CDMX is a food & drink lover’s dream come true. I know Tokyo, Paris and New York sits top on most culinary obsessed people’s lists, but I think Mexico City is right up there. What puts it on top for me right now is that it’s much more accessible, can be enjoyed at a fraction of the cost and the people of Mexico City are so warm and welcoming.
For as many times as I’ve been to Mexico City, I can’t believe I haven’t written more about it. Pre-pandemic, I was seizing every opportunity to hop on a flight to spend a few days tasting my way through the city. In fact, Mexico City was the last place I visited before the world locked down, and as soon as it was feasible for me to return, I did so for an extended trip late last year to reacquaint and remind myself why it’s one of my favorites.
My list of favorite eating and drinking spots in Mexico City is too long for one post, so I’ve decided to break it up into smaller, more manageable bites starting with the first tastes in a day. I don’t eat breakfast at home, and even more rarely do I sit at a coffee shop, but when I’m in Mexico City, I love to sit down for a little bite and sip to start my day. Here are some of my recommendations to do just that:
Panadería Rosetta (Roma) / Café Nin (Juarez) – My favorite way to welcome myself back to CDMX is by crawling out of bed early on my first morning in the city to make a trip to Panadería Rosetta in Roma. I love grabbing some treats and coffee and then scurrying back to wherever I’m staying to have breakfast in bed. I see this as the quickest way to thrust myself into vacation mode. While most people rave about the guava roll (which I find a bit too sweet for my palate), my go-to is always the ricotta & spinach croissant or the rol de ricotta y limon.
If I have a bit more time (or depending where I’m staying), I’ll head to Panadería Rosetta/ Café Nin in Juarez to sit at the counter as it gives me a bit more time to look at their incredible pastry selection before making my choice. If I’m in a super indulgent mood, or have someone to share it with, I’ll order a Croque monsieur and be motivated to go on a long walk after to work off the the meal.
Lalo! (Roma) – This is the first hipster breakfast spot in Mexico City I ever went to, and one I keep returning to with friends. It’s fun and cheerful with a long communal table which gives a good view to check out what others are eating. My go-to here is an avocado toast or chilaquiles with a jugo verde and coffee of course.
Forte (Roma & a new location in Juarez)- This started as a place I’d meet my local friends for a really good cup of coffee and light and expertly made baked goods. The pastries are so good that it’s now a place I seek on my own as an easy and quiet way to start the morning. It’s also a nice spot for a super casual evening of pizza and craft beers or natural wines.
Blom Café (Juarez) – When I want a quick coffee or cold brew, this is my morning stop. I love ordering through the tiny window and watching them expertly prepare my coffee through the glass. If I have time on a Sunday afternoon, this is also my stop to pull up a seat on the street, delight in some natural wine, and if I’m lucky, sample some food from a guest chef that might be cooking something on a grill right on the sidewalk in front of you.
Farmacia Internacional (Juarez) – I like to dream of living in the beautiful Art Deco building that Farmacia Internacional is located in and that this would be where I’d start each morning having a coffee and treat. This is a great place for a simple breakfast of avocado toast, or cake and mimosa on a Sunday (when you want to be indulgent). It’s also wonderful in the afternoon for a glass of natural wine (this post is sounding more like a list of where to drink natural wine in CDMX).
Tamales Madre (Juarez) – This cool little spot serves creative tamales made from different heirloom indigenous corn and filled simply to let the flavour of the masa come through. While I love a great lard -laden tamale, I do find them too heavy to eat for breakfast. These tamales are made without lard, but are still moist and delicious. The best thing is that they’re not too big, so you can try a few!
Quentin Café (Condesa) – Another great place for a coffee and croissant. I’ve spent many a day killing hours before a flight home drinking a cup (or 3) of their fantastic espresso beverages. They have 3 locations, but I think the one in Condesa has the best ambiance.
El Cardenal (the original location in Centro is best IMO)- The first few times I visited the CDMX, every friend I went out with wanted to take me to El Cardenal as a classic example of Mexican breakfast. I’ve eaten a full gambit of dishes from chilaquiles with tasajo to an egg white spinach omelette but my favourite thing there is a concha with nata (clotted cream) served at the beginning with a coffee or hot chocolate.
Xochimilco at Sunrise tour by Devoured – On my last trip to Mexico City, I timed my schedule up so I could take part in an incredible morning experience of breakfast & coffee, on a farm in Xochimilco. I may be biased with how enthusiastic I am about this because the tour is curated by my friend The Curious Mexican through her company Devoured, but my visit to this Unesco Heritage site was the highlight of my trip. The morning starts with a boat ride through the canals, where you are dropped off at Arca Tierra, a farming project on the chinampas (floating farm) where you’ll learn more about their farming techniques in this extraordinary area. Breakfast is prepared by guest chefs, but often by Chef Aldo (of another favorite Tierra Adentro Cocina and now Tetela in Roma) who uses ingredients from the farm for the spectacular multi-course meal.
Places mentioned in this post: