When compiling this list I focused on dishes that are almost always on these restaurants menus so that you could try them for yourself at any time of the year. Since a lot of top restaurants cook mostly with seasonal ingredients, I had to leave out many of my favorite dishes but I still think you will find something to enjoy here.
This list is a work in progress that I plan to update regularly. If I'm missing a dish I should try, please let me know in the comments section below.
Martinez - Breaded Fish & Meuniere Sauce
Martínez is chef Lucho Martinez's new restaurant with chef Tristan Newman located on Puebla Street in Roma Norte. All the dishes are spectacular but I can't get enough of the fish. Covered by a layer of crispy breading where inside is the soft and fresh sea bass cooked in butter, it is simply finger-licking good. I recommend making reservations as it is very popular and almost always full.
Other menu favorites include steak and frites and vol-au-vent.
Of the desserts, the chocolate cake is spectacular.
Bella Aurora - Desserts
The restaurant Bella Aurora is a restaurant in collaboration of Chef Elena Reygadas and Chef Federico Sali located in a very nice terrace that offers fresh and delicious Italian food. I could recommend everything on the menu, but this list lacks desserts so I bring you 2 options that are finger-licking good. The bomba served during breakfast and the leonesas during lunch have been my favorite, but honestly when it comes to desserts you have to try everything.
Lalo! - Caesar Salad
I'm not the biggest fan of salads. If I want to start my meal with something light, I'll usually choose an aguachile or a kampachi. One of the few salads that I really love is the Caesar salad at Lalo! (which is the sister restaurant of Máximo Bistrot). The mountain of lettuce is super fresh and covered in a delicious homemade dressing with parmesan cheese. It's a little hard to make a salad sound sexy, so my advice is to go to Lalo! and try it for yourself. I'm also a big fan of their fish and chips and cheeseburger if you're still a bit peckish afterwards.
MeroToro - Quijada de Cerdo
MeroToro is a pretty little restaurant on Avenida Amsterdam in Condesa that serves Baja California inspired dishes. I love everything that chef Jair Téllez cooks but my particular favorite is his “Quijada de Cerdo” which consists of a poached egg on top of a circular piece of delicious pork (usually resting on a bed of broccoli and brussels sprouts). I really love slicing the egg open and watching its contents soak into the meat below.
I'm glad the "Quijada de Cerdo" is always on the menu because it's a dish I always want to eat every time I visit. I recommend adding a couple of drops of their homemade habanero sauce which works very well with most of the dishes on the menu.
Contramar - Tuna Tostadas
If you're familiar with the CDMX restaurant scene, you'll know two things.
- Contramar has the best lunchtime atmosphere of any restaurant in CDMX, 7 days a week.
- You have to start with the tuna tostadas. It's the law.
Part of what makes Gabriela Cámara’s tuna tostadas so iconic is obviously the quality of her ingredients and how amazing they taste together. However, I also think I love them because they symbolize to me the start of a fun afternoon in that room on Calle Durango which has such a unique and electric energy. My advice is don’t go to Contramar if you have plans for later that afternoon because you won’t want to leave.
At the moment Lucho's Hot Chicken is not available at the restaurant, but it is available in their PopUps. If you want to know where and when you can find it in their social networks.
Em - Lucho's Hot Chicken
I have already written a whole article about Em why I love Lucho's cooking. In this article I mentioned that I have a particular love for fried chicken because my mother is from Belize and my favorite dish growing up was her Belizean-style fried chicken. As a result, I am a tough critic when it comes to this dish and I’m very hard to please.
I’m happy to report that Lucho’s Hot Chicken “almost” tastes as good as my mothers and it comes with a delicious selection of sides, including kale salad, pickles and potato puree. The chicken is moist and perfectly cooked but it’s the delicious coating that makes you lick your fingers and clean your plate. Part of the reason for this might be the fact that Lucho spent part of his childhood and early teens growing up Nashville, a part of the world where they take their fried chicken very seriously.
Meroma - Agnolotti
Meroma is my favorite sunny day restaurant in Roma Norte. While the restaurant has a nice indoor dining room, I love sitting in their beautiful upstairs terrace that has a view overlooking the pretties street in CDMX, Colima. The food is also excellent and is produced by 2 very talented young chefs, Mercedes Bernal and Rodney Cusic, who both graduated from the International Culinary Center in New York before opening Meroma in Mexico City.
I love their “Terrine de Foie Gras” and their “Quail” but if I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be their agnolotti. Any time I visit I have to eat these delicious pieces of pasta that are stuffed with cheese and roasted mushrooms and covered in a delicious buttery sauce.
Anonymous - White Pizza
Anonymous has become one of our favorite restaurants. The food is always delicious, there is good ambiance and music and it has a great location. One dish you definitely have to try when you visit Anonymous is the "White Pizza". It is creamy with bacon bits, but not cloying and the bread is baked to perfection, ideal for you to enjoy alone or with company.
All the dishes at Anonimo are delicious and one of my favorites as a starter is the ceviche with leche de tigre.
Rosetta - Short Rib and Polenta
Choosing a favourite dish from chef Elena Reygadas is not an easy challenge. Rosetta has long been one of the most popular restaurants in CDMX and as a result, everyone has their own favorites. If you told me that her tamales, ginger dumplings or mushroom risotto were the best things on the menu, I wouldn’t disagree with you. However, my personal favourite is Elena’s "Braised Short Rib with Rustic Polenta". The mixture of the perfectly cooked short rib with the creamy polenta make this a deeply satisfying dish that I order again and again.
Zanaya - Flap Steak Tacos
There's nothing better than eating Mexican food with a cold beer, but every once in a while I wake up and feel like eating tacos with a nice glass of chilled rosé wine. On those occasions, I make a reservation for lunch at the Four Season Mexico City's main restaurant. Zanaya which is the main restaurant at the Four Season Mexico City. The restaurant overlooks the beautiful central garden of the hotel, making it the perfect place to have lunch on a sunny day in CDMX.
While I also love the aguachile and cheese cake at Zanaya, it's the steak tacos with chile pasilla, aged panela cheese and sulfur beans that keep me coming back.
Masala Y Máiz - Fried Chicken
Masala Y Máiz is a relatively new discovery for me so I’m not going to claim to be an expert on this restaurant or its menu. However, on the couple of occasions that I have visited so far, I’ve been really impressed with everything I’ve eaten. What makes this restaurant so special is how they combine Mexican, Indian and East African cuisine to produce delicious food that is unique in the city. While I love their shrimps and vindaloo wings, my favorite dish is their fried chicken because it has a delicious crispy coating that tastes more of the east than the usual Caribbean or Nashville style chicken I’m used to eating.
Makan - Duck Noodles
Makan has become another recent favourite in recent months. I was so impressed with the quality and consistency of their food that I wrote this full restaurant review. Makan's menu is relatively short, but everything tastes great. If you're visiting Makan, I recommend you try their crispy noodles with duck confit. The duck is perfectly cooked and the homemade noodles soak up the delicious deep flavour of the duck jus.
Máximo Bistrot - Cheeseburger
From March to October 2020 I lived in a small beach town in Nayarit called San Pancho due to the pandemic. While there I noticed that my my favourite restaurant in Mexico City, Máximo Bistrot, had added a cheeseburger to their menu for customers to pick-up during the lockdown. Every time Eduardo and Gabriela would post an Instagram story of the burger, I would drool a little bit and wonder if it could possibly taste as good as it looked.
One of the first things we did when we got back to CDMX was book a table at Máximo to try their new cheesesburger (and delicious new chicken wings). It was worth the 6 month wait because the burger tasted sensational. Somehow Eduardo had gone from a guy who didn’t cook burgers to the guy who had, in my opinion, the best burger in CDMX.
Some of you may read this and say "it's easy for him to have the best burger because it costs twice what I pay at my local burger bar". That might be partly true, but in my experience, the quality of burgers often goes down the more you pay for them because chefs in fancy restaurants feel the need to overcomplicate things. You often end up with a Frankenstein burger made up of 12 different ingredients that don't work together and are too big to fit in your mouth.
The genius of the Máximo burger is that it’s basically just 3 ingredients. Amazingly soft and warm brioche style bread, wagyu beef and delicious cheese that compliments rather than overpowers the other ingredients. Eduardo is a confident and skilled enough chef to know that often less is more and that is certainly the case with his cheesesburger.
Even though lockdown is over, I’m glad that both the chicken wings and cheeseburgers are still regularly on the menu, but if they’re not, I can also recommend his kampachi, flat iron steaks, and just about everything else that Eduardo cooks.
Pujol - Mole Madre
I'm not a big fan of mole if I'm honest, so I'm glad that Pujol chef, Enrique Olvera, includes his amazing mole madre in both his tasting and Omakase menu because it's something I probably wouldn't order myself. Anyone who has seen the Netflix episode Chef's Table with Enrique will know that this mole has literally been years in the making. Its beauty is in its simplicity, it's just 2 types of delicious mole served on a plate with a tortilla. I dare you to try this mole without licking your plate clean afterwards.