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Feb 16, 2007 09:26 PM

4 days in Mexico City - specific questions

We're 2 hounds from San Francisco, going to DF for the first time in a few weeks, and we will be staying in the Colonia Roma/Condesa area.

1) Any recommendations for street food or casual eateries in these neighborhoods? particular eats not to miss? cafes? fondas?

2) Any ideas for a good place to eat lunch en route or near the National Museum of Anthropology in Chapultepec Park?

3) We'll hopefully spend part of a day wandering in Polanco - any specific recommendations there for breakfast, comida, snacks, cafes?

4) Same question as above for San Angel (we're not going to miss the Kahlo and Trotsky stops!).

5) A really great tequila selection (we'll go out of our way for a bar or restaurant with a large, interesting tequila list). Do any places offer tequila flights/tastings? We'd like to avoid hotel establishments if possible, but we'll do what we have to do.

6) A fancy dinner - ideas for a great upscale spot (preferably one that would not be something akin to what we could get in San Francisco)? Some possibilities I've culled from the board:

Aguila y Sol
El Candelero
San Angel Inn

8) A place for awesome tacos al arabe?

9) Lastly, any suggestions for great food-related sites (eg Merced market, panaderia ideal, maybe Dulceria de Celaya? etc) that would be cool to see and take photos?

Whew!!! Thank you!!

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  1. The food in Chapultepec is ok. It's more like fair affair. It gave me a bit of a tummy rumble a few days later, so be warned. If you're having some document issues, the street to the right of the US embassy (while facing the embassy) has the BEST street food I've had in DF and it's completely safe. It was recommended by numerous folks in the embassy. I'm not sure if they are there on weekends...

    I pack grapefruit seed extract for eating street food. It's not fool proof, but it certainly has helped. I recommend the pills, the drops don't taste too great.

    Don't go to the zoo! It's a trap and it sucks.

    1. Definitely Aguila y Sol for a nice dinner. I was there last weekend for three nights and the dinner there was the highlight. I was not terribly impressed by San Angel Inn, but was there on a Sunday night, and it was slow and quiet, so that might be part of the problem. Another place I'd recommend for a nice dinner is Izote, also in Polanco and very good.

      1. It has been years since I last ate there, but fwiw the food in the cafe at the Anthropology Museum used to be pretty darn good. I've enjoyed several lunches on their patio. Good flautas and fruit salad.

        1. There's lots of answers to some of these questions on your previous posts... esp. tacos al arabe and tequila.

          -Polanco street food. Polanco's not chockablock with street food, esp. on weekends. However, there's a taco place on Horacio called el Suadero that everyone likes a lot, and Quesadillas María Isabel has gotten so famous that it's got more branches opening up now. It's fairly close to Antropología - Emilio Castelar just west of Arquimedes.

          - Chapultepec Park. I've had some yummy sopes and huaraches at the stands... I wouldn't try the sit-down restaurants, though.

          - Nice night out. My two cents? Aguila y Sol is infinitely more satisfying as an example of interesting, flavorful Mexican food. Pujol has nice mixes of Mexican flavors, but all in all, it's your typical foam restaurant. I think all three dishes I ordered had foam on them, which seemed a little much. I liked the food - but it wasn't particularly exciting. Mosaico is great, but French food. San Angel Inn is fabulous for margaritas and snacks, but the food is just solid, not innovative. I do like it a lot for what it is, and often take out of towners on business there. However, it's basic good, not wow good. Aguila y Sol is a clear frontrunner to me. (haven't tried Candelero) Also, don't forget reservations - they are a must for lunch or dinner. I've seen them turn several parties away in recent weeks because they are 100% full with reservations. Also, they do have a nicely separated no smoking section (sección de no fumar) that you can request.

          - food photos. All three you mentioned, plus street food stalls, are good options.

          - I don't know if you really want San Angel or Coyoacán snacks/cafés... trotsky and kahlo houses are in Coyoacán. There's fantastic street food all weekend in the main plaza of coyoacán - churros, esquites, sopes, ice cream (nieves)... There's also a great quesadilla market on Higuera right off one side of the plaza - face the church and follow the left side of the church. When you get to the street - end of church - continue straight a few paces on the street that begins there. There's also some decent fondas scattered around, and taco stalls that line avenida felipe carillo puerta heading north from the plaza. In san angel the only cafés are around the plaza san jacinto or on Revolución, and in more out of the way places. There's nothing right by the Rivera Studio except Starbucks and a Louis Vuitton... :-)

          1. My recs:

            - Casa Merlos
            - La Taberna del Leon
            - Mi Bella Lula

            Do a search in Chowhound and you'll get all the info needed.

            3 Replies
            1. re: D Hound

              Aahhhhhhhh, Mi Bella Lulá--I definitely second the motion.

              And for old-time elegance, a bit frayed around the edges, it's the Restaurante Lincoln, at Revillagigedo No. 24, just a few steps from the Bellas Artes. The last time I went for comida, the food was sublime.

              1. re: D Hound

                Mi Bella Lula--is this the one on Rio Senna in Zona Rosa? It looks like they're only open for lunch. We're staying right by there but I want to be sure to check it out since it comes so highly recommended. Can anyone clarify the location?

                1. re: thenewbrunette


                  See old post below (copy and paste from chowhound's archives)

                  fellow hounds,

                  i wanted to report on my meal at "La Bella Lula" a Oaxacan restaurant in Mexico City located in Ave. Revolucion, very close to "Metro Barranca" (Southern part of the city).

                  food was truly exceptional. we sampled several moles ("coloradito", "almendrado", and "negro"). all were excellent. we had "chapulines" (grasshoppers) which were excellent when rolled in a taco and sprinkled with lime juice. the tortillas were to die for - hand-made, and on the thick side. we also tried "tasajo", a cut similar to fajitas but not quite the same. the meat was soft, tender, and very flavorful. it was delicious.

                  this place is a must for serious hounds. food is exceptional, the place is non-pretencious (you go there to eat, not to be seen), and the prices are very affordable.

                  i look forward to going back to this place.