There is some serious multi-tasking going on right now. I’m making one of our absolute favorite chili recipes (Healthy Jalapeno Sweet Potato Chicken Chili – we seriously recommend it to everyone), eating a sandwich, listening to Off the Vine podcast with Kaitlyn Bristowe, reflecting on all the Mexico City restaurants we tried, and trying to figure out what the heck is going on with this new WordPress blog post editor.
We just got back from a two week vacation in Mexico. Instead of calling it a vacation though, we’ve been calling it for what it was: an adventure. We were constantly on the move. We literally road tripped our way through Mexico, visiting different destinations including the homes of my boyfriend’s extended family. It was an amazing trip, and I’m so grateful for all the people I got to meet and all the new sights and experiences we got to enjoy.
Before the trip, people asked me what I was most excited for, and I literally said the food. I could.not.wait. to try all the different street food and restaurants, and eat my weight in enchiladas, tacos, and elotes. After spending time in Mexico City at the beginning and end of our trip, we feel pretty confident we ate and drank at some of the best spots in the city. I’m sure there are numerous others (I mean seriously, we basically never had a bad meal), but below are the ones that rang tried and true for us.
Below are our recommendations for the 10 best spots to eat and drink in Mexico City.
Mexico City Eats
I would actually recommend this restaurant for food or drinks (we had both of course). We enjoyed delicious tacos and flautas, and my frozen margarita and the two-part shots we took were pretty awesome too. However, the main reason I recommend this spot is because of the atmosphere. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by a colorful space where multiple mariachi bands were serenading a lively dinner crowd. We went here on our second night in the city, and at that moment I felt like we had truly arrived in Mexico.
We discovered this spot after watching Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix. Now, do not take this lightly. The al pastor tacos are the best I’ve ever had in my life. This little spot is pretty much the textbook definition of a hole in the wall, and it’s pure magic. They cook the al pastor on a stick, slice it to order, prepare it with magical sauces, and serve it with a heaping pile of corn tortillas. The menu is simple, and I recommend ordering the Especial to share with a friend. Or challenge yourself to finish the whole dang thing like I almost did the second time we went there.
We ate dinner here on our first night in the city after our flight landed and we got settled into our hostel. We actually tried to find a different place, but after that turned out to be a dead end, we walked and Google searched our way to Testal. I would recommend this spot if you want to enjoy a fine dining experience for a very reasonable price. Above all, the customer service was incredible; they unfolded our napkins and put them on our laps, plated our flautas and poured the salsa over them, and presented our wine with grand gestures. The craziest part was how much we paid. The total was about $42 all inclusive, which is much cheaper than what you would pay for a comparable experience in the U.S.
This spot is another Somebody Feed Phil discovery, best known for its churros con chocolate. Do I really need to say anything more? Okay I’ll tell you a little bit more. This place has been serving delicious, sugary fried dough for over 80 years. As soon as we walked in, we could tell it’s obviously still a hit with locals and tourists alike. My Chocolate Francés (hot chocolate with a touch of vanilla) was some of the best I’ve ever had, and the churros were amazing. Make sure to ask for hot dipping chocolate for your churros!
I actually thought I would have more restaurants to include on this list. However, I realized that some of our best meals took place on sidewalks or passing through little markets. I know some of you might be hesitant to try food that’s prepared out in the open or by unmarked carts, but get outside your comfort zone and just try it. Trust me. You will discover some of the best food (and cheapest!), and it’s all part of the experience.
Mexico City Drinks
The Torre Latinoamericana is a skyscraper in Mexico City’s historic city center. If you want some of the absolute best views of the city, head straight to the 41st floor. You’ll arrive at this bar and hopefully you can get a seat right next to the windows. At night, the twinkling city lights are gorgeous, and you can see how they extend all the way to the mountains. Although the drinks were pretty good (spicy margarita for me), the views are the real reason to visit this spot.
Tucked mysteriously away behind heavy curtains, Sin Nombre is a little hidden gem that we found on our first night in Mexico City. It’s a small, narrow bar, so it gets a little crowded, but luckily we were able to sit in the upstairs loft and relax. It has a moody, romantic vibe with candles everywhere, but don’t let the romance fool you. They pack a punch with their mezcal shots, and I took my first ones (maybe only ones?) there.
I put this bar on our list to visit after reading that it’s one of the top bars in Mexico. In fact, it’s one of the top bars in the world. Since I’m always looking for the best spicy margaritas, I tried the Margarita Al Pastor and it did not disappoint. I wish we spent more time here, but it was our last stop after a long night of bar hopping. The environment seemed modern, cool, and vibrant, and the mixologists are friendly and talented. Looking forward to trying more drinks on the menu!
Delirio – Mónica Patiño
This spot is an adorable, trendy coffee shop in the Roma neighborhood. We spent a lot of time here just enjoying our coffee, people-watching, and taste-testing delicious jams. It’s a great spot to meet friends, work from your laptop, or just sit solo and take in the hustle and bustle of the city. Not only is this coffee shop a nice place to eat and drink, but it’s also located in a fun neighborhood that you should take time to explore.
One of the best ways to enjoy the city views is from a rooftop bar, and this is the perfect spot to do just that. We sat on bar stools looking right over the balcony at the Torre Latinoamericana and down onto the Alameda Central, a public urban park. Since it gets a little chilly at night (even for this Midwestern girl), they even have blankets available so you can snuggle up while you enjoy your margarita and look at the city lights.
So there you have it! These are the 10 best spots to eat and drink in Mexico City. At least in our humble foodie opinions. Another notable mention is Sonora Grill for a nice Brazilian dining experience, but since 11 spots doesn’t sound as neat as 10 spots, it didn’t make the cut on this list. #blogproblems
So what do you think? Are you ready to book a plane ticket yet? Which ones would you like to add to your list of must-visit bars or restaurants?
If you’ve been to Mexico City, tell me some of your favorite recommendations for our next trip!
Happy foodie travels!