This article was originally published in Spanish on MUNCHIES MX in November 2016.
In honor of its 91st anniversary, Cerveza Modelo recently developed a crowdsourced gastronomic guide of Mexico's 91 best dishes, chosen by people across Mexican social networks.
We couldn't just accept that these are in fact the 91 dishes that you can't miss while visiting Mexico City, so we carefully analyzed and discussed each dish, and have decided that there are indeed 10 dishes on the list that are essential for anyone who want to visit Mexico City. While some of these dishes are on the traditional side, some are globally inspired. But if you want to know the dishes that people who actually live here love to eat the most, here they are:
Turkey tacos, Bar Montejo
This taco is almost a full meal on its own. The turkey is perfectly cooked and wrapped in a thick, toasty, handmade . The special touch is the mole sausage. The dish is topped off by a few slices of onion.
Address: Benjamin Franklin 261, Hipódromo
Bone marrow sopes, Fonda Mayora
Fonda Mayora has left us all with our mouths open, ready to eat more and more bone marrow sopes, which are made to order, grilled on the comal (griddle), and served with green salsa. Each order comes with three sopes, and three bones for you to scrape the marrow out of.
Chef Gerardo Vázquez Lugo says he wants to go back to the basics: "Use your hands, suck the bone, get dirty".
Address: Campeche 322, Hipódromo
Lobster prensado sandwich, Lucas Local
Several years ago, young chefs Alexander Suástegui and Alejandra Coppel created this delicious dish that makes for great Instagram food porn—and better eating. It is a simple grilled cheese sandwich with butter, lobster, and a little truffle, which leaves you literally licking your fingers when you finish eating it.
Address: Frontera 89, Roma Norte
Panuchos de cochinita, Turix
With a perfect balance between delicious fat, spices, and pork, the cochinita (slow roasted pork) at Turix melts in the mouth and remains on the palate as a memorable taste of the Yucatan Peninsula. It is also necessary to mention the unlimited toppings: lemon, onion, and extra-spicy habaneros.
Address: Emilio Castelar 212
Guava roll, Rosetta
Rosetta has the best sweet bread in Mexico City—a perfect circle of butter, cream, and guava—crunchy with every bite. Elena Reygadas, chef of one of the 50 best restaurants in Latin America, didn't study at the French Culinary Institute in vain.
Address: Colima 179-A, Roma Norte / Havre 73
Campechano taco, Villamelón
Cecina (salted, smoked meat), pork sausage, and pork rinds are the main ingredients of this classic Mexico City taco. The large, sturdy tortilla, and the lemons and red salsa—which is very spicy but has a flavor that is almost as distinctive as the taco itself—really complete this taco. Onions marinated in lime add a slight sweetness to the taco, finishing off this masterpiece born in front of Plaza Mexico.
Address: Tintoreto 123, Ciudad de los Deportes
Grilled oysters, La Docena
This restaurant came from Guadalajara to make all of Mexico City fall in love with its overwhelming menu of oysters and shellfish. The grilled oysters are bathed in clarified butter, shallots, and parsley. Their flavor is very elegant, and the clarified butter has been imbued with the taste of the sea. Just pour a few drops of lemon, sprinkle them with salsas from Jalisco and Nayarit states, and try to fight off the inevitable urge to order another dozen.
Address: Álvaro Obregón 31, Roma Norte
Mole madre, Pujol
This example of new Mexican cuisine was created in 2014 by chefs Enrique Olvera—Pujol's executive chef and national hero—and Jorge Vallejo, from Quintonil. Everything in this mole is tatemado (roasted), nothing fried. But the true wonder of this mole is that it takes more than 700 days to cook. A new ingredient is added every day to so it doesn't lose its flavor. Also, depending on the season and mood of the mole, ingredients like banana, nuts, chilies, tamarind are added.
Equally innovative, this mole is served without meat. First, you pour a circle of mole madre, then inside a circle of new mole, so the diner can play with both and taste the differences between them. This dish not only looks back into the past with a traditional recipe of black mole, it is also interested in the present, because the way it is presented has to do with the work of the famous Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco and the circular forms he painted. So we're not just testing a simple mole, we are experiencing a piece of history of our country.
Address: Petrarca 254, Polanco
Tacos al pastor, El Vilsito
The meat at El Vilsito is perfectly seasoned, wisely roasted, and generously served. The onion, cilantro, and pineapple are very fresh. Before serving you, they pour a splash of salsa on top. And we have not even begun to talk about the salsas on the bar: the green salsa is made with avocado; the arbol salsa is dangerously spicy, and the red salsa is less spicy but more seasoned.
Address: Petén 248, Narvarte
Tuna tostadas, Contramar
The fried tortilla with tuna is the perfect size; you can hold it in your hands even if it breaks. The best are the fajitas made with fresh fish that is so soft it seems like tuna butter. The real special touch is caramelized leeks, and the chipotle mayonnaise and avocado are the finishing touches. With so many delicious things, it's impossible to hold together this crazy mountain of flavor, which always results in a delicious mess.
Address: Durango 199, Roma Norte