Bring your stretchy pants: Mexico City is one of the world's top foodie destinations. It's hard to go wrong here, so if you see a place that looks promising, head on in for a meal. But we can guarantee you'll leave satisfied at the following eateries:
- Pujol: Pujol is considered one of the finest restaurants on the planet. You'll need to reserve several weeks in advance to try chef Enrique Olvera's high-end, high-creativity take on Mexican food, but boy is it worth it. We're still dreaming of the lobster pibil we had here last.
- Super Taco Chupacabra: After 25 years of dishing tacos from a cart, Super Taco moved up in the world: to a space with walls right below a freeway. But hey, diners now have a place to sit, and shade from the sun, as they devour some of the best tacos in the city (they cost approximately $1 each). Order a few, and then head to the free condiments bar to personalize your meal with half-a-dozen salsas, and such toppings as cactus (nopales), pinto beans, and crumbled potatoes.
- Merotoro: The flavors of Baja California take center stage, and that means barbacoa, slow-braised beef stews that warm you to your very soul; and zippy ceviches. Prices are reasonable but be warned: this place has many fans, so reservations are necessary, usually well in advance of your meal.
- Dulce Patria: This is where you go if you're planning to propose, or are hitting a milestone birthday. The baroque decor—lots of pinks and reds—is just right for a celebration, as is the food, which takes dishes from across Mexico and turns them into works of art for both the eye and the palate. A truly delightful place to dine.
- Maximo Bistrot Local: Don't be fooled by the simple decor: this is as much a temple of gastronomy these days as Pujol. In fact, chef/owner Eduardo Garcia learned his trade as a sous chef at that restaurant. Expect extraordinarily fresh food, reasonable prices and imaginative cooking all served to the coolest crowd in town (and the coolest visitors: New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman was one table over the last time we dined here).
- Quintonil: The winner for most serene dining experience goes to this restaurant, thanks to its airy space and expert waitstaff. As for the food itself: sublime isn't too hyberbolic a word. Crafted from ingredients from a handful small producers around Mexico City, it does wondrous things with shrimp tamales, beef mole and seafood pozole.
- Publico Comedor: As in many world cities, top chefs are trying their hand at affordable fare. In this case, the food impressario is Pablo Salas, of the group that owns Pujol, and the eats take their cue from the food of the area. Since the neighborhood is Polanco, that means you're missing out if you don't order the milanesa (a breaded steak dish that's a local classic). Alas: the eatery is only open for breakfast and lunch.