A culinary guide to Mexico City

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Three of the best taquerías

1. Pollo Bruto
At this electric yellow taco bar in Roma Sur, chef Emiliano Padilla serves flour tortillas with roast chicken prepared in one of three adobos (wet rubs), ranging from citrus to one so spicy it s ‘called “diablo”. Don’t miss the pirata, a taco stuffed with chicken marinated in a charred Yucatan-style adobo, with a fried cheese crust.

2. Tacos Cocuyos
Queues wind around the corner at this late-night mainstay of Centro Histórico, a legendary taqueria known for staying open long after bars and clubs have closed. Come for the best suadero (brisket) and longaniza (sausage) tacos in town, best enjoyed with loads of red chipotle salsa and habanero guacamole.

3. El Vilsito
As the sun sets, this mechanics shop in Narvarte transforms into one of the city‘s best taquerias for al pastor, the style of taco synonymous with Mexico City that was first brought to the country by Lebanese immigrants. Wait and watch the spit master scrape off juicy pieces of pork, which are then served in a tortilla and topped with pineapple.

Three of the best seafood specialists

1. La Docena
It is a weekend tradition in Mexico City to enjoy long lunches at seafood restaurants such as upscale La Docena in Polanco. Led by Chef Tomás Bermúdez, who placed the restaurant on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2019, this oyster-focused establishment offers some of the best seafood dishes in town. These include a spicy shrimp ceviche-style aguachile tatemado, served with crispy corn tostadas.

2. Campo Baja
The picnic-style tables at this Roma Norte restaurant provide a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy tuna tostadas with guacamole and cream, drizzled with a michelada (lime juice beer, served in a salt-rimmed glass. ). Once you’ve eaten, head downstairs, where the party continues in the open-air French-style pétanque court.

3. Don Vergas
Once one of the most popular market stalls in the Mercado de San Juan, Don Vergas has moved to a laid-back cantina-style brick and mortar spot in Cuauhtémoc. The menu is inspired by chef Luis Valle’s childhood dishes on the Pacific Coast. Highlights include marlin burritos and callo de hacha – ceviche-style buttery scallops.

Three of the best markets

1. Jamaica market
This market is known to have the best selection of flowers in town, especially during the Day of the Dead festivities in October. But it also has the tastiest green chorizo ​​tacos; ask around to find the unmarked stand, known to insiders as Las Más Altas Montañas.

2. La Merced
On the outskirts of Centro Histórico, grab a take-out cup of tepache – a fermented drink made from pineapple bark similar to kombucha – before heading to the stalls to sample some of the edible insects, from grasshoppers to to maguey.

3. Abasto Central
About an hour from the city center, this is one of the largest markets in the world, where many chefs come to buy their ingredients, from fresh seafood to whole pigs. Explore solo or try a tour with Dvored! or Eat like a local.

Essential

Getting There
British Airways offers direct flights to Mexico City from Heathrow. Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic and United Airlines offer indirect services from the UK.

Where to stay
Círculo Mexicano doubled from 3,850 pesos (£ 134).

How to do
Modern Adventure offers a four-night, chef-led group trip to Mexico City starting at $ 3,000 (£ 2,184), excluding flights.

More information: visitmexico.com

Published in the Summer 2021 issue of National Geographic Traveler Food

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