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Aug 16, 2013 08:43 AM

Lunch vs Dinner in Mexico City

I'm heading to Mexico first week of September and am making reservations at some of the higher end foodie-type destinations I've read about on the board.

My question is whether there's a difference between getting lunch or dinner at some of these places. I understand that lunch is the main meal of the day, and can be formal and lengthy.

But many tacquerias and fondas may close by 8 or 9 pm, which would be my ideal dinner time. My impression is that I should do street food and such during the day and eat fancy dinners at night.

Does that seem right?


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  1. Lunch, or comida, can be the main meal of the day, but a formal and lengthly cena, dinner, may start at 9:30 or 10:00. And it won't be at a tacqueria. You may want to adjust your daily schedule to enjoy the best of it. Are you staying in Polanco?

    1. Fondas generally do close early--they usually serve breakfast and comida, but not cena. Taquerías more often open later in the day and stay open later, some are open far into the night. Naturally there are lots of exceptions!

      As a Mexico City resident, I'd say have your high-end comida as your main meal, sometime between 2.30 and 4PM. If you'll be having comida alone, your meal will take approximately the time it will take to order, be served, eat, and receive your bill.

      If you'll be having comida at high-end restaurants, you'll want to dress well, but not necessarily dress up. No jeans and sneakers, for example, at places like Pujol or Dulce Patria. Dress pants, leather shoes, a good guayabera will do fine for a man. Business casual kind of dress for a woman. When in Rome...

      Then late in the evening, hit the streets for tacos.

      Just an FYI: many high-end restaurants have the A team in the kitchen during comida and the B team at the later hours. If you want the best, go for comida.

      Inquiring minds want to know: what part of the city will you be staying in, and what restaurants will you be choosing?


      1. So we're back. I'll write up a separate trip report, but just to say that whether we liked it or not, we invariably got stuck into the local eating schedule. This meant that even on the days we splurged on fine dining, we did so after having eaten very late lunches. If I go again, I will know to plan dinner for as late as possible, maybe 9pm.