Mary Gaby Hubard: Mexico City’s epicurean delights
Former editor-in-chief of Food & Wine en Español, Mary Gaby Hubard is now editor-in-chief of the travel magazine Travesías. Based in Mexico City, she is ideally placed to reveal some excellent spots to eat and drink there.
Everyone is big on Mexico City right now because it’s so hot. There are great restaurants everywhere, and many are of similar quality. For example, Contramar is the most popular seafood restaurant in Mexico City and honestly worth the wait, but Campobaja is also really good and not as packed. It has a completely different ambience but these two are my favourites if you’re only focusing on the seafood.
For street tacos, my personal favourites right now are the pastor tacos with cheese (also known as gringas) from Tacos El Güero, in Moran Street, San Miguel Chapultepec. The tacos are really big. One taco and you’re done. And… it’s very close to my house, so that’s perfect for me.
There’s another place called Don Juan-Los clásicos de la Condesa. Every day of the week it serves different kinds of tacos. If you go on weekdays, you’re going to get tacos de guisado. Guisados are like a kind of Mexican stew, usually homemade meals with meat and/or veggies slowly cooked in salsa or adobo. People serve the guisado into a tortilla with rice or beans (not on the side, but inside the tortilla) to make the taco even more spectacular. It also has milanesa tacos, which are amazing, and smoked pork-chop tacos, which are very good and come with sweet beans. On Fridays, there are carnitas tacos. These are filled with fried pork and a ton of spices, and they’re so caramelised with the pork fat that they taste kind of sweet. Then on the weekend, it serves birria tacos, where lamb or beef is slow-cooked with spices before the meat is shredded.
The most popular bakery is Panadería Rosetta. It’s owned by Elena Reygadas and it is world famous. Since Covid, bakeries have begun opening all around Mexico City: in Condesa, Roma… those sorts of places. But there’s a particular bakery in La Condesa that’s been there for a long time, though people haven’t discovered it yet, so it doesn’t have long lines on the weekend. It’s cash only and it’s called García Madero. It does conchas, a sweet bread in Mexico, similar to a brioche bun but covered in sugar. They come in either vanilla or chocolate flavour. For me, these are the best conchas in Mexico City.
My favourite bar is Le Tachinomi Desu. It used to be a hole-in-the-wall but it’s a bit bigger now. You can only stand, there is no seating. It belongs to a guy named Edo Kobayashi. He’s a big restaurateur who owns these Japanese spaces. It’s a really nice bar that serves incredible omu rice, sake and natural wine. If you get tired of Le Tachinomi and want to sit down, you can go upstairs to Tokyo Music Bar. It’s another bar belonging to Kobayashi. It’s really fancy, plays music on vinyl only and does nice classic cocktails. The decor is very contemporary. It looks expensive… and it is. But I really like it.
To drink wine, my favourite is definitely the bar at Meroma. It’s under the restaurant, and Rodney Cusic (one of the owners) is usually there suggesting amazing wines. But he makes it fun, he’s not into the whole wine bluffing. The only thing he’s interested in is that you have a great time.
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