When one travels to eat, Mexico is the place to beat
The hot summer sun beats on the sidewalk canopies, but the swarming crowd keeps getting bigger and bigger as lunchtime draws near. In Mexico City’s market, food stalls explode with an alluring scent of spices, tempting the stomach with the thick tomato-based sauce and a scoop of guacamole. There’s the sight of tortillas, enchiladas, of wonderful burritos. Within the passing crowd, there’s a familiar beckon, ¡A comer!
These are the words one should remember, for they would hear this, or its other varieties, in Black Tomato’s Eater Journeys: Mexico, a 7-day jaunt that spans from the heart of its capital city to Oaxaca. Here is where fingers get sticky, not with the humidity, but the constant nibbling of food from one epicurean hotspot to another.
Everything begins at Polanca district, where a walking tour easily delights the crowd through beloved eateries and hole-in-the-wall restaurants. There’s a private guide leading the way, eagerly pointing at the best delicacies and explaining its cultural impact. The only potential of getting lost would be in the strong, unforgettable flavours of Mexican cuisine.
Straight to Mexico City comes the real deal: a satisfying taste of a legit taco, mixed with beer and an immersive mezcal tour within the districts of San Rafael up to Condesa. Inhale the scent of agave, then take a good pint at La Botia. At San Angel, take pictures of the quaint cobblestone streets and the colourful houses in the backdrop while relishing gourmet offerings from Bazar del Sabado.
Of course, one shouldn’t miss Mexico’s heroes. Trail back into the memories of Frida Kahlo while visiting the Blue House, then jump into more artistic spots after a glide through the Aztec canals. At the Museum of Dolores Olmedos, see glorious artworks from Kahlo herself, as well as paintings from the renowned Diego Rivera. Take a breather and wind down at a seafood restaurant.
Oaxaca welcomes its gastronomic guests with its bustling local market and an on-the-spot cooking lesson with a local chef. There’s a chance to discover more about mezcal by taking more hops into local mezcalerias. At night, enjoy a live band while feasting on tlayuda. The trip rounds off with a final stroll at Monte Alban, where guides lead groups into a filling quest through the artisanal markets for a quintessential search for souvenirs. Las Quince Letras signals the final itinerary. Perhaps, it’s saving the best for last. Taste the family-run restaurant’s signature dishes before a sad uttering of adiós! blacktomato.com ◼
© This article was first published in Oct-Nov 2019 edition of World Travel Magazine.