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The Local Lowdown | Cristina on Mexico City



Hailing from Mexico City, Cristina Castellanos Stephens, student at the Basque Culinary School in Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain, shares with us her favorite spots in her hometown (or giant city) in Mexico.

A fanatic of sharing good food and laughter with friends and family, Cristina also finds simple pleasures in the cinema, reading novels, music and secret silly dancing in the shower.




What do you want a visitor to know about Mexico City? 

The city is magical, almost surreal and full of life. It’s colourful, its one big heart . . . imagine a close up to a heart with all the veins and blood running through never stopping: that’s Mexico City.

Amazing street food: open 24 hours. BIG breakfasts: enchiladas (rolled up freshly made tortillas; OMG! So fragrant with shredded chicken inside and then covered with an amazing red or green sauce (green is my fave: made from roasted green tomatoes, onion, garlic and flavorsome chicken broth-blitzed into a wonderful smooth sauce and of course topped with gratin cheese on top). We take our breakfasts seriously.

Mexico City tastes sweet, salty, acidic and spicy all in one, and it’s addictive. Mexico has some of the finest and poshest restaurants and best street ice cream. Mexico is a country of contrasts in your face kind of way: you have the richest man in the world and the poorest, you have coco-cola getting everywhere and no drinking water in many places, you have absolutely every climate you want, mountains, snow in the volcanos, lots and lots of people traffic, bright coloured fruit, yelling on the streets and posh jewish women going shopping in expensive stores, mexicans don’t know how to say no, and if you ask for directions we will tell you where to go even if we don’t actually know. We have no sense of tardiness the word ¨ahorita¨ is the perfect example:
-cuándo llegas?
*Ahorita could mean, 5 minutes or two hours

Cristina’s top 5 favorite spots in Mexico City – 

1. Coyoacan: Los Danzantes in the heart of coyacan specialized in mezcales, pulque, amazing typical food and cocktails mixed with mezcal- the one with lime and chia seeds is my favourite!

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2. Paxia, a beautiful restaurant in San Angel a really nice area in the city. The food here is delicious and really attractive, high-end mexican cooking.

3. Pujol, was the first mexican restaurant to be on the 50 Best Restaurants list AMAZING, beautifully crafted food a MUST if you go to the city you can pair you tasting menu with artisanal beers or fruit flavoured waters (a mexican specialty!)

4. La Romita, hip, hipster, photographed by the cool hunter, like many, its one of the new restaurants in the up and coming barrio of La Roma.

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5. The Centre is by far the best representation of the surrealist underlying magical feel the city has- so many winding streets where you can buy anything you can dream of: dream it, and its there! shoes? glasses?, skulls? clown shoes? real or fake perfume seriously… anything!!

Of course this includes amazing food in all sorts of places Café Tacuba is a restaurant in a building from 1912 with old tiles and huge lamps, when in season their chiles en nogada are to die for- stuffed green chiles with meat prepared with spices and raisins and covered in a creamy and sweet walnut sauce topped with pomegranate seeds (UFF!!)

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