Clavería 235, Colonia Clavería
If you ever wondered how and where chefs like Enrique Olvera of Pujol find the rare, organic, regional ingredients that even locals don't know about, it's at this famous delicatessen in off-the-beaten-track Colonia Claveria (though there's a new-ish sister shop in Condesa now, too). Here, Chef Gerardo Vazquez Lugo, the man behind the wonderful Restaurante Nicos, and one of the main representatives for Slow Food in Mexico, sources the best regional products across the country, from Oaxacan cheeses, to foraged mushrooms, ancient grains, dried chilies, and more.
Avenida Cuitláhuac 3102, Colonia Clavería
Chef Gerardo Vazquez Lugo inherited Nicos from his mother, who opened the restaurant in 1957, serving her family's traditional recipes in a large cafeteria-like dining room in the totally off-the-beaten path neighborhood of Azcapotzalco. Today, the restaurant continues as it always has, serving his family's classic Mexican dishes, but with a few added bonuses. Gerardo, one of the leaders in the Slow Food movement, has spent years researching traditional ingredients and processes, sourcing local, organic ingredients and has incorporated them into the menu. He's a major influence (and supplier) to some of the city's best restaurants. Open for breakfast and the traditional extended lunch, the best approach is to start with the Guacamole, made fresh at the table in a molcajete, split a few mains—everything from Chiles en Nogada, to Mole, to Enchiladas—and spend a few hours afterward digesting with agave-based drinks like Mezcal or Pulque (a pre-hispanic alcoholic beverage) which Lugo has also sourced from all over the country.
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