You travel to try new things and have new experiences, right? So why not stretch your palate a bit during your travels? Although here in Mexico City you can really experience the “exotic” in food, you don’t need to delve into the strange. Get a little off your usual path with these suggestions. If you want to try something a little different while eating in Mexico City, try these.

Here are two Cevicherias or raw seafood specialty houses:

Seafood Pipiripau

Palm nº 31

Historical Center

Hosteria Las Palmas

Palm nº 30-A

Historical Center

Ceviche is raw fish or shellfish marinated in lime juice with vegetables and spices that is chemically “cooked” with acids. Usually served cold, it is a staple in many Latin countries, especially in seaports. Seafood cocktails and Caldos de Mariscos are offered here. The Las Palmas house specialty is “Vuelve a la Vida”, ($60 pesos) a combination of fish, octopus, crab, shrimp and oysters that will surely “revive” you. Other raw but marinated seafood cocktails served in a sundae glass are priced around $30 pesos for your choice. Another outstanding specialty is the stuffed crab, served in its shell for $35 pesos. It is a unique experience, check it out.

Do you want to try sushi?

Would it be Japanese or Mexican sushi? No, I’m just kidding about the Mexican, but you can sample a variety of delicacies made before your eyes at this restaurant duo. Later, you can learn to make your own sushi rolls.


Republic of Uruguay No. 71 Local 2

Historical Center

5510 – 9971, 5510 – 9556

Kind of a “fast food” style Japanese restaurant, their selection is a bit limited, but it’s ready to serve and cheaply priced. You can choose from some pre-packaged combos that are not bad for the money. The staff is Mexican, so you lose a bit in translation. The setting is typical “fast food”, although the location is conveniently in the center of the commercial scene of the Republic of Uruguay.

sushi roll

May 5 No.

Historical Center Subway: Allende

An authentic Japanese sushi bar where you can combine slices of raw or pickled seafood, rice and vegetables that turn into aromatic and colorful treats before your dazzling eyes. Prices range from $10 pesos per piece to $60 or $70 for mixed dishes. It gets pretty crowded at lunchtime, so come early or in the late afternoon and evening for fewer crowds. If you are really ready for the real thing and a unique experience at prices you can afford, this is the place I would recommend.

… Have Vegan Vittles for dinner?

(…and we’re not just talking about “rabbit food” here)

Filomeno Mata Vegetarian Restaurant

Filomeno Mata No.

Historical Center

5521 – 1895

If you haven’t tried vegetarian food, why not try it here, where the selection is wide and tasty with entrees like Avocado and Stuffed Tomato, Baked Potato with Aztec Onions, and Corn Croquettes with Mashed Papaya? As an old-fashioned “steak and potatoes” guy, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by the delicious entrees on the menu here. Open from Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Soft pop music plays in the background as you dine thanks to a live keyboard player morning and evening most days. A truly charming touch.

Two additional vegetarian locations are:

Vegetarian and Dietetic

Wood 56 High

Historical Center

5521 – 6880

vegetarian rome

Tuxpan 24

Colonia Rome

5564 – 7930

The Magueyes

Palma 10-A (between May 5 and Tacuba)

Historical Center

5518 – 4073, 5521 – 5191

The waitress placed a plate on the table in front of me. A generous slice of carne asada lay next to a puddle of salsa-colored refried beans. An ample green salad of tomato, lettuce, shredded carrot, and cucumber filled one side of the plate, but it was the meat topping that was the center of attraction. Thin strips of intense green color with a slightly spicy aroma mixed with small bright red whole chili peppers. A small steaming stack of filled corn tortillas with a saucer next to the plate. So this was the “Steak with Nopales”. The Maguey is a type of succulent plant. If your Botany is rusty, that means it’s some kind of cactus. Nopales are a staple here, and unsurprisingly, a number of dishes like Nopales Au Grautin and Costilla con Nopales feature them. The young and tender ears of the nopal are harvested, cleaned and de-bones and prickles removed before being grilled or fried. Good value tickets here are priced from $21.50 to $42.50 pesos. Several restaurants and “Taquerías” prepare them in plates for their distinctive flavor. They can also be juiced and mixed with other fruit and vegetable juices for a tasty and healthy drink. Bottom up!

Celaya candy store

May 5 No. 39

Historical Center Subway: Allende

5521 – 1787

If it’s sweet Bunky, they probably have it. (Well, not me, but candied fruits and vegetables do.) And if they don’t have it, you can ask for it and they’ll get it for you or they’ll make it for you. Boasting that they have been in business for 125 years, sneakers, specialty candies and confections of everything are found in this small glass-walled shop. The windows alone are enough to pique your interest. Try some candied yucca or pumpkin, fantastic! Products are sold by weight, so you can order as much as you like. A definite “Must – Stop” on your “Offbeat Mexico City” tour. Your sweet tooth will thank you, and thank you, and thank you. Enjoy!

The Jarochos

Room 21

San Camilito Food Market

The screaming and yelling started as soon as I walked through the entrance, “Here sir! We have the best”, “what would you like? We have it here!” “Do you like the best homemade food? Try ours, it’s ready. You won’t regret it!” “My mother cooks our ham herself. It is so tender that you will cry with pleasure when you taste it.” A dozen cooks and garroteros assaulted me at once. Each trying to entice me to eat at their establishment. Everything looked good. Everything smelled good. They were insisting. They pleaded. They argued. They implored. When all that did not work, if there was time, they cajoled him. “You’re passing up the best food on the market!” “You should have eaten here, now you’re going to get heartburn!” Welcome to Mercado de Alimentos San Camilito, located next to the bustling Plaza Garibaldi. I settled on Norberto Uscanga Ortiz’s seafood stand and enjoyed Arroz con Pulpo (seasoned rice with generous chunks of mixed octopus at -20 pesos), Mojarra Frito (fried fish) with a mixed salad of tomato, lettuce and avocado, a small loaf of freshly baked bread (38 pesos per plate) and washed it all down with a couple of near-frozen Coronas (10 pesos).

I got out of there like a duck an hour and a half, 11 mariachis and three good Norberto stories later, a dissected and happy man. When you go, please give him my regards. You will delight yourself with some of the most select seafood dishes in the city.

Want more tips and stories about exotic foods?

See “Piranha: Deadly and Delicious” at:—Deadly-and-Delicious&id=72722

“Preparing Piranha: Four Delicious Recipes for Adventuresome Eating” online at:

“Dining in Columbia: Healthy, Delicious but Weird”
online at:,-Delicious-But-Strange&id=72715

and “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?”


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