Mexico City is always jaw-dropping. Beyond the city offering tons of things to do and all that good food, there’s also just way too much to see. Views to cry over. And, unlike lots of smaller cities that offer but one particular skyline, Mexico City has an abundance of skylines. There are multiple commercial centers and mountains on nearly every side. There really isn’t any one place that will let you think you’ve seen it all.
And then, of course, there’s the food! We’ve been writing about Mexico City food for years now, but when you put a great dinner together with a magnificent view, then you’re in for a real treat.
For lunch or for dinner, these seven restaurants offer the most memorable, spectacular and thought provoking views available in the city. Now what’s stopping you?
Practically right in Centro, technically in Colonia Guerrero, this is the terrace for late nights or for the liquid lunch no one’s going to forget. It’s not dramatically high, but it a very central corner and the 28th of each month affords outstanding views of religious goings on below. With sushi, tapas and a few notable house cocktails, it’s not terrifically “mirrey” but it is loungey and still suitable for diverse groups or bigger parties. And hey – it’s really close to the Alameda and the Hilton and of course the fabulous Hotel de Cortés is right downstairs.
The true gourmet burger geniuses, Capital is one of those steak houses. Smack on Paseo de la Reforma, it’s a good view for people just in from the airport and the food is not too exotic, just yet anyway. Tables on the terrace are richly rewarded with views of the Glorieta de la Palma, one of those iconic Reforma traffic circles. The wine list has been noted in these pages before, but the view, in this case, truly takes the cake.
Loma Linda Polanco
Argentina steakhouses are one of those things for which Mexico City ought to be better known. But instead, everyone talks about Plaza Carso and the ubiquitous Museo Soumaya! If you’re in Polanco and can’t get enough of it, the Loma Linda has a feast for your eyes, and some of Argentina’s best butcher cuts too.
Satélite, with its connections to industry just slightly farther north, is often enough where some of the international crowd ends up. While most of them wonder how they ended up there, you’ll know better. As the name implies, Hookah will hook you up with a waterpipe, but no matter what you’re smoking the views are astounding. Add some choice middle eastern cuisine and there is little more you could ask for.
Mexico’s only revolving restaurant, Bellini is not likely to be replaced. It’s easily one of the most recognizable in Latin America, but the international menu satisfies nearly every taste under the sun and frankly, it’s comfortable, beautiful and even an oddly surreal experience. Watching acre after acre of city spinning by, it’s not a night out you’re likely to forget.
Still one of the most emblematic of all Chapultepec Park eateries, The Bistro makes the most of the lake and the park too. Food is, like all food, essentially Mexican but leaning a long way toward Europe. That makes a nice combination! Best known for their brunches, the Bistro will fill up on special occasions but it’s always the perfect cap to a nice long walk in the park.
El Balcón del Zócalo
The Centro’s balcony is that one perfect place to take in what the Zocalo is to the city, to the country and to the very air we breath. With cuisine of a particularly old-school Mexico City variety, there are some very fulfilling dishes, and the daily buffet is worth every centavo, but folks come back for the views, for the buzz and for the never-ending cacophony below.
2016 was a banner year, not just for good eats and good coffee, but for seeing some of our old favorites really come into their own. Hopefully not lost in all of the rave reviews were these ten top-notch new restaurants – perhaps the best New Restaurants of the past year. As we see it, these are the ones who are just getting going.
Photo above: Mia Domenicca
A Mediterranean corner in Colonia Roma, Mia Domenicca always feels like cooking for friends. Priding themselves on a kitchen that turns out truly memorable dishes, the place is casual and friendly, but the menu should leave no doubt that you’ve got some pretty sophisticated friends.
Taking the concept of “comfort food” to some considerable extreme, La Roma is not just good for the soul. With considerable attitude, it’s not really a biker kind of place (though it looks like it). Specializing in burgers, plenty of their sandwiches will meet the expectations of higher-browed clientele, and deeply satisfying, some of their heavier dishes will beg to be revisited.
Chef Jair Téllez’s next evolutionary step after winning acclaim for Merotoro and Laja (in the Valley of Guadalupe), Amaya’s menu is still more sophisticated. A fusion of Spanish and Mexican cuisine, the wine (raro or not) is also carefully selected for outstanding results.
The new place at the Four Seasons, Zenaya is seafood to write home about. Starting with traditional recipes from Nayarit, Chef Tonatiuh Cuevas traveled to the coast to soak up the seasoning of the beach. Quality and freshness have been well noted by some of the city’s most vocal citics.
Mexico City’s most beloved Japanese chef brings a much-needed update to the concept of Mexican-Japanese food. With an extremely traditional menu, you get the hyper-simple technique and the full blown Hiroshi treatment for every dish. This is not one to miss.
A pure vegetable-based cuisine for everyone, every dish is created with organic and artisanal ingredients. Soups, salads, and hamburgers all attest to the fact that vegan can be not just edible, but even really good, and without mammoth portions.
Innovative, high-quality dishes, in an unpretentious environment, Lucas focuses on seasonal everything, and so everything is fresh. With a nice mix of cocktails, for Roma Norte this is a decidedly sophisticated corner of the night.
Bastardo, like the child of none-too-respectable parents, is nothing if not creative. Chef Jorge Avedaño latest venture brings always unusual ingredients to the table and the results are something like a mix of down-home and high society. Among the best new restaurants, this is not one to underestimate.
Granada’s not just a bunch of overpriced condos for girls from Toluca. The second Granada entry in this year’s list, is a fusion of Mediterranean, Asian, American and Spanish food all from Valencian chef Ricard Camarena. Eclectic is a ood first word to describe it, but the flavors and technique somehow all make sense here – if nowhere else.
For daily delights inspired by a traditional bakery, you shouldn’t have to climb Mount Everest. But that’s where you’ll find this new and rather exclusive bakery and coffee shop with a pretty good menu tacked on to keep it innovative. Contemporary Mexican food comes in ample servings to make it one of the best new restaurants of the past year. And the terrace, for lunch is one reward for venturing out to Lomas.
Mole, the word comes from the Nahuatl, molli, is always among the most emblematic of Mexican dishes. There are multiple varieties of moles, each prepared with different chiles and spices. This mixture is then thickened with corn, vegetables and sometimes with a meat stock. And then it’s set to stew.
The interesting thing about mole is that over the decades it’s continued to evolve. More and more chefs and restaurants strive to include a mole on their menus, with original dishes inspired by nothing but that original dark sauce. Dishes today range from the most traditional to the most modern and extravagent. And they always bear something of the original identity in their complex characters and flavors.
Among the most popular is “mole poblano.” But as there are so many versions of moles in the city, the best moles in Mexico City are often far and away from those concocted originally in Puebla, or Oaxaca or Guerrero. From the pot, they come red, black or sometimes green, but for all the best moles in Mexico City start with the list below.
One of the city’s true classics, Azul is at home in an impressive old building and prides itself on a rather high Mexican gastronomy. The house mole is rather on the traditional side, but for the adventurous, there’s also a sweet version served with duck.
With very fair prices, La Poblanita’s portions are very generous, and the mole enchiladas, are not to be forgotten. Overall, a traditional and rather “poblano” style menu should fill up even the most finicky of guests.
A favorite since the 1940s, Los Panchos has been recommended by world-renowned chef, Enrique Olvera. One of the city’s most varied menus, the house mole is one of the star dishes, and always comes out not just sweet, but exotic, multi-layered and complicated.
Always esoteric, El Cardenal has been one of the best Centro restaurants for as long as anyone can remember. Most famous for the breakfasts, at lunchtime all the niceties go away and the real guns come out. A chicken breast stuffed goat cheese ought to get you going but the red mole is easily among the best moles in Mexico City.
Easily one of the most recognized eateries in the city, Pujol usually makes lists of the best in all Latin America. Cuisine is distinctly Mexican while the atmosphere is sophisticated and minimalist. Among the most popular of dishes is the “mole madre/mole nuevo,” made through a fusion of ancestral and modern techniques.
Priding itself on traditional and contemporary Poblano recipes, many of the moles are from carefully secreted recipes, each with a unique flavor. Order the chilaquiles with mole or the guava mole, both of which are exceptional.
El Familiar – Milpa Alta
San Pedro Actopan may be practically the world capital of mole and the majority of inhabitants dedicate themselves in one or another to the production of the sauce. El Familiar offers one particular mole with walnuts (mole de nuez), which goes spectacularly with almost anything. But the three-mole enchiladas offer an amazing sampler for those unwilling to commit.