Mexico City seems to be on everyone’s must visit list these days. Whether for the first time or a trip back, people contact me almost weekly to ask my advice on where to eat in CDMX. But then again, with 8 visits there in a little over a year, I feel like I have a good understanding of the current dining scene in the city. I posted on my favourites of where to have breakfast, eat mariscos and drink wine in the past year but thought it was time to delve into the one that I’m most asked about… Fine dining.
Mexico City is filled with incredible higher-end eating spots. The challenge that most visitors face is there are too many choices for the limited number of nights most spend in the city on any given trip. I understand this problem all too well and even with multiple visits to CDMX over the past year, I’ve struggled between the choice to revisit a favorite or try something new.
If there’s one “must” high-end meal on anyone’s list in CDMX, it’s Pujol. It consistently sits high on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and rightly so. it is as incredible as you imagine it to be. I have dined many times at Pujol in Polaco for the full tasting meal deal and taco omakase. Each time, I’ve ooooh’d and awww’d through the entire meal. If you can, you must, and you won’t regret it. My word of caution with Pujol is please give it the respect it deserves and don’t cram a full day of eating/drinking in the city before your meal here. I’ve known a few “foodies” who have done this and it usually results in not being to delight in the amazing that Pujol is. But, there’s so much more to CDMX experience meals than Pujol, so it would be a shame for you to overlook the others.
Botánico is a newer restaurant in Condesa with a gorgeous outdoor patio space. It’s the perfect placce to take your best girlfriend for lunch and spend an afternoon nibbling across their menu and drinking bubbly. I say that, because it’s exactly what I did on both my visits there last year and had a fabulous time. My favourites included the shrimp carpaccio, their salads & vegetable dishes and mussels in a Thai curry-esque sauce. I definitely want to return to try their rib-eye burger.
I think Meroma is an under-recognized gem in the heart of Roma Norte. I’ve long-lunched, and intimate-dinner’d upstairs on their covered patio and lovely indoor space but my favourite seat is downstairs in their retro-decor’d bar. I’ve never been disappointed with any of the dishes but I always have to order the ensalada de cogollo (romaine heart salad with furikake, puffed rice and a smoked tofu lemon dressing), their crudo of the day and a pasta or 2.
Rosetta sits on almost every “must” list for Mexico City but it took me years to go. It’s been the same when I’ve spoken to other frequent visitors of the city as it seems everyone knows about it, but its never a first choice destination. It only took me one visit to kick myself for foolishly not coming sooner. Elena Reygadas’ beautiful restaurant is perfect for a romantic date or a great night out with the friends, which is preferable so you can order more off the delicate menu. I’m always impressed with the pasta dishes at Rosetta which I think are some of the most delicious in the city. The vegetable dishes are also supremely tasty, but be sure to not over order as you must save room for dessert.
Sartoria wouldn’t be my choice if it’s your first visit to Mexico City and you’re only spending a short time there. But Sartoria is perfect if you’re craving Italian and looking for a buzzy evening with friends. Chef Marco Carboni hails from Modena, Italy, and showcases his talents with gorgeously simple pasta dishes. Should you go in with expectations comparable of your best meals in Italy (or even New York)? No, but Sartoria is definitely worth a visit for their gnoccho fritto, and a dish (or 3) of delicious handmade pastas.
Máximo Bistrot another restaurant that sits on every tops list for Mexico City. I’ve visited their old location many times in the past, but only recently had the opportunity to visit the bright airy new space on Avenida Obregón in Roma Norte. I was excited when I walked through the door and peeked into the window showcasing the kitchen to see Chef Eduardo Garcia Guzmán in the house. While I know restaurants of this calibre are incredible at all times, I think that you get an extra something when the chef is in the kitchen. The menu at Máximo Bistrot leans French and is creative and exciting. It’s hard to choose what to eat from the menu as everything being delivered around the room looks delicious. The hightlights to my meal were the parfait of chicken liver served with the most mouth-watering brioche and the yuzu kosho chicken wings stuffed with morels. The perfectly set flan and “líquido” cheesecake to end the meal left me swooning with thoughts of when I can plan my next meal there.
Casa Virginia is a place I’d heard of for years but was never at the top of anyone’s list to go to. I’m not sure why, as I’d always heard the food was very good and their upstairs dining room makes you feel like you’re fine dining in someone’s home. But this all changed when my friend Aldo Saavedra became the chef there and now I’ve been a few times in the last few months. It’s quickly become a favourite as I had some of my favorite meals of the year there.The tuna tostadas are a must and their seasonal menu when I visited featuring a craveworthy comforting calabaza risotto and texturally wonderful squash salad. Aldo is a dessert genius so you must order at least a few if you go.
Masala y Maíz isn’t fine dining in the sense of the others above. But I include it in this list because it’s consistently rated as my favorite meal in the city and the flavours I crave the most when I know I’m returning to the city.
Places I mention in this post: