by Alex Tabarrok
on April 11, 2014 at 11:41 am
in Food and Drink, Travel
I will be in Mexico City next week (con la familia). Recommendations and suggestions welcome!
Pastor Tacos. Street vendor every evening at the corner of Zarco and Calle Violeta in Guerrero.
Prendes used to be good. I don’t know about it in the new location.
+ Pozole (a kind of soup made with pork’s head and, of course, corn) Guerrero style in Con Sabor a Tixtla (http://consaboratixtla.com/page7.php)
+ Prehispanic dishes in Don Chon (http://www.restaurantechon.com/ubica.html)
For breakfast El Bajio, but the one in Polanco. It’s basically the street food in a cleaner environment. For dinner La Polar, mariachis, and delicious barbacoa. For a good day cantina, try La Coyoacana, but it’s in the south side of the city.
Chiles en Nogada, though it may be out of season.
Take plenty of reading for the taxi ride anywhere, it’s measured in hours.
Take your passport, and speak Spanish
Canal ride in Xochimilco.
La Mescalaria in Coyoacan. The historic centre of Coyoacan is nice to visit – quite peaceful.
There’s a branch of Astrid y Gaston that is quite affordable. One of the best Latin American food places in the world.
No…one…cooks like Gaston, no one looks like
you have to make the day trip out to teotihuacan, it’s definitely worth the bus ride. we did a charter that took us by the Basilica of our lady guadalupe on the way out to the pyramids which was a cool pit stop.
the rooftop bar & restaurant (can’t remember the name) at the holiday inn on the zocalo main square is really great at night. amazing view.
we also loved the Museo Nacional de Antropología, and that’s right next to a really pretty walking garden/park place. paddle boats, street vendors, etc. those were both kid friendly places as well if you have la familia with you.
as for food, you kinda can’t go wrong. but definitely check out cantina la opera. there’s a bullet hole in the ceiling from pancho villa gettin’ rowdy back in the day. it’s a really cool place.
whatever you do, don’t drink pulque unless you like the taste of sweat wrung out of dirty socks and drained into a glass.
Absolutely agree. I’ll go back to Teotihuacan. The murals and museum alone. Climb the pyramids if they still let you. Well worth a day. Plaza Mejor needless to say. I love Mexico City, so much to do/see. Ride the subway too.
tacosgus.com in la condesa.
I used the Trip Advisor App while I was down there a few weeks ago, and it was a great help. Lots of great ideas for places to see, although the locations were not always correct.
The subway system there is very easy to navigate. Teotihuacan definitely worth the trip. And the Paseo de la Reforma shuts down on Sunday mornings for bike traffic. Tourists can rent free bikes at a lot of locations there through the Bicigratis program, but it does involve leaving your documents.
Casa Merlos (google it, and take notice of the unusual hours etc) for superb Pueblan food. The kind of homemade, rustic, food that’ll transport to Puebla circa 1930.
Quintonil, for high end Mexican food. Easy to google.
Chamorros Tlacoquemecatl for a hole in the wall place in the Colonia del Valle. Superb traditional dishes (including a chamorro). See http://www.chilango.com/restaurantes/del-valle/los-chamorros
I thought the anthropology and archaeology museum in Mexico City (I forget the exact name) was amazing, perhaps a top 10 history museum in the entire world. It has all sorts of artifacts from the Aztecs and Mayas, as well as all sorts of native peoples of Mexico that you’ve never heard of.
In the middle of Mexico City is the fortress of Chapultepec, which has at various times served as a presidential palace or the Mexican equivalent of West Point. Its capture by US forces marked the end of the Mexican-American War. Its in the middle of Mexico’s equivalent of Central Park, on top of a high, steep hill. You climb the hill to get up there and there’s a museum with stuff about Porfirio Diaz, the dictator of Mexico for much of the latter half of the 19th century. As I climbed up it, I thought about what it must have been like for the US forces storming it, which is commemorated in the “halls of Montezuma” lyric in the Marines hymn.
Teotihuacan is, as you would say, self-recommending. There is an extensive market in guys with vans who will drive you there for a day quite cheaply. Many will also take you to the shrine where the Virgin of Guadelupe, Mexico’s equivalent of the Shroud of Turin, is venerated.
Coyoacan is a quiet leafy neigborhood in Mexico City that is perhaps most notable for being home to Trotsky. The house where he was killed is now a museum to him.
As for speaking Spanish, my experience in Mexico City is that almost everyone there either speaks English or at some point took English in school or attempted to learn English themselves. Even if their English is weak, when they see you they will see a chance to practice and improve their English, so don’t expect to have conversations in Spanish unless you truly insist on it.
Blackmail a mayor; it’s the thing to do.
Great set of guides
It’s a bit outside the city in the State of Mexico, but the Diego Rivera murals depicting the history of agriculture in the secularized chapel of La Universidad Autónoma Chapingo (a college built during the reformist Obregón era for the children of the ejidos, the collective farms) with correspondingly carved furnishings impressively use the entire space and are perhaps Rivera’s best work. You should phone ahead to make sure it is open.
The famous murals in town are very much worth seeing. The street food is superb, and ask taxi drivers for the best tacquerias and the like. The pyramids. Palacio de Bellas Artes, and then the nearby Casa de los Azulejos for breakfast, and then the walk around downtown toward the Zocalo. The famous museums are excellent, Museo del Arte Popular is my personal favorite however. After visiting it, Yana exclaimed “Hey, it’s just like walking around our living room, except it is a museum!” On Saturday, Bazar del Sabado. The street food there is good too. Avenida Masaryk in Polanco is the fancy shopping street, fun to walk in any case. Patricia Quintana’s restaurant used to be great, though I haven’t been there in some while. Polish food is also very good in Mexico City if you are looking for a change of pace. Avoid Zona Rosa, for a variety of reasons.
Good choice of season to travel. Next week is Semana Santa and all the locals hurry for the beach. What they leave behind is a beautiful city with no traffic and blue sky.
Ask a taxi driver where to eat barbacoa de borrego. It’s lamb covered by maguey leaves and cooked in a “oven” (hole in the ground). Greasy but delicious.
Mezcal, a tequila cousin, is trendy nowadays. But, unless you’re guided by a local avoid it in restaurants and bars. Stick to good tequilas as Don Jimador or Centenario Añejo.
Congratulations on visiting the world’s greatest city. Don’t forget to enjoy the nature, peace and open space. I’m laying on the grass in a pretty park by a fun neighborhood fair in the sun with a pretty girl in colonia Del Valle as I write.
I recommend the breakfast buffet at the Gran Hotel de la Cuidad de Mexico. It has the best food of the three hotel roof buffets looking over the Zócalo. Then continue to the National Cathedral where you will first buy a ticket to the campanario bell tower tour — ask for tickets campanario and you’ll find the ticket desk — and then tour the cathedral until the tour starts. The bell tower and view is great.
Then go see the Diego Rivera murals in the national palace. You will have located the palace and cathedral at breakfast — they’re on the same square. There’s a Maya museum exhibit in the palace this week if you like Maya artifacts, but you’ll see plenty of museums. Exit through the gardens to Calle Moneda and enjoy the hawkers. You might want to visit the Templo Mayor museum — the pyramid discovered when they built the metro. To me, it’s among the best archaeological site museums in the country and also faces the central square. One block away is the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso museum, also good but you’re probably done with museums for the day.
Take the Metro south to Tasqueña. You might want to stop at the Pino Suarez stop to see the altar to the wind god Ehécatl right inside the transfer station. The metro is pretty amazing and you should ride it a lot.
At Tasqueña station, grab a taxi (I can give transit directions if someone in your crew speaks Spanish well) and head for Embarcadero Cuemanco. Go through the parking lot at Cuemanco and 100 meters south on the narrow road to Michmani nature center. Rent canoes (1 per two persons) and paddle out into the canals of Xochimilco. More people live on canals in Mexico City than Venice but most of the canals are agricultural like these. Ask the proprietor for advice and see if he’ll show you the axolotls he raises. Take two or three hours and use you smartphone maps to navigate.
Eat at the Embarcadero before or after paddling. Ask for tlacoyos and quesadillas. It’s touristy but the tourists are all Mexican so the food is classic Mexican food stand tradition meals. Be sure to try huitlacoche, flor de calabaza, nopales, and chicharron.
Catch a taxi back to Tasqueña and transfer to Metro Centro Medico on the Brown Line. Walk up through the park north and follow Orizaba to Álvaro Obregón boulevard, turn west and continue to where the street peters out into Yucatan. Go one block SW and follow Amsterdam street around the circle, then follow Michoacán through the park. It’s a favorite walk in the city.
Then continue west to Michoacán and Tamaulipas for fashionable dinner spots or — my suggestion — walk 1 km north to Cibeles fountain at Oaxaca and Durango and eat modern Mexican dinner at La Tecla. There’s a sampling menu for about US$15 with lots of fun stuff to try.
http://www.elcalifa.com.mx/ Taqueria el califa in Condesa. Address:
Altata 22, Hipódromo, Cuauhtémoc, Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Open til 4am!
Also, meant to add – Bosque de Chapultepec (forest park at center, with Los Pinos – presidential residence) is perfect for a picnic and Sunday you MUST try out the EcoBici bikes or rent a bike somehow. Tons of fun, the main road Paseo de la Reforma is shut down to car traffic – only bicycles allowed! Best way to sightsee and fun with family too.
Recommendations? Cancel the trip.
If you can spare some time to get out of the city, go have some superb rabbit and almost everything else (tlacoyos, quesadillas, etc) at El Conejo Loco on the way to Amecameca. Just before you arrive, stop at the roadside tarp of the woman selling corn on a stick with mayonnaise, cheese, and chili powder – the best corn, esquites, and other delights!
Pujol is actually worth it (in Polanco). Also, seafood at Contramar is delicious.
You must try Monica Patiño’s http://www.delirio.mx in the Roma district. Try it on a saturday and then enjoy the tianguis on Alvaro Obregon Ave.
The best restaurant experience in Historical Downtown is Azul Historico on Isabel La Catolica, you won’t regret it.
Comments on this entry are closed.
Previous post: Breaking Bones
Next post: Assorted links
Email Tyler Cowen
Follow Tyler on Twitter
Email Alex Tabarrok
Follow Alex on Twitter
Subscribe in a reader
Follow Us on Twitter
Marginal Revolution on Twitter Counter.com
Get smart with the Thesis WordPress Theme from DIYthemes.