Where to Eat in Mexico City – Street Food & Best Restaurants in Mexico City

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Searching for the best places to eat in Mexico City? With so many options, deciding where to eat in Mexico City can be a difficult process. After all, some of the best restaurants in Mexico City have Michelin stars and a waiting list. Yet, in our view, some of the other best places to eat in Mexico City may be a simple stand set up on a street corner. Indeed, some of our favorite places to eat in Mexico City don’t have white table cloths and fine silverware. Here are a few of our top picks.

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Where to Eat in Mexico City

I have a lot to say about where to eat in Mexico City, and of course, I’m not alone. Search “the best restaurants in Mexico City” and you’ll find loads of articles pointing out hundreds of fine Mexico City restaurants. They’ll invariably mention Pujol, the capital’s crowning culinary jewel. Does it have Michelin stars? Does it deserve them? I don’t know and I haven’t eaten there. In fact, neither have most of those who wrote these articles on “the Best Restaurants in Mexico City.”

Having said that, there are so many incredible restaurants in Mexico City. Some of them aren’t restaurants in the conventional sense, but they still serve up incredible food every day. The problem with searching for the best places to eat in Mexico City is that some of these places aren’t brick-and-mortar restaurants, but instead market stalls, street stands, and mobile carts, as well. 

I can’t tell you the name of every place I ate something delicious in Mexico City. Really, I can’t. I should have kept better notes (and maybe just pinned places on Google Maps) but some places don’t really even have a name. That said, the list below is a compilation of where I can recommend as the best places to eat in Mexico City.  Is it complete? Not by a long shot, but after nearly two years going in and out of the capital, these are our suggestions for where to eat in Mexico City. 

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Mexico City Food Tours

Whether you’re in the capital for a few days or a few months, I highly recommend looking into some Mexico City food tours. That way you get to try lots of Mexican dishes and determine what you like and what you want more of. Do this early. That way any great Mexico City restaurant or food stall you like can be visited again before you leave. 

Eat Mexico Culinary Tours

Mexico City food tours & street tostadas - best places to eat in mexico city

One of the best recommendations I can give for finding places to eat in Mexico City is to take a food tour on one of your first days in town. There are many great food tours in Mexico City, and we think taking a street food tour early on is a great idea. For example, we took a street food tour with Eat Mexico Culinary Tours, and that laid the groundwork for finding loads of great grub throughout future visits.

The Mexico City street food scene is huge and remarkably diverse, and learning about it earlier than later sets you up for loads of great flavor experiences. For example, after that tour, we’ve returned to some of the same street food stands multiple times. In addition, we now know what certain things are being sold and can now order them from different stands with more confidence.

Other Mexico City Food Tours

Half-Day Original Markets & Mexico City Street Food Tours

Historic Center of Mexico City Food Tour

Colonia Roma Food Tour

Mexico City Markets & Street Food Tours

Taco Night: Private Mexico City Food Tour

3–Hour Mexico City Food Tour in Polanco

Authentic Downtown Mexico City Food Tours

Best Places to Eat in Mexico City

Mexico City restaurants come in all forms, and we continue to find more and more great food every new part of town we visit. Below is a compilation of what we’ve found (so far)to be some of the best restaurants in Mexico City, including tips on where to eat brunch, where to get dessert, snacks and more. 

The Markets: Where to Eat in Mexico City

Mercado Coyoacan: one of the best places to eat in mexico city

Some of the best places to eat in Mexico City are the food stalls and sit-down restaurants in the major mercados (markets). Our present favorite is the seafood tostada stands in Mercado Coyoacan. This market is less than a 10-minute walk from Casa Azul (aka Frida Kahlo’s house). If you go, time your visit to eat lunch before or afterward. Mercado Merced is also full of some of the best Mexico City street food as well as family-run diners in the market. Come here for the most authentic places to eat on Mexico City. 

Other markets with great places to eat include Mercado Medellin and Mercado San Juan. Mercado Medellin is in the Roma neighborhood and caters to many of the city’s South American residents. Look here for Colombian food ad exotic fruit, as well. Mercado de San Juan is where to eat in Mexico City for those looking to try something more exotic, such as scorpions or wasps. 

Food Court-Style Dining in Mexico City

Mercado Roma where to eat in Mexico City

No, I’m not pointing you to a shopping mall food court, although I’m sure Mexico City has those too. The dining experiences I’m talking about here are a little hipper and authentic than a bolted-down table in front of the Gap. Many of these food court areas are some of the best places to eat in Mexico City for a number of reasons. First of all, they’re usually set in a large courtyard with more room than conventional restaurants, and they have a variety of choices so that everyone can get what they want. 

Corredor Salamanca

This hipster food court hotspot in the Roma neighborhood is a great place for lunch, dinner or drinks. There are ping pong tables on the second floor and a variety of restaurants, cafes and juice bars to meet anyone’s cravings. Personally, I chose the Argentinian place.

Mercado Roma

This more upscale market is more for fine(r) dining and artisanal products but is a lovely place to spend a few hours. It’s always listed in articles about where to eat in Mexico City, and for good reason. The ambiance (and the prices) are more high-scale here. This is where to eat in Mexico Cit  for those who want to see and be seen.

Comedor Lucerna

One of the most popular shared Mexico City restaurant spaces with locals. Four food stalls share a courtyard filled with colorful picnic tables. Often live music on weekends. 

Breakfast & Brunch

Lalo! where to eat in Mexico City for brunch

Whether you’re out late-night or just looking for a place to chill, work or read, here is where to eat in Mexico City for brunch. 

Lalo!

Out of all the best places to eat in Mexico City for brunch, Lalo maybe the hippest. The walls are adorned with cartoonish graffiti-style murals, and the soundtrack could have been picked by Pitchfork magazine. Staples like chilaquiles and french toast get very high marks here. The coffee too. Just keep in mind that this is a place is having a moment, often with a line to prove it. We got lucky and were seated right away at the communal table, but many people report long waits. Walk by and judge for yourself if it’s worth it all. 

El Peltre

Suggested by a friend in San Miguel de Allende, we loved El Peltre and their menu of standard Mexican fare and delicious hybrids. Smack in the coolest part of Roma, El Peltre has indoor and outdoor seating and HUGE coffee mugs. The girls loved their French Toast and chocolate croissants to go. My black chilaquiles were fantastic and generous. 

El Cardenal

A favorite of locals and expats alike, each branch of El Cardenal is a popular spot for breakfast through dinner. We like the chilaquiles, enchiladas, various egg dishes, and fresh-baked pastries. Expect old-school dining: white tablecloths and exceptional service. One of the best places to eat in Mexico City for old-world ambiance.

Cafe Nin

This little wood-paneled bistro is a branch of the fabulous Panaderia Rosetta chain. It’s warm and inviting, with the atmosphere of a French cafe. Then, of course, you get to choose from breakfast staple or just get a fantastic cappuccino and Panaderia Rosetta’s amazing pastries. 

Ojo de Agua

Where to eat in Mexico City for sandwiches, salads and fruit smoothies. There are several branches of Ojo de Agua I think but the only one I know to recommend is just southwest of Parque Mexico. One of the best places to eat in Mexico City if you plan to walk in the parks afterward.

Mexican Food

Casa de Tono - one of the best restaurants in Mexico City to quick & cheap Mexican food

If you’re coming to the capital of Mexico, then you know you’re in for some fantastic local cuisine. There are so many top restaurants in Mexico City worth mentioning here, but these are the ones I can recommend now. 

Tacos Alvaro Obregon

Exactly how many great taco restaurants in Mexico City are there? How many claim to have the best tacos in Mexico City? Hundreds? Thousands? There’s no way to tell, but our favorite taqueria in the capital is tacos Alvaro Obregon in Roma. The interior is bright and orange and plastic. We loved everything we ordered. Their envueltos (pan-grilled Oaxaca cheese “envelopes” filled with your choice of meat) were downright sinful, they were so good. 

Casa de Toño

There is nothing fancy about this chain of traditional Mexican specialties. The lights are neon, and the bright wooden tables look like something out of a fast food chain. But you don’t come here for the ambiance. You come here for good Mexican standards served fast and with a smile.

Their specialty is pozole, a rich Mexican soup/stew served with lime and tostadas. But there wasn’t anything on the menu we didn’t like: sopes, enfrijoladas, and more. Nothing’s fancy, but it’s cheap, fast and delicious, and the staff are great. The weekend we first discovered it, my daughter and I ate dinner here three nights in a row. The food is cheap, the desserts and drinks (micheladas, that is) are generous, and the place is packed every time we went. Also an easy place for dates, families or groups.

Agua y Sal

This upscale spot in the tony Polanco neighborhood is where to eat in Mexico City of you love ceviche. The menu is long and creative, and the service is spot-on. Just keep in mind the kind of swanky neighborhood it’s in. You might get a haughty look if you show up in cut-offs and flip flops. 

El Turix Polanco

Like Agua y Sal mentioned above, this is also one of the best Mexico City restaurants and it is also in the fancy-schmancy Polanco neighborhood. But that’s where the comparisons stop. El Turix looks like a dive and has a cheap-and-cheerful vibe. They serve Conchita Pibil, a slow-roasted pork specialty served on panuchos, which are like corn tortillas filled with beans and fried. You usually think of this regional cuisine in places like Merida or Tulum in general. Out of the best places to eat in Mexico City, this is where to eat it outside of the Yucatan Peninsula. 

Barbacoa: El Hidalguense & Los Tres Reyes

If you’re a meat-eater and unfamiliar with barbacoa, then this is a must-try food in Mexico City. barbacoa is slow-roasted mutton, wrapped in leaves and slow-cooked overnight. The result is fall-off-the-bone deliciousness. Two of the most famous barbacoa restaurants in Mexico City are El Hidalguense & Los Tres Reyes. People argue over which is best but I say just go to the one closest to you. They are where to eat in Mexico City for barbacoa. 

International Food / Comfort Food

pizza where to eat in Mexico city

Okay, okay, so maybe you don’t want to have Mexican food every night. Or maybe you’re in Mexico City with kids or picky eaters and need to find something familiar. I’ve been there. I mean really: when you spend nearly two years wandering around Mexico, it’s nice to break up the taco train with some sushi, spaghetti, or fried rice, am I right? here’s where to eat in Mexico City when you don’t want Mexican food. 

Pizza: Perro Negro & Muerte A La Pizza Falsa

You’ll find a few branches of this local chain throughout the city, but we’ve only been to the one close to Parque Espana. They do some weird pizzas here (garbanzos? really?) but they also do the standards amazingly well, also. That said, I personally found the mashed potato & pepperoni pizza shockingly good. Like, why hasn’t anyone done this before? There’s only one problem with Perro Negro: no one underage is allowed because it’s a bar as well. If you’re in Mexico City with kids, then go to its sister store next door: Muerte A La Pizza Falsa (Death to the False Pizza). Same menu, same kitchen and same rock n’ roll vibe. But unfortunately (for me anyway), no beer served.

Cuban: La Bodeguita del Medio

The branch of this chain of Cuban restaurants is built into a massive colonial home. Pictures of celebrities don the walls, and the walls themselves are covered floor-to-ceiling with autographs and other hijinks with a sharpie. The ceviche was good. The mojitos were even better. This place often has (loud) live music, so factor that into your decision.

Japanese: Edo Kobayashi

To be honest, we were a little shocked at all the Japanese places to eat in Mexico City. Seriously, they are all over. That said, if you want to keep it simple and you’re itching for umami flavors, then Edo Kobayashi has your Japanese food cravings locked down in the capital. These guys have restaurants all over the city. Some specialize in sushi, while another is for yakitori. A ramen shop, izakaya, and tachinomi (standing bar),  as well. This is where to eat in Mexico city for Japanese food, but you’ll pay for that luxury. 

Chinese: El Ave Fénix

No, this isn’t the best Chinese restaurant in Mexico City, but one night the boy and I were in the capital’s Chinatown and were ready for something that wasn’t a taco. El Ave Fénix is an above-average Chinese buffet close to the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Some dishes were obviously prepared with the Mexican palette in mind, but there was plenty more to scratch our itch. Tsingtao and Chinese soups to wash it down, too. 

Sweets & Dessert

churro - best places to eat in mexico city

Now that’s you’ve had your meal, what shall we finish it off with? A pastry? Perhaps some ice cream? Or maybe a churro and some hot chocolate? Here’s where to eat in Mexico City to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Dulceria de Celaya

Whether you’re a sweet tooth or not, this traditional Mexican candy shop is one of the best places in Mexico to get a taste of times gone by. Our girl loved the granadas (chocolate & almond-covered marshmallows. I tried lots or preserved fruits and coconut in a candied lime peel. There are two branches in the city. The main branch near the historic district is in a beautiful old building. The second location in Roma Norte is less atmospheric but still carries all the goods.

Churrería El Moro

This place is a Mexico City institution, and it deserves to be on all the lists of best places to eat in Mexico City. Churrería El Moro first opened its doors in 1935. Today, it’s open 24 hours and serves some of the best churros and hot chocolate the world has ever seen. 

Bakeries in Mexico City

Panaderia bakeries in mexico city

Looking for a quick breakfast? Need a snack to tide you over till suppertime? Look for panaderias and pastelerias. Panaderias are more bread (think croissants and sandwiches) while pastelerias focus more on cakes and sweets, but they often overlap. These are where to eat in Mexico City when you need a snack or something small to go. We often drop by these places for pastries the night before an early flight or any other time when we know we’ll have to eat quick or on the run. Panaderias and pastelerias are everywhere in Mexico, and even more so in the capital. Here are three of our favorites:

  • Panaderia Rosetta: Easily some of the best baked goods in the country. I loved the traditional guava pastries but the kids did not. Amazing chocolate croissants and other sweets. Try their main store or their branch at Cafe Nin (mentioned above) in Juarez. 
  • Pastelería Ideal: Your traditional bakery where you walk around with a tray and tongs picking out your selections. The wedding cakes will make your jaw drop.
  • Pastelería Suiza: Chocolate cake fingers. Savory empanadas. Giant neon-colored macarons. Pastelería Suiza has all that and more. It’s located next to Parque Espana and the Pizza Perro negro mentioned above. Highly recommended for next-day breakfast treats. 
  • Lecaroz: Another chain of Mexican bakeries. We’ve been in the Hipodromo branch many times. 

Ice Cream in Mexico Cityice cream in mexico city

I feel like I should write an entire post on all the great ice cream shops in Mexico City! Once I visit a few more, I just might have to write that up. Mexicans love their helado (ice cream), and one of the best things to eat in Mexico City is a scoop or two on the sidewalk. You’ll see small stalls set up on street corners, with maybe a dozen or more steel cylinders on ice, and a paper sign denoting the flavors. Try these, but if you’re looking for a more conventional ice cream parlor, here are a few worth seeking out.

Neveria Roxy

This old-school ice cream parlor in the lovely Condesa Neighborhood still has the 50’s-style swivel chairs at the bar. It also has loads of flavors to choose from.

Helados Cometa

The selection is not as wide at Helados Cometa, but the quality is fantastic. We had a chocolate mint here that was one of the best I’d ever had. Deep, almost fudge-like brown, with only a hint of mint. Amazing.

Helados Obscuro

This last one isn’t a conventional ice cream place at all. It’s more like a bar, and most of the many ice cream flavors available have alcohol in them. Sure, they’ll have 3-5 flavors for kids, but then others are a little more creative, like the Wolfman (Espresso Ice Cream & Jack Daniel’s), the Vampire (Cranberry, Red Wine & Vodka) or the Frankenstein (Chocolate Mint with Absinth).

Do You Know Where to Eat in Mexico City?

If you’ve been to this town, then you know that our list of place restaurants in Mexico city is just scratching the surface. Help us out. Do you know some of the best places to eat in Mexico City? Do you have opinions on what are often called the best restaurants in Mexico City? Give us your tips and advice in the comments below!

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for Mexico City food tours and other things to do in CDMX. This costs you nothing, but when you use our links to book a Mexico City tour, we might receive a small commission. My opinions are my own and I only recommend where to eat in Mexico City that I think our readers will appreciate and make use of. 

Photo Credits via Creative Commons CC BY or other Royalty-free image sites. Some images may have been altered slightly via cropping or color enhancement: #6, #9, #10, #11, #12

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