Friday, May 16, 2014

UNDER 50 PESOS: Where to Eat in Colonia Roma

I've worked in Colonia Roma for almost nine years and have watched, amazed, as the place turns into hipster heaven (or hell, depending on your point of view). Roma has become the most talked about destination for creative cooking, with excellent restaurants like Maximo Bistrot, Rosetta, and Delirio drawing crowds from all over town.

On most workdays, however, I'm not looking to spend the kind of money you need to eat in these places. And sometimes I just want to eat, not to dine.

Luckily, Colonia Roma abounds in inexpensive places to eat well. I'm hoping my readers will respond with their favorites, but I'll keep this list short--limited to places I've been to multiple times, always with happy results. You're not likely to be asking for the recipes at these places, but you are likely to leave feeling contented.

Tacos de Canasta (at the corner of Jalapa and Álvaro Obregón). Quick, cheap and satisfying describes a lunch of a few tacos de frijol, topped with spicy green salsa, at this corner puesto, where a few plastic stools and an overhanging tree make up the ambience.

Torta stand (Tonalá between Queretaro and San Luís Potosí). A bowl of roasted jalapeños on the counter wins this simple stand in the middle of the street an extra star.

Comida Corrida: When I want something a little more comfortable than standing on the street, I'll go to one of the many comida corrida places that abound in Roma, which serve office workers and students in the area who can't make it home for mom's cooking. A complete meal will include a soup course, rice or salad, a main dish, agua del dia, and often a bit of dessert (usually jello or canned fruit). In many places the soup will be watery, starches will abound, sugar and salt will be the only flavorings. The following places are all a cut above average. They often get full after 2pm, but the turnover is fast.

El Axotleño (Coahuila 152, between Monterrey and Medellín). This busy place, adjacent to the Mercado Medellín, is my first choice for a satisfying comida corrida. Even an often dull dish, like albondigas al chipotle, comes to life here.

CoffeeLand (Zacatecas 117, near Orizaba). The sign here is so small you might miss it, but students from the adjacent university know this place and fill it daily. The only danger here is the basket full of fresh totopos (fried tortilla chips) that you'll find on each table--hard to resist.

Krika's (at the corner of Chihuahua and Monterrey). If you're in a hurry, this is the place. I've never seen waiters move so fast in Mexico.


Don Cuevas said...

My Favorite Street Food, Colonia Roma Norte: Super Tacos de Guisados. Calle de Puebla, between Calle Orizaba and Calle Jalapa.
Fresh, highly varied, tasty, cheap, hygienic, can't ask for much more than that. Review:

Don Cuevas

Anonymous said...

Great recommendations Jim, I personally have been to the torta stand you mention in your article, they do have great tortas! I´ll have to try your other suggestions.

Rochelle Cashdan said...

Mow I'll know where to eat in Roma in during my September Mexico City trip. When I stay south of the Alameda, I eat well in the Mercado Ernesto Pugibet-San Juan where I've met Romistas there to buy ingredients.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget La Casa de Toño for quick, cheap, and delicious. Though it's a chain, it's a small chain and still appears to be run to a very high standard of quality and service, for that price bracket of course.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where there's plenty of good food, but little that's cheap.

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