With its bold fusion menus and fresh ingredients, Mexico City is fast becoming one of the most exciting places to eat on the planet.
However, with almost 40,000 restaurants across more than 350 colonias, choosing a restaurant in Mexico’s capital can be a challenge even for the most seasoned foodies.
In a land where thousands of mouth-watering taco stands, family-run fondas and gourmet restaurants all demand your attention, where do you start?
From French-Mexican fusion to Chinese Haute cuisine, we’ve selected four of Mexico City’s best kept culinary secrets.
1. Maximo Bistrot Local
Introducing the restaurant that put Mexico on the world’s culinary map. Housed in an old medical supply store, Maximo Bistrot is a place where seasonal Mexican flavors meet French and Italian cooking techniques.
New York-trained chef Eduardo Garcia and his wife Gabriela pride themselves on creating a daily menu that focuses on local and fresh ingredients. Every morning, the kitchen team will go to the farmer’s market and select the tastiest ingredients that will later form Maximo Bistrot’s delicious menu of the day.
An ever-changing menu means that every dining experience at the Maximo Bistrot is unique. In the past, dishes have included lobster and squash blossom ceviche, baby corn served with caviar, and celeriac soup.
The atmosphere here is homely and relaxed. A spacious, light room furnished with simple wooden furniture and crockery made by local artisans gives this restaurant an elegant, minimalist feel.
With a long bar, exposed brick walls, Ibérico hams hanging from the ceiling, and scents of garlic and chorizo oozing from the kitchen, Picabira makes you feel like you’ve walked into one of Barcelona’s stylish tavernas.
Located in the Condesa neighborhood, Picabira specializes in Spanish tapas and Pintxos (small slices of crusty bread topped with a variety of meats, fish or vegetables). Show-stoppers include Spanish classics Pulpo a la Gallega, Calamari-Ink Rice, and the Patatas Bravas.
Make sure you save room for dessert, where treats such as churros served with hot chocolate espresso and “Torrijas” (a Spanish brioche) topped with mascarpone cheese and forest fruits are bound to tempt you.
In 1993, Mexico City saw its first ever Chinese restaurant: Hunan. Now a 14-strong chain of luxury eateries- each one with its own unique style and menu- Hunan was the first of the Hunan Group empire.
Hunan’s contemporary architecture and modern art decor combine to create its now-famous stylish dining atmosphere. Forget bright red lanterns and shiny gold cats; with beautiful cherry blossoms dotted around the room, romantic lighting, and beautiful modern art pieces decorating every wall, Hunan has elegantly captured the essence of Asia.
Hunan’s dishes are no less beautiful than the decor. The lovingly designed menu serves up all-time favorites such as crispy duck with pancakes and sweet and sour pork, as well as more experimental and innovative Haute Chinese cuisine. Each dish is painstakingly presented with acute attention to detail and served with only the freshest of ingredients.
With such a diverse menu, you’ll no doubt find yourself having a hard time choosing. We’d recommend starting with the steamed shrimp dumplings, followed by shredded duckling floating in red wine sauce.
Last but not least, we present to you Mexico City’s best seafood restaurant: Contramar. The perfect spot for a long lunch, Contramar serves up light, fresh and delicious shellfish, Shashimi and ceviche dishes.
The stylish, bright, and airy dining room with flashes of blue and white has a seafront Mediterranean feel. Arrive early to bag a table outside under their sailor-stripe canopy; the perfect place to people watch on a hot afternoon over a bottle of chilled white wine.
If Contramar’s delicious menu leaves you unable to make a choice, go for the tuna tostada topped with avocado, or the famous “Contramar” tuna fillet perfectly grilled with a chili and parsley sauce. If your appetite allows, finish with the dreamy fig tart.