Mexico City is a surreal city where ancient and modern live side by side. It is a city positioned in a highland basin at 7,350 ft, with 22 Million in the general area. This is a city too big to be ignored. This is a city that must be explored. Somehow this metropole of the worlds 13th largest economy continues to be skipped over by Americans in favor of the beach cities. What you miss out on is a city reimagining its heritage through food and drink; where you can eat street food for lunch and have a tasting menu at night. A city with almost 200 museums rivaling Paris, many of which are free or very inexpensive. Mexico City or the 'D.F' (Distrito Federal) is where the best muralists of the past century lived and worked. You have to come here to see some of the greatest works of Diego Rivera or David Alfaro Siqueiros. Or you could just come to try all three of the restaurants that insist they are the originators of the Al Pastor taco whose cooking method using a vertical spit was brought by Lebanese immigrants and perfected in Mexico City with perfectly charred pork marinated in adobo served with onions, cilantro and pineapple.
This is the oldest major city in North America and it shows. We stayed in the Roma neighborhood which can remind you of the streets of Paris with its architecture and street side cafés all mixed with the grit that is all Latin. Even though there were many new restaurants and chic bars in this area the places that were doing the best business were the street stalls, the mom and pops with a griddle cooking up their specialty and nothing else. Mexico is a city where street food reigns supreme, where even the high-end restaurants have to compete with street food or sometime imitate it. Some cities have tried to sanitize their street food by putting it into food halls, Mexico’s cannot be reigned in. It’s unbridled. The variety is staggering and would take a lifetime to get a decent grip on. Representatives from every single region of Mexico have migrated to the capital and left their mark on the city. "Chilangos," as people of Mexico City call themselves, borrow the best of their country from the old to the new and put it on a plate.
- Below are some recommendations in the city -
S.A de C.V. Tamaulipas Número. 122,
Colónia Condesa, México, D.F.
(supposedly the first to invent Al Pastor)
Orizaba 161, Local 3, Cuauhtémoc
(an Encyclopedic about Mezcals
and other Agave based spirits)
Calle Colima 268, Cuauhtémoc,
Roma Nte. 06700
Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico
(a modernist restaurant specializing
in Zapotecan cuisine)