Great Restaurants in Mexico City
Food with a Mexican Twist
One of the great things about Mexico City is its diverse and top quality gastronomical offer. The city has literally thousands of restaurants of all sorts, from every single cuisine, and for every budget.
As it is to be expected, traditional Mexican restaurants abound, but there are also many New Mexican food, Mexican fusion food, or even international food restaurants with a Mexican twist, which are quite exciting for every foodie traveler interested in sampling the Mexican gastronomical offer.
Hereunder is a list of the sort of “Mexican” restaurants that I am talking about. All of them will probably be a very different Mexican restaurant as the one you would expect (the one with the tacos and enchiladas) but then again, Mexican food has always been much more than that. Each one of the restaurants in the list are highly regarded, both by local people and by food connoisseurs, and each one, in its own subcategory, offers great and unique quality food.
Mi Gusto Es: North West Mexican Seafood Restaurant
Restaurant "Mi Gusto Es"
Mi gusto Es (nonliterally translated as “My Pleasure”) is a Mexican-seafood restaurant that prepares fish, shrimp, octopus, scallops, crab, snail, oysters, etcetera, etcetera, in a North-West Mexican style, the way Mexicans eat seafood in the states of Sinaloa and Sonora (North-West Pacific Coast). It is a casual place with very fresh and light food, great for warm weather.
For a seafood restaurant, it is quite cheap and can accommodate even the lowest budgets. Many locals have lunch at Mi Gusto Es during the working week, but it is also a popular place to go with a group of friends in the weekend, and hang out after lunch with some beers and merriment. It has a colorful, relaxed atmosphere as well, and they play signature Northern-Mexican “Banda” music (which unfortunately can get quite loud at some of their branches, especially during the weekends). However, if you are a seafood lover, you are sure to be pleased with their cuisine.
Making Ceviche at Home
Ceviche is a very popular Mexican specialty that is offered in many different restaurants throughout Mexico. If you would like to make yours at home, here is a very simple yet delicious recipe that you can try out at your place, and be the head chef for the day:
Ceviche: Icon of Mexican Seafood
Some of Mi Gusto Es specialties are:
- Ceviche: a seafood preparation in which the fish is cooked with lime juice; once the fish is cooked, the meat and juices are used as a flavorful base to which Mexican ingredients such as tomato, onion, cilantro and avocado are added. This makes a light, fresh and healthy cold lunch, ideal for warm weather (great beach food as well). You can also ask for Shrimp Ceviche.
- Tostadas: a crispy tortilla generously topped with your choice of seafood preparation (shrimp, octopus, crab, marlin, etc.), which is usually a fresh and light salad, rich in seafood, and with a bit of chopped red onion, tomato and cucumber, ingredients that are present in many of their dishes.
- Aguachile: a raw seafood preparation -usually scallops or shrimp- made with red onion, cucumber, Serrano pepper, coriander, lime juice and seasoning sauce (Maggi). Aguachile tends to be a very hot preparation but one can always ask for a milder version.
- Molcajete Mi Gusto Es: shrimp, octopus and scallops served in a lava rock mortar, with a lime juice, seasoning sauce and Serrano pepper sauce, accompanied with red onion and cucumber (see website´s picture). Same as with Aguachile, it can be very hot and susceptible to be adjusted to more sensible palates.
Mi Gusto Es in the Central Area of Mexico City
Mi Gusto Es has several branches, this is the most centric one.
Mexican Food of Yucatan
Mexican Chile Habanero
Restaurant "Los Almendros"
Los Almendros (The Almond Trees) is a Mexican restaurant that offers the traditional food of the Southeast Yucatan Peninsula, which embraces the states of Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Campeche. This subdivision of Mexican cuisine, known as Yucatec food, is very particular to the region and is based on a fusion of international and Maya elements.
In Yucatec food, you can find odd ingredients that range from Dutch cheese and South American achiote, to Asian condiments like garlic and almonds, as well as local products like maize, pumpkin seed, deer, turkey, seafood and coriander.
The Habanero chili pepper is one of the native icons of Yucatec Food, a very small, yet very hot yellow-orange pepper that is feared by many, but that can add a pleasant, mild taste if handled adequately.
Los Almendros is a fancy restaurant with a warm décor that places itself on the upper side of mid-range budget places to eat. However, it is one of the few places outside the Yucatan Penninsula where one can sample the not so well known and very unique Yucatec cuisine.
Achiote: an arboreal plant cultivated in the inter-tropical regions of Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The achiote condiment used in Yucatec and other South American gastronomies is extracted from its fruit. See picture below.
What's on Los Almendros Menu?
Some samples of traditional Yucatec Food served in this restaurant are:
- Tikin-Xic Yucatan Fish: grilled fish filet previously marinated in achiote and orange, served with a Mayan sauce called xnipec.
- Pibil Chicken: baked chicken with achiote and regional spices, wrapped in banana leaves and served with fried black beans.
- Maiz Toast topped with deer tzik: crispy corn tortilla with black beans spread, topped with pulled deer tzik, radish, onion, coriander and a touch of orange.
- Papadzules: soft corn tortilla boiled egg tacos covered with a pumpkin seed sauce.
For a visual menu of some of these delicacies, you can visit the Los Almendros webpage and take a look at the mouth watering food pictures.
How to Get to "Los Almendros" Yucatan-Mexican Restaurant
Los Almendros has two branches, one in the south part of Mexico City and this one, which is located in the central area of Mexico City.
Successful Sushi-Itto Chain
Sushi Itto: Mexico's Sushi Entrepreneur
Sushi Itto is a Mexican Sushi Bar chain that has had great nationwide and international success. It stands out by offering a fantastic variety of Sushi rolls and other Japanese specialties with a Mexican Twist.
Every Sushi roll is dramatically built up to become a masterpiece of art; besides being delicious, they are exotic and beautiful food constructions that make lunch or dinner an absolute pleasure.
One further culinary goal of Sushi Itto has been to create more complex flavors than the basic Sushi “rice-seafood-algae” trio. Their Sushi rolls have tripled the amount of ingredients to become a dressed up, sophisticated version of this popular and originally Japanese food.
At Sushi Itto, Sushi specialties are not only costume made for western tastes, but are finished with a subtle Mexican touch, which make them utterly sublime.
The restaurant started in 1988 and has grown to become a big chain in which every detail is handled with care. Its massive growth hasn’t compromised the quality and flavor of its food, which is freshly prepared on demand.
Sushi Itto was the first sushi bar to open in Mexico and is responsible for popularizing these and other Japanese specialties, which today are in great demand. Since 1988, Sushi offer has diversified into many different Sushi restaurants in Mexico City; nevertheless, Sushi Itto remains one of the best places to eat Sushi in what price and quality is concerned.
Sushi Itto Glossary
Tampico: a Sushi Itto preparation made with finely chopped surimi, chili, onion and mayonnaise.
Kakiage: fried julienne vegetables used in Japanese cuisine.
Masago: roe harvested from the small capelin fish, found in the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Some of Sushi Itto Maki Specialties
- For Japan: breaded crab and Tampico inside; raw fresh tuna and avocado outside; served with chipotle sauce, masago and chives.
- My Little Skull: cream cheese, avocado and kakiage inside; raw fresh salmon outside; served with chipotle sauce and chives.
- Very Chinese Roll: fresh raw salmon, avocado and cucumber inside; cream cheese and mango outside; served with tamarind sauce.
- Green Boy Roll: spinach tempura outside; smoked salmon, avocado and cream cheese inside; served with Tampico.
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How to Get to Sushi Itto in Mexico City
Sushi Itto has grown impressively throughout Mexico City. Almost everywhere you go within the metropolitan area you are sure to have a branch near you. In the map below, you will find the addresses and location of the branches which are in the more central area of the city. However, keep in mind that there are many more, as Mexico City is a huge metropolis.
Sushi Itto is now also present in other cities throughout Mexico. For more information consult Sushi Itto directly.
Sushi Itto Branches in The Central Area of Mexico City
Comparative Table of Great Restaurants in Mexico City
Mi Gusto Es
light and fresh
casual, colorful and a bit loud
local stuff you won't find any other place
warm and fancy
beautiful and delicious
low to middle range
casual but elegant at the same time