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 if you'd rather not set out on your own, we guarantee you'll leave satisfied at the following eateries.
- Pujol: Located at the high end of the price scale, 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 extremely creative take on Mexican food, but boy, is it worth it. We're still dreaming of the lobster pibil we had here.
- 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. Working with ingredients from a handful of small producers around Mexico City, the kitchen does wondrous things with shrimp tamales, beef mole, and seafood pozole.
- Pasillo de Humo: One of the delights of dining in Mexico City is that it's possible to taste excellent regional cuisine from across the nation. In this case, you'll be dining on Oaxacan fare, so get ready for excellent moles, chocolates and grasshoppers. If you don't have time for a sit-down meal you can pop into the food court on the first level of this two story eating complex.