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Food + Drink

The Ultimate Mexico City Food Tour

Colorful markets, 11-course meals and authentic street tacos are just a taste of Mexico City's diverse flavors. Read on to find out where to stuff your face south of the border.

Fonda Mayora

Fonda Mayora is the most recent addition to the posh La Condesa and boho-cool Roma neighborhoods. Opened last fall, the red-hot newbie is an expert in traditional recipes; in other words, fonda is to Mexico what bistro is to France. Snag an outdoor seat by the street, where peddlers stroll by hawking their wares, and tuck into table-side guac, bone marrow with salsa verde, smoked oysters, and pork knuckle braised in a pineapple, pepper and ancho sauce, followed by a hot pink hibiscus drink with chia, cinnamon and lime.

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Photo by Chelsea Bengier

Pujol

If there’s one restaurant you can’t miss, it’s the award-winning Pujol. Helmed by Enrique Olvera (you may have seen him on the hit Netflix series Chef’s Table), the six-course tasting menu elevates traditional Mexican street food to haute cuisine. Standouts include suckling lamb tacos with avocado leaf adobo and avocado puree, baby corn dipped in a costeño chile mayonnaise with powdered chicatana ants, and mole that’s been aged for 1,000 days.

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Photos by Araceli Paz

Merced Market

This chaotic must-see market is the definition of sensory overload. Picture tables overflowing with fresh produce, piñatas dangling from the ceilings and vendors dishing up meaty tacos covered in spicy sauces to crowds of regulars. There’s also an array of eye-popping candy and mole merchants, and make sure to pick up some made-in-Mexico artisanal crafts before you go.

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Photo by Chelsea Bengier

Amaya

In the up-and-coming Juarez neighborhood is chef Jair Téllez’s second hotspot, which just opened this summer. Following the same Baja California-style cooking as his cult-favorite MeroToro, Amaya showcases a small rotating menu (try the pig ears with eggplant and peppers to start, the sea bass and amanita caesarea mushrooms as a main and for dessert, sweet fruits like mamey, chicozapote and pineapple) paired with funky wines from his family’s vineyard, Bichi. Their slogan? “Good food. Strange wines.” How fitting.

RELATED: 72 Hours in Mexico City

MUCHO Museo del Chocolate

Got a sweet tooth? You’ll love the MUCHO Museo del Chocolate, a pocket-sized museum that offers a comprehensive history of the dessert. (Fun fact: the name cacao comes from the Mayan word kakaw.) Plus, you can even try your hand at grinding the beans on a metate. In the gift shop, pick up a bar of cacao puro to take home in a goody bag.

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Photo courtesy of Chelsea Bengier and Museo del Chocolate (MUCHO)

Mercado Roma

Want to sample the city’s diverse culinary scene under one roof? Head to Mercado Roma, a gourmet food hall that has a smorgasbord of 60 stalls serving everything from tangy ceviches to tamarind-flavored truffles. We love the Del Mar sandwich (garlic grilled squid stuffed in a toasted telera) at La Barraca Valenciana, tacos de carnitas at Barbacoa del 23, spicy chile pozole at José Guadalupe, Platos de Cuchara, and cervezas at the rooftop Biergarten (the city’s first beer garden).

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Photo by Jaime Navarro

La Table Krug

When you tire of Mexican flavors, make a reservation at La Table Krug in the St. Regis for an evening of French fine-dining. The 11-course tasting menu includes asparagus flan and morel sweetbread, foie gras with artichoke cream, and crispy chicken curry feuilletés, plus a pre-dessert (yes, you read that right) of haba tonka sponge cake. But the main event is left for last: each guest is presented with a tray of dry ice that floods the table in fog. And the pièce de résistance? A hollowed chocolate shell resembling a cocoa pod is drizzled with hot chocolate sauce that melts it to reveal fresh fig, raspberry liqueur, chocolate sponge, corn crumble, bergamota gelee, and dill sorbet inside. Now that’s a dramatic ending.

RELATED: 11 Best Mexico City Hotels

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Photo courtesy of Marriott International

Eat Mexico tour

Mexican fare is practically synonymous with street food. But with so many good carts and stands, it’s hard to know where to start. Book a walking tour with Eat Mexico, where a local guide (we highly recommend Paco) will take you to the best hidden gems. On the four-hour eatathon, you’ll taste chocolate con churros at El Moro, turkey tortas (turkey, avocado and homemade chipotle salsa) from the 60-year-old Tortas Tortas, esquites (roasted corn, mayo, cheese, hot pepper and lime layered in a cup), and blue corn tlacoyos (a pre-Hispanic meal cooked on a metal griddle then topped with fava beans, cactus salad and cheese).

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Photo by Daniel Klinckwort and Ana Laframboise

Roldan 37

If you weren’t searching for it, you’d probably walk right by Roldan 37. The fuscia exterior blends with the rest of the bright storefronts along the alley, but inside the second-floor dining room, it’s more toned down, with floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto charming balconies. Meanwhile, the menu is aimed at the adventurous — the signature plate is pastel de dioses (cake of the gods), which is layered with cotija cheese, guacamole and chapulines (grasshoppers), a regional specialty that adds a nice crunch to the dish. Wash it down with a colorful cocktail or a Coronarita (a drink mixing beer and margaritas).

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