Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico’s capital-turned-city-state is American eaters’ cheapest, fastest epic getaway
By any measure, Mexico City’s had a rough year. A traumatic earthquake on the anniversary of 1985’s devastating tremblor left residents and tourists shaken, and Trump’s State Department delivered a bitter early Christmas gift with an official travel warning barely two months later. But chilangos (unofficial demonym of CDMX citizens) are nothing if not resilient. Led by a courageous and adorable rescue dog, reconstruction started almost before the shaking stopped. Now the pace of life in the capital has mostly returned to its hectic, frenzied, and delicious normal.
The city formerly known as Distrito Federal is a heterogeneous mixture of European and indigenous Mesoamerican, of rich and poor, of spotless colonial boulevards and dingy side alleys. The best thing to do in Mexico City, though, might simply be la comida. Splurgeworthy, international-class restaurants exist beside greasy street meats of every description. Drop into world-renowned Pujol for a Michelin-starred feast (seated reservations need to be made a few months in advance, or just eat at the bar), then enjoy a postprandial aperitif in the form of a high-class tipple from Mezcaleria Los Amantes. Or keep it cheap with the CDMX-original tacos al pastor, available in just about all of the city’s innumerable taquerias and food carts, washed down with handmade mezcal from divey Pulqueria la Nuclear. Either way, at the end of it, you’ll be fat, happy, delirious, and like this whole city, ready to keep on rocking. -- Conor O’Rourke