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Apr 25, 2008 10:20 AM

Need Some Help with DF & Acapulco Meals

I'll be visiting Mexico City and Acapulco next week. I'm trying to make smart restaurant selections that will wow our taste buds while also being convenient for our itinerary.

Here's the plan so far:

Day 1: Arrive in DF late afternoon (around 3:30P). We're staying at the Galeria Plaza Hotel on Hamburgo Col Juarez in Zona Rosa. We have 8PM dinner reservations that evening at Izote in Polanco. Any thoughts on where we might be able to have a late afternoon snack in the area before dinner? Would it be worthwhile to take the Metro to Merced Market that late in the day? Are there any areas near our hotel with great street food?

Day 2: Tour Alemeda Central & the Zocalo. I thought we'd start the day with breakfast at El Cardenal in the Sheraton Historico Hotel. From there we'd visit the Museo Mural Diego Rivera and then have a snack at Dulceria de Celaya on the way to Catedral Metropolitana. I figured we'd have lunch at Las Girasoles and then see Templo Mayer after that. Next we'd see the Rivera murals at Palacio Nacional and then have a well earned drink at La Terazza at the Majestic Hotel or at La Casa de Las Sirenas. We have fairly early (7PM) dinner reservations at Pujol in Polanco that evening, so we'll have to head back to the hotel by 530P or so. Do you have any thoughts on this plan? Are my food choices close enough to the sights we've chosen? Are there better food choices that we haven't considered? I gave some consideration to La Texcocana (for Tacos) and El Morro (for chocolate & churros), but I'm not sure we can work them into our plans for the day.

Day 3: I'd like to start with breakfast near our hotel or possible near Paseo de la Reforma. From there we could take the Metro to Basilica de Guadalupe and then see the Merced and Senora Mercados. After that we could head to Chapultepec Park and the Anthropology Museum. We'd also like to see the Lenora Carrington exhibit and the famous Voladores. I was thinking we might have late afternoon comida at El Bajio in Polanco and then head to Garabadi Square to see the Mariachis. Does this sound like a reasonable agenda for one day? Any thoughts about food choices near any of these sights? I definitely need a good recommendation for breakfast & snacks.

Day 4: Our big plan for this day is to see Teothihuacán. We could sign up for a tour with Turibus or Bestours or we could catch a bus from Terminal Central del Norte. Any thoughts on which is the best option? We’ll probably have lunch on site at La Gruta (the restaurant in the caverns near the pyramids) unless anyone has a better idea. For dinner that night we were thinking about DO in Polanco (again). Any dinner suggestions closer to our hotel would also be appreciated (we’ve heard good things about Tezka).

We head to Acapulco for Days 5, 6 & 7 of our trip. Our flight is in the afternoon, so we’d appreciate a breakfast recommendation around our hotel for that morning. We are staying at Las Brisas in Acapulco, so our breakfast will be included with the hotel. We are considering Baikal, Ika Tako, Zibu, Madeiras, Becco al Mare, El Olvido, and Casa Nova as dinner options. We also need suggestions for casual lunches. Any input from the board would really be appreciated

You guys always come through for me when I make my travel plans. Thanks in advance for you help.

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  1. Wow, your proposed itinerary for the DF makes me want to lie down. If you accomplish all this, you will be totally exhausted and completely stuffed to the gills. IMHO, your plans are extremely ambitious, nigh onto impossible! Travel time between the places you want to see is in itself really, really time consuming.

    I'd plan to take the Metrobus rather than the Metro whenever possible. The Metrobus, which runs the length of Insurgentes, travels above ground to let you see a lot more than if you're in the Metro underground.

    Day 1: Sounds do-able. Read the post about Izote, tokyoastrogirl is right on the mark.

    Day 2: IMHO (and it feels odd to say this), you have too much food packed into a very crowded day of sightseeing. For example, when I took my partner to Mexico City for the first time, we spent nearly three hours just looking at the murals and other exhibits at the Bellas Artes. You will probably want to time your visit there so that you hear the talk about the Tiffany curtain in the theater. It's really a don't miss. We spent at least another hour at the Catedral. The Alameda--you'll want to see the monument to Benito Juárez and walk around in the park, but it's not a big consumer of time.

    I'm sure you already know that comida, the midday meal, is the main meal of the day here in Mexico. It's hard to find what you might think of as 'lunch'. Breakfast, comida and then dinner, close upon one another's heels, will leave you needing at the very least a big dose of Pepto Bismal.

    Day Three: You can take the Metrobus from Glorieta Insurgentes all the way to the stop two blocks from the Basílica (stop is Deportive 18 de Marzo). It's a quick walk from there. It will take the better part of an hour EACH WAY to go to/from the Basílica, plus the time you spend visiting the Basílica itself. My partner and I were there for nearly two hours, but we did hear Mass. Then to go back to the Merced, then to the park, then to...OMG, it makes my head spin. I really don't think it's all feasible, but you may have a lot more stamina than I.

    Day 4: Teotihuacán, yes. La Gruta, yes. Dinner at Tezka later: again, IMHO, too much food in too little time. Eat tacos on the street at night.

    Does anyone else out there think Drosa's proposed itinerary sounds exhausting?


    3 Replies
    1. re: cristina

      Your point about too much food is well taken. Coming from an italian/american background, I understand the concept of comida. Traditionally our main meal on Sundays was in that form. However, it’s a luxury that is hard to indulge when you're trying to adapt your schedule to the operating hours of various museums and other tourist venues.

      When I refer to lunch in my posts I really mean a very light meal to carry us over until dinner. Also, we would be eating earlier in the day than your typical comida. Our lunch in Teothihuacán would probably be around 1 or 130P and we'd likely have dinner back in DF around 8 or 830P that evening. Bearing your advice however, maybe tortas at La Texcocana would be a better choice than a sit down meal at Las Girasoles on Day 2. It would also give us more time for our ambitious schedule of activities. If you have any suggestions for street food or other light fare that we could work into our itinerary (instead of a big lunch or comida) I would be most grateful.

      I posed my question precisely for the sort of input that you've provided. My proposed schedule probably is overly ambitious. Believe it or not, this is actually scaled down from my original plan (I wanted to work in trips to Coyoacan, San Angel & Xochimilco too). Our itinerary is a framework to give some order to our days, but it’s not absolute.

      1. re: Drosa

        I'm with Cristina on this. Remember also, that you'll be at an elevation of around 7000 above sea level. Thinner air makes you tire easily. Alcohol is harder to assmilate.

        If it were me, I'd plan for one grand meal each day and leave the others in a spontaneous limbo. There's much to be appreciated in humble fare in fondas and street stalls, but you must be observant of the hygienic practices at those places. (Right around the corner from our hotel, as I write this, are street food stands galore. I was tempted this morning by tamales and mixiotes and birria and barbacoa and just a little by tacos al vapor and very lttle by carnitas, huaraches, gorditas. Those are the "real", traditional Mexican foods. Eating in Alta Nueva Cocina restaurants may be great, but you will miss a part of the true Mexican food experience if you skip over the street/mercado/fondas possibilities.

        A final suggestion: set aside a few days before you leave for a liver cleansing water regimen at Ixtapan de La Sal Spa. :-)

        1. re: Drosa

          The thing is that many, if not most, places in D.F. and Mexico's interior staff the A Team for Comida, and then leave a guerilla force for Dinner.... not always the case there are places that excel at the Power Dinner.... but don't take it for granted.

      2. Dear Drosa,
        I'll only comment on DO - your dinner choice for the Day 4.
        Please, DO NOT DINE AT D.O.
        It's a totally overpriced not-worth-the-trip place.
        Although they have a quite good wine list, their food is definitely mediocre pseudo-Spanish. Their jamon - which is their "especialidad" - does not live up to the price they charge. Believe me. I lived in Madrid for more than enough time to distinguish good food from mediocre one.

        Since you're planning to dine at Izote and Pujol on Day 1 and 2, I would like to recommend you to try fondas or cantinas for Day 4 dinner. Near your hotel, there is a good one, Fonda el Refugio (Liverpool 66, 5207-2732). It's not fancy, but the ambience is totally welcoming, the food is good and the price is reasonable.

        And prepare yourself that in Mexico high-end restaurants, which do serve great food, do not always offer professional service.

        1. I'm worn-out just reading the itinerary. Way too much activity. And what's with stuffing yourself to the point where you probably won't enjoy the "big" and special meals?

          1 Reply
          1. re: gomexico

            The only possible way you can whiz around like that is to take the Metro which can be very intimidating. Mexicans are the politest people in the world but when those doors open there is much pushing and shoving, I've seen children plucked from mother's arms and old ladies mown down during rush hour. My advice is to stay in one area, for instance if you're having lunch in Polanco, don't go to Garibaldi Square after. And as has been said, the altitude does get to you and you'll want to start taking it easy mid afternoon! We rush around like maniacs but then I'm used to the English tube and after that you can bear anything!