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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