Liliana Lopez

When Colombian-born, Mexico City-based food and travel journalist Liliana Lopez gets home, the thing she craves most is tacos. For The Local Tongue, the former editor of Food & Wine en español (and other Spanish food titles) talks about her favourite addresses in the Mexican capital, from go-to taquerias and cocktail bars to fine diners that live up to the hype. When she’s not filing copy for the many international titles she contributes to, she’s customising city guides around the world for clients and friends.

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My Favourite Tacos

If I’ve been away travelling, the first thing I want to eat when I get back to Mexico is tacos in any form. One of my regular places to go for tacos is Los Picudos, just one block away from home, where they serve tacos al carbon (meat grilled over charcoal). I also like the ones from a popular chain called El Califa.

Seasonal Cooking And Natural Wines

To enjoy good food and wine with friends, I usually go to Amaya, a restaurant from Chef Jair Tellez. It has a good vibe, I love that the food there changes upon seasonality and there’s a great natural wine list.

A Commitment To Quality Ingredients

My favourite restaurant in Mexico City is Maximo Bistro or anything that chef Eduardo “Lalo” García does. He has such a commitment to produce quality, so that everything tastes extremely good. At Maximo Bistro his menu changes almost daily, but I usually have his ragu pasta – that I love – a fresh salad, and aguachile or crudos. I love to have breakfast at Lalo!. Everything is delicious, but I always order the chilaquiles with extra bacon. I love chilaquiles; I could eat them at any time of the day, but Mexicans eat them for breakfast. I also love his French bistro Havre 77.

Excellent Seafood

Contramar is a classic spot and great for lunch. It serves excellent Mexican seafood, the best tuna tostadas, tuna carnitas, and tacos of esmedregal (cobia). They just opened a new concept in the Historic Center called Itacate that I am willing to explore.

Regional Mexican Cooking

Nicos is one of my favourite Mexican restaurants; the sauces, moles and guacamole are to die for.  If you opt for something more casual, head to El Parnita and order Tacos Viajeros or just go next door to Expendio de Maíz, where there is no menu and corn preparations are the stars of the daily changing menu.

Dinner Reservations In Mexico City

Quintonil‘s contemporary cuisine puts Mexican flavours and products at the centre with technique, creativity and dedication. Although you can order a la carte, go for the tasting menu and be sure to include the pairing.

The aim at Pujol is to showcase the extensive and complex Mexican cuisine in a modern way, where corn and ancestral prehispanic techniques are the backbone. Try both the tasting menu and the taco omakase. 

Chef Edgar Nuñez’s approach at restaurant Sud 777 is to develop a Mexican vegetable cuisine, an exotic concept if you take into account that animal protein is very important in the Mexican culinary heritage.

At restaurant Rosetta, Mexico and Italy meet in subtle and powerful preparations, such as the pastor meat tartar or the tagliatelle with Italian sausage and chile de arbol. Have some space for desserts.

Playing With Spice

To experience the local casual dining scene go to Masala y Maíz, a restaurant that explores the intersection of spices between Mexico and India. 

Mercado El 100

One of the good things that this new world order brought is cooking at home. Mercado el 100 is my compulsory Sunday treat where everything is organic. To take a look at what’s in season or even to get a Mexican souvenir, head to this incredible food market.

Great Breakfast Options

Chef Elena Reygadas just opened a fantastic brunch in her flagship Rosetta Restaurant on Fridays and weekends. You can also enjoy her breads, pastries and Mexican preparations in Lardo, Café Nin or Panaderia Rosetta. El Cardenal in the historic center, Niddo or Lalo are also great options to have breakfast.

Mezcal Nights

Star chef Enrique Olvera opened 2 years ago Ticuchi, a bar with interesting cocktails and a mezcal menu where there are no brands but producers. Add to that lovely bites and dishes that emphasize the Oaxacan gastronomy. For a great cocktail program, head to Limantour or Baltra.

Guide last updated March 2021

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