While most of us are still at home and international travel might be a slightly far-fetched option, we thought you’d like to indulge in some sweet daydreaming and get some inspiration for your next Mexican dinner party. After all, summer is officially less than a week away and we bet y’all can’t wait to brush the dust off your patios, gardens, and balconies, to make the most of the warm evenings and sunny weekends.
Read on for our top choices of alfresco and outdoor dining in Mexico City, and why not try your hand at their best recipes included?
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Colima 256, Roma Norte, Mexico City
Hosted in a house with over 100 years of history in the heart of Colonia Roma, Huset has been setting the standards of flavor and hospitality design thanks to the quality, variety, and freshness of seasonal ingredients, as well as its attention to detail in all things decor.
Huset’s motto is Cocina de Campo, meaning countryside cooking, and the menu and design take this look very seriously. From the rampant vegetation that stuffs the windows and hangs from the ceiling and beams to the rustic long tables and benches, to the delicious smell of the wood-fired oven, everything in Huset gives you the impression of a quaint countryside tavern, full of unpretentious personality and charming in its love for the simple pleasures in life.
The large patio with a gravel floor hosts lush wooden tables and benches that are illuminated at night by low-hanging tungsten lights in small lanterns, while fairy-light-like spotlights hidden in the green canopy above give you the impression of dining under the stars. In the daytime, the sunlight plays hide and seek among the climbing plants draped on the ceiling beams, letting you peer through at the funky graffiti walls above, while ivy climbs all around the walls making sure the room stays cool even during the hottest Mexican summers.
The wood oven is the true protagonist, however, churning out delicious pizzas and diffusing a comforting smell of burnt wood all day long, while the rest of the menu takes you on a Mexico-wide culinary journey: from a fine grilled romaine lettuce salad to the addictive gnocchi with lemon cream, to the wood-fired sea bass with sweet potato puree, to the delicious dessert of brioche bread with ashy goat’s cheese foam.
An oasis of peace and genuine flavors, Huset offers its guests an unforgettable culinary experience in a stunning setting, with a changing menu based on seasonal dishes that simulate the harvest cycles, accentuating the flavors of nature and letting you indulge in the age-old pleasures of family recipes.
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www.meroma.mx | @meromamx
Colima 150, Roma Norte, Mexico City
Lovers of hip and trendy folks worldwide, this is your spot in Mexico City! Meroma is a trendy eatery in the heart of Colonia Roma Norte, set up by chefs Mercedes Bernal and Rodney Cusic, together with Gina Casar back in 2016.
Both graduates of the International Culinary Centre in New York City, Mercedes and Rodney forged their path in the restaurant world at some of the best-known NYC establishments, before coming back to Mexico City and setting up their own business.
Thanks to their worldly training, they bring a contemporary cuisine wide-ranging in technique, that focuses heavily on the organic and local products of Mexico’s land and seas. The chef’s research for sustainability is ever-growing, and their dishes seek to accurately represent the producers and environments their ingredients are grown in.
What really stood out to us, though, is Meroma’s stunning interior design, from the lush variety of greenery to the wide-open entrance, and the large windows and skylights - everything in Meroma is about airiness, light, and space. The gorgeous outdoor terrace upstairs is protected by cream marquees and sheltered from the sun by the thick canopy of trees on Colima Avenue, making it the ideal spot for a fresh cocktail and a plate of seasonal oysters or the catch of the day.
The indoor downstairs is also filled with plants and lit by a full-size skylight from which elegant pendant spotlights hung low on tables. The walls are broken up by oval windows and large portholes that fill the space with plenty of natural light all day. The minimal furniture in cream and oak tones is characterized by straight lines and blunt corners, exuding a sense of peaceful elegance.
And if you’re in a rush and just stopping by for a coffee or a quick snack, their outdoor tables spill onto the road and await invitingly surrounded by a wide variety of greenery to give you a moment of respite and relaxation on a busy day.
https://rosetta.com.mx/ | @restauranterosetta
Colima 166, Colonia Roma, Mexico City
While we’re still firmly in the heart of Mexico City’s trendiest neighborhood Colonia Roma, you might be excused for stepping into Rosetta Restaurant and feeling like you’ve just traveled through space and time to an Italian countryside villa. The outside of the restaurant is shrouded in climbing ivy and various plants that invite you in with their freshness on hot summer days, while the imposing entrance in wood and wrought iron is reminiscent of the building’s glorious past as a Porfiriato townhouse, that once probably hosted a well-to-do family of Mexico City’s 19th-century socialites.
As you step in, however, the main space opens up to you in a flood of natural light and cream colors, counterpointed by the dark wooden floors, that contribute to give the place a look of rustic elegance. The main room isn’t too big, and so are the tables, arranged in small clusters so as to invite conversation. In the evening, the atmosphere is intimate thanks to the low lighting provided by candles and antique lamps and by the chilled soundtrack that includes artists such as Nick Cave and Nina Simone. The attentive service is never overbearing, and when you pair that with Chef Elena Reygadas’ healthy, hearty cuisine, you’re in for a charming as much as a mindful dining experience.
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The first brainchild of Chef Reygadas after her training in NYC and in London with renowned Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli, Rosetta opened to the public in 2010 and has expanded to include a bakery that serves most of Mexico City’s restaurants. Defined by chef superstar Enrique Olvera as “one of the main pillars of modern Mexican cuisine”, Reygadas has gone from strength to strength after opening Rosetta in 2010, expanding her culinary empire with her more casual diner Lardo and her French bistro Cafè Nin.
In her recent cookbook Rosetta, Reygadas talks about her philosophy and cuisine as a refined melange of Mexican ingredients and Italian and French cooking techniques, which has led to delicacies such as the guava roll and potato gnocchi coated with a chaya-hoja santa pesto.
http://www.tetetlan.com/ | @tetetlan
Avenida De Las Fuentes 180-B, Jardines del Pedregal, Mexico City
Named after the Nahuatl word tetetlan, meaning “place among many stones”, this enchanting complex is a restaurant, library, shop, gallery, and multi-purpose space steeped in the architectural and design history of Mexico.
When famous Mexican architect Luis Barragan first set foot in Pedregal in 1943, he was so taken but the unique environmental features that he built here some of his most famous landmarks, such as Casa Pedregal, where the world of Tetelán has been taking shape for years.
Today, Tetetlán retains Barragan’s keen eye for incorporating natural materials into the building and decoration of the space. Rustic stone walls are complemented by open concrete or wooden steps connecting the separate levels of the restaurant, while an industrial chich steel structure of pillars and beams support the full-size skylight, giving the overall impression of a unique open space that is extended further by the see-through flooring, revealing the stone foundations of the building.
Climbing plants and books adorn the walls and give the space a touch of coziness, and if you sit in one of their comfy Poang-style chairs and read a book while sipping an excellent cup of coffee, you will be excused for wanting to take your shoes off and put your feet up.
Low-hanging hammered copper lampshades focus the lighting directly on the tables and sitting areas, while the skylight provides a constant source of suffused sunlight throughout the day. The area’s volcanic stone shows up in the kitchen and tableware, in the shape of stone platters and trays the food is sometimes served on.
Tetetlán’s commitment to furthering its Mexican heritage continues in the menu, which is made up of local and organic ingredients from sustainable and fair trade. Inspired by the ancestral culture of milpa, an ancient crop-growing system, the team of chefs has created a unique menu and proposal based on Mesoamerican culture and gastronomy, focussing solely on freshly prepared dishes that value slow food and honor the time it takes to prepare them. Ancestral drinks such as Pox, Raicilla, Sotol as well as Tequila and Mezcal form the basis of their drinks offer.
Further, the restaurant’s profits support Tetelán’s art gallery, forum, and cultural and social projects, which include, among others, the restoration of parks and squares, and scholarships and support to artists and creators.
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