Mexico City has become one of the world’s most sought-after food capitals. Whether you are grabbing a quick bite on a street corner or on a wait list for the hottest spot in town, your culinary senses are sure to celebrate this city’s delights. From new openings to established go-to spots, here are seven restaurants in Mexico City you must know in 2019.
Agua y Sal
If there is one dish that exists in different versions in almost all Latin American cuisines, it is ceviche — one of the specialties of Agua y Sal. The menu predominately offers different types of seafood, all prepared with Mexican and other Latin seasonings. Among the ceviches, one of the favorites is the tatemado, which includes shrimp, octopus, and the catch of the day accompanied by a grilled chilhuacle chile sauce, yuzu, onion, avocado, watermelon radish, and black salt from Hawaii. It is an explosion of umami and freshness from the sea.
This new neighborhood bistro, located next to Condesa’s Parque México, offers delicious dishes with small sophisticated touches that make it go beyond comfort food. The chef duo, Elsa Olmos and César Vázquez, wanted to create a short, well-executed menu that could transform based on the market offer. For an appetizer, olives with salsa macha are a must before continuing with the raw fish of the day and moving on to a main dish of glazed short rib served with a terrine of potatoes with bacon. The desserts — one of the chef’s specialties —all deserve a bite.
Delicious food and rare wines. Its slogan does justice to this pleasant bistro in the Juárez neighborhood led by Jair Téllez, chef of the famous MeroToro. Rare wines refers to those that are natural, organic, and biodynamic and are produced by alternative wineries that are now conquering more and more devotees. Its relaxed atmosphere and fresh and seasonal products make it a go-to spot in the city. The cuisine is influenced by the flavors of Baja California and the Mediterranean. They can be tasted in dishes such as the jerky beef tartar with topinambur chips, the ceviche-style fried fish tostada, or the soft crab. However, the offer changes constantly depending on what is available at the market.
The famous Japanese chef Makoto Okuwa created this franchise that also has headquarters in Panama and the United States. Here tradition is mixed with modern techniques (and small creative licenses) to adapt to the western palate. An extensive menu offers options from the sushi bar and robata grill as well as tempura, rice, and noodles. The wagyu beef cuts cooked on hot stones melt in your mouth. This restaurant uses many pronounced flavors and dishes full of umami that can be enjoyed in a roomy and modern space.
There are cuisines that are to be shared not because of trends but because it is inscribed in their culture. That is the case of the Middle East as a whole, and the chef Daniel Ovadía, of Jewish roots, wanted the flavors of Israel, Turkey, and Morocco to shine on his menu. The Salatim, an array of small dishes that includes baba ganoush, pickled beets, tabouleh, labneh, prepared olives, among many others, is perfect for starters. Hummus — that savory mix of chickpeas and tahine — has a key role on the menu with multiple varieties that change daily according to the products available at the market. Turkish tea or coffee service is one of the must-haves to end your meal.
Loretta Chic Bistro
Of the restaurants located in the southern part of the city, Loretta Chic Bistro has been one of the most exciting recent openings. Chef Abel Hernández sought to create a restaurant where the food was to be shared and, moreover, where people would like to come on a weekly basis. His menu consists of Mediterranean food with a very interesting side of vegetables prepared with loads of flavors — try the baby carrots roasted with jocoque, toasted honey and spices, or sweet potato with gorgonzola cream, hazelnuts, and chives. The wine list, created by Laura Santander, offers unconventional labels that are always a pleasure to discover.
Gastón Acurio, the chef who internationalized Peruvian food around the world, opened this new concept restaurant in the Roma neighborhood, which also has a sister establishment in Barcelona, Spain. Here the traditional Peruvian seafood is celebrated in the form of ceviches, tiraditos, shellfish, rice dishes, soups, piqueos, among others. The authentic flavors are maintained, and proof of this is its mixed ceviche that comes with the catch of the day, crispy squid, and tasty tiger’s milk. As for the favorites, it is necessary to order sautéed noodles with Creole seafood, black rice with octopus, and fish stew. The colorful decoration and relaxed, even festive atmosphere make for long conversation at the table.
All restaurant reviews originally written in Spanish by Liliana López.
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