573-2395;; by appointment only or through Casa Barragan; Capilla de las Capuchinas Sacresteria.

Canals of Xochimilcode facto floating market on weekends; rent covered punt & spend afternoon poled through traffic jam of drifting mariachi bands, quesadilla vendors & picnicking families.
Museo Dolores Olmedo – 5843 Avenida Mexico; 011-52-55-5555-0891;; former society art collector’s museum; includes some interesting Frida Kahlo works.

No comments:

Post a Comment