We always stay in the Mexico City’s Zócalo (Main Plaza) partly just because there are so many fabulous places to eat there!
Breakfast choices are numerous and include three pastry shops, numerous juice places around town such as Jugos Canada, and a couple of sit-down restaurants, El Cardenal and El Café Popular.
La Vasconia, who have been making great pastries desde 1870, is my favourite pastry shop for breakfast. They have a sit down restaurant area with eggs, coffee and anything else you might want.Jugos Canada with a wide selection of juices, tortas (Mexican-style sandwiches) and hamburguesas, something I don’t generally eat when I’m in Mexico as there is way too much yummy Mexican food to try. Their juices are fabulous!A pastry and signature hot chocolate for breakfast at the classy (but not overly expensive) El Cardenal in Mexico City. This is where I would go for a treat breakfast.One of El Cardenal’s egg dishes, ‘bathed and dressed’ in a salsa verde and topped with fresh white cheese. The extensive menu from Café El Popular, breakfast, lunch and dinner, all excellent. So much for breakfast. For lunch and evening snacks there are Taquerías, a lot of them! Most are hole-in-the-walls where you eat on the street along with dozens of locals clamouring for these delicious tidbits. This taco stand in Mexico City centre, called Los Cocuyos, was recommended by Anthony Bordain and is pretty crowded. The CABEZA sign lights up the speciality tacos such as ‘head’, ‘pig’s noses’ and tripa plus others I was less interested in trying. But I have to admit that my longiniza taco (here being prepared) was greasier and more delicious than even at my favorite taquería..My favourite is the Taquería Tlaquepaque, which actually has an area to sit down, usually much needed after walking our legs off in the city. Their Tacos Pastor, freshly carved off the rotating spit, are the best!Tuna Tostados, a fusion dish with lightly seared tuna piled on the traditional tostado at the La Cervecería de Barrio. This is a chain restaurant with an interesting menu. Those Tuna Tostados were excellent as was the house salad with strawberries, figs, blue cheese and nuts. The beer selection was a tad more international than most. Hostería La Bota is one that a friend recommended for their Camarones al Mojo de Ajo (Garlic Shrimp), Rabo de Meztizo, French Onion Soup and pizza (!?). Personable hosts and great food! This is their French Onion Soup.
Then there’s a place we didn’t manage to get into, El Balcón Del Zócalo. A friend raved about his meal there, about the magnificent guacamole and the mango ice cream, plus the “lovely views of the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Plaza de la Constitucion” from its upstairs location.We weren’t entirely sure if we had the right place so I launched into an explanation to the hostess, “a friend told us about this great restaurant but we’re not sure if this is the place…”
“Oh yes, this IS the place,” she announced. Unfortunately there was a party for 30 reserved and so we headed off to an old favourite, the Café Tacuba.
But things have changed there. Our waitress is “snarley” (me), “abrupt” (Al). The margaritas were good but at 73 pesos ($5) each they should be. My ‘Huichinango a la Veracruzana’ didn’t measure up to the dozen others I’ve sampled; Al’s ‘mojo de ajo’ has something odd in it, maybe soy sauce??!!
Then the snarky waitress came up to our table and spit out one word, “Spanish”. She turned on her heel, leaving us looking blankly at each other.
She came back, took our order all the time looking down her nose at us.
When the bill came it was high, 1000 pesos. Al gave her 1100 pesos. She looked at the money in disgust and said her second word of the evening, “Tip.” Al nodded, “Sí.” And that was that.