In a city as large and diverse as Mexico City, there are many excellent options for dining. With a strong Spanish influence from immigration and a growing American population, the food scene has evolved immensely. There are around 15,000 restaurants in the capital city for your Mexico City dining pleasure. With such expansive food choices, it’s easy to find Mexico City dining to please any palate.
Mexico City Dining: You Must Try These Incredible Places
On a weeklong trip to Mexico City, a travel companion and I were able to partake in some great meals. We achieved this with very little research on dining choices, aided most of the time by a simple Google search. Staging in the Condesa-Roma neighborhood meant we enjoyed many of our meals there due to the proximity. Twelve great dining choices—some we visited and some we did not— are offered here.
1. Casi Esquina
We discovered this little pizza place a few blocks from our Airbnb on our first night after a long travel day. This unassuming restaurant with an inviting patio offers pizzas, calzones, hamburgers, and paninis. However, the real highlight here is the guacamole appetizer, a must-try for any avocado fan. We also shared a delicious vegetarian pizza cooked in a stone oven.
There's also a great selection of desserts. For the first real meal in the city, it did not disappoint.
We dined here twice because Street was on the same block as our Airbnb. The first time was for breakfast, for which we enjoyed the avocado toast. On the second encounter, my travel companion had a full meal of Roasted Beet Salad for a late dinner while I chose the Flourless Chocolate Cake. They are also a popular brunch spot with the neighborhood locals.
Street came from the proprietor's goal to create “food from around the world.” One of those owners greeted us in English during the evening visit. Her Mexican-native husband is also the Chef, and Street was born out of their worldwide travels and merging those together in one place. Their daughters also work as servers, truly making it a family affair.
3. Café De Tacuba
Neighborhood: Central Historic District
One of the oldest restaurants in the city (circa 1912), this should be a must-do on any Mexico City dining list. On the menu is classic Mexican food with an unbeatable ambiance. While dining on my tacos, a full band of 12 musicians entertained us by singing and playing multiple instruments, and one band member even danced. Housed in a former convent, its high ceilings and walls are adorned with Mexican tile, murals, and more. That, combined with great service and top-notch food, makes it an experience of a lifetime.
4. Sanborn’s in The House of Blue Tiles
Neighborhood: Central Historic District
The House of Blue Tiles, a former 18th-century palace, has served many purposes in its history. It now houses Sanborn’s, a department store and restaurant chain all over Mexico. The unique setting of this location makes the experience memorable. The vast menu can please any palate, offering everything from burritos to salads to meat and fish entrees.
I enjoyed a Salmon meal with rice and salad while my friend had a steak plate with salad. With a full bar, we enjoyed house margaritas and followed up with dessert. Afterward, a plus is being able to shop for souvenirs and anything else inside their large retail store.
5. La Merced or Coyocan Mexican Markets
Neighborhood: Merced or Coyocan
There is nothing like perusing through and eating in a traditional Mexican market; the city has many. Here, you can eat traditional food from one of the many vendors seeking your business. It's also the best place to buy fruits and vegetables. From quesadillas to tacos, options abound for less expensive tasty treats.
6. La Tecla- Mexican Fusion Cuisine
Neighborhood: Roma Norte
We chose this random street find after glancing at the menu outside after finishing our bus tour. It was our first full day's lunch, and we started the Mexico City dining journey on the right foot. I chose to dine on the Arugula salad with parmesan cheese and almonds and the bean broth with nopales (cactus) and chili, which were mouth-watering and delicious.
7. Osteria 8
With Sunday night hankering for pasta in walking distance, this corner restaurant became that evening's destination in Roma. The menu features Pizzas, pasta, and focaccia-style oval-shaped mini pizzas. I was delighted by the Vegan Pizza, featuring Arugula and Balsamic as the main attractions, and other vegetables. It was so large that the leftovers served as the next day's brunch.
8. El Mirador de Chapultepec
After touring the Chapultepec Park and castle grounds, a quick search of the nearby area found us in another of the City's classic eateries. The featured menu items here are fish-based, where the top items are raw beef ceviche, shrimp broth, and salt-baked fish. On one side, it's a family-friendly restaurant, and on the other side is a popular and lively bar, attracting crowds of all ages. The restaurant was established in 1904 and remains a staple today.
The high-end Polanco neighborhood is one I only viewed from the top of the Hop On Hop Off tour bus, but it’s home to what many call the best seafood restaurant in the city. It’s best known for its tuna tostadas and whole grilled fish with red and green sauce. Fresh seafood is flown in daily at this lunch staple since their kitchen closes early most nights.
Another Polanco staple is home to Pujol, one of the most popular restaurants in the city. It’s not on the cheap end, featuring a seven-course tasting menu starting at approximately $128 per person. The Mole Madre, Mole Nuevo, is a staple dish here, one of the favorite dishes in Mexican cuisine. It won the title of Best North American Restaurant in 2021 by the site The World's 50 Best.
Salazar sits on a rooftop looking over the most famous Mexico City roundabout of the Angel of Independence, so location is the key here. Guests are treated to a farm-to-table experience since the restaurant’s food supply comes from the owner's farm. Menu highlights include roasted chicken, oxtail stew, black rice, and rib-eye steak. The stellar ambiance and excellent food and drinks create a top-notch Mexico City dining experience.
12. Any Bread/Pastry Shop (“Panaderia”)
Every neighborhood has at least one “Panaderia,” which carries freshly made bread, pastries, cookies, and donuts. You can often spot them by the sweet aroma surrounding them. These are great places to stock up on sweet treats for your stay, costing around 25 to 75 cents per item. It's one of my personal recommendations to anyone visiting Mexico City and seeking a true Mexican experience.
No matter your neighborhood, there is no shortage of great places to eat in and around Latin America’s largest city. The influx of outside cultures into Mexico City has influenced the variety of culinary choices available. It took little planning or forethought to discover many great places to please our palates. I already eagerly await a return visit to explore even more of the culinary scene in Mexico City.
Kelley Dukat is a freelance writer, event planner, and photographer based in the United States. She’s been traveling the United States as a nomad house and pet sitter for the last two years. For Wealth of Geeks, she writes about travel, news, and side hustles. She has extensively traveled the United States, aiming for visits to all 50 states within the next three years. Her nomadic life and event planning work aid in making her travel possible, and she finds travel stories wherever she goes. Her first foray into financial topics came from her experience as an Editor for Mortgage Originator magazine. She also previously wrote about dog-friendly travel for Evaminer.com after years of traveling with her dog. As an over 20-year resident of San Diego, she happily writes about America's Finest City and where to explore and eat within the city.
She has a Journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She’s also working on a memoir and a series of personal essays.