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Mexico City

Abbey Alexander

Mexico City Restaurants

Summer is a production when it comes to travel. If you can think out of the box though, there’s a place where the weather is perfect. Where you can eat your face off for the weekend, take in the art scene and stay in a luxury hotel, all without breaking the bank. Welcome to Mexico City, which is where to get out of dodge for an easy weekend now.

Eating well in Mexico City isn’t exactly a difficult task. A city dense in population and culinary inspiration, there’s no shortage of gems– hidden and well-hyped– to stumble upon. You’ll find authentic Mexican cuisine at some spots and more innovative fusion at others, with plenty of mezcal to go around. Here are our top picks for where to eat in Mexico City.

Quintonil

It would be admittedly difficult to spend a week in Mexico City and not eat at one of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The capital’s culinary scene has held a good chunk of real estate on the famed list for quite some time, and Quintonil is certainly no exception. Chef Jorge Vallejo’s hotspot is currently ranked ninth worldwide, and it’s easy to see why. Quintonil’s menus (they offer a tasting menu either at the main dining room or at the kitchen counter) highlight modern Mexican dishes, composed of fresh, indigenous ingredients. The cuisine is pretty vegetable-heavy, finding the balance between creative and familiar concepts. Highlights include vegetable ceviche and charred avocado tartare, served in an earthy, polished atmosphere.

Pujol

Chances are, you’ve heard of Pujol. If you haven’t, let us introduce you. Chef Enrique Olvera–yes, of NYC’s Cosme and Atla– founded his first project in 2000, quickly becoming a legend in the fine dining scene. Now, Pujol is widely considered one of the top restaurants in the world, best known for Olvera’s famed mole dish. Guests can choose from two different menus, one served in the dining room, and one at the bar. The first is a multi-course tasting menu, while the latter is an Omakase-inspired feast of tacos and small bites. Whichever way you go, you’re in good hands. Reservations are hard to come by but can be planned up to a year in advance.

Contramar

If a visit to Pujol seems obvious, then think of lunch at Contramar as mandatory. It’s one of the restaurants credited with putting Mexico City’s culinary scene on the world map over 20 years ago, so it’s only fair to pay your respects. Tourists, locals, and industry folks all come here for the same reasons: to stuff your face with seafood– which is caught fresh daily– and to eat the same food as Mexico’s President. Yes, Chef Gabriela Camara is the presidential culinary advisor. Once you dig into the famed Atún (tuna tostadas with chipotle and crispy leeks), you’ll get why.

Limosneros

Located in the middle of downtown CDMX, Limosneros is the place to grab a drink and some light bites while exploring the historic city center. The food options here are pretty much endless, and all locally sourced. You might have a hard time choosing between the multiple tasting menus (including a taco one), but that’s not the worst problem to have. Limosneros is also known for its creative beverages, highlighting agave spirits (aka mezcal) and other local flavors. And as an extra fun touch, salsa gets made table side, dessert cart-style.

Nicos

While we’re all for the trendy, Instagrammable favorites, sometimes you just want something tried and true. And for that, you go to Nicos. This family-run institution has been around since 1957, making it one of the oldest restaurants in the city. Chef Gerardo Vazquez Lugo took over the business from his father in 1996 and has been working with his mother to serve some of Mexico City’s best food ever since. He’s also one of the founders of Mexico’s Slow Food Movement, which is evident in Nicos’ food philosophy. The movement focuses on the idea that food should come from local producers, be prepared intentionally, and be consumed with care and appreciation. And that’s exactly what happens at Nicos, where the ingredients are locally sourced and seasonally inspired. Come for lunch or an early dinner, as the spot closes at 7 pm.

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