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Sep 3, 2008 11:32 AM

Mexico City: Spanish/Basque Restaurant in Centro

Hola. At the end of September, we'll be in Mexico City, staying in the Centro Histórico. We'd dined in the past at El Danubio and Centro Castellano, but are looking this time for a different Spanish or Basque restaurant. We prefer it to be in Centro.

I looked at the website for the Casino Español and was staggered by the grandiose halls and splendor. Admirable, I'm sure, for special events, but not my kind of place for a serious comida or evening meal.

I also Googled Circulo Vasco Español, and was somewhat more encouraged by what little I found. Anyone here had any experience with that or have other suggestions?

(Note: we are not interested in Tezka.)

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Easy. Guría in Colonia Roma. They also have a Santa Fe outpost, but stick to the original.

    5 Replies
    1. re: topawers

      Thanks. I got an encouraging reply about Casino Español on eGullet.

      I searched for "Guria" on and got the location and hours, but nothing about the food, service nor price range. Can you fill in some of the blanks?


      Especialidad: Española - Espanola
      Telefono: 52 07 81 91
      Direccion: Colima 152
      Distrito Federal,Cuauhtemoc
      Referencia: Orizaba y Córdoba.
      Horario: Lun. a Dom. de 13:30 a 18:30 hrs.

      I located the restaurant on a Google-type map, and we've walked through that area several times. I just was aware of it until now.

      1. re: Anonimo

        I believe the name has changed and it is called something else now - probebly you were looking at old websites. I never thought it was very good.

        1. re: Elchilango

          I'm now looking at El Mesón Andaluz, Marconi 3 at Donceles. Elchilango wrote about it in his book. I had some confusion, as there's another restaurant, with a similar name, but is Lebanese cuisine. (They're NOT the same, are they?) The Lebanese food does not appeal to me as much as Española. So, now, it's a choice between Casino Español or Mesón Andaluz.

          What a delightful dilemma!

          1. re: Anonimo

            No, they are not the same. The other one is called Al Andaluz and is nearer the Merced.

            1. re: Elchilango

              Gracias. I'm more inclined to El Mesón El Andaluz than to the Casino Español.

    2. Meson Puerto Chico near the monumento a la Revolucion is a great clasic, highly recomended. I'ts right next to downtown . In Polanco D.O. (denominacion de origen) is runned by Basque chef Pablo San Roman , good food not pretentious. They have Jamon Iberico sliced to order mouth watering !! Great Chuleon and they make very good Marmitako.I know that there is a casa de la cultura Española in centro historico but I'm not sure that they serve food it was recently updated. Guria is a must but beware that these is a place where time was frozen so it's rich traditional heavy sauces. It's a favorite among the gentlemen of the Colonia Española, Piquillos rellenos de Txangurro amazing . Alaia is a fantastic restaurant Alberto Ituarte who is the chef was a former chef at Tezka , the only thing is that is not downtown it's located in the southern part of the city (not too far from downtown ) but beleive me it's a winner great traditional food and some not so traditional , I had Kokotxas al pilpil there that I still dream about ! Well and I have to mention Biko other former chefs of Tezka Bruno Oteiza and Mikel Alonso run these super cool location in Polanco the menu is divided in two tradition and avantgarde so it's pretty obvious. Both are very good but the costillas de cordero traditional style were sooo good !! These place is as fancy as Polanco gets, but the food is taken very seriously. La Texcocana is a ultra famous torta place in front of the teatro Metropolitan It's not spanish but they have a torta de Bacalao that is really worth a visit. Enjoy

      1 Reply
      1. re: bigotes

        In the end, we chose not a Spanish restaurant, but a classic Mexican one: El Cardenal, on Calle Las Palmas, Colonia Centro. We'd looked into both the Casino Español, which was very nice although the menu did't light any fires for me; and the Círculo Vasco Español, which features a seafood buffet on the weekend. We were allowed to go up for a look, and at just after one in the afternoon, the chafers were already full yet not a customer in sight. That did not bode well, and I'm predisposed against buffets. So, we made a reservation for 4 o'clock at El Cardenal instead.

        The wait wasn't very long, and some of us nibbled on the complimentary cucumbers and jícama
        Apart from being assigned a "bad table", in front of the elevator on the segundo piso, it was a great meal. Between the two of us, we had the Molcajete de queso fresco, aguacate and salsa de cilantro (which appears to be complimentary, but is not. It's only $25 pesos, but you don't learn that until you receive the bill. It was very welcome.); Ensalada Oscar, a simple composed salad of lettuce, tomato, onion and goat cheese. A bit pricey, but the ingredients were impeccable.

        Tacos de Pato, accompanied by a small dish of excellent guacamole—superb; Sopa de Pescado y Nopal, very good; main courses were Pescado en Barbacoa, a large fillet of fish coated with chile and a touch of cerveza, wrapped in parchment—very good; and Cazuela de Róbalo con Epazote; a boldly seasoned casserole of browned chunks of fish with onion, garlic, chile verde and plenty of fresh leaves of epazote, in a pool of a savory broth.

        Sheer gluttony lured me to order Pastel de la Casa, a layered Mocha-Raspberry-Chocolate cake, which while very good, was very similar to what one might get elsewhere. The café express I had with it was not well made.
        With the meal, we drank a half bottle of a Marqués de Cáceres Vino Blanco. Very nice.

        Notably, the propina already was added in when we got the check. It was about what we would have given on our own, but be aware.