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Apr 9, 2007 10:17 PM

Recommendations for DF


My mother and I are going to be in DF for a week in May. We're both adventurous people, love to try new things. We obviously want some fabulous Mexican, but neither of us can eat a week of it, so we want different options.

We're staying in la Condesa, so some neighborhood places would be nice, but not necessary.
I guess I'd just like to know what are the "Don't Miss" spots. It seems that Aguila y Sol gets rave reviews, but about how much would a meal be--salads, entrees, a few glasses of wine, and a dessert or two?
What about "authentic" (hate that term) Mexican that shouldn't be missed? Any fantastic Condesa restaurants?

Any suggestions about the best places, and their price ranges, would be much appreciated. I'm so looking forward to this trip!

Thanks in advance for any help.

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  1. I live in Col. Roma, very close to Condesa, and you're basically going to be staying in an area that chock full of good restaurants. If you could tell me a little about your price range and likes/dislikes, I could probably come up with at least 10 very good places within walking or quick taxi distance.

    As for Aguila y Sol, it's not horribly expensive by US standards, at least. I went a few weeks ago for lunch, and we (two people) had a small starter, a main dish, dessert, one mixed drink each, and some non-alcoholic beverages, and I think the total was around 900 pesos, or about 85 dollars, plus tip. We weren't stuffed, but certainly quite satisfied.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JoakimZiegler

      Aguila y Sol sounds wonderful, and in the same price range as many nice restaurants. That my be our splurge.

      We're not big lunch eaters, even though I know la Comida is the main meal. It's just when we travel we usually like to walk and see so much during the day and then have a long leisurely dinner. So, for Comida places, ideally something that is quick, inexpensive (<$10 per person), and clean. Aside from that, are there any Comida-only places that we must go to?

      For dinner, we don't really have a specific price range, but we don't want to be spending $100 a night for the two of us. We're also big walkers, so we'd like to be able to eat in Col. Condesa and Roma and feel safe walking home. It seems that we'll have to travel to Polanco, too.

      We like to eat healthy, but freshness is more important than fat grams. A good wine list is a plus. Do most places serve only by the bottle, or by the glass?

      This post is all over the place, I know. But we like trying new things, nothing too heavy. So if you could give us a list of some of your favorites, both in Condesa and Roma and outside of, that would be excellent. I really appreciate your help.

      1. re: jdcr

        Don't know if you are concerned over safety... but Polanco, Zona Rosa, Condesa & Roma are pretty much as safe at night as day. One thing you will notice is that D.F. has real night life.. by that I mean that lots of people are out & about strolling at the parks, snacking on pastries or antojitos, shopping for groceries etc.,

        Further, D.F. gets pretty warm & sunny between 2 & 4... and it is not a good time to be out seeing stuff, particularly because some businesses & cultural institutions will close at that time.

        You really are better off, having your main meal in the afternoon... and then hitting the street food & other casual fare at night. Otherwise, a lot of otherwise stellar places can be pretty mediocre at off peak times... so if you insist on having dinner as your big meal.. stick to the hotel restaurants in Polanco where they are used to serving the biz traveler. A decent, non hotel option would be the Angus chain as they usually get a dinner crowd. Otherwise, try restaurants around UNAM... they get a happy hour crowd... Barraca Orraca had decent Pan-Euro food.

    2. For authentic Mexican (and in particular Poblano, i.e. from the state of Puebla) food, I strongly recommend CASA MERLOS. You'll eat food very similar to that that Mexicans have been eating for at least 100 years.

      If what you care is food (and not scene), CASDA MERLOS is hard to beat. Call them, to find out about their opening hours. My recollection is that they only open Thurs-Sun, and only for lunch/comida (i.e. 2pm to 4.30pm or so).

      4 Replies
        1. re: jdcr

          Casa Merlos
          Victoriano Zepeda 80, Obsevatorio, Mexico City, 11860
          Near Avenida Observatorio
          (55) 5277-4360
          Main courses around 100 pesos (US$9.15)

          And in Colonia Roma, don't miss Casa Lamm. Have the Sopa de Lima, and don't miss the fantastic bookstore--it's probably the best bookstore in the country.

          1. re: cristina

            Is there a good breakfast at Casa Lamm? (Is the bookstore as big as Gandhi?)

            1. re: Mari

              The bookstore is not big, and not as big as Gandhi. It's more specialized in art and design books, with a great selection of those. If you are looking for the biggest bookstore, head to the new FCE bookstore in la Condesa on the corner of Tamaulipas and Benjamin Hill. It's no Borders, but it's the biggest in the country. You should be able to find just about anything there.

              Don't know about breakfast at Casa Lamm, but their menu is on their website. I believe they serve breakfast, but it's bound to be on the pricey side compared to a local fonda.

      1. In Condesa/Roma:

        -Califa and Farolito for tacos+ (Corner of Altata and Alfonso Reyes)
        -50 Friends for Neapolitan-style pizza (Tamaulipas between Parque España and Michoacán)
        -Café Maque for breakfast or light lunch (Av. Mexico and Ozuluama)
        - Mama Rosa's for American-style brunch but only til noon (Michoacán and Atlixco)
        -Contramar for seafood lunch (Av. Durango between Valladolid and the Fuente de Cibeles, also on maps as the Plaza de Madrid)
        - Hip Kitchen at the Hippodrome Hotel for hip dinner out, international with Mexican influences (Av. Mexico just north of Sonora)
        - Lampuga for nice but economical non-Mexican fish or seafood dinner (corner of Ometusco and Nuevo León)
        - Non Solo Pasta (Alvaro Obregon east of Monterrey, west of Orizaba) and Non Solo Panini (Plaza Luis Cabrera, Orizaba two blocks south of Alvaro Obregon) for pasta or panini lunches. Non Solo Pasta is open at night, too, and has it's original branch in Polanco. It's not the best Italian food you'll ever have, but it's cheap and the atmosphere is lovely.
        - Falafel place (very small, mostly take out) at Sonora between Nuevo León and Amsterdam
        - Litoral, Ligaya, or Bistrot Rojo might be other places you want to try to get away from Mexican food for a bit. They are all solid, with good atmosphere and in great locations. Litoral is on Tamaulipas across from 50 Friends. Ligaya is on Nuevo León at about the same latitude... just a block over. Bistro Rojo is on Amsterdam and Parras.

        1. For don't miss restaurants, I'd definitely put Aguila y Sol at the top of my list. I think it's a great place to see how Mexican food can be contemporary, traditional, and delicious at the same time.

          None of the ones I mentioned above in the Condesa/Roma section are absolute can't miss places (with the exception of taco places because you cannot leave without eating pastor in some form). Of those, Contramar is the one I would most highly recommend because of it's wonderful atmosphere and good food. It's not cheap, but not expensive either. If you'd like more straight up Sinaloan seafood, you can try Del Mar in Polanco, on Julio Verne, I think? It's a little storefront with outside seating.

          More can't miss.... maybe Don Chon in the centro, for its prehispanic food. Not something you can get everywhere. El Bajío (multiple locations) also had very good traditional mexican food.