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The culinary scene in Mexico City is en fuego right now. Famous chefs are flocking to the vast, vibrant, always happening Mexico capital, and local restaurateurs are snagging up real estate faster than you can say guacamole. With such a vibrant food revolution happening, it can be tricky to know just where to spend your pesos. We’ve put together a guide to the best eating, drinking, and dessert-ing that Mexico City has to offer right now. You’ll learn which tacos are worth devouring, and where to find some of the most divine, cinnamon and sugar-dusted churros on the planet.

RELATED: The 5 Mexico City restaurants celeb chef Rick Bayless can’t live without

Tortillas Make the World Go Round: The Best Bites in Mexico City

El Farolio - Mexico City Food Tour- Compass and Twine

Ready for some tacos al pastor hot off the spit at El Farolito | Photo by compassandtwine.com

El Farolito

This city takes its tacos seriously and to really taste the greasy-goodness, you’re going to need to experience an authentic, late-night taqueria. Our favorite is El Farolito, which has several locations around town. Ideally, you should hit up this spot when you’re craving a final cerveza and something savory to satisfy your appetite before bed. Known for their tacos al pastor, the marinated pork spends hours roasting on an open flame and is cut fresh off the spit when you order. Served with cilantro, white onion, and sweet pineapple, these tacos are beyond satisfying.

Guzina Oaxaca- Mexico City Food Tour- Compass and Twine

(L) Octopus and queso fresco stuffed tostada (R) Ricotta and honey stuffed zucchini flower

Guzina Oaxaca

Mexico’s southwestern state of Oaxaca is certainly having its time in the culinary spotlight. If you can’t make the trek to visit the region in person, there’s one restaurant that’s bringing the best of Oaxacan cuisine to Mexico City. Located in the upscale Polanco neighborhood, Guzina Oaxaca brings all the local, fresh ingredients up from the southern state on a daily basis. Melding sweet and savory mild flavors with mains like octopus, pork and duck, the food at Guzina Oaxaca is simply outstanding. A delicious menu coupled with amazing mezcal-infused cocktails had us coming back for seconds on the same weekend trip.

 

Huevos Rancheros at Sanborns

Huevos Rancheros at Sanborns

Sanborns Restaurante Centro Histórico

Brunch is the most important meal of the weekend no matter where you are around the globe. So when you find yourself in Mexico City, head to Sanborns Restaurante in the La Casa de los Azulejos building, located in the Centro Histórico neighborhood. Part of the building serves as a department store, selling all kinds of goods and knick-knacks for you to peruse while waiting. The inner sanctum of the building, with grand wobbly-looking columns and blue tiled walls, houses the restaurant space. We recommend going for one of the well-known breakfast staples, like huevos rancheros or the chilaquiles with chicken drenched in a deliciously spicy green sauce.

El Cardenal - Mexico City Food Tour- Compass and Twine

El Cardenal

As we mentioned, brunch is important, so we’ve got you covered for both days of the weekend. (You’re welcome.) El Cardenal continues to attract hoards of locals on the weekends and is one of the best places in the entire city to experience a truly authentic breakfast. Known for their freshly baked sweet rolls and savory egg dishes, they also have incredible hot chocolate served straight from a heated clay pitcher.

Campobaja- Mexico City Food Tour- Compass and Twine

Bustling dining room terrace at Campobaja

Campobaja

Eventually, you’re going to need a break from all the meat heavy tacos, and when that happens, we suggest you head straight to the La Roma neighborhood and snag a table at Campobaja. This fish-focused restaurant is trendy with many of the locals and expats in the neighborhood, but thankfully, not with too many of the tourists yet. Fresh and tasty, their seafood dishes—like ceviche, tuna tostadas and octopus tacos—are among the best you’ll ever feast upon. This neighborhood eatery is truly one of the best kept secrets in all of CDMX.

Mole enchiladas at Azul Condesa

Mole enchiladas at Azul Condesa

Azul Condesa

Serving authentic Mexican dishes like mole enchiladas, conchinita pibil, and tamales in a chic dining space, you’ll fall in love with Azul Condesa from the moment you walk in. Up front, you’ll find a lady hand-pressing fresh tortillas and slapping them down onto the hot griddle. Towards the back, you’ll come upon the dining space, an enchanting sun-lit atrium with plants dangling down from the walls.

La Roma Market - Mexico City Food Tour- Compass andTwine

Fish tacos at Mercado Roma

Mercado Roma

For counter after counter of amazing culinary options, head to Mercado Roma, an upscale food hall in the enchanting La Roma district. Take a lap around the space before choosing your first stall. If you can’t decide, grab a bar seat at our favorite, La Ahumadora. The tempura-fried fish tacos are lightly-battered and packed with flavor. Plus, it comes with a salsa so spicy it’ll help clear any travel-induced stuffy nose.

ALSO: Satisfying meals pair best with satisfying rewards programs—earn on your next trip with Orbitz Rewards!

Arriba! Abajo! Al Centro! Pa’ Dentro: The most mouth-watering cocktails in Mexico City

Four Seasons - Mexico City Food Tour- Compass and Twine

Fifty Mils at the Four Seasons Hotel

For a fancier afternoon cocktail, we love Fifty Mils. Recently renovated, this chic, indoor-outdoor bar space at the Four Seasons hotel is one of our favorite spots in the whole city. When the weather is nice, sit in the garden courtyard surrounded by lush green foliage and the florescent-pink glow of a flirty “Our Little Secret” sign. A splash of Aperol gives the Exceptional Margarita its orangey-pink color and the sugar-salt rim helps the tequila go down nice and smooth.

Guzina Oaxaca- Mexico City Food Tour- Compass and Twine

Mezcal and passionfruit margarita

Guzina Oaxaca

In the Polanco neighborhood, Guzina Oaxaca is serving mezcal-infused cocktails as creative as their award-winning dinner dishes. Their passionfruit margarita is an interesting mix of smokey mezcal and the sweet, pink tropical fruit. The rim, though, is where the story lies. After licking what we thought was just salt off the rim of the glass, the barkeep asked how we liked the worms! Turns out, the tasty salt was a mix of crushed grasshoppers and worms—in true Oaxacan style.

Margarita and chicharrones

Margarita and chicharrones at El Gallo de Oro

El Gallo de Oro

This weathered watering-hole boasts some serious character. As the locals tell it, El Gallo de Oro may very well be the oldest cantina in Mexico City. The doors opened in 1874 and women were only allowed to enter starting in 1982. On weekends, they offer the same traditional lunch buffet they’ve been serving for decades. However, we prefer to pony up to the bar and sip a couple margaritas served with a side of chicharrones and plenty of lime to squeeze on both.

 

La Mascota - Mexico City Food Tour- Compass and Twine

Live music at La Mascota

La Mascota

For drinks and live music, walk over to La Mascota. This fun, divey cantina in the Historic District promises a good time, especially when the mariachi band shows up. Order a couple of micheladas, request a song, and you’ll soon be serenaded… only a few more drinks and you’ll be singing along, too.

Cinnamon and sugar-dusted dreams: The single best dessert in Mexico City

El Moro- Mexico City FoodTour- Compass and Twine

Churros and caramel dipping sauce

Churrería El Moro

For dessert in Mexico City, you really can’t have anything but churros, and why wouldn’t you want to? The fried dough at El Moro (with multiple locations) is rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with two sauce choices for dipping: caramel or sweetened condensed milk. Get both, obviously. Still warm from the fryer, they’re delivered to you in a paper bag of four pieces. You’ll need to order one bag for yourself and one for your friend, because these churros are finger-licking fantastic.

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Tagged: Mexico

Compass + Twine
Sarah Driggs and Lindsay Ridenour are the story-tellers behind the NYC-based luxury travel blog, Compass + Twine. Follow along on Instagram @compassandtwine as they unearth some of the best hotels and travel experiences around the globe. From scenic landscapes to local cafés, they reveal the true character of a destination, always highlighting the best place to stay on compassandtwine.com .
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