Atmospheric/good restaurants in Mexico City

Oct 28th, 2007, 11:03 PM
  #1  
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Atmospheric/good restaurants in Mexico City

I'm leaving for Mexico City in a week and am looking for restaurant recommendations. Ideally I'd like to find places that are located not terribly far from the Zocalo/Centro Historico because we are staying at the Hotel Catedral. I'd love to find some pretty/atmospheric places where the food's good-to-very good as well. We're looking to spend perhaps $15 or maybe a bit more if it's really justified (150 pesos or so) per person per meal.

Any nice restaurant in an old hacienda?

I've consistently heard El Cardenal, Cafe de Tacuba, and Hosteria de Santo Domingo recommended. Any feedback on these?

I understand that Mexicans tend to eat their main meal of the day between 2-5pm? Will we generally be okay eating a lunch around 1 or 2 and then dinner around 8 or even 9? We're going to be walking-walking-walking and I imagine that, even after a filling lunch, we'll be hungry again at night.

Thanks for any input!
tara3056 is offline  
Oct 29th, 2007, 06:03 AM
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Las Sirenas was recommended by our terrific hostess at Bolivar Suites in the centro area. And we really enjoyed it. They have a rooftop deck with view of zocalo etc. Quite atmospheric and good food!

The other one we went to at her rec was, I believe, Los Girasoles, which was also good - and atmospheric. We also had dinner at a very chic modern place near the anthro museum, but I'm blanking on its name at the moment. . .

glover is offline  
Oct 29th, 2007, 07:40 AM
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You're going to have to spend more than $15 per person if you want somewhere pretty and atmospheric. I previously recommended Casa de la Sirena on your other thread, but unless you mean 150 pesos as only the entree price, you would spend more there. Can't think of any restaurants in old haciendas in the center city area. The San Angel Inn in the south part of the city is a Mexico City institution and probably just what you are envisioning, but again, considerably more expensive. Maybe you would like Fonda el Refugio, in the Zona Rosa, a popular place for Mexican specialties--restaurants with "Fonda" in the name are usually colonial charmers with less expensive prices, but still probably not 15 pp for the total bill.
marilynl is offline  
Oct 29th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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I think you'll be able to get out of Cafe de Tacuba for about $15 pp, though you might have to skip cocktails. It fulfills the "pretty/atmospheric" requirement.

Fonda el Refugio is a great suggestion and certainly fits the bill but I think you'll have to exceed your budget if you want to try it.
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
Oct 29th, 2007, 11:14 PM
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Thanks so much for the suggestions. I guess I'm going to have to wait until we get down there to figure out where to eat. I don't quite know what my traveling companion is comfortable spending on meals, so that's really the limiting factor for me right now. Personally, the food is always a huge part of any trip I take, and I'd have no problem spending $50 every night for my part of a nice meal, but I don't think we'll be doing anything close to that.

Another concern is dress code. I'll be fine with a skirt or some black pants, but I'm definitely wanting to avoid a place where my friend would have to wear a tie/jacket.
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Oct 30th, 2007, 05:16 AM
  #6  
emd
 
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You don't have to wear a tie/jacket to Cafe Tacuba, that's for sure. I found the food ok, service bad, it's crowded at dinner, and the atmosphere is tight (tables close together) but they do have roaming mariachis at dinner. It certainly was not the best food we had in the DF. You might try the Chowhound Mexico board for ideas, as they have some good recommendations there, and not all are expensive.

Personally, I like Cafe Popular for great real food and prices. It used to just be a small cafe like a diner but now they have bought the place next door and added it, and that new part looks more like a real restaurant w/more atmosphere. Food is very good, authentic, and inexpensive. I will be in Mexico City this Fri. thru next Tues., also staying at Hotel Catedral, and am really looking forward to going back to Cafe Popular.
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Oct 30th, 2007, 12:55 PM
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Hi emd! I'll definitely put Cafe Popular on our list Perhaps we'll see you at breakfast one day at Hotel Catedral. I'm a 26yo blonde w/ glasses and my companion has sandy brown hair with a bit of a beard.

Thanks also for the chowhound rec - I hadn't even thought of looking there, though I've used it before for other trips.

I'll be talking to Jimmy tonight to get a better feel for what he wants to do and what his budget looks like.
tara3056 is offline  
Oct 30th, 2007, 05:13 PM
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I noticed that a lot of restaurants mentioned on this thread are also listed in my Rough Guide guidebook.

Tara, I'm certainly looking forward to hearing about your trip. My plan is to stay in Hotel Catedral in February.
WillTravel is offline  
Oct 31st, 2007, 04:20 AM
  #9  
emd
 
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Tara, I should be easy to spot as I will be the one w/the 6'6" 16 yr old son w/her! He has dark brown hair, my hair is blond and below shoulder length, I am 50ish. I'm sure we will eat at the hotel for breakfast as my son is famished in the mornings.

We arrive around noon this Friday(due to daylight savings time, DF will be 2 hrs behind our EST time, that's nice) and after dropping stuff at the hotel we plan to head over to the zocalo as there should be lots of day of the dead activities and altars set up there that day. We are staying til Tues., going to the pyramids on Monday and probably will head to San Angel and Coyoacon for the day on Sat.
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Oct 31st, 2007, 04:21 AM
  #10  
emd
 
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and my name is Eileen if you see the 6'6" son and want to see if it is me w/him...
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