Morning is my favorite time of day in the capital before the metropolis has fully come to life. The air is crisp and the sidewalks not yet buzzing with passersby. If you are planning a day of sightseeing, a hearty Mexico City breakfast at one of these locations is a delicious way to start the day. On the other hand, if you are scheduled for a culinary tour with Tasty Bites Food Tours, save breakfast for another day!
One of my observations from living in Mexico is that eggs here are much more flavorful than back home in Canada. One of the reasons for this is many restaurants source their eggs locally from small, regional producers. The other difference is that in Mexico, as in Europe, eggs are not washed prior to being packaged for sale. This means the protective membrane outside the egg is kept intact so there is no need for refrigeration. In Canada and the US, eggs are power washed to remove potential salmonella from factory farm chickens. This washing removes the protective membrane and leaves the eggs susceptible to contamination, so refrigeration is required.
Another observation is that unless you request otherwise, your eggs will be served runny. If you do not like runny eggs you must ask for them to be well cooked (bien cocida).
If you like eggs for breakfast as much as I do, see if you can taste the difference as you’re dining at the following list of places we frequent and recommend to visitors of the city.
This is one of the most pleasant places in the city to enjoy a relaxing breakfast outside. The picturesque location with the Fuente de Cibeles in full view and tropical greenery coupled with the fantastic breakfast options and some of the city’s best coffee make this place hard to beat. The specialty here is baked eggs that arrive served in a small cast iron pan but another favorite of mine is the enchiladas Suiza, divorciados style, which is with red and green salsa. Arrive early to beat the rush, on some days the tables are gone by 10 AM! If there are no tables they have a take-away counter where you can get your coffee and breakfast to go, then head off to one of the table and chairs set up for public use across the street at the fountain. (Plaza Villa Madrid 13, Colonia Roma)
Mon – Fri: 8 – 6:30 PM
Sat: 8:30 – 6 PM
Sun: 8:30 – 4PM
Opened by chef Eduardo García across the street from his revered Maxime Bistrot. It was Eduardo himself who turned us on to Lalo! the first time we visited Mexico City. We stopped by Maxime Bistrot one morning and he explained to us they are not open on Mondays but then proceeded to spend about twenty minutes talking to us about the food scene in Mexico City and his other eateries. We were impressed that such an accomplished chef took so much time out of his day to talk to strangers about food.
Everything on the menu here is marvellous, whether it be for breakfast, lunch or dinner. However, my favorite time to go is in the morning for the best breakfast sandwich in the city (in my opinion) or their incomparable french toast paired with their excellent strong coffee. The breakfast sandwich is served on a in-house made English muffin with a large serving of egg and bacon, while the French toast is made from brioche that is topped with berries and whipped cream so it plays more like a dessert. The chilaquiles is a brilliant choice for a more traditional Mexican breakfast, or for a lighter option the yogurt is exceptional and also made in-house. The communal table is often full but the efficient, fast service means spots open up fast. The music and decor with a quirky mural spanning the length of the restaurant lend to its upbeat vibe. If you’re there before they’re sold out, get a cinnamon bun to go for later! (Calle Zacatecas 173, Colonia Roma)
Tues – Sun 8 – 6 PM
This is the place to go if you want to experience an upscale Mexican breakfast at a reasonable price. The friendly, attentive staff are courteous, offering excellent service and are happy to help with menu suggestions. El Cardenal is famous for their sweet breads, especially their concha, which here is served with natas (clotted cream, cooked and thickened) but you have to be early as they’re usually sold out by 10 AM! A close second choice is their chocolatine. Enjoy a cup of their rich but not too sweet hot chocolate with your pastry while you are waiting for your main to arrive.
My go to breakfast here is the scrambled eggs served in a cazuela with red salsa, tortillas and a side of zippy habanero salsa. The omelettes are also an excellent choice and always cooked to perfection. (Marconi 2, Centro Historico) El Cardenal has two other locations in Centro Histórico and one in San Ángel but this location is the nicest in our opinion.
Mon – Sat 8 – 6:30 PM
Sun 8:30 – 6:30 PM
The hot chocolate and yummy sweet bread (chocolatine) El Cardenal is so well known for.
Milo’s is located on a quiet, scenic corner of one of Mexico City’s most beautiful streets. On weekends they serve brunch until 1:30 PM, so there’s no pressure to be early. They also make a tasty cocktail (try the orange blossom), which is a great way to finish a weekend brunch! This is a large restaurant with plenty of indoor seating but you’ll want to be seated outside, its worthwhile even if you have to wait for a short time. In this area of Condesa there are not many street vendors so you will not be bothered as you enjoy the scenery and eclectic music played at an appropriate volume.
For me, the standout here is their eggs benny, served with Canadian back bacon on made-in-house brioche. The chilaquiles are also worthy of trying. (Amsterdam 308, Condesa)
Mon – Wed 8 – 11 PM
Thurs – Sat 8 – 12 AM
Sun 9 – 8 PM
If you are craving an American style breakfast while in Mexico City, this is your place. The ‘grand slam’ is served with Belgian waffles topped with fruit, 2 eggs any style and lots of Canadian bacon. Pair this with one of their superb coffees and you will be satiated until well past lunchtime! Their Mexican breakfasts are delicious too, try the poached eggs with green salsa on brioche. The outdoor seating is in a large courtyard with a water feature, making it a serene place to relax – unless we are there with our 3 year-old! Breakfast is served until 1 PM. (Amsterdam 62B, Condesa)
Mon – Fri 8 – 10:30 PM
Sat 9 – 10:30 PM
Sun 9 – 7 PM
La Esquina del Chilaquil
While not a restaurant, la esquina del chilaquil offers one of the most unique breakfast sandwiches any foreigner to Mexico City is likely to have tasted. This place is open every day of the year except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and business is booming. On weekends the lineups can be long but the wait is worth it. The precision assembly line that keeps the lineup rapidly moving works like this; a bolillo is hollowed out and a smear of refried beans is slathered on, then a breaded chicken cutlet (milanesa de pollo) and your choice of chilaquiles in red or green salsa (choose both if undecided!) is added, followed by a squirt of crema and a topping of cheese (queso fresco). Enjoy! (Alfonso Reyes 139, Condesa)
Sun – Sat 8 – 12 PM
Ojo de Agua
This place can get very busy but is great for a quick, healthy and light breakfast in the early morning before a taco food tour in Mexico City’s Condesa neighborhood. Try their terrific fresh squeezed juices or fruit with yogurt and granola, for something more substantial try their chilaquiles. (Calle Citlaltépetl 23C, Condesa)
Mon – Thurs: 8 – 10 PM
Fri – Sun: 8 – 9 PM
Granola with fruit and honey with fresh squeezed mandarin juice at Ojo de Agua.
Clara y Ema
This cozy breakfast spot serves up the best breakfast sandwich in Mexico City, that is their specialty and all they serve. I really like the Clara with egg, smoked bacon and cheddar cheese but you can’t go wrong with any of the available options. The eggs are free range and all ingredients are top quality, not to mention the brioche buns used are divine. The prices are great and you can get a package with fresh juice and great coffee for a small amount more. (Calle Juan Escutia 127, Condesa, 06140)
Mon – Fri: 7 – 4 PM
Sat – Sun: 9 – 4 PM
Delirio (Monica Patino)
This trendy café and gourmet store has a great breakfast menu daily and a fabulous weekend brunch. Owned by well known chef, Monica Patino, the food has a Mediterranean twist. There is also a bakery with a good selection of fresh baked goods to take home. (Monterrey 116, Roma Nte., 06700 )
Mon – Wed: 9 – 10 PM
Thurs – Sat: 9 – 12AM
Sun: 9 – 7PM (Brunch 10:30am – 1:30PM)
After dining at these places for breakfast you will not be hungry for lunch so we’ll save that blog for another day!