The Top 18 Restaurants in Mexico City

If you're planning a trip to Mexico City, you're probably already fantasizing about the food. From award-winning restaurants to hole-in-the-wall fondas to crowded taquerías, this vibrant city is a meeting point for delicious and distinct food cultures from across the country.

The city's best fine dining restaurants can be found in the chic neighborhoods of Polanco, La Roma and Condesa, with local gems scattered throughout the historic center of the city and mouth-watering tacos on every corner.

In Mexico, a late lunch (or comida) is the most important meal of the day. This schedule means some restaurants and cafes close earlier than you might expect, so be sure to check the opening hours before you arrive. Taco stands and other street food spots are often open from mid-afternoon well into the early hours of the morning. Street food is cash only, while some sit-down restaurants accept cards.

Some of the best food experiences in Mexico City can be had by simply following the crowd, so if you see a queue for street food don't be afraid to join it. Here are some of our top places to eat to get you started.

01 of 18

Best Tacos al Pastor: El Huequito

Tacos al pastor on a plate with lime and cilatro. Some of the tacos have cheese on them

Courtesy of El Huequito

República de El Salvador 42 D, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Mexico City's most iconic street food has got to be the taco al pastor, a Lebanese-inspired creation that features marinated pork grilled shawarma-style, served in a tortilla and often topped with pineapple.

The original El Huequito opened in 1959 in the Centro Histórico and claims to be the first in the city to have specialized in tacos al pastor. Judging by the quality of the tacos, we believe them, especially with their famous green salsa. Seating is non-existent in the original space, but there are now four other branches around the city with a bit more room.

02 of 18

Best Vegan Tacos: Por Siempre Vegana Taquería

vegan version of the Huaraches dish with avocado slices on top

Courtesy of Por Siempre Vegana Taqueria

Coahuila 169, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone +52 55 6162 5350

Despite the traditionally meat-heavy food culture, Mexico City is becoming an excellent destinations for vegans, with a plethora of plant-based pizza, burger, and taco joints on offer. Por Siempre Vegana Taquería is the city's crowning glory, serving vegan versions of all the classic tacos from both a street food stand and a sit-down restaurant in Roma Norte.

Try the seitan-based tacos al pastor and the soy chorizo, with lots of salsa and veggies on the side. All the taco "meats" can also be eaten as a torta (sandwich).

03 of 18

Best Modern Tacos: El Parnita

Av. Yucatan 84, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone +52 55 5264 7551

For elevated tacos bursting with unusual ingredients, head to El Parnita in Roma Norte. The menu is entirely comprised of antojitos, or little cravings, which means small, delicate portions of single tacos, tostadas and tlacoyos served with some of the city's best guacamole.

This spot is popular with Mexico City's trendsetters, especially on weekends, so its best to call ahead for a reservation.

04 of 18

Best for Fine Dining: Pujol

Tostada with cilantro and avocadoat Pujol

Courtesy of Pujol

Tennyson 133, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11550 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone +52 55 5545 4111

Foodies will already be familiar with chef Enrique Olvera's ground-breaking Polanco restaurant, Pujol. Frequently ranked among the world's best, Pujol uses molecular gastronomy to transform everyday Mexican dishes, including the humble corn tortilla, into rare delicacies.

There are two ways to eat at Pujol: the six-course degustation menu, either seafood- or corn-based (both include Olvera's signature 1500-day-aged mole madre), or the 10-course chef's choice taco menu which includes drink pairings. Prices start from US$120 per person and reservations should be made well in advance.

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05 of 18

Best for a Special Occasion: Quintonil


Courtesy of Quintonil

Av. Isaac Newton 55, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone +52 55 5280 2680

Olvera protégée chef Jorge Vallejo struck out on his own in 2012, opening his own restaurant in Polanco, Quintonil, that also regularly features in lists of the world's best restaurants. Named after a Mexican herb, Quintonil has focus on sustainable, local greens, and contemporary Mexican cooking.

Vallejo's wife and business partner, Alejandra Flores, heads up the elegant Quintonil dining room, making the pair something of a dream team in Mexico's culinary circles. Here, you can order a la carte or try the 11-course degustation. Prices start at around US$100 per person and reservations are advised.

06 of 18

Best Farm-to-Table: Máximo Bistrot Local

Fish with thinly sliced, charred, white vegetables on a white plate at Maximo Bistrot

Courtesy Máximo Bistrot Local

Av. Álvaro Obregón 65 Bis, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone +52 55 5264 4291

Máximo Bistrot offers innovative yet unpretentious food at a more accessible price point than the city's better-known restaurants. But don't let the simplicity of the decor fool you, chef Eduardo García also trained under Olvera at Pujol, before opening the doors of Maximo Bistrot in 2012.

The menu changes daily, highlighting vegetables sourced from Mexico City's famous chinampas (the floating islands among the canals of Xochimilco) and other sustainable sources. Reservations are advised.

07 of 18

Best for Seafood: Contramar

overhead photography of a creamy ceviche garnished with orange peppers from Contramar in mexico city. There is a fork in the shallow ceviche bowl. There is also a plate of limes on the table as well as oysters and a whole roasted octopus

 Courtesy of Contramar

Calle de Durango 200, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone +52 55 5514 3169

With a seasonal seafood menu, Contramar in Roma Norte is packed every single day. The food is fresh, simple and carefully prepared, and the cocktail menu is perfect for a lazy weekend afternoon. After more than 20 years in the game, Contramar remains one of the most on-trend restaurants in the city. There's a huge menu with lots of daily specials, but visitors should be sure to try the raw tuna tostada. Contramar only opens at lunch and reservations are recommended.

08 of 18

Best for Traditional Mexican Cuisine: Azul

Dining room at Azul Restaurant Condesa with a wall of trees and other green plants

Courtesy of Azul Restaurantes

Av Nuevo León 68, Hipódromo, Cuauhtémoc, 06100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone +52 55 5286 6380

Drop by Azul for exotic ingredients like chapulines (grasshoppers) and escamoles (ant eggs) as well as mole, tamales, and delicious Mexican hot chocolate. Chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita is known for his attention to detail and his encyclopedic knowledge of Mexico's culinary history.

Alongside the original Azul restaurant in Condesa, you can check out the oasis-like Azul Historico in the center of town, the slightly more laid-back Azul y Oro at Mexico's national university, UNAM, or Azul Antojo for snacks at Mercado Roma.

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09 of 18

Best for Oaxacan Cusine: Pasillo de Humo

fried grasshoppers with chili flakes in a small green bowl with a spoon. THe bowl is a placte with mashed avocado, queso fresco, and pickled onion from Chapulines in Mexico city

 T.Tseng / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Av Nuevo León 107, Hipódromo, Cuauhtémoc, 06100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone +52 55 5211 7263

If you don't have time to visit the culturally rich southern state of Oaxaca during your trip to Mexico, Pasillo de Humo is the next best thing. In Condesa, this welcoming restaurant serves lunch and dinner, focusing on exquisite tlayudas, mole, desserts and coffee with passionate service. Seasonal ingredients, traditional techniques, and artisanal table settings make Pasillo de Humo a completely local experience. Reservations are advised.

10 of 18

Best for Adventurous Eaters: Los Cocuyos

Simón Bolívar 59, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone +52 55 5518 4231

This tiny, old-school favorite in the Centro Histórico is known for its use of a dizzying array of different cuts of meat. If you're looking for tacos de cabeza (literally cow's head tacos), you'll find the best here, from eye, cheek, tongue and brain to the famed campechano, a mix of crispy meats.

The taqueros at Los Cocuyos pump out tacos around the clock, only closing from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. for cleaning, so expect to eat while standing or wait for one of the few seats.

11 of 18

Best Breakfast: Lalo!

Plate at Lalo! restaurant with sliced octopus and chopped potatoes

Courtesy of Lalo

Zacatecas 173, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone +52 55 5564 3388

Across the street from Maximo Bistrot, you'll find chef Eduardo García's more casual offering, Lalo!. The food, like the atmosphere, is light and fresh, and the green chilaquiles with eggs are some of the best in the city. House-made pastries, avocado toast, acai bowls, and great coffee round out the simple but satisfying breakfast menu.

At lunchtime, the vibe swings towards Italian, with pizza, pasta, and lots of veggies. Plus, the communal tables make Lalo! perfect for solo travelers and those getting a slow start to the day.

12 of 18

Best Surf-and-Turf: MeroToro

Wooden table with four plates of food arranged in a crooked row on it

 Courtesy of Merotoro

Amsterdam 204, Hipódromo, Cuauhtémoc, 06100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone +52 55 5564 7799

Inspired by the cuisine of Baja California, MeroToro is the place to be in Condesa for a sophisticated lunchtime feast. The extensive menu includes small plates of seafood, salads and an impressive selection of fish and beef mains, but is subject to change daily to make the most of the fresh produce available.

The space, with one wall open to the street, is the epitome of Mexico City's understated luxury. This is the second restaurant from the team behind Contramar and it is just as popular as their first, so be sure to make a reservation.

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13 of 18

Best in Coyoacán: Los Danzantes

Wicker chairs and wooden tables from Los Danzantes on a patio overlooking a main square in Mexico City

Courtesy of Los Danzantes

Parque Centenario 12, Coyoacán TNT, Coyoacán, 04000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone +52 55 4356 7185

If you've made the trip down South to the Frida Kahlo museum in Coyoacán, your best bet for a traditional Mexican lunch is Los Danzantes on Parque Centenario. The outdoor tables are perfect for people-watching and the space features Mexican folk art without becoming kitschy. The menu lists unusual dishes from all over Mexico, highlighting flavorful seafood, beef, pork and insects accompanied by local herbs and spices. The house mezcal offering and is another big plus.

14 of 18

Best for Vegans: Veguísima

Colorful rice bowl with carrots, lima beans, red cabbage, peanuts, and two slices of pita bread

 Courtesy of Veguísima

C. Pachuca 59, Colonia Condesa, Cuauhtémoc, 06140 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone +52 55 7039 2812

Condesa's vegan hotspot Veguísima is a tried-and-true solution to all your plant-based food dilemmas. The food is both pretty and nutritious, with most dishes offering a choice of protein (including Beyond Meat patties) in the form of bowls, tacos, burritos, enchiladas and chilaquiles.

The space is casual and although the prices are on the high side for vegan food in Mexico City, they're well worth it. Veguísima is lunch only during the week and open later on weekends.

15 of 18

Best for Mediterranean Cuisine: Lardo

Two servings of grilled peppers and eggplant on toast on a serving tray with a hand holding it

Courtesy of Lardo

Agustín Melgar 6, Colonia Condesa, Cuauhtémoc, 06140 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone +52 55 5211 7731

Lardo in Condesa can provide a welcome break from tacos, with Spanish, Italian and Greek-inspired food straight from the wood-fired oven. Choose from simple yet rich small plates, or order a culture-clashing pizza, in a warm environment that is popular with locals.

Proprietor Elena Reygadas is Mexico's most successful female chef, first making her mark with beloved Italian restaurant Rosetta and its sister bakery Panadería Rosetta in La Roma.

16 of 18

Best Cafe: Chiquitito

Alfonso Reyes 232, Hipódromo, Cuauhtémoc, 06100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone +52 55 5211 6123

As the name suggests, Chiquitito is tiny, with just a coffee bar and a couple of indoor and outdoor tables. It has earned its reputation as one of Condesa's most hipster coffee spots, thanks to in-house roasted beans from Veracruz and exacting precision on the part of the baristas. The food is light cafe fare, including sandwiches and pastries and non-dairy milks are available. Order an espresso or iced coffee to kick of a day of sightseeing.

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17 of 18

Best for Dessert: El Moro

white exteriror of El Moro Polanco with a bright blue El Moro sign. The restaaurant is on a corner and has two tall trees to either side

Courtesy of El Moro

Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas 42, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Since 1935, El Moro Churrería has kept the capital's sweet tooth sated. The traditional deep-fried churros can be accompanied by your choice of hot chocolate, ranging from bitter to sweet and creamy to light. There are also milkshakes on the menu, plus Insta-worthy churro ice cream sandwiches called consuelos.

There are now five El Moro locations around the city, but the one in the Centro Histórico is open 24 hours a day to satisfy your midnight snack cravings.

18 of 18

Best Views: El Balcón del Zócalo

View from El Balcon del Zocalo restaurant

Courtesy of El Balcón del Zócalo

Av. 5 de Mayo 61, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Phone +52 55 5130 5134

El Balcón del Zócalo, on the western side of Mexico's central plaza, manages to combine well-priced, thoughtful food with a stunning vista of the Metropolitan Cathedral and National Palace. In area full of tourist traps, the El Balcón menu stands out, employing contemporary techniques and traditional Mexican ingredients like huitlacoche, chipotle, and corn. There is also a nine-course tasting menu available, with an option for vegetarians, and a respectable cocktail menu.

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The Top 18 Restaurants in Mexico City