This blog post was updated on August 16, 2018.

4 Unique Eats in Mexico City's Centro Histórico, IMG Cred: Chris Osburn

Cactus Worms with Avocado Sauce at Fonda Don Chon!


There’s no shortage of great places to eat in Mexico City, but deciding on where to grab a bite can seem like a daunting task at times – you’re spoiled for choice (well, as long as you like Mexican), and it’s not always so clear what your best options are. Here’s a list of four unique eateries in the city’s Centro Histórico near the city’s famed Zócalo plaza.

Puro Corazó

Monte de Piedad 11
Nearest Metro station is Zócalo.

As far as artisanal gift shops go, the multi-storey behemoth that is Arte Mexicano Para el Mundo isn’t all that amazing or exceptional. However, the food coming from the kitchen of its top floor, open air cafeteria is too fantastic. So are the commanding views over the Zócalo. The menu is authentic if catering to tourists, the prices are decent, and service is provided promptly and with courtesy. At the very least, this sixth floor retreat is great spot to keep in mind for a bird’s eye view of – and a chance to break away from – the crowds down below.

El Cardinal
Calle de Palma 23
Nearest Metro station is Zócalo.

Founded in 1969, this lovely and attractive restaurant is highly regarded, making all sorts of “best of” lists and receiving rave reviews from the likes of the New York Times and more. Part of the appeal must be the free hot chocolate. Once seated, diners are asked if they’d like coffee or hot chocolate. Go for the chocolate! You get a free refill too! Only real downside is that it’s so popular (expect to wait quite a while during special occasions and on Sunday afternoons!). Still, it’s very nice, clean and family oriented restaurant and a great place to take your mom or finicky tourists.

Fonda Don Chon
Regina 160
Nearest Metro station is Merced.
No website

Not on the most salubrious of streets and a looking a little down on its heels, Fonda Don Chon is nonetheless a popular eatery with politicos keen to connect with working class voters and show they can kick it with the common man. The humble restaurant is also a well-known destination among the more adventurous foodies interested in a taste of Don Chon’s Pre-Hispanic Aztec menu items: cactus worms, red ant roe, venison with corn fungus, armadillo in mango sauce … Perhaps not to everyone’s tastes (don’t worry – they serve plenty of standard contemporary Mexican dishes as well), but cactus worm tacos with avocado sauce have a nice crunch to them!

El Rey del Pavo
Calle de Palma 32
Nearest Metro station is Zócalo.

Long live the king … of turkey? Yes, “el rey del pavo” translates to “the king of the turkey.” This low key and long standing eatery serves a variety of (yep you guessed it) turkey dishes to an amazingly diverse mix of folks passing hankering for a low cost, quality meal. The clientele is cross section of Mexico City society. So, El Rey is a brilliant spot for top notch people watching. With the uniformed waiters, decades evolved streamlined service and tasty food at good prices; this is an easy spot to recommend gobbling down a no-fuss lunch while roaming around the Centro Histórico.

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photo: Chris Osburn

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