From dive-y taquerias to five-star restaurants, here’s where to eat best in Mexico City.
1. Pujol: Chef Enrique Olvera opened Pujol nearly 15 years ago, and the restaurant remains a cult favorite among foodies, both in Mexico City and beyond. The sleekly designed space, serving elegant takes on Mexican cuisine, is among the best in the nation, holding court to the 50 World's Best Restaurant list each year. Don’t miss the dinner tasting menu -- a steal at $90. Guests will experience six courses, including Olvera’s playful take on street snacks and a signature “happy ending.”2. El Turix : A dive that’s discreetly tucked away among the poshness of Polanco, El Turix is a locals’ joint where you’ll find diners standing around for lunch, chatting with neighbors over a soccer match. The cheap panuchos (about $2 each) are flavor-packed disks made from a delicate fried tortilla and topped with shredded pork, pickled red onion, and a squeeze of lime. Take care with the spicy habanero salsa here, as just a hint packs serious heat.
3. Paxia: Located in the San Angel neighborhood, chef Daniel Ovadia creates elevated Mexican cuisine with an artful spin. The lunchtime tasting menu takes around three hours, but it's worth the time and money. You can expect Instagram-worthy dishes like: black shrimp aguachile with burnt cocoa husk and coral huitacoche; the heady, pork-stuffed sandwich (with accompanying bib and gloves); and Ovadia’s signature mole de guajolote (turkey in mole sauce).
4. Mercado Roma: Situated in the impossibly hip neighborhood of La Roma, this buzzy food market is Mexico City’s answer to a food hall. The three-story culinary mecca boasts an outdoor vertical garden that serves as a backdrop for some of the city’s best restaurants -- all under one roof. Don’t leave without sampling sweets from Panadería Da Silva, a burger from Butchers and Sons, tapas at Oli, or artfully made chocolates by José Ramón Castillo at Que Bo!
5. El Hidalguense: A classic choice for Hidalgo-style barbacoa, owner Moisés Rodríguez serves lamb from his farm, roasted over aged mesquite and oak in an underground pit and then presented in fragrant charred agave leaves. Accouterments include fresh-made tortillas, citrus, and salsas to assemble the perfect lamb-stuffed taco.