Mexico City: Walk, Eat, Drink and Repeat
Mexico City is a great place to just walk, eat, drink and repeat all day and you will not run out of options to try and you will most likely leave with unfinished business. In this post, I’ll share where we ate and drank and share some observations about personal safety and some tips for you.
What We Ate: Here is where we ate and drank on our very quick trip to Mexico City.
Tacos: We tried tacos at 3 very different establishments to essentially see how some of our favorites stacked up in Mexico City.
1) Jardin Chapultepec, Roma Norte: Jardin Chapultepec combines a beer garden atmosphere with craft beer and freshly grilled to order tacos and other food. The premise here is to enjoy in a comfortable and casual setting with good local craft beers paired with traditional-style tacos done in a modern way. The tacos were grilled over charcoal and cost 30 pesos each; we ordered 2 arrachera (steak) and 2 chorizo tacos which came with avocado and cheese and could be garnished at with salsa from the salsa bar. Essentially, you don’t need to sit on a curb in the street while trying to hold and eat your taco plate here and everything was delicious.
2) El Turix, Polanco: Just two blocks away from the Louis Vitton store in Polanco, is El Turix Tacos. El Turix focuses on the Yucatan specialty of cocinita pibil, slow roasted pork with citrus (lime and orange) and achiote paste (made from annatto seeds). We ordered 2 tacos and a beer each. If we went back, we’d order the panuchos, a bean smeared tostada instead because it’s easier to eat and garnish with salsa. I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t keen on using my hands to eat messy and wet tacos and wish I had a plastic fork, which was not available. While it may look spicy, cochinita is quite mild and the pickled red onions add crunch and zest to the tacos. Since it was so messy, we didn’t use any of the salsas but the tacos were still good. This is your quintessential order inside and sit on the curb kind of place.
3) El Tizoncito, Condesa: Since we love al pastor tacos, we decided to try El Tizoncito, who claim to have invented the dish in 1966. The offer the traditional pork pastor tacos, as well as pollo pibil and while we didn’t order any, their pozoles looks quite good. When you arrive, someone will guide you to a seat, either indoor or outdoor and take your order. I wasn’t very hungry to I had 2 tacos and ordered a 3rd. Overall, this was a decent and affordable place to enjoy a few tacos and beers comfortably.
Seafood: We decided to try a renowned Mexican seafood restaurant in Rona Norte for lunch, Contramar.
Contramar, Roma Norte: While we wanted to have dinner here, it is only open for lunch so that wasn’t an option (usually open from 12:00-18:30 or 20:00). We arrived around 14:00 and it was quite busy and so we were only able to get a table at the bar but shortly after, we were offered a table outside which was what we initially wanted in the first place. Contramar was one of those places where we pretty much knew what we wanted to eat prior to even arriving, the whole fish grilled contramar style with half with red chilli adobo rub and half with parsley rub, and the pulpo (octopus) tacos. The smallest fish we could get was 900 grams which was quite a lot for 2 people but so delicious. The pulpo was not very spicy but so tender and well prepared and with the fresh tortillas and salsa, really hit the spot. While we were excited to have desert, we were too stuffed and had to forgo. This is a higher-end place and more of a splurge, nonetheless, we’d love to come back and try other items such as the tuna tostada and the tiritas de Zihuatanejo.
Snacks: We had churros and ice cream in Mexico City.
Churreria El Moro, Condesa: El Moro is the renowned churro chain with a few locations across the city. As locals say, you cannot have good churro if there isn’t a lineup so we ended up spotting at a lineup at the location in Condesa around 22:00 and lined up for some churros. Most people order the churros with chocolate but we were approaching a food coma by that point so we kept it light by ordering the smallest size of churros tossed with canela (cinnamon) and azucar (sugar).
Helado Obscuro, Roma Norte: We decided to have a nightcap at Helado Obscuro since it was only a few blocks away from our hotel, Ignacia Guest House. Helado Obscuro mixes ice cream with alcohol to create delicious creamy-boozy concoctions like this pina colada ice cream with rum. Don’t worry, the alcohol is not that strong or overpowering!
Where to Drink: There are a lot of bars to drink at in Mexico City but with cocktail hour at our hotel and the altitude, we kept it in check.
Tasting Room MX, Roma Norte: We did tons of research to find places to sample Mexican craft beer, and it wasn’t until we walked by it that we discovered Tasting Room MX a few blocks from our hotel. They charge about 90 pesos per pint which is lower than a lot of other places and have a great selection that you can look up on UnTappd. They also offer flights and have outdoor covered seating near the sidewalk and indoor seating as well, but it’s a garage style door setup so it’s pretty open air. One thing that is missing from this place is more information about the flavor profiles of the beer but this seems common in Mexico.
Jardin Chapultepec, Roma Norte: While they have craft beer here on tap, it is quite limited but they have a good selection of bottles. Of all the beers we had in Mexico, Piedra Lisa by Colima was our favorite.
Fiebre de Malta, Polanco: We decided to stop here as we made our way back to Roma Norte from Polanco to rest as it was getting quite hot. Fiebre de Malta is also popular for lunch but we just wanted cerveza de barril (draft beer). What we really liked about this place as opposed to most we’ve visited in Mexico is their beer menu with flavor profiles. Pints here vary from 90-140 pesos so it is a little more expensive but they have a nice outdoor patio, good service, and clean bathrooms.
What We Did to Stay Safe: In a city with a bad reputatrion like Mexico City, you may feel discouraged from visiting or even venturing out on foot. While I am not saying nothing bad will happen, overall, we felt very safe walking around in the morning and after dark in Polanco, Condesa, and Roma Norte but we did exercise a high degree of caution and took some strategies to minimize potential issues.
Attire: Mexico City is a city and people tend to dress well. As tourists from colder climates, we tend to want to wear shirts and tank tops with running shoes, but this will really make you standout. Jason wore a casual button down short sleeved shirt with jeans and casual loafer shoes and I wore a short sleeved shirt with a black cardigan, black skirt, and casual but dressier sandals during the day. At night, Jason wore a long sleeve button shirt with jeans and casual loafers and I wore dress pants, a casual short sleeved top with a black cardigan. I also never wear any jewelry or carry on a fancy handbag and opt for a tote bag and wear a money belt for valuables. When we go out at night, we usually carry a decoy wallet with about $20USD and small local currency in it. While you may disagree with this, that’s fine but it’s a matter of what you’re comfortable with.
Electronics: We usually tend to feel a little more overconfident because most people have nicer phones than we do, but it doesn’t mean we won’t get pickpocketed or have our phone stolen. As we use our phone for Google Maps, we try to memorize the route and only take the phone out at certain spot, not usually corners or hidden spots.
If you have any questions or want more information, let us know.
What are your favorite places to eat at in Mexico City? Did you feel safe in Mexico City? Do you have any safety tips to recommend?
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