Besides proper sit down restaurants, we did eat at taco stands and bars.
I think my favorite experience was going to Coyoacan, another neighborhood in Mexico City. As one person in the office said, it’s very old and feels like you stepped back into time. I think that’s the best way to describe this area as you see older buildings but it’s not to say it’s ugly at all. It’s a nice change of pace from how busy the rest of the city feels. Thanks to the turibus (which is a super convenient way to see most of the city), we were able to stop by for a few hours. According to lonely planet, one of the places to eat at was Tostadas Coyoacan. Based on lonely planet, I really had no idea what to expect. We walked into the Mercado, which is in a large building that holds numerous vendors. We walked towards the back of the building and all you could see were stalls that had large tray fulls of what looked like different types of ceviche. You could see that the “line chefs” were yelling at the servers and vice versa, if you didn’t understand Spanish then it looked a little bit like madness. The servers warmly greeted us, inviting us to sit on one of their booths to eat tostadas. but wait, we wanted to go to the “Tostadas Coyoacan” one! We walked through this row and towards the end we found it. Tostadas Coyoacan actually consisted of 4 stalls! When I told them we were a party of two, the server pointed me towards the back of the stalls where there was a line of people waiting to be seated. Ohh this must be the place to be then! Since we were just a party of two and service is really fast (you’re just eating tostadas!), they seated us in a few minutes.
We luckily got to sit where the action was! Basically we were sitting at the stall that had the trays of seafood, which means we saw the line chefs take all of the orders and quickly pile each tostada with whatever toppings were being barked at them. It was really cool to see how quickly they moved! I was a little intimidated to order because we didn’t know what to get, there were so many to choose from! We ended up getting octopus and shrimp. They were so tasty!
What made this food adventure so memorable was how FRIENDLY everyone was. I even took my SLR out to take a photo of all of the food. The cool part was that the patrons sitting next to me even moved out of the way for me to take photos! How sweet is that? That’s never happened to me in the US where people kindly allow me to take a photo (I feel like in the US people would sarcastically sigh out loud to show how annoyed they are). The girl sitting next to ❤ even told me I should take the photo from her angle! The line cooks even smiled in the photos. Man, I wish people in the US were this friendly about letting me take photos in a restaurant!!!
Another place that we ate at was Tacos Chupacabre which is also located in Coyoacan, but away from the historical area. This was located next to a mall (also next to a Turibus stop). Rick Bayless recommended this taco stand. Here the cook greeted us by saying “konichiwa!” 🙂 The patrons were telling us that the tacos here are really good. I don’t have any photos of the tacos but yes, they are tasty! I loved how even here the patrons were cool with me taking photos of stand. Even the cooks let me take a photo of them (eventhough I didn’t time it well :().
Again, I love the hospitality that Mexico City has been for me on my many trips to Mexico City. I must warn you, if you do visit Mexico City it really does help to know some Spanish. I can’t say enough positive things about the hospitality and the amazing food! People in the US have this pre-conceived notion of what Mexico is like because of their experiences in TJ/Rosarito/Cancun/Puerto Vallarta and the drug wars that we see on the news. Mexico City has a totally different feel and moves to a metropolitan beat. Mexico City definitely changed my perspective of Mexico and I hope people get to see this for themselves.