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Written by: Chef Pablo Benitez is the chef at Mezcalita in Mumbai—and was the head chef at Le Cirque in Mexico City.
Chef Pablo Benitez, chef at Mezcalita, Mumbai’s newly opened Mexican restaurant, is the man to get a list from when you’re planning a trip to Mexico City. If anyone knows us desis enough to recommend what we’d most enjoy in CDMX (Ciudad de México, as Mexico City is also known), it’s him. Pablo is an irredeemable Indophile—he’d visited India a dozen times before he started working here a few months ago.
He also has a solid background in the food of Mexico, his home country. He was the executive chef at Le Cirque in CDMX nearly 20 years ago, where he brought bold and inventive flavours to the menu, informed by his travels across República Mexicana. For over a dozen years, until the start of this year, Pablo served as the executive chef at the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana Restaurant. There, he was also a professor for Mexican Pre-Hispanic cuisine, so he’s also probably a bit of a nerd. The school’s restaurant, also known as Zefiro, is among the places he recommends in his list below.
Discover Mexico beyond tacos and tequila
One of the most pleasant spaces of current Mexican gastronomy, Quintonil offers a tasting menu where elements of international gastronomy are fused with Mexican techniques resulting in one of the best meal experiences in CDMX. The spring menu this year includes chicatana ants’ homemade chorizo with santanero beans from Oaxaca, criollo corn tortillas from Santa María del Llano, and cactus paddle sorbet. Must try dishes: risotto de cilantro con huevo perfecto, taco de la milpa. Address: Avenue Isaac Newton 55, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX. Telephone: +52 555280 2680
Named by many as the world’s best Mexican restaurant, Pujol is a benchmark for many signature cuisines. Without a doubt, it is the best restaurant for contemporary Mexican cuisine and it is always an experience to dine in, with its different seasonal tasting menus. Dishes on the seven-course menu at this restaurant (ranked among the World’s 50 Best) include the signature mole madre which is aged, according to various accounts, between 1,000 and 2,500 days. Also on there, a snail ceviche with hearts of palm juice and parsnip, Brussels sprouts tlayuda, with almond’s mojo, and ant roe. Make sure to sample the mole at Pujol, and the aguachile de aguacate. Address: Tennyson 133, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11550 Ciudad de México, CDMX. Telephone: +52 55 55454111
A pastry cafeteria that is located in the Guillermo Tovar museum of the Soumaya group, Tres Abejas is a space where you can eat at super affordable prices, with the guarantee of an incredible experience. Their almond cake and chilaquiles cake are the best in town. Address: Valladolid 52, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX. Telephone: +52 55 2687 6813
If you are going to eat at Contramar, easily the best fish and seafood restaurant in CDMX, you have to try the fabulous two-colour fish and the fig tart. It is an establishment that has been successful for several years, and a place where quality and consistency are great allies—the flavours are always the same, and the service is unmatched. Address: Durango 200, Colonia Roma, Delegación Cuauhtémoc, CP. 06700, Ciudad de México, CDMX. Telephone: +52 (55) 5514 9217
In Mexico City, Fishers upholds a great local tradition: eating with your friends in a warm, friendly atmosphere. It serves wonderful Del Mar dishes—the shrimp broth is a classic, and the rice tumbada is the best in the city. Fishers’ prices are undoubtedly among the most accessible, making the price-quality ratio very rewarding. Address: Avenue. Horacio 232, Polanco, Polanco V Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11530 Ciudad de México, CDMX. Telephone: +52 55 5531 6286
The best school restaurant in the country, Zefiro, is located in a historic building, in the heart of CDMX. It is a place where the students of the Sor Juana Cloister University ensure you have a very good meal experience. The prices for its haute Mexican cuisine are very affordable at this local jewel. Try lengua de Res en salsa verde, dulces del convento, mole manchamanteles, and la décima musa. Other plates include the “Feast of the Sea” fish tempura tacos, and a dish of pork shank pie inspired by an 18th century recipe attributed to the Tenth Muse. Address: San Jerónimo 24, Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX. Telephone: +52 55 5709 7983
El Baijo de Carmen Titita
The best traditional Mexican cuisine restaurant that can be found in CDMX is at El Bajío de Carmen Titita. This is a space where the customs and traditions of indigenous people are preserved, and the regional cuisine of Mexico is highlighted. The flavours are very authentic and the quality is always superb. Hearty homestyle dishes include plantain empanadas stuffed with beans, chicken leg and thigh with mole, lamb barbacoa over grilled cactus, pickled pork hands, and traditional corn cake with vanilla and the option to add eggnog. Pablo’s picks: consomé de pollo, tacos de jaiba envueltos en hoja de plátano. Address: Avenue Insurgentes Sur 800, Colonia del Valle, Benito Juárez, 03100 Ciudad de México, CDMX. Telephone: +52 55 5543 1037
Nicos de Gerardo Vasquez
One of the best traditional cuisine restaurants found in the northern part of the city, Nicos de Gerardo Vázquez is a place where all the details that make a gastronomic experience great are taken care of. The flavours are reminiscent of the traditional cuisine of the yesteryears, matched with the contemporary approach of employing top-quality raw materials. Diners can try pork rinds in green sauce with nopales (cactus), crepes stuffed with huitlacoche, bathed in poblano chilli sauce and epazote oil, and traditional Mexican bread pudding (capirotada) made with cotija cheese, piloncillo (jaggery-like unrefined cane sugar) syrup, almonds, raisins, and sourdough bread. Here, Pablo’s favourites are the pastel de crepas, the guacamole, and the chile rellenos en nogada. Address: Av. Cuitláhuac 3102, Claveria, Azcapotzalco, 02080 Ciudad de México, CDMX. Telephone: +52 55 5396 7090
We hope you liked this enthuGuide to eight of the best restaurants in Mexico, brought to you by enthucutlet.
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