Oaxaca mural

Oaxaca mural

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

A Restaurant Census

Anyone who has read about my visits to Mexico City on this blog knows that there is no shortage of restaurants here.  The neighborhood of Condesa where I stay has for some time been a trendy place for dining in Mexico City.  Just a couple blocks away from my apartment is the neighborhood of Roma Norte.  In the early 1900s it was a very elegant area, but then became rather seedy.  In recent years it has had a rebirth, and it is now, even more than Condesa, a culinary hot spot.  I read somewhere on the internet that Roma Norte is one of the premier places in the entire world for "foodies".  That seems like an exaggeration, but then I started to think about how many restaurants there are in that neighborhood.  I decided to take a tally of how many eating places there are in just a very small section of Roma Norte.  A took a very leisurely stroll, stopping frequently to take pictures, for just one hour.  This is what I found.  (Be prepared; this will be a long post.)

I left my apartment at noon and walked a block and a half to the broad thoroughfare of Insurgentes Avenue.  I crossed the avenue, and entered Roma Norte.  I walked down Guanajuato Street.  

After only a few steps I came to the first restaurant... Chetito... a place specializing in grilled meats and "urban tacos".  Don't ask me what an "urban taco" is.  Are there also "suburban tacos" and "rural tacos"???

Next door is another  restaurant... the only one in this post where I have actually eaten.  It's a Portuguese restaurant that was called "Lusitano" and was very good.  It's now under new ownership and is called "Bar Luso".

Continuing down the street I hit a dry spell.  The only restaurant in a couple blocks was a hole-in-the-wall with the politically incorrect name of "The Good Seasoning of My Little Black

Next came a Thai restaurant...

 And next to that was a place called "Ambar".

Its sign says in English "Food & Drinks".  You know a place is trying to be trendy when it has English on its sign.  I have a feeling that the emphasis at "Ambar" is more on the drinks than on the food.

Let's make a slight detour and turn down Tonalá Street for just a block.  Here we have a place for the health food crowd.  It's called "Naat" and everything it serves is natural (so they say).

Across the street is the typically Mexican "Las Flautas".  "Flautas" are tortillas filled with various ingredients, then rolled tightly into a flute-like cylinder and deep fried.

Back on Guanajuato Street we come to a little place selling freshly baked quiche and tarts.

Next door, on the corner of Guanajuato and Jalapa Streets, is a restaurant that looks quite upscale.  It's called  "Zapote" and it features Mediterranean cuisine.

Let's see what Jalapa Street has to offer.  Catty corner from "Zapote" is a little café that looks very non-upscale.

Next door is a bakery called "La Miniatura" that sells mini-pastries and mini-bread.

At "Chico Julio" you can get fish tacos and chips (another sign with English).

This "lonchería" seems fancier than the typical luncheonette.  The board says that their drink of the season is peanut latte.


Next we have a waffle bar...

...and a place for falafel.

This bistro is called "Bastardo".  Yes, that means what you think it means.

Wow, that was seven places in just two short blocks of Jalapa Street.  Now, we'll head back to Guanjuato Street where we find a bakery called "La Cereza" (The Cherry).


Sooner or later you are going to run into a U.S. chain.  Here is the ubiquitous "Starbucks".

"Starbucks" faces a little park called Plaza Luis Cabrera.

I passed by this plaza a couple years ago, and I don't remember that there was anything here.  Let's do a loop around the park and see what there is now...   

A couple doors from "Starbucks" is a very nice-looking place called "Cabrera 7".

"Café Toscano" must be part of a chain since I have been to a place with the same name in Condesa.

I don't know if this is a restaurant or more of an outdoor beer garden... but they want you to know that they have NO valet parking! 

A little pizzeria...

On the opposite side of the park from "Starbucks" is  "El Ocho"... a recreational café, whatever that means.

Just past that is "Nonsolo".  Does that mean I can't go there by myself?

Finally, on one corner of the park is a magnificent, early twentieth century mansion called "Casa Quimera".  It now contains a theater, some shops and a number of eating establishments.

I would called these high end food courts selling everything from Asian dumplings to oysters.

I counted a total of at least 15 food stands and restaurants inside "Casa Quimera."

So that comes to a total of 39 places to eat found my one hour stroll.  And, as I said, I covered just a very small portion of the neighborhood.  Yes, I think you could safely say that a "foodie" would be in heaven here in Roma Norte. 

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