Mexico City Trip Report December 2023

I visited Mexico City in December for vacation, mostly to eat! This was my second visit to CDMX and was kind of a last minute trip. I didn’t do too much planning. I arrived on a Sunday evening, and after checking into my hotel in Condesa I went for a late dinner at El Tigre Silencioso in Roma Norte, because I saw it on @mariacarmen ‘s excellent report and it was open after 10 on a Sunday.

It’s a cool multi-level location with a patio in Roma Norte, in a converted mansion.


To drink, Vermut de la Casa Blanco ($110) - a glass of the house white vermouth, which is from Baja California. Kind of savory, perhaps from the sour and salty olive on a toothpick (I think it was an olive) garnish.

And also a nice Negroni del “Tigre” ($210)

Aceitunas Y Queso Ramonetti ($120)
Several kinds of olives and cubes of Ramonetti cheese.

Unfortunately they were out of their signature smoked trout and ikura sandwiches and the tuna with butter. Instead, I had the Tostada de Pescado ($170) which was really good, and my favorite dish of the night. The fish was maybe a hamachi? It was quite meaty. It had a savory mayonnaise underneath the fish, sitting on top of a crunchy shell, and was drizzled with olive oil which added more richness.

I also had the Taco de Chile Mixe Relleno ($145), which was a Pasilla chili that I think was maybe rubbed with hot chili powder (it had a lot of heat), filled with molten ramonetti cheese and refried beans. This was on top of a flour tortilla. Quite good and quite spicy.

And the Fideo de Camarón con Tocino ($260) which was broken spaghetti like noodles in a rich but not too rich creamy sauce. I liked it though the shrimp could have been a touch less done. It had little chunks of fatty smoky bacon in it.

Menus


For lunch the next day, I made a return visit to Contramar in Roma Norte, which was one of my favorite meals from my last visit. It was pretty full on a grey and rainy Monday afternoon, but the bar had some spots open and I was seated right away.

To drink - a Paloma ($165)

To eat - tostadas - Pulpo ($172.50) and Atún ($172.50), half orders of each. The tuna was as good as before - this is a must order! The pulpo was in a creamy octopus salad form. These were also quite good, though not as great as the tuna tostadas.

And the Jaiba suave ($720), which was a fried soft shell crab with chilis, onion, and cilantro. Delicious. the soft shell part of the crab provided a slight crunch. It came with four flour tortillas with which to construct tacos. I think it may have meant to have been shared :pig:

This was another great lunch at Contramar. I was too stuffed for dessert but I did have a Carajillo ($209), a sweet coffee cocktail with rum and Licor 43.

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Beautiful food and drinks! :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the great Post.

The Pasilla Mixe or Chile Pasilla Oaxaqueño is a super famous Chili from a specific Area of Northern Oaxaca. Much like Jalapeño usually hot but some are really HOT.

Fideo are short Angel Hair like noodles that are toasted, cooked Risotto/Sopa Seca style with a Sofrito and Stock. Cream may have been added to enrich it a bit. In Spain you would stir some Aioli into it at the Table.

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beautiful! so glad you enjoyed El Tigre, and Contramar is a must-do every time for me as well - and always have to order the tuna tostadas!

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Ah interesting, thanks for that. The one in my taco was definitely very hot.

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Next was a dinner at Em in Roma Norte. I’d had a late a la carte dinner at Em before on a previous trip, and have also had a dinner at a residency that chef Lucho Martínez did here in SF at Turntable at Lord Stanley. I enjoyed both meals very much so I booked the Chef’s Counter menu on Tock.

The chef’s counter is very small and seats two. It is right in front of the kitchen.

To drink, I started with a Smoky Negroni

Dinner started with a dashi steeped with hojo santa, an herb found in Mexico, poured out of a tea kettle. Japan x Mexico. This was a subtle dashi with some herbal notes from the hojo santa.

Next, a trio of little bites. A huitlacoche (corn smut) tart with Chiapas cheese, a croquette with an escamole (ant larvae) filling, and baby corn. All were quite good. I think I liked the escamole croquette the most.

And then came three dishes featuring tuna. First, a bluefin tuna with a mole, which was on the bottom.

A bluefin tuna tostada with chili mayonnaise and avocado. I had something like this on my previous visit and it was as delicious as before.

Finally a luxurious tuna tartare tart with cucumber and a generous dollop of caviar.

All were delicious!

A buñuelo topped with a stone crab (?) paste from Baja California and chilis, and trout roe. Very good. A buñuelo is like a crispy donut (thanks Google). This one was shaped into a flower like form and was indeed crispy. It had a nice mix of textures from the crispy sweet-ish buñuelo base, the creamy crab paste, and the briny trout roe.

Next, a risotto-like dish with butter, white truffle, enoki mushrooms. Rich and buttery and truffle-y.

And then, a breaded and fried piece of dover sole, on top of spinach, garlic chips, garlic foam, and topped with caviar from a fish that I neglected to write down. The fish was delicious and crunchy and meaty, and the savory garlic foam and caviar, which popped in your mouth, were very nice accompaniments.

A bao filled with potato and topped with uni. This was a quite dense bao. Good.

Next, a beef course, which was the last savory dish of the dinner. The beef was described as a cross of wagyu and Angus, from Mexico. This was topped with a chimichurri sauce, and to the left was a chili spiked bearnaise. Delicious! The beef was super beefy with a bit of chew. Also to the right of the beef, some lettuce with cheese and an herb that I don’t remember the name of. This was kind of like a fancy wedge salad.

I was given a palate cleanser of a shiso leaf wrapped around a membrillo filling (no picture).

The first dessert course, a pineapple sorbet and chunks of pineapple, topped with a coconut disc. Cool, refreshing, tropical.


A mamey tart. Garnished with mamey seeds underneath. Mamey is a fruit native to Mexico that is sweet and has a rich avocado like texture.

And then a slice of mamey tiramisu with mascarpone. This was served out of a pie plate. Very nice.


This was an excellent dinner at Em, with a mix of Asian and Mexican flavors. The cost of dinner was $3500.

Kitchen Pictures



After dinner I had some drinks at 686 Bar, which is accessed by walking through the kitchen and up a spiral staircase. I was only slightly disappointed that the entrance wasn’t through a fake freezer door :grinning:. It is a dark and intimate bar.

I had a
White Mezcal Negroni ($260)
Lalocura Espadin Cocchi Blanco, Lillet

and a Citrus Maracuyá ($120) mocktail
Maracuyá, Jugo de Limón, Jarabe
Which was very refreshing.

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The quality of your pictures is outstanding, what camera are you using? I have brought my ‘good’ camera (Fuji) to my current trip, but keep on using my iphone for convenience. Looking at your pics, maybe I should reconsider!

Thanks! I’m using the camera of an iPhone 13 Pro.

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Wow nice. I have a regular iphone 12 and it’s quite a big difference. Maybe I should get a pro as well next time!

I was in Coyoacán the next day to do some shopping and also to visit the Frida Kahlo Museum again and also the Leon Trotsky House Museum which is nearby. For lunch, I went to La Barraca Valenciana, a Spanish restaurant in Coyoacán that, in addition to Spanish fare such as paella and patatas bravas, also serves Mexican tortas.

I had the Gallega torta ($230), which had warm bacalao / salt cod in a slightly spicy slightly sweet sauce that had olives and I think almonds. There were also slices of avocado in there. The sandwich roll was airy and slightly crusty. A delicious sandwich, and fairly substantial. They also have some Mexican craft beers - I drank a very nice Imperial stout from Espantapájaros brewery.

For dinner, I went to a location of Oaxacan restaurant group and mezcal maker Los Danzantes, which is next to the Jardín Centenario plaza in the center of Coyoacán.


Free bread

I started with the Hoja Santa ($230) a dish of hoja santa leaves stuffed with Oaxacan cheese and also a goat cheese I think, on a tomatillo based sauce. Delicious, with some gooey stringiness from the Oaxacan cheese and some pleasant funkiness from the goat cheese.

I wanted to try a dish with mole and my waiter suggested the Enchiladas de Pato ($400) which is duck enchiladas with two moles - Oaxacan mole negro and mole verde from Michoacán, topped with queso añejo and onions. This was very good. Both moles were delicious - the Oaxacan black mole was rich, thick, and slightly thick. It tasted of dried fruit, chilis, and a bit of chocolate. The green mole was more bright and fresh tasting but with still some richness - I believe it is thickened with pumpkin seeds. The duck enchiladas were corn tortillas filled with shredded duck “carnitas.”

Also had a few glasses of Danzantes mezcal.


Not food - pictures of Coyoacán:


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The next day I went on a tour to Teotihuacán, and had lunch at a restaurant near the site, which was a bit touristy. They had a buffet, but one could also order a la carte.

An unremarkable escamole quesadilla, some pretty good barbacoa tacos, and a surprisingly great consomé de borrego.

Not food - Teotihuacán is very impressive and well worth the hour or so trip from the city.




For dinner back in CDMX, I had some tacos and cocktails at Café Tacobar in Roma Norte. They also have a location in Roma Sur, and if the awning is to believed - London, Barcelona, Tokyo, and Bangkok (I couldn’t find any evidence for these locations :smile:). H/t again to @mariacarmen ‘s excellent report which mentioned this place. It’s a small space - a long bar inside with some tables outside and a little seating area in the front. The bar seats have a secret shelf that contains napkins and oddly, playing cards.


I had a couple of cocktails:

Salmoncito ($180)
Gin, Campari, jugo de toronja, agua tónica y suprema de toronja
This was very refreshing and light.

Dry Smoky Martini ($180)
Gin, dry vermut y aceitunotas infiusionadas en mezcal Cuishe ancestral
This was a good slightly smoky Martini, with a mezcal infused olive.

Free popcorn

I started with two meaty tacos:
Costilla Taco ($60)
de costilla chingona de res que no sufrió tanto
On the left - a straightforward beef ribeye steak taco. Juicy and beefy filling. All of the tacos were on green tinted (from hoja santa maybe) flour tortillas, and all were quite large.
Chilorio Taco ($60)
de chilorio de cerdo medieval zacatecano
On the right - a pork chilorio, spicy pork cooked in a chili sauce. There was some cheese in there too. Delicious!

The first two tacos were superb so I had a couple more.

Chayote ($60)
de chayote salteado con hoja santa y quesillo
I got some veggies with this taco, which was filled with strips of chayote, a type of squash.

Especial ($60)
Finally, a taco filled with zucchini, topped with a fried egg and ham. This was as good as it looked!

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Great tacos and great cocktails.

For a snack I made a repeat visit to El Greco in Condesa. El Greco specializes in tacos arabes, which are a bit like al pastor tacos in that the meat is off a spinning trompo, but the spices are more Middle Eastern like a shawarma.

This time I had a doneraky gringa with avocado ($90)
Which was a large quesadilla like thing made with flour tortillas, stuffed with the shawarma style meat off the trompo with onions and melted cheese, and topped with avocado. Delicious.

I ended my night with a nightcap at Baltra in Condesa.

Hobart ($240)
Whisky Buchanan’s 12, Cocchi americano, Cordial de jamaica
Like a less bitter Negroni or Boulevardier

Lantana ($150)
Runnegth Dry, Jengibre, Piña, Hierbabueana, Cardamomo, Agua mineral
This was a tropical tasting mocktail that had some cardamom flavor.

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how have i missed all these posts! fabulous, and I’m glad you enjoyed a few of my recs - now i have some of yours for my next trip! (hopefully not too far off in the future…)

Loved Baltra!

your pics are spectacular, thanks for all the detailed descriptions!

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