It is almost impossible to pick ONE great thing about Mexico City. You could choose so many different places, restaurants or museums and they would all be worthy. You can eat amazing street food for a song or you can spend hundreds of dollars at high end, acclaimed restaurants and it will all be outstanding, but I have to choose one thing to share.
That thing, for me, is the restaurant Contramar. We were in Mexico City on two separate four day visits this year and, somehow, we found ourselves right around the corner from this place on four occasions, right in time for lunch. Imagine that.
If I lived in Mexico City, I would eat at Contramar all the time and most likely demand my own table and, perhaps, a small cot in the back. This is no down and dirty taqueria but it’s also not stuffy like some of the fine dining options in the city. This Condesa staple is open and airy, all white and marine blue, filled with glamorous locals, beautiful young families and instagram happy tourists trying to discreetly photograph their meals.
Best: their tuna tostadas are world famous as is the red and green grilled snapper – check out Instagram to see just how popular these two dishes are. That may be true, but don’t pass up on the fish (sierra or more commonly known here as amberjack) ceviche, scallop aguachile if you see it on the specials menu.Skip the margaritas (the make those for tourists) and stick to the giant gin and tonics or they have a fantastic selection of mezcal, tequila, brandy, domestic beer and wine. When the meal if finished, your waiter, who has given you impeccable service, will try to tempt you with a tray of delicious looking desserts.
Prices are comparable to a Canadian meal of the same calibre so don’t go expecting a $10 lunch but the seafood here is so fresh it almost swims to your table. The ceviches, aguachilies and tostadas will run you about $300 MXN making this a splurge for many Mexicans and many tourists on a budget but it’s worth the splurge. Weekday lunch right after they open is your safest bet for scoring a table but we got lucky twice we went at a busier time and were seated within ten minutes, despite being told it would be an hour. By about 2pm on Friday, the booze is already flowing, lunch will extend into late afternoon and the room will be vibrating with the buzz of laughter and lively conversation.
A coveted seat on the patio out front will provide hours of premium people watching as black SUV’s pull up, one after the other, and armed bodyguards open the back door to let their clients descend onto the street.
Open Sunday through Thursday 12pm to 6:30pm and Friday and Saturday from noon to 8pm