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Mixing global flavors and techniques, Mexico City’s chefs are creating a cuisine as cosmopolitan as the megalopolis itself. Mexico also has a vibrant craft beer scene. In fact, this humble and beautiful colonial city has some of Mexico’s best cuisine; cochinita pibil (slow roasted, well-seasoned pork), papadzules (an eggy twist on the typical enchilada), marquesitas mayas (crispy, rolled crepes filled with chocolate spread and cheese). The buzz of infinite human activity. Going there can feel like that dream of suddenly discovering an unknown extra room in your house, if that room was Paris. That’s possible again, too. Privacy Statement. A raucous daytime canteen for Mexico City’s elite (and plenty of American visitors), Gabriela Cámara’s restaurant is a dream for the mariscos-minded. There are also bike lanes and boutiques and bookstores. A rotating cast of beautiful couples commanded intimate tables hugging the wall, adding to the seductive atmosphere. The Great World City part, anyway, should be well established, as Americans have headed to Mexico City in droves in recent years, coming back with tales—and social media feeds—depicting a fantasia of cafés, museums, galleries, and parks, all a relatively short flight away. But it is that magical taste and color of the blue corn that transports this dish to another place entirely. Featured here is a delicious feast at the Mexico City restaurant El Tizoncito. Tacos al pastor. Puerto Vallarta. This type of taco is a pork lover’s dream. All rights reserved. But I was crazy for his fresh, spicy salsa made from shredded carrots, chipotle pepper, onion, garlic and tomato; a nice punch of flavor when so many waiters offer tourists the sweetly reassuring news that food is “not too spicy.” If, like me, you prefer when restaurants bring the spice, then you will love this unpretentious, forward-thinking restaurant. “You have to try it,” advised the twentysomething standing next to me waiting on two portions, one for himself and one for his girlfriend who hadn’t yet experienced the esquites in her neck of Mexico. The mezcal in Tornés’s jug was clear as rainwater but rich and wild-tasting. This spot stocks an incredible array of mezcals (many of them sourced from their own distillery) to sample but be sure and ask for the buttery, crunchy, corn-like ant eggs (genus Liometopum), each about the size of a ball bearing and harvested from the root of the agave. Gral. Either hit one of the excellent taco spots open late-night (like Taqueria El Califa, El Farolito, or Tacos Orinoco) or go to Paramo, where your late-night food will also come with a late-night scene. Benjamín Hill 146; 52-55-5271-3515. Featured here is the menu at the classic churros and chocolate Mexico City restaurant El Moro. They exchange practical information and help one another negotiate the byzantine hurdles of Mexico City’s bureaucracy. MEXICO CITY (AP) — As the coronavirus slams Mexico City, it was business as usual Tuesday at the city’s central wholesale food market — the scene of one of the capital's biggest outbreaks in the spring. From left: Street food at Tacos El Huequito; milhojas de frutos rojos at Panaderia Rosetta. and flair. I sampled a small selection from the more than 17 Mexican-made beers on offer at the swanky St. Regis. Mole comes in every imaginable flavor and there is always a shot glass of the exceedingly diverse flavors of mezcal close by to wash it all down. But he also has a particular way with seemingly simple ingredients, giving a rustic, pared-back preparation that allows their true flavor and beauty to shine through. A sign at the Mexico City restaurant Fonda Mayora gives guests the restaurant's details. The current issue of DEPARTURES is available exclusively to American Express Platinum Card® Members. Mexico City residents traditionally eat out en famille on Saturdays and you get a real taste for the character of the city and its people at this exceptional restaurant. So for now, I will highlight some of the more accessible food pleasures at this high-end resort-in-the-city. Meredith Corporation Travel & Leisure Group is not Straw baskets containing herbs and vegetables hang from the ceiling. Photo by: Daniel Klinckwort/Ana Laframboise. Departures is a trademark of, Learn more about the American Express Platinum Card® benefits. Street vendors in Mexico City and some restaurants also feature this gorgeous, flavorful spin on the traditional tortilla, but in this case made from ground blue corn. A squat corn cake beneath a guisado of smoky chile de arbol and beans, brightened with shreds of Swiss chard. The incredible turkey tortas at the street food stand Tortas Tortas (54 Dolores Street in the downtown historic center) operated by Luis “Luigi” Buenrostro come accessorized with avocado and homemade chipotle salsa and like all great street food, demand to be eaten standing, right then and there, salsa dripping down your arm, as soon as they’re dished up. Máximo Bistrot. Benjamín Hill 146; 52-55-5271-3515. On the side, fried baby artichokes with dry jocoque. After such a long break, I had some catching up to do. At Contramar, where squadrons of waiters swoop in and out between the tables of politicians, actors, and other important Chilangos (as Mexico City dwellers are called), rolling the circular tables around like military ordnance, I downed chef Gabriela Cámara’s famous tuna tostadas. Travelers are flocking to this bustling city and it's easy to see why. Of course I wanted tacos minus the quotation marks, too. Cookin' Vallarta. Located in the Centro, Bósforo has a legendary collection of mezcals from around Mexico. This classic al pastor stall in the Centro is a sublime introduction to Mexico City’s seemingly endless street-food scene. Service is exceptional, the staff unobtrusive but incredibly knowledgeable and the dark, velvet-encased atmosphere undeniably sexy. affiliated with American Express Company or its subsidiaries. For me, it was a warm, fresh tortilla piled with squash blossoms, pepitas, hominy, and the sharp, almost minty herb hoja santa. Yes, Mexico City is genuinely, splendidly cosmopolitan: There are great restaurants, great coffee, great museums, and great parks. From left: Jesús Tórnes, owner of Expendio de Maíz Sin Nombre; the restaurant's daily special. Watch Andrew Zimmern prepare roasted red snapper in banana leaves with fresh Mexican sausage. He teared up at one point, eliciting murmurs of “Ay, papi” from the rapt staff. One of my favorite things about Mexico City’s food scene is the abundance of restaurants specializing in dishes from all over Latin America. You won’t be sorry. Eventually he opened a stall in Mexico City’s organic Mercado el 100, where he met the businessman who let him set up shop next to his existing restaurant, a bar popular with fresas (as Chilango yuppies are called), few of whom are likely aware of the bizarre culinary art project going on next door. But, Elena Reygades told me, something has definitely changed in the past decade or so. EU Data Subject Requests “Máximo is one of the hottest restaurants in the city,” Olvera says, “so the crowd is … Mexico City residents drink mezcal straight, the better to appreciate the various gradations of smoky and sweet, smooth and punchy in this liquor distilled from the agave plant. #3 of 50 Food & Drink in Puerto Vallarta. “The Mexico City food scene is truly rich, presenting a kaleidoscope of flavor,” said David Cáceres, co-founder and head baker of La Panadería, in a news release. Retail and Wholesale. It doesn’t get edgier, more experimental but also more rooted in local food culture than it does at Pujol, celebrity chef Enrique Olvera’s gorgeous, romantic hot spot, named to San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants List. Gral. Who knew?). It was—I’m very sorry—a Mexican standoff. The preferred repast at Mexico City restaurant El Moro: churros and chocolate. Pictures of Jesus and the last supper set a tranquil tone. Chef de Cuisine at J&G Grill Mexico City Olivier Deboise Mendez walked me through making the pizza, including a nifty hack to remove the avocado pit with a quick stab of a very sharp knife (apparently everyone knows this trick but me). This insect caviar, considered a delicacy by the Aztecs, epitomizes the unique foodways of the country, both ancient but also well-suited to the needs of a changing planet embracing new forms of protein. Esquites, I'm coming for you. The dish's earthy flavors were the perfect complement to the bracing mezcal Téllez brought out to accompany. MEXICO CITY (AP) — As the coronavirus slams Mexico City, it was business as usual Tuesday at the city’s central wholesale food market — the scene of one of the capital’s biggest outbreaks in the spring. Not too sweet, it was the perfect punctuation to the restaurant’s signature, singular six-course feast. It is the perfect way to start your day anytime, but seems like it would be required supping after a night of mezcal-abuse, with its perfect blend of caffeine, grease and sugar. “What I want is for you to feel that whoever is cooking was waiting here to make love to you,” Tornés said, closing his eyes. I was especially taken by the rajas con crema, featuring chunky strips of poblano pepper with rich cream, cheese and onion. The hippest Brooklyn watering hole has nothing on the complex cocktails and ambient pre-Hispanic cool at Xaman run by French owners Romain Morice and Anthony Zamora (more on this in a later story) where I got to unleash my inner bartender and create some of their signature cocktails. Departures® is published by Meredith Corporation Travel & Leisure Group, a subsidiary of Meredith Corporation. Cool people. In short, use common sense, trust your gut (literally) and, when in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask questions. I am embarrassed to say before I visited Mexico City, I didn’t really “get” mezcal. We weren’t really free.”. A food stand in Mexico City offers various toppings for turkey tortas. “It’s a place that could only exist in Mexico City, that’s for sure,” someone had told me with a laugh, before I went to Expendio, which is all the qualification for a Great Eating City that I, or anyone else, should ever need. They are, though, indisputably a part of how Mexico City eats today.  and  Tornés has messy, longish hair, sleepy eyes, and a guru vibe. Pick a Neighborhood. They are for sale at local markets, and pop up in a variety of dishes, as an add-in to guacamole, a taco filling, a coffee-like puree sprinkled on dishes. TAMALES MADRE. After touring the chaotic, must-see Merced Market, a food hall and grocery shopping destination in one, where glistening fruta cristalizada, endless varieties of mole and a food stall crowned with some pseudo golden arches offers tacos topped with a heaping helping of French fries, you’ll want to come down from that melee with a relaxing cocktail and snack from the atmospheric Restaurante Roldan 37. Though … I sensed she was the secondin-command but that such hierarchies were frowned on in this place. Then prepare the dish in your own kitchen. Pastor is king in Mexico City, and thus this list leans heavily towards the spitted pork. Ambient lighting creates the seductive dining room at the renowned Pujol restaurant in Mexico City. Mexico City’s king of highend dining, Enrique Olvera, recently opened this casual, masa-centric spot for breakfast and lunch. The avocado pizza at St. Regis Mexico City is a healthy twist on an old favorite. 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