5 days in D.F.-critique my itinerary please!
My husband and I will be spending 5 days in Mexico City in May, arriving on a Thursday afternoon and leaving on Monday afternoon. We're staying at the Camino Real. I have a proposed eating/sightseeing schedule, but I could use more local advice. My husband is from Mexico originally, so language should not be an issue. Please critique!
Lunch: Maria Bonita (for ant eggs?) or El Fogoncito (what to order?) or any other suggestions near our hotel?
Sightseeing: Anthropology museum
Dinner: 9p reservations at Pujol
Breakfast: El Bajio
Lunch: Contramar (what to order?)
Sightseeing: National Museum (Diego Rivera murals), Templo Mayor
Dinner: 9p reservations at Izote
Dinner: 9p reservations at Jaso
Lunch somewhere, maybe the market in Coyoacan
Sightseeing: Frida Kahlo museum, Diego Rivera/Frida Kahlo House
Margaritas at San Angel Inn (do I need reservations for margaritas?)
Dinner: 9p reservations at Solea
1p reservations at Tezka
Thanks in advance for your advice and suggestions!
Your schedule sounds good, and not insanely over-booked. The market in Coyoacan has good eats, but I can't remember if it is open on Sundays or not. Probably is, since it's such a weekend spot, but just something that caught my eye. If it isn't, there are plenty of other options and it's a nice place to stroll around.
Your Friday eating schedule sounds like it will involve way too much food. Breakfast at El Bajío is not a light meal, and neither is comida (late lunch) at Contramar. And topping all that with dinner at Izote--you will not be able to move, you will be so stuffed. But you'll be happy.
Having said that, when you're at Contramar, order the pescado a la talla Contramar, and be sure to have it both red and green. It's their signature dish and out of this world. Order the tostadas de atún for an appetizer, you won't want to miss those either.
A word of advice: get to Contramar early, right when they open. Otherwise your wait for a table could be as much as an hour. They don't take reservations.
Yes, the market in Coyoacán is open on Sundays.
I've had the escamoles at Maria Bonita and they were good, though they were much better at Izote. I had cena there one evening, the rest of the meal was rather underwhelming. Since you're staying at the Camino Real don't forget to check out the Blue Bar. I love the architecture of that hotel
You shouldn't need reservations for margaritas at the San Angel. Their margarita service is wonderful and the drinks themselves slide down really easily :-D
Have a great time in D.F.
Language might still be a barrier... DFeno can be much different than other Mexican Spanish dialects.
Most importantly... if its your first trip to DF and you aren't going to the Antropology Museum than you should just cancel your trip.
9PM reservations at places like Solea, Pujol & Izote & Jaso will guarantee you get the B-Team... you need to find hot night time spots like Contramar and others in Condessa.
The most important meal of the day is 2PM Comida... this is when the A-team works. Dinner has traditional been a very light supper even if its late... Pastries & Hot Chocolate... maybe go out for some garnachas etc., But the top notch, multi course meals are almost all eaten in the early afternoon.
As Mexico's schedule has begun to synch a little more to US & Europe.. there has been greater interest in late night, fancy meals... but they are usually of the Botana / Tapas / "Pupus" variety... small bites at a rowdy, hip place where the Tequila, conversation & music is more important. The romantic dinner date is starting to get more common in DF but not enough to guarantee top notch service & food at most places.... best you can do for dinners is to stick to small, mid level places in Condessa.
Of course, if you are willing to be adventurous & hire a private driver & escort... the blue collar suburbs have wonderful dining experiences at night.
I'm not usually contrarian, but I have to respectfully disagree. Going out to dinner (at least among ppl middle class+ in their 20s and 30s) is completely normal and incredibly common - all my friends, all lifetime chilangos, go out to dinner both Friday and Saturday every weekend to try restaurants. True, there's some places that are really only popular at lunch, but there are others that are much more popular for dinner. I've been to Jaso, Biko at night several times each and the room has always been full to the gills by 10pm (ideal reservation time here ... 9pm the room will be half full) and the service great. Solea and Izote are much less full at night because they cater more to the foreign business/hotel crowd. For some reason Izote is not super popular with my chilango friends, although I think the food is great.
That's not to say that you aren't going to be fine following the traditional comida + light dinner plan - it's also totally normal and probably less caloric way to travel. :-) However, comida + nice dinner out is just as normal. With food as good as it is in el DF, people are more than happy to eat big at 3pm and again at 10pm.