The hippie-paradise of Tepoztlán – it’s said that healing quartz in the surrounding mountains is the reason for its aura-cleansing atmosphere – is situated a mere two hours outside of Mexico City in the nearby state of Morelos. However, aside from the New Age vibe, we think that any budding foodie really ought to add Tepoztlán to their bucket list – and here are eleven reasons why.
Half-named after the place where it was founded, Tepoznieves is one of Tepoztlán’s most famed food destinations with a few branches spread throughout town. It allegedly serves around 100 distinct flavors, ranging from the classics to more weird and wonderful concoctions such as avocado or nopal (cactus), and you really can’t leave without having tried at least one.
One of the most popular recommendations for visitors to Tepoztlán is the vibrantly decorated, and rather appropriately named, Los Colorines. For foodies looking for some authentic, delicious Mexican cuisine, this is the place to be as all kinds of traditional comidas cook in cazuelas before your very eyes. While the dishes here can be found at more or less any Mexican restaurant, the authentic taste is unrivaled.
Centred around a patio, La Luna Mextli is a restaurant-gallery that regularly offers live music that only enhances your dining experience. While they do serve platos fuertes (main dishes), it’s acknowledged by many that the strength of this simple but exquisite restaurant lies in its ‘snack’ foods, such as sopes, although its mole sauce also comes highly recommended. Check this place out for a convivial atmosphere accompanied by great food.
One of the draws of Tepoztlán in general is the Tepozteco mountain that can be easily climbed in a day. However, if you get peckish upon arrival at the archaeological ruins that sit atop this mountain, make sure to stop by Axitla. The menu covers all bases from international fare to typical Mexican dishes that will set you up for the day, such as classic quesadillas, sopa de tortilla and enmoladas.
Another firm favorite on the Tepoztlán dining scene is El Ciruelo. This place has been going for years and the perhaps surprisingly fancy menu has practically remained unchanged. Well, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? We recommend trying out some of its seafood dishes or dabbling in some of the more international cuisine options it offers, like pizza. The main selling point here though, foodie or not, is the gorgeous view of Tepozteco.
Not a dining destination per se, given that at Tepoztlán’s Wednesday tianguis (roaming street market) you can find all manner of stalls selling top notch street food, we still think this is an unmissable aspect of the town’s foodie appeal. Right through ‘til 4 p.m., you can enjoy grasshopper quesadillas made with fresh tortillas, or itacates (triangular fried dough pockets) filled with guisados (meat or vegetable stews). The dining options here are truly endless.
A surprising stand-out of Tepoztlán’s foodie scene is El Tlecuil, which calls the Mercado de Tepoztlán home. Notable for its vegan-friendly pre-Hispanic dishes, a practically non-existent genre of Mexican cuisine, it incorporates a variety of inventive ingredients into its dishes, allowing non-animal product eaters to chow down with the best of them. Some of the most intriguing dishes include pear accompanied by rose mole.
Sweet toothed foodies can’t afford to miss Cacao Chocolatería, which also has a branch in the capital of Morelos, Cuernavaca. Just down from the cathedral on the town’s principal avenue, you’ll find this magical spot that sells all manner of chocolate based treats; hot and cold chocolate drinks, artisanal bars of chocolate and the obligatory tea, coffee and soda options are all available here.
The food may not be the selling point at La Teteria Cardamomo, but that’s not to say that it isn’t excellent. In fact, it serves up perfectly cooked falafel, Lebanese cakes and tacos árabes for your dining pleasure, if you find you’re tiring of Mexican cuisine. However, while you stay for the food, you come for the tea. La Teteria Cardamomo offers a wide selection of exotic and delicious teas, and the awesomely eclectic interior design isn’t half bad, either!
Imported wines and dishes with foreign names are on the menu at El Sibarita, along with some amazing views over both the valley below and the pyramid above. Although it technically forms part of the Posada de Tepozteco, it’s open to all and you can choose from both international and Mexican dishes. If the weather’s good, get a spot on the terrace to really make the most of the destination.
Regularly described as a ‘literary café’, La Sombra del Sabino is an excellent foodie destination in Tepoztlán. Here, you can order anything from coffee to cerveza and accompany it with a simple sandwich or a delicious slice of cake. Any food loving bibliophile should make sure to seek this spot out on their next visit.