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3 days in Mexico City - suggestions?


argentinadave
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I am going to be spending 3 days in Mexico, as of the 2nd of January - through the weekend. I have read many of the threads and made numerous lists, but was wondering if anybody could tell me the one place I should definitely not miss. I am interested in maybe one or two upper scale restaurants, and then mostly street, everyday food. I am going to be staying in Condesa.

PS - I will be going onto Puebla, Oaxaca and Chiapas - any suggestions there are also more than welcome.

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I am going to be spending 3 days in Mexico, as of the 2nd of January - through the weekend.  I have read many of the threads and made numerous lists, but was wondering if anybody could tell me the one place I should definitely not miss.  I am interested in maybe one or two upper scale restaurants, and then mostly street, everyday food.  I am going to be staying in Condesa.

PS - I will be going onto Puebla, Oaxaca and Chiapas - any suggestions there are also more than welcome.

Well in Condesa, if you like seafood, Contramar on Calle Durango, almost at Plaza Cibeles, is very good.

Tuna tostadas, Pescado a la Talla with both the green and red sauces is a must. Of course you have to arrive before 2 PM to avoid waiting and they don't serve after 6 PM. No reservations.

Pujol or Biko for very sophisticated food, well done cuisine.

Pujol for me is the Aguachile de Garra de Leon, Cactus Salad, and the Avocado Ravioli with shrimp for appetizers. For the entree any of the seafood in particular the Lenguado with what could be termed a Veracruzana sauce. For a meat dish The Mole de Olla or the Carnitas de Lechon, either.

Biko is changes its menu on a weekly basis so go to http://biko.com.mx/ and take a look.

For great Mole before you get to Puebla try Casa Merlos.

Have to run....

Recommend Nicolas Gilman's "Good Food in Mexico City" book if you can get it.

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Check out Nicholas Gilman's website (and buy his book). You will find answers to all of your questions and the most up-to-date information available on both fine dining and street food. His website (blog) is here: Good Food In Mexico City Blog

Even Rick Bayless recommends Nick's book. It's the ultimate guide to street food in Mexico City. Have a great time. I'm envious!

ETA: You will also find additional restaurant reviews at Nick's other website, which is here: Good Food In Mexico City

Edited by kbjesq (log)
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Great, thanks for all the advice. I am thinking definitely El Bajio and Contramar, maybe Chon (heard it was very interesting pre-colonial food), and one of the fancy restaurants mentioned above. Any ideas on the best markets to visit? I will be there during a weekend.

Will definitely fill you in on my experience.

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Ruth gave me some great suggestions during the summer -- and I've been meaning to follow up with my notes on DF and Puebla...

But briefly -- we loved El Bajio, ate there three times (two dinners and one breakfast/brunch).

I found La Purificadora (Enrique Olivera's restaurant in Puebla) somewhat underwhelming foodwise. The combinations were inventive, but some worked better than others, and the main dishes in particular felt a little too ordinary (duck with orange sauce, chicken with pipian verde) in comparison with other, less known restaurants. Could be that my expectations were too high. But the setting and service were AMAZING.

If you make it to Cholula (which I recommend if you have more than a day in Puebla -- it's less than a 10-mile cab ride from Puebla), there's a wonderful mercado about 2 blocks off the zocalo/main square.

Enjoy!

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  • 1 month later...

A long overdue thanks to the suggestions and some feedback as to what I did in Mexico. Absolutely stunned by the food, it is a country obsessed with eating, from the smallest stand on the street to the most upscale restaurant. Made me want to move to Mexico.

In Mexico City the places I liked were:

Chon - A fonda near Mercado La Merced that does pre-colonial cuisine. The owner/chef waited our table, I talked him into setting up a tasting menu and he brought amazing things I had never had before. We ate huevos de mosca, pezlagarto, tesquinkle and some other things I can't remember cooked to perfection. Not just strange food but very, very tasty.

El Bajio - Another fonda, we went to the original one (took a long taxi, didn't realize there are other locations all around the city). The carnitas are fantastic and so is the black mole. I told the waiter I was heading to Oaxaca so I would wait to try it then, but he guaranteed that I wouldn't find better black mole in Oaxaca, and he was right.

Tostadas Coyoacan, inside the big market in Coyoacan - one of the best meals I had in Mexico. You sit in a stall in front of heaping piles of ceviche, shrimp, cecina, and millions other options of toppings for the tostadas. Absolutely incredible, fresh, and very cheap.

Pujol - Had our final meal there (after a month of traveling through Mexico). Very good, very upscale but everything cooked just right. My only problem is that it serves a lot of the dishes you can get in any market, sometimes the tremendous price difference is not entirely justified. Although my braised short ribs in mole de olla were very good, my girlfriend got the carnitas and they weren't amazing.

Other than this, mostly ate on the street and in markets. Went to Oaxaca afterwards and had some amazing food also. Thanks for the suggestions!

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We ate huevos de mosca, pezlagarto, tesquinkle and some other things I can't remember cooked to perfection. 

Eggs with flies? The other two words sound made up :) Can you explain what these were?

Most importantly -- how were the tacos al pastor?

Edited by Reignking (log)
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We ate huevos de mosca, pezlagarto, tesquinkle and some other things I can't remember cooked to perfection. 

Eggs with flies? The other two words sound made up :) Can you explain what these were?

Most importantly -- how were the tacos al pastor?

Hahaha. Not eggs with flies, but fly eggs or roe. The dish was like a round kind of biscuit made of fly roe with mole. The pejelagarto (correct spelling, I messed up on the last one) is a fresh water fish, it was served on top of a tostada in the form of ceviche. Also had a wild boar tostada and a wild boar stew. And I tried pulque, a traditional drink which I didn't like that much. All at Chon, all very good.

No words to describe the tacos al pastor. I think I got sick a few times from gorging myself, drawn to eat them because of sizzling smell as you walk down the road even though you have already stuffed yourself with a previous meal.

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No words to describe the tacos al pastor.  I think I got sick a few times from gorging myself, drawn to eat them because of sizzling smell as you walk down the road even though you have already stuffed yourself with a previous meal.

Well said. Words alone cannot really describe how fantastic they are...

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  • 2 weeks later...

We only went to four restaurants in our short stay three weeks ago. Based on one meal at each we found Biko to be much the best restaurant in all respects. Pujol, Izote and Azul y Oro are all good, but not at the same level as Biko.

Michael

www.epicures.wordpress.com

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  • 2 weeks later...
A long overdue thanks to the suggestions and some feedback as to what I did in Mexico.  Absolutely stunned by the food, it is a country obsessed with eating, from the smallest stand on the street to the most upscale restaurant.  Made me want to move to Mexico.

In Mexico City the places I liked were:

<CUT>

El Bajio - Another fonda, we went to the original one (took a long taxi, didn't realize there are other locations all around the city).  The carnitas are fantastic and so is the black mole.  I told the waiter I was heading to Oaxaca so I would wait to try it then, but he guaranteed that I wouldn't find better black mole in Oaxaca, and he was right.

<CUT>

El Bajío has update their web site. It's long overdue for such a worthy restaurant. El Bajío

Buen provecho, Panosmex
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  • 9 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Kent, the El Bajio in Polanco has menus available in English (and I'm assuming the other locations do as well), though even with very limited Spanish I found the Spanish-language menus to be often more comprehensible. (For example, I know what an enchilada is, but reading the translation of "enchilada" made it sound like something completely unknown.) At Pujol, the servers were definitely prepared to converse with us in English; I imagine the same is probably true at the other high-end, well-known restaurants. We also visited some mercados, like the one in Cholula, and there, it's a different story; over a year later we still spend time speculating about what it was we ate.

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