A Food Lover’s Guide to Roma Norte, Mexico City

Head to Blanco Colima in Roma for upscale dining in a historic setting
Head to Blanco Colima in Roma for upscale dining in a historic setting | © Blanco Colima

Northern England Writer

The hipster Roma Norte neighborhood is a well-known foodie hotspot in the heart of Mexico City. It’s filled with quaint cafes with pretty outdoor seating areas and top-quality restaurants that have received both critical and commercial acclaim – there are plenty of spots to eat and explore in this leafy area. With that in mind, here’s a meal-to-meal guide to eating your way through Roma Norte, Mexico City.

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Lalo!

The interior of Lalo! │

There’s no better place for a fancy breakfast with multicultural influence than Eduardo García’s popular cafe, Lalo!. Communal tables, vibrant wall art and a youthful, buzzy vibe dominate this petite but perfectly formed spot, and the croque madame has been hailed as one of the best non-Mexican breakfasts in Mexico City. If you fancy something lighter, consider French toast or a pastry. Alternatively, get a bit more Mexican with the now-ubiquitous avocado toast.

Delirio

Empty seat at the bar in Delirio

If you don’t fancy waking up early to get your food tour of Roma started, sleep in and head to Delirio for brunch instead. Minimal, quirky and very Roma, this laid-back spot is twinned with one of the best ecofriendly cafes in Mexico City, Abarrotes Delirio. Because of that farm-to-table ethos, menus change weekly, although the variety of freshly baked bread remains a standout, reliable option; they also have incredible coffees, featuring extras you’d never have considered adding to your morning pick-me-up. Although you can have a DIY brunch here daily, Sundays are the designated brunch days.

Café de Raíz

For an off-the-beaten-path brunch option in the Mexican capital, try Café de Raíz, a modest spot that showcases Veracruz-inspired cuisine. Run by the brother and sister partnership of Mardonio and Pola Carballo, this is a local favorite that serves exquisite tamales and some of the best coffee in the neighbourhood, alongside simple but well-executed brunchtime dishes. Enjoy them to go in the nearby Plaza Luis Cabrera.

Los Loosers

Mexico City was once a difficult destination for vegetarians and vegans, overwhelmed by meat-heavy tacos and street side antojitos. In fact, you’d be lucky if you could enjoy anything beyond a quesadilla in the capital at times. Nowadays, that’s all changed, and one of the up-and-coming lunchtime cafes leading the charge of vegan eats in Mexico City is Los Loosers, a Roma Norte cafe that serves Mexican-Japanese vegan fusion dishes. It also offers a bike delivery service.

Máximo Bistrot

Ready to be served at Máximo Bistrot

The second appearance for Eduardo García comes with the restaurant he opened first – Máximo Bistrot, which is known for having eco-conscious decor and for sourcing the produce and ingredients daily from local markets. It’s also a cracking place to grab a great lunch while in Roma Norte – if you have a little wiggle room in your budget that is. Do, however, make a reservation if you fancy lunching on the regularly updated and spectacular creations offered here.

Pan Comido

A basket of delicacies served at Pan Comido

Another vegan- and vegetarian-friendly lunch option in Roma Norte is Pan Comido, a neighborhood joint that’s known for having ecofriendly credentials and simple but delicious dishes. Order the breakfast burritos or the freshly baked cookies and a strong coffee.

Lorea

The staircase at Lorea

The Lorea menu is composed of nothing but seasonal tasting dishes, ranging from a manageable nine to a whopping 14 courses. It’s been put together by chef Oswaldo Oliva, with the intention of cooking traditional Mexican ingredients and produce with international cooking techniques. Reservations are obligatory, so don’t just drop by and expect a table.

Blanco Colima

Blanco Colima, Roma Norte

Blanco Colima is the collective name of a huge historic building that houses two restaurants, a bar and a patio, and it is a must-visit for food lover’s in Roma Norte. As you might gather from the upscale vibe, this is not the most budget-friendly location in the world; however, it is worth the splurge. The fine-dining restaurant you want is called Lázaro, a spot known for serving highly creative and seasonal dishes made from locally sourced produce.

Nudo Negro

Fusion food has rarely been done better than at the Daniel Ovadía- and Salvador Orozco-led Nudo Negro, in Roma Norte; they seem to combine classic Mexican cuisine with Asian influences and cooking techniques effortlessly. While the main course options are to die for, it’s the desserts that some consider the real winners at Nudo Negro, alongside the flawless service and refreshing outdoor seating options.

Mercado Roma

Mercado Roma in the Roma neighborhood in Mexico City, Mexico.

If you’d rather dip into various cuisines all under one roof, visit the flagship gourmet food market in Roma Norte, Mercado Roma. In this fascinating labyrinth of booths and stands, which is Tardis-like once you step over the threshold, you can find anything from Fernando Martínez Zavala’s venture Seneri to the Biergarten Roma and even niche spice shops and Turkish coffee.

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