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Feb 24, 2014 11:31 AM

Pujol During Layover at MEX?

My wife and I have an 11-12 hour layover at MEX later this year and were thinking of trying to venture into Mexico City for a meal at Pujol. Having never been to Mexico City before (or the airport) just not sure what to expect. Is it relatively easy to do this via taxi? Approximately how long does it take to travel from MEX to Pujol?

Regarding Pujol itself, is the menu/experience the same at lunch and dinner? Is one preferable over the other? Also, approximately how long does the meal last?

Finally, assuming it is feasible to do this, any street food or other food attractions nearby to Pujol we may want to also check out before heading back to the airport?

Thanks for any advice/information.

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  1. With normal traffic, it should be a 1/2 hour cab from MEX to Polanco. Take a legitimate cab, not one of the green gypsy cabs (although I used to because they are cheap, and I never had a problem). Be sure in advance that you can check your luggage through and not have to drag it around with you. You would have enough time to visit the National Museum of Anthropology in Chapultepec Park, and have a 2 hour dinner at Pujol and some time to stroll around Polanco. Don't display flashy jewelry. The architecture and cantera stonework there is beautiful.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Veggo

      First off, the green cabs aren't usually green anymore--they're reddish Nissan Tsurus now. I'd allow at least 1-1/2 hours from Polanco to the airport. It can be as quick as 20 mins or as long as 2 hours in a bad situation--rain when it floods the Periferico. I lived 15 mins from Polanco--although it could take 90 mins to get there during rain or after a pileup.

      As Cristina mentioned, there are authorized taxis that are rippoffs. There's a cab company called Nueva Imagen that will charge about 250 to Polanco.

    2. This should be a lot of fun. Be sure to make a reservation fairly far in advance at Pujol.

      I wouldn't try to combine your meal at Pujol with the Anthropology Museum (all due respect, Veggo). The museum is enormous and a long day in itself.

      There are no more gypsy cabs at the airport. When you are leaving the baggage claim area, you'll see inside-the-airport booths where you can buy a taxi ticket. I like the last booth before the exit doors. Be prepared: the cost of these authorized taxis is double what the charge would be elsewhere--but in this case, there is no elsewhere. IMHO, the cost from MEX to Pujol will be just about 300 pesos.

      Depending on the time of day you will arrive at MEX, traffic could be a bear. It won't affect the cost of your taxi, but it will affect the time of your reservation.

      Traffic in Polanco is always a tremendous headache. Be sure to allow a LOT of time to get back to the airport; it can take an hour or more, depending. You'll need to allow enough time to get there within the airline's timeframe (usually 3 hours for international flights, and you'll need every minute of it). Example: from where I live just south of Polanco, it took more than two hours to get home in a heavy rainstorm. Normally, it's a 15 minute trip. Summer and early fall is the rainy season; just sayin'.

      Other food attractions: JASO, at Newton 88 in Polanco, has the best desserts in town. You could eat at Pujol and go over to JASO for dessert.


      4 Replies
      1. re: cristina

        Thanks so much for the information!

        1. re: Gonzo70

          Limited street food in Polanco; the area around Parque Lincoln and the shops on Masaryk are among the most elegant parts of the city. The airport is on the east side which is a bit skanky but fret not, it will get nicer in just a few KM's.

          1. re: Gonzo70

            Something I forgot to mention: Av. Presidente Masaryk is being remodeled and traffic is a total disaster. The remodel just started and is expected to take at least a year, maybe more. The high-high-high end merchants on the street are beside themselves.

            Allow for extra time to get to Pujol. Thanks, Veggo, for jogging my memory.


            1. re: cristina

              I recall a jewelry robbery on Masaryk when the getaway car was stuck in traffic for almost an hour, trying to get to the Pereferico a short distance away. La Policia were in cold pursuit, about 5 cars back. The ladrones made a clean escape!
              Irrelevant sidebar: when I lived on Campos Eliseos, a VERY high rent area, ladrones stole all 4 of my tires plus both headlamps, in less than 5 minutes. They should be on an Indy pit crew. Also, I am quite pleased that the lovely Danish Embassy is still in the neighborhood, and the Hard Rock Café is gone.

        2. I visit Mexico City alot and lately have been staying at the Hyatt in Polanco. I don't know where you're from but if you're used to the Metro I recommend it (we get it with our bags from the airport to Auditorio). Without bags, at lunch time, it would be quicker than a cab. Personally I get nervous going to the Airport in a cab because you can never tell how long it will take to get there! Many people will chime in saying not to take the Metro but it is the only transportation we take and we have never had problems. Stairs are steep but the price is ridiculously low - 10 cents or so.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bronwen

            It's true, the Mexico City Metro is very inexpensive, even though the price has gone up to about 35 cents (US) per person.

            A couple of things: (1) it is no longer possible to buy a single Metro ticket, or even a few at a time. You'll need to have a multi-transportation card that you can use on the Metro and/or the Metrobús. (2) You are NOT allowed to bring luggage onto the Metro--you can sneak it on, but you run the risk of being put off the train. (3) You CAN bring luggage onto the Metrobús, but the Line 4 Metrobús from the airport (both terminals) does not go to Polanco.


            1. re: bronwen

              not true -- the new metrobus has alternate busses that go from the airport to centro, where you can pick up the metro easily. its $30MXN pesos and you will have it to yourself w/an armed transit police guard onboard and including more guards at all the stops. very quick and enjoyable. get a tarjita df at the machine next to the exit at terminal 2, walk past the cabs and you will see it in the loop right there. or you could walk out, take a left and walk to pantitlan for a direct metro subway connection, just follow the crowds. either are easy to do and much quicker and more reliable than cabs.

            2. This place ain't what it use to be. I'd skip it. The service, in particular, was terrible. I'd go elsewhere. I will go elsewhere as we're returning to df soon. If you like seafood, although casual, Contramar is unbelievable. Tuna tatare tostadas must.

              3 Replies
              1. re: djsarver

                I could not agree more. Pujol is not only not what it used to be, it is a total waste of time, money and, most importantly when in DF, calories!!! To be blunt, Pujol is little more than bad hotel food.

                1. re: shimson

                  Oh no - bad hotel food - that's pretty damning, depending on which country's hotels you're alluding to.

                  I don't know. I was there late in 2014 and Pujol (my third visit) shone as always. There are new players on the scene in DF, but Pujol has never failed to amaze me with its inventiveness and flavour mixing.

                  I'd love to know what you find "bad hotel food" and "calories".

                2. re: djsarver

                  Begging your pardon, djsarver, I disagree with your assessment and with the assessment of shimson, in the post that follows yours.

                  I was at Pujol very recently and thought the service was beautiful, with staff anticipating our needs without being intrusive, the waiters all but invisible but nonetheless instantly responsive at all times--in short, exactly as restaurant service should be. The food was prepared perfectly, plated perfectly, creative, inventive, complex, serious but at times humorous, and lovely.

                  What more could a diner want?

                  For more information about our March 2015 meal: