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Aug 26, 2007 12:50 PM

Mexico city help please

I am posting this separately because it is indeed a separate subject.
We have received so many thoughs, suggestions for our visit to DF - plus what I have read here. We are staying near the Zocalo -- the Holiday Inn Zocalo - and have been told by Mexican friends that we should definitely go to Hosteria de Santa Domingo in el centro and Bellinghausen in Zona Rosa. . Any thoughts? Also told we absolutely must go to San Angelin in el Sur. I have not seen any of these places posted here and I trust this board. I have never veen led astray by my chowhound friends. We will be going in a few short days. Muchas gracias.

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  1. Hi.I would strongly recommend the San Angel Inn. First of all it is a beautiful restaurant. I have always gone at lunch time and if you sit outside in the garden it is really wonderful. It is an upscale place and quite formal but the service and the food are very good. I logve their version of Chille Rellenos and their Pollo con Mole but even their steaks and other dishes are worth trying. If you go at lunch I would suggest making a reservation because it is always full with Mexican business people at that time.

    1. One other place I have always liked too is La Fonda De Los Refugio. Very authentic and regional food.

      3 Replies
      1. re: RoyRon

        Thanks so much. Can you give me some idea of the area La Fonda is in???

        1. re: madwrk


          I found the address for you. Fonda El Refugio Liverpool 166

          Between Florencia and Amberes, Col. Juarez Zona Rosa

          Phone 55/5207-2732; 55/5525-8128

          1. re: madwrk

            La Fonda de Refugio is in the Zona Rosa.

        2. Wow, Mexico City is such a great place for good eating. I, for one, would stay away from the Zona Rosa because the area has really fallen on bad times and, even though there are still good places there to eat, the surrounding neighborhood just isn't what it used to be and there are plenty of other places that are fabulous and you don't have to deal with the seedy surroundings. Some of my favorites are: PUJOL, BAKEA, MP BISTRO http://delasemana.restaurantesdemexic... (Actually, any one of Monica Patino's three restaurants is a good choice). La T-CLA in Polanco, for very affordable, excellent Mexican cuisine (unusual to find such high quality and such low prices in trendy Polanco). In the historical district, close to where you are staying, there are two iconic destinations that are worth the visit and which have good food: CAFE LA OPERA (where Pancho Villa shot a bullet into the ceiling that you can still see there) where I recommend the traditional bistec empanizado (milanesa) with french fries. Also, CAFE TACUBA


            A little old, but a report specific to the San Angel Inn. Their margarita service is worth going. Very old, continental style food, well executed, won't set any new trends.

            Bellinghausen I have not been to but have talked to at least 2 people that have gone and loved the place and have urged me to go. The big 3 are Pujol, Izote and Aguila y Sol, all of them worth going to, and all in Polanco.

            10 Replies
            1. re: DiningDiva

              I will second Izote, we had an outstanding meal there. There are some excellent restaurants in Mexico City, I didn't get to all on my list, but some other standouts were Tezca, Los Almendros & Contramar.

              1. re: SandyM

                Contramar (a Monica Patino restaurant) has its moments but it is second tier (in comparison to the Big 3 as DD labeled them).... if you are going 2nd tier and with Monica Patino you are better off at MP Bistro where the Mexican - Asian fusion dishes are a bit more interesting.

                Tezka is one of those older places that might be okay... but no one is really interested in anymore... I wouldn't go out of my way for it. Los Almendros is a decidedly touristy place (even the original one in Merida was fairly mediocre)... there are much better Yucatecan / Mayan restaurants in the city.... if that is the OPs interest I can certainly recommend one... although the only one that can be described as upscale would be La Pigua.... offshoot of arguably THE best restaurant in the Yucatan (in Campeche city to be precise).

                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                  Actually, even thought I wrote it, I think labeling Pujol, Izote and Aguila y Sol as the "Big 3" is unfair to them and to the many other really great restaurants in D.F. Those just happen to be the current 3 that have captured the attention and imagination of the media and tourists.

                  When I was in Cuernavaca this past January I always checked the Thursday food section in one of the D.F. papers - and drat, wouldn't you know it, I'm drawing a blank on which one - and there always seemed to be some intriguing restuarant to investigate.

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    Actually I don't think its that unfair... when its comes to contemporary Mexican those are the 3 main stars... if you had to come up with a short list of fine dining must tries in the city... those would be the three that come to mind.

                    Of course... like other great restaurants... all three have their shortcomings... and if someone is going to be in Mexico City for a longer period of time... then there are certainly many other meals that rival those 3.... including some very homey food stands. (The Huazontle Fritters put out by one of the ladies at Mercado La Merced... is easily one of the best single dishes in the city).

                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                      Any chance you can come up with something a little closer for a guide to the huazontle fritters? and do you mean huitlalcoche? I don`t know huazontle! We`ll be there next week, and always on the trail of the best of...

                      1. re: pattycakes2

                        Huazontle... aka Aztec Spinach is a very interesting vegetable native to the Mexico City area.. and currently still cultivated around Xochimilco. It looks kind of like rapini.. but with even thiner stalks and is related to spinach... but has a very pleasant lemony flavor.

                        Traditionally it was cooked with clay pot beans, or simmered in green moles. Its most common preparation nowadays is to make them into battered cakes... and then simmer in a variety of sauces. The ones at la Merced are typically done in a Tomato-Epazote sauce... and served with refrieds.


                      2. re: Eat_Nopal

                        Eat_Nopal: on the map on the page linked below, where were the food stalls you mention? Did these Huazontle Fritter ladies only specialize in this, with piles of Huazontle I might be able to recognize?


                        1. re: SteveG

                          They should be to the right of the D in "MERCED".... you will recognize them by the kitchen equipment... they aren't produce vendors.... and cook according to what is in season. The fryer is there to stay so when Huazontle is not in season... you will find Caulflour fritters etc.,

                    2. re: Eat_Nopal

                      Contramar is a Gabriela Camara restaurant. ¡Lo siento!

                2. I wasn't thrilled with the Hostería de Santo Domigo, in particular, the famed Chile En Nogada left me cold.

                  Café de Tacuba is a beautiful, warm restaurant, but the food is así-así. Supper was better than breakfast.

                  We have enjoyed our visits to El Bajío; once, comida at the original location in Delegacíon Azcapotzalco, and recently a breakfast at the newer Parque Delta location.

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: Anonimo

                    I'll add that I, too, had breakfast at the Polanco location of El Bajio last month and it was very good.

                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      My recoomendations:

                      - Casa Merlos, for superb traditional Pueblan food (comida poblana). Do a search, and you should find the address and some comments in chowhound (as well as opening times, as it only opens Fri to Sun I think). Very reasonably priced.

                      - La Taberna del leon, for excellent Mexican but less traditional food. It's more upscale than Casa Merlos and Bajio, but still casual and it won't break the bank. It's located in Plaza Loreto.

                      - I second Bajio.

                      1. re: D Hound

                        There is a wonderful museum in Plaza Loreto, the Soumaya. It has a gorgeous, and enormous, Rufino Tamayo painting at the entrance, but it's real claim to fame is a large world class collection of paintings by old masters and one of the largest collections of Rodin sculptures in the world. This museum is not exactly on the usual tourist track but it is worth seeking out.

                        1. re: DiningDiva

                          Thanks so much for all these suggestions. We will definitely go to Bajio and San Angelin - the rest will depend on where we are when we get hungry. But I have all these suggestions in my note book. I will write a report but it won't be 'till we get back - late Sepember.

                          1. re: madwrk

                            Hold on San Angel for a second.... you might want to consider Antigua Hacienda de Tlalpan instead (similar concept and also in the southern part of the city)... I personally am 50/50 on either place... so the ambiance at Tlalpan might push it over (ever seen a peacock walking around a restaurant garden before?)

                            I am curious as to what other Mexico regulars might think about the Tlalpan / San Angel debate.

                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                              So - which one??? We only have three nights - two days!!

                              1. re: madwrk



                                Tough choice... they are both so similar in many respects (300 year old haciendas) & somewhat similar menus. Tlalpan is a little closer to the Franco-Mexican cuisine of the 19th Century... San Angel has artisinal talavera table service. I don't know anything about the current chefs (which is why I would consult other 'hounds who have been more recently)... based on current menu... Tlalpan might interest me a little more:

                                > Pata Negra Serrano from the Xalapa - Coatepec area
                                > Shaved Abulone
                                > Escargot
                                > Escamoles (Ant Larvae
                                )> Cheese Flan
                                > Chateubriand

                                Both restaurants offer the Duck Carnitas with Blackberry Sauce... and Calf Brains with Black Butter (which are the other dishes I find interesting).

                                None of the these dishes are cutting edge... and from a pure food perspective there are much better restaurants in the city.... but I think one of these restaurants is a required on a first trip to D.F.

                                1. re: madwrk

                                  I've been to San Angel Inn about 6 times for business dinners. The food is solid but nothing special - people go for the ambiance. However, when friends are in town I always take them there for drinks in the courtyard. It's one of my favorite places for that, but I never bring them for dinner because there are so many other good options with outstanding food.

                                  Be forewarned, if you go to Tlalpan by taxi from the Centro any weeknight leaving the centro before 8:30 or 9:00 it will take you about an hour and a half to get there. San Angel Inn will take about an hour.

                                2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                  I've eaten at Antigua Hacienda de Tlalpan. The food is definitely better than at the San Angel Inn and I think the grounds are a little nicer. Great sopa de crema de cilantro. And the lights! At night the trees are ablaze with millions of twinkle lights.

                                  Travel time and $$ are less to San Angel and may be more doable from their location near the Zocalo. The margarita service at the San Angel Inn is outstanding.

                                  Service is terrific at either location, very professional.

                              2. re: DiningDiva

                                One other not-to-be missed attraction at Plaza Loreto besides La Taberna and the Soumiya, a chocolate shop in the mall called Tout Chocolat. It is as good as Rechiutti at a fraction of the price, and pretty unique for Mexico in my experience. The passionfruit (marucaya) and crunchy praline chocolates are worth a detour!

                                1. re: foodeye

                                  That is terrific - we will need chocolate for energy for our travels :) And if any of you find you are headed to my home town of Todos Santos in BCS I am happy to help with info.

                                  1. re: madwrk

                                    Food at San Angel Inn is really bland. I suggest visiting San Angel Inn, but just for drinks. They serve some mean martini cocktails, and their sangrita (non-alocoholic chaser for tequila) is they best I have ever had.