An award-winning chef and Mexico City native, Roberto Santibañez knows a thing or two about the best cuisine in Mexico’s capital. Now based in New York City, Santibañez trained at Paris’s renowned Le Cordon Bleu culinary school and opened several restaurants in Mexico City before spending four years as executive chef at Fonda San Miguel in Austin, Texas. In 2002, he became culinary director for Rosa Mexicano restaurants. Today, Santibañez is the culinary mastermind behind Fonda, a stylish restaurant in Brooklyn, New York that specializes in contemporary Mexican urban cuisine.
Santibañez still visits Mexico City, of course. So where does he go in the D.F. when he wants a truly satisfying meal? Here are his top five choices (and for even more about Santibañez and his creations, you can also visit his own site).
1. El Bajio
“I like the original located in Azcapotzalco. If you want real and traditional flavors that leave you with an impression, this is the place to go.”
Avenida Cuitlahuac #2709, Azcapotzalco; tel. +52-55-5234-3763
2. El Cardenal
“I like the original one located in Palma Street in the Centro Histórico, but the other two locations are equally good too. This is the best place in the city for breakfast in a sit-down, full-service setting. Try the freshly baked sweet rolls with clotted cream.”
Calle de la Palma #23 and Avenida Juárez #70; tel. +52-55-5521-8815 and +52-55-5518-6632
3. Casa Merlos
“I like it for its traditional moles and other dishes from central Mexico.”
Victoriano Zepeda #80, Col. Observatorio; tel. +52-55-5277-4360
Avenida Insurgentes Sur 3000; tel. +52-55-5622-7135
Francisco Petrarca 254, Col. Polanco; tel. +52-55-5545-3507
Readers’ Picks for Mexico City
WHERE TO EAT
Mexico city is an amazing place to eat. From its street food to the fine dining. Try Azul y Oro for a casual meal and Pujol (pujol.com.mx) for a fine dining experience.
Posted by Caseywilliams
Markets, street food and small tacquerias are highly recommended. Usually the tacos/tortas are made fresh and excellent quality. My favorite restaurant was La Toma de Tequila at Centro Médico Metro station. Chihuahua cuisine. The owner and staff went out of their way to please.
Posted by JJbradley3
If you like seafood and shellfish, I would recommend Danubio near the Zócalo (danubio.com). We had a great lunch and the restaurant has a lot of history.
Posted by Rwiggins
I just returned from DF and ate excellent everywhere, but I must say the best was Jaso (jaso.com.mx) in Polanco. Order the tasting menu and don’t miss dessert!
Posted by Avr
For breakfast before touring downtown Mexico go to El Moro, a churrería at Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas 42 . They have four different kinds of hot chocolate and churros. This place has been around for over 70 years.
Posted by Ji
Bar La Opera (Avenida 5 de Mayo, corner of Filomeno Mata, Metro Allende or Bellas Artes) really is delightful, not just for the lovely dark wood, brass and mirrors, but for a generally comfortable atmosphere. I had probably the best margarita there (45 pesos?) and a very nice flan, an excellent piña colada another night.
Posted by Anonymous
This hip, colorfully painted shipping container city recently sprung up just outside of Mexico city. Created by a small community of businesses, the project features restaurants, gallery space, bars, funky stores and even living spaces constructed completely out of recycled shipping containers.
Container City is located about two hours outside of Mexico City in Cholula, and is comprised of about 50 standard shipping containers. The developers took 4500 sq meters (48,500sq.ft) of space and plopped down the containers, stacking them to create courtyards, alleys and streets. The containers were then painted bright colors and outfitted with lighting, kitchens, dining areas and more. There is even an open public area with ping pong tables where people can go and hang out.
The city consists of restaurants, juice bars, normal bars, funky little shops, bookstores, art galleries as well as a few residential apartments. There’s plenty of outdoor space to sit around and hang out and there are events and bands scheduled all the time. Container City is open Monday thru Saturday from 10am-8pm and Sundays from 11am-6pm.
- Information taken and more info at Inhabitat