Mexico City was a haven of beautifully trimmed city-parks, apartment buildings that look like Spanish Baroque meeting contemporary architecture, entire pigs ready to be chopped into a taco at every block, practically sin turistas and all spread across what felt like an impossible to conquer city…or the 27th largest city in the world (ranked by land area). Oh and of course the food.
This post is meant to help all those who also scoured Eater blogs or yelped an endless number of restaurants. These were our highs, lows and funnies:
Thursday Night we wandered into what looked like an around the world food hall. There was no one there aside from two wait-staff and a cook. Being our first night and not wanting to travel further we ordered a glass of wine and sat down at the taco station. We ordered two tacos (details to come) and had a very successful first meal. While taking another look around the room (and ceiling), we realized that right above us was another restaurant–and turned out to be the restaurant we had been searching for to begin with.
We paid our bill and took our glasses upstairs to Pasillo de Humo. What we ordered?
- Molotes Istmeños
- Chile de Agua a la Vinagreta
- Mole Negro de Pato
All three dishes were wonderful and the mole was incredibly special but the Molotes Istmeños were our favorite. The tiny plantain balls sit in a mole with a cheesy center.
After the two tacos at Parian Condesa, and the full meal at Pasillo de Humo we decided to walk around a bit but found ourselves in a 7-11 asking for the most traditional candy they sell. We ended up buying three…Las Sevillanas Mini Oblea con Cajeta (mini-circular carmels with a goat milk shell), Serpentinas Dulce de Tamarindo Chile y Sal (tamarind roll candy covered in sugar, chile and salt) and De La Rosa Mazapan (Marzipan candys with a peanut-buttery taste). All three were actually not bad, and didn’t taste as processed as I would’ve expected candy from a convenience store to taste.
Friday was our walking day. We started off breakfast at Frutos Prohibidos. We ordered the Tropical Juice, a half-order of Molletes (reminding us that the simplicity that comes with a breakfast toast should not be confused with lack of flavor) and Huevos Prohibidos de Virginia (a mexican Shakshuka for those who know what that is).
From there, we passed a taco stand, two taco stands, three taco stands, on every street. We didn’t stop at any of them (regretfully), but continued on to the Museum of Popular Art (highly recommended). From there, we went on a long adventure to find cash. Now I only add this in as a warning, because there was not a single place we could find on a thirty-minute stretch of walk to exchange dollars into pesos. We settled and pulled money out of the bank, which didn’t end up costing us anymore than $3, and continued on to Mercado de San Juan. This place was recommended to us as a gourmet food market, which it did end up being, but also ended up being our low–mostly for our own doing.
On the far left-side of the market (when entering from Calle Ernesto Pugibet), there are food stalls with more traditional food (and tons of locals), but we unfortunately didn’t follow our gut and ended up eating a cheese sandwich at a wannabe European stall…not recommended.
And, of course, on our way home we stopped by Pasteleria Ideal which is a mecca of pasteria, breads, cakes, a carb-lovers dream.
What we ordered?
- sashimi de atun
- two taco specials (something tuna and something al pastor)
- lots of margaritas and wine
What we should have ordered? (not to say our meal wasn’t absolutely delicious)
- Pescado a la talla (open-faced fish fillet, half parsley rub half adobo rub)
From dinner, we had drinks at La Clanedstina, a small, dark, romantic bar, (known for mezcal) where we met another couple that came with us to try our fates at Cafe Paraiso–apparently the place that everyone wants to go but no one gets in…including us.
Saturday we started our day at Peltre Condesa, but on our way we passed a place called Maque that looked quite delicious (but packed). Saturday was not nearly as much of a foodie day so i’ll skip ahead with a few overall tips from the day, but do NOT skip the worlds best churro:
- order tickets in advance for the Frida Kahlo museum
- the National Museum of History which is housed inside Chapultepec Castle has some beautiful, very Marvel-esq ceiling murals
- Caldos Animo, which raves about being authentic Mexican ramen, is a dud for anyone who has ever had anything they consider legit ramen or even Cup of Noodles pimped out
- there’s alcohol in almost every ice cream in ice cream shops in Mexico City
- Churreria El Moro is the world’s best churro. The right mixture of crunch, fluff, without the heavy feel of oil and just the right dipping sauces. And of course, Mexican hot chocolate
- end your day with oysters at La Docena
Sunday was our 5:45 am wake up to see the pyramids! We decided to join a tour bus which was wonderful in that everything was planned for us and we had an English guide to explain the history of the area, but the add-ons they try to excite you with like a tequila tasting is silly. Everything post-pyramids was extremely touristy and not worth the time. But being able to enter the pyramids before any of the crowds was truly an experience.
Sunday ended our time of foodsplorations as many restaurants were closed in observance of Sabbath. We actually ventured completely away from anything Mexican and settled for an Italian restaurant called Macelleria.