Where to Eat in Mexico CityGuide & Map of the Best Restaurants
Mexico City Map
The city of Mexico, Ciudad de México (or CDMX), is the culinary capital of Mexico. This is one of our all-time favorite food destinations, a city offering everything from street tacos to exceptional fine dining restaurants. In this city map, we have gathered all our favorite spots to create the best restaurant guide to Mexico City. You’ll find churros, natural wine bars, high-end restaurants, and, of course, all the best tacos in town. Navigate the map easily either by scrolling through the list on the right or by clicking the points on the map. Places are listed in geographical order.
This locals-only hotspot with a line down the block is as authentic of a hole-in-the-wall you can find. Industrial-style communal tables fill a tiny room with the “kitchen” stretching across one of the back walls. A doorman sings in Spanish, shaking a mariachi while pointing you towards an empty seat. Breakfast and a show! Their chilaquiles are the best we’ve ever had, topped with an insanely delicious salsa verde. But the star of the show at Fonda Margarita are the “refritos con huevos” – refried beans mixed together with scrambled eggs and lard, combined almost like an omelette. The beans can be an entree on their own or shared as a topping for tacos. They are served with a basket of corn tortillas, so we loaded ours with a scoop of the chilaquiles, some of the beans, and topped it all off with the smoky salsa on the table.
Our favorite al pastor tacos in Mexico City are from El Vilsito, a tire shop by day, and a taqueria by night! We ordered ours “gringa” style: served on flour tortillas with melted cheese, topped with cilantro, onion, pineapple, and salsa. And don't miss the torta – a behemoth of a sandwich filled with meat, avocado, peppers, and a mountain of melted cheese. Maybe you’ve seen this spot on the Netflix documentary series Taco Chronicles?
Calle Av. Emilio Castelar 212, Mexico City, Mexico
Our favorite cochinita pibil taco in Mexico City was at El Turix. The pork is slow-roasted and marinated in citrus, resulting in extremely juicy and flavorful meat. The tacos are practically dipped into the stew, which makes them a little soggy, but not in an unpleasant way. But our favorite way to eat the cochinita pibil here was on top of a panucho, which is like a black bean-filled tostada, with a nice crispy crunch.
Pujol from chef Enrique Olvera is no. 5 on The World’s 50 Best restaurants 2022. You can choose from two tasting menus in the main dining room, the “mais menu” (vegetarian) or the “mar menu” (seafood), or try the "taco omakase" at the counter. We've tried both experiences and highly recommend them! Pujol’s signature mole madre was 3038 days old on our most recent visit, and was served encircling the mole nuevo, a much younger sauce – the older mole is sweet and complex with a lot of chocolate notes, while the newer one is spicier. The signature cinnamon sugar churro is an iconic dessert, and the passion fruit mezcal margarita is one of our favorites in town.
A meal highlight from our trip to Mexico City was Quintonil (no. 9 on The World’s 50 Best restaurants 2022). It was so fun to see Mexican flavors we typically associate with casual food elevated to such a high level. We tried so many new ingredients, different types of bugs (which were surprisingly tasty), fruits, cactus, as well as local, sustainably-caught fish from Mexico. Highlights from the tasting menu included the charred mamey tartare, the catch of the day cooked barbacoa style, the Atocpan-style mole, and the panucho with braised oxtail. On the beverage side, we enjoyed a bottle of Gut Oggau Theodora, and we also found our favorite mezcal of our entire trip here – Quiéreme Mucho, from a small producer in Oaxaca.
Esquina Común is a speakeasy-style restaurant on a terrace in the Condesa neighborhood. The restaurant is only open on weekends, and tables must be booked via Instagram DM. Enter through a cute café, climb a few flights of stairs, and emerge into a hidden culinary oasis. There’s chill music, a slight breeze, and natural wines on ice to keep things super cool. The kitchen is run by chef Ana González Serrano (formerly of Expendio de Maiz), her mother, and her partner, Carlos Pérez-Puelles. The menu is à la carte and changes frequently. We loved the balsamic beetroot tostada with tomatoes, Oaxacan cheese, plantain purée, and yellow beetroot; the sole ceviche, with prickly pear leche de tigre, and a purple potato purée; and the trio of empanaditas filled with passion fruit cream, miso caramel, and White Rabbit ganache.
Our favorite coffee shop in Mexico City is Qūentin Café, which has three locations in the Roma/Condesa neighborhoods, as well as a café with a full brunch menu in Juárez. (The team is also behind the new Mendl Delicatessen in Condesa.) The cutest café is the one in Hipódromo, right by Parque México – it’s a super cozy shop with indoor and outdoor seating. You can sit on stools at the bar or in the back section which has cozy couches and a skylight. The award-winning baristas are very friendly and use a Kalita for their pour-over coffees. We particularly enjoyed a natural, gesha coffee from Chiapas, Mexico. Their homemade pastries are also recommended.
Hugo is a European-style natural wine bar with small, seasonal plates made for sharing. They have an extensive wine list, friendly service, tasty food, and a romantic vibe. When the sun is shining, the space operates as Café Milou, serving coffee, pastries, and all-day breakfast. When night falls, Hugo steps out from the shadows and into the candlelight. Hugo serves healthy, vegetable-focused options, as well as more decadent bites, like the gnocchi Parisienne and the schnitzel.
Elizabeth “Elly” Fraser is the chef behind Elly’s, the Mexican/Mediterranean restaurant in Mexico City. Elly and her team proudly only buy sustainable ingredients and talk about their farm partnerships with passion. The restaurant only buys whole animals and diligently uses every part of it – for example, if they buy a whole lamb, the neck will serve as a main course, lamb ragu will be made for pasta, and other parts will be used in a tartare. The restaurant is super cute with a sleek and trendy design, and the food is really tasty. Meal highlights included the arancini, the mushroom mousse, and the huitlacoche cacio e pepe. We washed it all down with a bottle of Le Coste Bianco.
Located in the Juárez neighborhood of Mexico City is Niddo, a popular brunch spot serving American-inspired breakfast dishes. Don’t miss the thick stack of buttermilk pancakes topped with seasonal fruit, or the breakfast muffin with scrambled eggs, aioli, and a breakfast sausage. Since opening in 2018, Niddo has expanded with a few more locations (one serves all-day breakfast) and a few cafés with take-away pastries, cookies, and coffee.
There’s barely any signage for Le Tachinomi Desu. In fact, this trendy natural wine bar is hidden from view (almost like a speakeasy) behind a sliding wood door. But there’s a reason this tiny Little Tokyo bar has made a big name for itself in Mexico City. Small, Japanese-inspired plates are available, but what you’re really here for is the natural wine. There’s no drink menu available. Instead, you pick your poison by describing your taste to the bartenders, or by peeking inside the wine fridge. If it's cocktails you're after, head upstairs to their speakeasy Tokyo Music Bar from the same team. Our favorite drink here is the California Daze, with grapefruit, tequila, and eucalyptus.
Imbiss is a cool hipster hangout in the Juárez neighborhood of Mexico City. The name stems from the German word “imbissbude,” a food kiosk that typically sells things like currywurst, French fries, and drinks. Drop by Mexico’s modern take on this snack stand for a small bite, natural wine, or cocktails, and don’t miss the signature fried chicken, served with pickles and a creamy buttermilk sauce.
Café by day, wine and cocktail bar by night – Cicatriz was one of our favorite places to imbibe in Mexico City. This two-story loft transforms into an indoor/outdoor space with a simple opening of the garage door entrance, which is convenient as the space was overflowing with hipsters, fun music, and a very buzzy vibe. Their natural wine list is one of the best in town, including wines from Le Coste, Lammidia, Gut Oggau, Meinklang, La Stoppa, Strohmeier, and Bichi – but don’t stop there. The extremely friendly staff can also whip up fantastic cocktails – Kaitlin’s was made with Aperol and mezcal, and Anders had one with gin, orange, and avocado leaf.
Restaurant Masala y Maiz serves dishes with flavors and techniques inspired by Mexico, North Africa, and India. The menu is à la carte – don’t miss the suadero samosas, the paratha quesadilla, or the grilled shrimps with vanilla ghee and dried chile. The all-natural wine list has an impressive selection of by-the-glass offerings, which is great since this is a lunch-only restaurant. We enjoyed a fizzy glass of Móz Frizzante from Italian producer Costadilá.
One of our favorite cocktail bars in Mexico City is Handshake Speakeasy (ranked no. 11 on The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022). Enter through the door marked with the number 13, and step inside a sleek and sexy library of booze, with plush velvet couches and sliding ladders to reach those top-shelf bottles. The extremely fast-paced and friendly service brings a lively energy to the room. Some of our favorite cocktails were the clarified and carbonated Piña Colada, the Niña Fresa (with tequila, strawberry, lychee, and vanilla), and the Coco Bongo (with gin, toasted coconut, lemongrass, and pandan). Reservations are recommended.
This adorable coffee shop has a few locations scattered around Mexico City, all with a really cute interior design. Blend Station is the kind of place you don’t mind holing up all day with a coffee and a laptop to get some work done, but you can also drop in for their all-day brunch, which includes dishes like avocado toast and acai bowls. On our visit, we tried a couple local Mexican coffees (both from Chiapas) – one was fruity and juicy, with notes of honey, and the other (which was natural) tasted a little earthier.
Mi Gorda Flaca is a new addition to the Mexico City taco scene; they just opened a shop in the Roma Norte neighborhood at the end of 2022. We fell in love with their unique taco offerings. “El Patrón” combines rib eye steak with ponzu and sesame sauce, which makes the flavors more Asian than Mexican. We also loved the “Norteña” costra, which takes fatty pieces of fried pork cheek and wraps them in a cheesy hug. The chicharrones are so chewy, crispy and delicious, like the bits of guanciale in a carbonara pasta. Mi Gorda Flaca also has a nice selection of salsas, as well as beers and micheladas to drink.
If you didn’t go to Contramar, did you even go to Mexico City? This trendy spot from chef Gabriela Cámara couldn’t be more hyped, and yet it delivers on every level. The two must-orders are the grilled fish of the day (served with red chile and parsley sauces) and the iconic tuna tostadas. This signature dish has an amazing balance of flavor – fresh tuna, chipotle mayo, avocado slices, fried leeks, and a perfect crispiness from the fried tortilla. Wash it down with a mezcal margarita – or three! From the service, to the food, to the vibe, this is one of our favorite restaurants in the world.
Our favorite taco in Mexico is the Norteña taco from taqueria Orinoco. Like the name implies, this taco is inspired by Northern Mexico, so it’s served on a house-made flour tortilla (so good!) and filled with chicharrones, melted cheese, pickled red onions, and peppers, and served with smashed potatoes on the side. The textures of the pork meat are insane – some are super crispy, while some are tender and fatty. With a nice balance of fat and acidity, this is a perfect taco. And the salsa and crema game is strong at Orinoco! We loved this spot so much that we went four times in one week, and it's a great late night option (open till 4 or 5am every night).
Mexico City's natural wine scene continues to explode. The wine list at Local 1 includes the likes of Lammidia, Le Coste, Milan Nestarec, Gut Oggau, Laherte Freres, and Radikon, and they have really good by-the-glass options as well as bottles. There’s both indoor and outdoor seating, and friendly and helpful staff are on hand to give recommendations if needed.
There’s no menu at this corn tortilla paradise. You can drop in for only one taco if you want, but the best way to experience Expendio de Maiz is to keep going and watch them come up with creative toppings round after round. It’s basically a corn tasting menu – all tortillas are made fresh to order and serve as the base of each course. The cooks bring you tacos and picaditas (little tortilla bowls) topped with different flavor combinations like cheese, honey, baby corn, and pepitas, or mole, candied nuts, and squash. These are some of the best corn tortillas we’ve ever had in our life, and Expendio de Maiz is one of our favorite spots in Mexico. NOTE: There are only two small communal tables on the street, so go before the lunch rush to snag a seat. Also, it’s cash only, so come prepared.
Em is an upscale restaurant in the heart of Roma Norte, from chef Lucho Martínez. The venue is romantic and charming (perfect for a date night), with pink marble tables and adorable design details. There is an à la carte menu offered, but we opted for the omakase, a nine course seasonal tasting menu featuring local Mexican ingredients with Japanese influences. Highlights from our meal included the blue fin tuna tartare tostada, with chipotle, hazelnut oil, and caviar; the spicy carrot soup with pasilla, stone crab, and a crab savarin donut; and the barbecued kanpachi collar with garlic foam. Grab a pre- or post-dinner cocktail at their upstairs speakeasy, 686.
The meal highlight of our most recent trip to Mexico City was lunch at Mi Compa Chava. The restaurant serves incredibly fresh seafood and punchy margaritas in a cool, industrial setting. We loved the aguachile negro with raw shrimp, and the plate of grilled shrimps, but the two highlight dishes were the tostada mamfleis (with otoro tuna, scallops, & guacamole) and the costra de camarón (housemade flour tortilla filled with a cheese crust filled with beans and shrimp, topped with avocado, cilantro, and pickled red onion). This was the most unique taco of our trip! No reservations – arrive before they open to avoid long waits.
Another great place to grab a cup of joe in CDMX is Almanegra Cafe. This small coffee chain has three locations – we went to the one centrally located in Roma Norte, and appreciated the relaxing jazz music and simplistic functional design, with wooden tables, chairs, outlets, and WiFi. We enjoyed a natural pour-over from Puebla, Mexico.
This popular Mexico City natural wine bar has become a mecca for visitors and locals alike. On Loup Bar’s extensive wine list you’ll spot all the usual suspects (Gut Oggau, Strohmeier, Bichi) and, if you’re lucky, you might even find some crazy good deals – on our visit we snagged a shockingly affordable magnum of Lammidia Bianchetto. Sit outside at tables on the street (Paris-style) or inside, and enjoy the good vibes and friendly staff.
Another must-visit café for specialty coffee lovers is Curado. Their menu features creative milk-based drinks, like a lavender latte and a dirty horchata (horchata with espresso). They also have pour-overs with Mexican beans which they roast in house. In addition to coffee, Curado serves a limited brunch menu including chilaquiles and a hashbrown and egg breakfast sandwich.
The signature guava roll at Panadería Rosetta is our favorite pastry in Mexico. A pocket of juicy guava jam and cream cheese is tucked inside crispy croissant layers. We also really liked the “bolle de romero,” a rosemary roll that had a nice sweet and salty balance.
Hanging plants dangle from the ceiling and a real tree grows inside the courtyard of this old mansion-turned-restaurant. Rosetta has one of the most beautiful dining rooms in the world, but that’s not the only reason to visit. From the hot pink beet mole to the hoja santa mole, we loved the creative blend of ingredients used by chef Elena Reygadas. This Italian-inspired meal is quite a refreshing change from traditional Mexican food. The wine list leans natural, including producers like Le Coste, Lammidia, Bichi, and Meinklang.
Av. Álvaro Obregón, Roma Nte., Mexico City, Mexico
Have you ever had a “costra”? This variation of a taco wraps a melted cheese “crust” around the taco meat before placing it inside a tortilla. (Once you go costra you’ll never go back!) El Califa might be a chain, but my goodness it is high quality. House-made flour tortillas, delicious guacamole made fresh to order, great al pastor tacos – we loved this spot! Added bonus: it's open until at least 4:00 a.m. every day.
Máximo has moved into a bigger and breathtaking new venue on Álvaro Obregón, the main artery of Roma Norte. The concept at Eduardo García's restaurant is farm-to-table and European inspired, using local and seasonal Mexican ingredients. A tasting menu is available, but you can also order à la carte. Our favorite dish is the sweet onions cooked in whey and Comté cheese, served with fluffy Parker House rolls. It’s cheesy, caramelized heaven – like a concentrated French onion soup. And don't miss the grilled wagyu cheeseburger – it's, without a doubt, the best burger in Mexico City. Added bonus: Máximo has one of the best cocktail programs in town. Our favorites were the Lemon Verbena Sour and the Spicy Pineapple Chiltepín. This is a must-visit when in Mexico City!
When you need a break from street tacos, there’s a pizza joint in Roma Norte that makes surprisingly precise Neapolitan pies. You’ll find Pizza Félix located just off the main drag on Álvaro Obregón avenue – look for an inviting corridor with colorful string lights and neon signs. Inside you’ll find a wood-fired pizza oven, natural wine, and a cool vibe. We were impressed by the Margherita DOP, with San Marzano tomatoes, burrata, prosciutto San Daniele, Parmigiano, and olive oil.
Cariñito is another newcomer in the Mexico City taco scene, but they’ve entered with a splash! This Roma Norte hotspot is serving tacos with a twist. Most of their offerings are based on pork belly, and the flavors are inspired by different cultures. We loved the Cantonese taco, which tasted like a pork belly bao in a tortilla. The Thai taco was also delicious, with a really nice acidity. In addition to tacos, Cariñito serves wine and beer, and sometimes they have cocktail and chef pop-ups. It’s a street party!
Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas 42, Mexico City, Mexico
Churrería El Moro, a Mexico City institution since 1935. Nowadays, this 90-year-old pastry shop has many more locations around town, so you're never too far from a churro fix. Churrería El Moro is by far the best place for churros in the city, and it’s so fun to watch the entire mesmerizing process of making them. This iconic sweets shop serves many varieties of their famous churros (and even churro ice cream sandwiches!) as well as a variety of dips – dulce de leche, vanilla, and chocolate. We loved dipping the churros in hot chocolate – so rich and delicious!
One of our favorite taco spots in Mexico City is Los Cocuyos, a literal hole-in-the-wall spot in the historic center. Per the taquero’s recommendations, we tried a campechano (mixed meat), suadero (beef brisket), and a lengua (tongue) taco. The meat was juicy and flavorful, and the line down the block showed we weren’t the only ones who appreciate this (not so) hidden gem!
Tableside guacamole, live mariachi music, and some of the best margaritas we had in CDM – Nicos is a place where traditional, authentic Mexico comes to life. The must-order dish here is the “Sopa Seca de Natas” (a.ka. “dry soup”) which is like a Mexican lasagna made with layers of crepes, chicken, cheese, tomatoes, and poblano peppers, with a sauce of unpasteurized cream. Save room for the arroz con leche, with café de olla on the side, of course!