And for the most part, they come up right. But there’s a couple (three) big exceptions in the top ten list below. Can you spot them?
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And that’s one good reason not to rely on an app to finally eat. One person may prefer a diet bar crammed in the mouth on the way to the metro. Others take a full hour, with cloth napkins and mimosas. FourSquare users cover both extremes, and pretty much every taste is covered.
But then they fall for some pretty simple “crowd-blinding” hoaxes, that we’ve marked below. Trust us, not your app.
El Cardenal – Centro
Dating way back to 1969, El Cardenal focuses on traditional processes of Mexican cuisine. Breakfasts include a mandatory hot chocolate with pan dulces and the perfect introduction (to your dau!) is said to be the famous enfrijoladas.
Casino Español – Centro
Spanish to a fault, think eggs and potatoes. The jamon serrano on the side is not a bad idea and the place is frankly so overwhelmingly beautiful, you may think you’re still dreaming.
Opened in 1912, Cafe Tacuba even gets rock bands named after it. One of the busiest sections of the city center, it’s a 100+ year old living museum. The enchiladas and eggs are served, nearly the same and they make any morning visit magnificent.
Hostería de Santo Domingo – Centro
Colonial in the Centro kind of way, they just don’t come much more traditional than this. FourSquare users seem to like the coffee and the cinnamon rolls, for breakfast anyway. Open only at 9AM, reservations are still recommended.
Churrería El Moro
El Moro is better known as a family haunt for weekend nights when the place is positively jammed. But if fast servings of indulgent churros float your morning boat, have at it. The hot, bitter chocolate is excellent, and if the place isn’t jammed to the walls, the tacos and tortas out front are worth waiting around for.
Cheap one, FourSquare. But then, did you really you want breakfast from an app? There’s too many Sanborns to list here, and they’re basically all the same, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The original, pictured above, is probably the nicest looking (or at least the oldest) and the enchiladas suizas are exactly the same as you’ll eat in any of the three Sanborns in Tijuana.
El Pialadero de Guadalajara – Colonia Juarez
This is another oddball. It’s basically Jalisco cowboy food, nicely done for dinner, but it’s also in a good neighborhood for breakfast people. That means, office people who use FourSquare. That’s not to say their breakfasts aren’t terrific. Just that, with no one really managing any of their online presence, we can’t find a picture of their breakfast food.
Café El Popular – Centro
That’s more like it. El Popular often has a line out across the sidewalk because it’s affordable. They somehow crammed extra tables into an upstairs that knocks tall people on their heads, but the coffee is strong and service is friendly and fast.
Cafe Ó Lomas
Though not as old and seasoned as most of the places on this list, Cafe Ó Lomas raises eyebrows, even when most of us are half-asleep. With a popular terrace, it’s a great place to wake up and it shows that some newcomers really can make a dent in the breakfast market.
This one is just sad. Mexican people understand that IHOP sort of cornered the “brunch all day” concept in the USA. But it doesn’t translate well for cooks who are used to cooking all of the great food above. With a few locations in and around Mexico City now, their lackluster interpretations of American breakfasts are nothing next to chilaquiles or even average enchiladas. This is Mexico after all.
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.
Address: Durango 279, col. Roma Norte
Phone: 9130 8456
Website | Facebook
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.
Address: Tabasco 101, col. Roma Norte
Telephone: 7155 1299
Website | Facebook
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.
Address: General Prim 95, col. Juarez
Phone: 5592 5571
Website | Facebook
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.
Address: Paseo de la Reforma 500, col. Juárez
Phone: 5230 1806
Website | Facebook
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.
Address: Durango 359, col. Roma Norte
Phone: 5211 9855
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.
Address: Ejército Nacional 774, col. Granada
Phone: 5203 8383
Website | Facebook
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.
Address: Colima 65, col. Roma Norte
Phone: 6812 1073
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.
Address: Jalapa 124, col. Roma Norte
Phone: 5564 0492
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.
Address: Ejército Nacional 769, col. Granada
Phone: 5325 7601
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.
Address: Monte Everest 770, col. Lomas de Chapultepec
Telephone: 7313 9100
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.
Address: Isabel La Católica 30, col. Centro Histórico
Phone: 5510 1316.
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.
Address: Gobernador Luis G. Vieyra 12, col. San Miguel Chapultepec
Telephone: 2614 3314
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.
Address: Tolstoi 9, col. Anzures
Telephone: 5254 5430
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.
Address: Calle de la Palma 23, col. Centro Histórico
Telephone: 5521 8817
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.
Address: Calle Francisco Petrarca 254, col. Polanco
Phone: 5545 4111
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.
Address: Puebla 371, col. Roma Norte
Phone: 6391 2121
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.
Address: Cuitláhuac 7, San Pedro Actopan
Telephone: 5844 2226.