Colonia Roma Restaurants
Durango 200, Colonia Roma
There is nothing like lunch at Contramar: And by lunch, we mean comida, an extended main meal which begins roughly around 3pm and continues through the afternoon and into the early evening. On any given day at around that time, the Contramar is a cool cross section of the local scene: business men and women on long lunches, big extended families at their weekly family get-together, local artists, actors and musicians, and a few in-the-know tourists all come together over fantastic tostadas de atun, ceviches, and a great variety of excellent coastal cuisine. The airy dining room is always packed, and a little loud, but that only adds to the buzzy vibe, as do the wonderful wait-staff who stick around year after year. Simply put, this is a classic. The owners, Pablo Bueno and Gabriela Camara are behind a few of the city's best restaurants but this is definitely their masterpiece.
Colima 166, Colonia Roma
Located in what was once a Beaux Arts mansion in the Roma neighborhood, Rosetta has a distinctly homey feel, with a dining room painted in pastel frescoes that wind through the restaurant's many rooms. Here, chef and owner Elena Reygadas—who trained with Giorgio Locatelli at his restaurant in London—dishes out a daily-changing menu with fresh burrata to start, fantastic risottos, stunningly delicate pasta dishes, and house-made bread so good she's now opened two bakeries. This is undoubtedly the best Italian in the city and it comes with its fleet of die-hard fans, so reservations are a must.
Maximo Bistrot Local
Calle Tonala 133, Colonia Roma
When the team at Maximo Bistrot says "daily-changing menu," they mean it. Early every morning, the cooks at this Parisian-inspired corner restaurant head to the local markets to buy the day's freshest ingredients, and then chef Eduardo Garcia comes up with the dishes: Luscious risottos, perfectly moist roast chicken, an amazing burnt eggplant dip, even a simple beet dish is a revelation. It's no surprise that celebrities, tourists, local office workers, and residents all happily share this teensy, charming eatery.
Yucatan 84, Colonia Roma
The family behind this small, unassuming open-air cafeteria have mastered the art of the snack, collecting recipes from around the country for years and finally serving their discoveries in an endless stream of small plates (and small plates alone). Tostadas, shrimp tacos, tlacoyitos (fried balls of masa served with refried beans, cream, and avocado), freshly made tortillas, their famous killer habanero salsa: Everything here is delicious and made fresh daily. Head over on the weekend and you're in for barbecued treats—meat or seafood, depending on what's fresh on the day.
Monterrey 116, Colonia Roma
After opening their wonderful café, Delirio, on a busy corner in the Roma, prominent chef Monica Patiño and her daughter Micaela Miguel managed to charm the building's owner, an elderly woman named Virginia, into renting them the entire building—a 1920's French Beaux Arts-style home with high ceilings, tall windows, and old-fashioned tiled floors. They then created Casa Virginia, a homey and refined space. The menu changes often, including ratatouilles—the restaurant's now-famous red snapper covered in tapenade—and a great assortment of veg-centric, seasonal dishes are all served family-style in the airy, white-washed dining room. Meanwhile, up on the rooftop, they've installed a small but fully-functioning garden where many of the kitchen's ingredients are sourced.
Monterrey 116, Colonia Roma
With prime real estate on one of the main drags in the Roma, this corner deli-turned-restaurant serves the best Mexi-Mediterranean brunch in town. This translates into long lines on weekends for dishes like Greek Eggs, served with olives, tomato relish, and fresh, warm pita bread. Come for lunch and you'll find wonderful tortas, sandwiches and salads to choose from, too. The real highlight here, though, are the ingredients, which are proudly displayed on the deli counters throughout the space, and which owners Monica Patino (one of the big names in Mexican cuisine) and daughter Micaela Miguel, go to great pains to source from local and global suppliers. There's everything from Ensenada olive oil, to French wines, to hard-to-find Middle Eastern ingredients, to small-batch honeys, coffees, teas, and jams produced all over the country.
Zacatecas 173, Colonia Roma
This cool, graffiti-covered casual breakfast and lunch spot comes from Enrique "Lalo" García, the chef behind the beloved Maximo Bistrot. Here, he serves fluffy French toasts and Croque Monsieurs for breakfast, and delicious pizzas and pastas for lunch at a long communal table that runs through the lively space. And though the vibe is much more chill, the food is no less extraordinary than at its big sister restaurant across the street. Whatever you do, don't miss the bread basket at breakfast.