The thriving and cosmopolitan city of Mexico City is rapidly gaining ground in the foodie world. It has been labeled as the next city that the Michelin Guide has set its sights on to celebrate its gastronomic excellence.
The Michelin Guide recently announced that it will soon be arriving in Mexico City. Finally, the restaurants that have already been spearheading the gastronomic scene for years will be given well-deserved recognition. Foodies around the world are anxiously awaiting the list, which will be revealed in early 2024. Many restaurants in Mexico City that have already been appearing on lists of the world’s best restaurants for years will receive their official seal of approval. These restaurants, which are a celebration of local and unconventional ingredients, alongside the creative talent of their head chefs, promise nothing less than the best.
Mexico is a country that unapologetically celebrates the richness and diversity of its culture. We can see this through its music, languages, artisan crafts, and of course, food. Its streets are full of noise, friendly chaos, and delicious smells. Everywhere you go in Mexico City, you inevitably run into a different gastronomic delight. From street food such as chapulines (crunchy edible grasshoppers), esquites (corn off-the-cob with mayo, cheese, and spice), and of course, tacos, to high-end restaurants and fine dining, the city is positively bursting with flavor. Traditions in Mexico City are as deep-rooted and ancient as the crumbling cathedral in its historic center, or the handmade tortillas made by Mexican abuelas on street corners. In recent years, we have seen exponential growth in the number of Michelin-star-worthy restaurants. This is truly something worthy of celebration.
What’s in a name?: How Michelin Stars are Awarded
Almost 100 years ago, in 1926, the Michelin Guide was born. And since then, the process of anonymously reviewing of some of the best restaurants in the world has grown in popularity and prestige. The Michelin Guide has inspired some of the world’s best chefs to make their dreams of culinary success come true.
The Michelin Guide looks for the following five items on their checklist of what makes a restaurant (or chef) deserving of a Michelin Star:
1) The quality of the produce
2) The harmony of the flavors
3) The mastery of cooking techniques
4) The personality of the chef as reflected in the cuisine
5) Consistency throughout the menus and over time
With all that being said, come and explore with us some of the best restaurants in Mexico City. These restaurants have been touted as deserving of a Michelin Star due to their creativity, use of local ingredients, and consistent quality over the years.
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Pujol – “The Best Restaurant in Mexico”
Located in affluent Polanco, a trip to Mexico City wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the famous Pujol. Pujol is tipped to be one of the first restaurants to receive an official Michelin Star. Chef Enrique Olvera is the driving force behind this gastronomic masterpiece. Ranked #13 in the “World’s 50 Best” restaurants in 2023, and #1 in Mexico, it is safe to say that Pujol is a strong contender.
The colorful and stylish dishes change daily and throughout the year. We love how this means you can return as many times as you like in the year and always have a unique experience. However, one constant on their menu is the “Mole Madre”, the signature dish comprised of over 100 ingredients and cooked over 2,852 days. The depth and richness of its flavor make it worth the trip alone just to try this mole. Pujol is big on sustainability and works directly with local farmers and ingredients.
Chef Olvera offers two different dining experiences within the restaurant. You can dine at the bar, Omakase-style, or in a more traditional way, in the restaurant. During the Japanese-inspired Omakase experience, the guest lets the chef guide the experience. Let the sommelier guide you on the best wines to drink by the glass to accompany each dish. The average cost of the 7-course sit-down tasting menu is $2565 MXN pesos, or around $150 USD. In our opinion, an excellent price to pay for one of the best dining experiences to be found in the Americas.
Quintonil – New Wave Mexican with an Indigenous Twist
Also gracing the “World’s 50 Best” restaurant list, this time coming in at #9 in 2023, is the emblematic Quintonil. Showcasing exotic and indigenous ingredients such as ant larvae and cactus, head chef Jorge Vallejo never fails to impress. Vallejo, who previously worked at top restaurants Noma and Pujol, is creative yet loyal to his Mexican roots. Vallejo takes humble ingredients such as corn, beans, and tlayudas (handmade crunchy tortilla) and elevates them to haute cuisine levels. Quintonil grows many of their own ingredients in an off-site garden, right in the middle of Mexico City’s upscale Polanco neighborhood. The exploration of Mexico and its biodiversity in Quintonil’s menu places it firmly amongst the best restaurants in Mexico City.
The 11-course tasting menu at Quintonil will set you back $4500 MXN (around $260 USD). If you want it with wine pairing, you will pay $6825 MXN (around $400 USD) per person. There are also a-la-carte options for a lighter dining experience.
Rosetta – Creative Reinterpretation of Classic Dishes
Another restaurant that is tirelessly working to receive recognition by the Michelin Group as one of the best restaurants in Mexico City, and thus deserving of a Michelin Star, is Rosetta. Chef Elena Reygadas is a woman of many talents. From writing books and literature to designing the menu at Rosetta, her work across different aspects of gastronomic culture is what earned her the title of The World’s Best Female Chef 2023. Enjoy hearty dishes such as homemade pasta and gnocchi and a selection of cheeses with dessert. Reygadas´ passion for baking also shines through her menu, thanks to her training at the French Culinary Institute. The a-la-carte menu varies in price but will set you back approximately $1000 MXN per person (around $60 USD) for three courses, not including drinks.
Sud777 – Innovative Mexican Vegetable Dishes
Chef Edgar Nuñez is a true artist, creating visually stunning dishes from simple yet high-quality ingredients. His focus on the exploration of vegetables in his dishes – both to accompany meat and fish and as the stars of the show – has placed Sud777 on the map as one of the best restaurants in Mexico City. Sud777 offers a regular tasting menu and a vegan tasting menu. Located in the south of Mexico City, Sud777 displays a wide variety of textures, flavors, and culinary techniques. In terms of costs, the tasting menu costs $1850 MXN (approximately $100 USD), with wine pairing costing $900 MXN (around $50 USD).
Tips for Visiting Michelin-Standard Restaurants in Mexico City
Despite being potentially cheaper in Mexico than in the US or other European countries, the Michelin-star dining experience remains vastly similar. Make a reservation plenty of time in advance to avoid disappointment. Dress formally; the restaurants mentioned above have a sophisticated ambiance, and it is best that you look the part. Make sure to warn the restaurant whilst booking of any dietary restrictions. For example, if you are vegetarian, vegan, celiac, or if you have any other specific allergies. Some restaurants may not be able to accommodate all needs. Embrace the local flavors and ingredients, as many of the best restaurants in Mexico City pride themselves on showcasing the country’s rich culinary heritage. Lastly, savor the moment—Michelin-standard dining is not just about the food but also the overall experience, from impeccable service to the exquisite presentation of each dish.
Whether you are in Mexico City to experience its culture, food, or explore its stunning landscapes, our team of experts is here to guide your way