Without a doubt, Mexico City offers one of the world’s most diverse culinary attractions, with more than 300 restaurants to choose from. Food lovers and connoisseurs can choose from the most sophisticated dining experiences to local street fare with regional flavors, and trusted home cooking in mom and pop eateries, as well as colorful marketplaces, cafes, bars and everything in between.
If you’re planning on staying in the Historic District downtown, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2010, you’ll be just steps away from some of the city’s most authentic traditional cuisines.
Café de Tacuba
First opened in 1912, the ambience at Café de Tacuba harkens back to Mexico’s vice-regal era when the country was a colony of Spain. You’ll love the long tablecloths and traditional “talavera” pottery tableware. The menu is traditional Mexican and includes soups, meats and appetizers like enchiladas, tamales, chalupas and tacos, as well as delicacies like beef tongue, stuffed peppers, and marinated cured meat, among others.
Address: Tacuba #28, Centro
The Terrace at the Mexico City Grand Hotel
There’s a lot more on the menu at this historic hotel than just food. First be sure to admire the hotel’s unforgettable Art Nouveau architecture and finishings, including the emblematic stained glass Tiffany dome and the period elevators. Then head to the hotel’s buffet restaurant on the roof terrace. While eating, enjoy unsurpassed views of the city’s main square below (known in Spanish as the Zocalo) with the Metropolitan Cathedral and National Palace on two sides.
Address: Ave. 16 de Septiembre #82, Fourth floor
This is one of the city’s most traditional restaurants, frequented by politicians, gourmands and intellectuals with a smattering of families, too. The extensive menu offers a wide range of seafood, meat and foul. Be sure to sample the escamoles (edible ant larvae), seared duck tacos, and the unforgettable seasonal dishes including stuffed peppers (chiles en nogada), the leafy green Mexican vegetable known as huautzontles, and the cod fish dish known as bacalao.
There are three locations in the Historic District:
Palma #23 between the 5 de Mayor and Madero streets
Inside the Hilton Alameda hotel
At the Plaza Tolsa, #3 Marconi street at the corner with Tacuba street
Sanborns de los Azulejos
The word “azulejo” in Spanish means tile and the exquisite tiled exterior of this restaurant explains why it is one of the best-known buildings in the Historic District and a flagship in the Sanborns restaurant chain. The menu specializes in Mexican food at accessible prices. The location was built in the 16th century as a palace for the Spanish colonial counts of the Valley of Orizaba. The exterior tiles are in the well-known talavera style of pottery originating in Puebla, Mexico. The interior is just as eye catching as this is without a doubt one of Mexico’s jewel’s of colonial baroque vice-regal architecture.
San Juan Market
To really get to know Mexico, we recommend you step away from the well-beaten tourism path and stop by this traditional covered neighborhood market. It’s a favorite with chefs and gourmands throughout the city and offers a vast array of fresh meat, seafood, vegetables and fruit as well as more exotic fare. Here you’ll have no trouble finding everything from lion meat, deer and crocodile (sold with permission of the authorities), cheeses, and exotic fruits, and all at the highest quality. Plan to grab a bite at one of the stalls. Highly recommended.
Address: Ernesto Pugibet #21, Historic District
Get ready to amaze your palate, and leave you diet behind as you sample the culinary delights of Mexico City’s Historic District with your Royal Holiday membership.