One of the joys of visiting Mexico City is the access to amazing food from world class chefs! You can literally eat your way through this city and not scratch the surface on options. While there are plenty of cheap options to keep your budget low, there is a growing population of travelers wanting to experience the fine-dining that Mexico City has to offer. Here are some of my top recommendations for nice restaurants for your birthday trip or just a fancy Friday night.
Named as one of the best restaurants IN THE WORLD (#12 to be exact!), Pujol is one of the best places to experience the intersection of fine-dining and traditional cuisine. Chef Enrique Olvera has done a fantastic job at taking you on a delicious and informative journey, course by course. Servers become story-tellers and you even get a chance to taste the “mole madre”- a mole made daily using a portion from the day before. This mole madre has been in rotation for more than 8 years and the depth of flavor is easily noticed. Make sure you plan ahead though- reservations are booked out several weeks in advance.
Average bill for 2 people trying the tasting menu + drinks= ~$400 USD
My favorite restaurant on this list (and yes, I've eaten at all of them), Quintonil is an experience. The vibe and food can be described in one word- intentional. The staff is welcoming and the locally sourced food is flavorful beyond comprehension. Pro tip: get the wine pairings along with the tasting menu! The Sommelier on staff knows exactly what they are doing to bring your time there full circle. My friend and I even asked to meet the chef to thank them personally because it was so phenomenal. Quintonil is also named as one of the best restaurants in the world (#27!) and this is a well deserved title. Similar to Pujol you want to plan ahead since it can take weeks to get reservations.
Average bill for 2 people trying the tasting menu + wine pairings = ~$400 USD
Yes, that’s right- Mexico City has a Nobu. If you are not familiar with this upscale chain owned by celebrity chef Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa and Robert De Niro, you can find them worldwide. The best part is that whichever restaurant you make your way to- the food holds up! All of your favorite dishes are here and the ambiance is cute too. Fresh food, friendly and attentive staff, plus delicious drinks make for a wonderful date night location.
Average bill for 2 people + drinks ~ $200 USD
Rosa Negra Polanco
Rosa Negra may sound familiar if you have dined in other parts of Mexico- there are a few locations across the country and the RosaNegra Group itself has 7 concept restaurants in CDMX alone! Rosa Negra Polanco were recipients of Open Table’s Diner’s Choice award in 2019 and 2020 do to their reviews and sheer number of reservations. But enough about the restaurant, what about the food?! Two words: Fresh + Delicious. The dish concepts were innovative and modern and you can tell they knew what they were doing in the kitchen. For my plant-based friends, try the Beet Steak- seared slabs of beets cooked perfectly (pictured below) . Beyond this they sell some of the highest quality food IN THE WORLD as they are endorsed to sell Kobe Beef and have salmon with the highest Green Choice score you can find. Anywhere. Seriously. This is a great spot for a group celebration or for a nice night on the town.
Average bill for 2 People + drinks ~$200 USD
*All of these restaurants are found in the neighborhood of Polanco- often described as the “Beverly Hills of Mexico City” and require a “smart casual” attire.