Born and raised in Mexico City, Cristina Alonso is the editor-in-chief of Aeromexico's in-flight magazines, Aire and Accent, and the author of Art + Fiesta in Mexico City, published by Hardie Grant. See hardiegrant.com
Getting acquainted with corn in its many forms at Molino El Pujol is an excellent way to start the day. This cozy tortilleria (a traditional tortilla shop) is owned by celebrated chef Enrique Olvera, and serves deceitfully simple breakfast items. I'm a huge fan of their quesadillas (with fresh string cheese) and tamales, made with creole and native corn from the state of Oaxaca. Paired with a steaming cup of coffee, it's the quintessential Mexican breakfast. See pujol.com.mx
Along with the Frida Kahlo Museum and the traditional market, Cafe Avellaneda is one of the biggest highlights in the Coyoacan area. At this tiny nook of a place, you can choose from classic coffee drinks – espresso, latte, cappuccino – or creative coffee cocktails, which I always find very interesting. On a chilly day, I go for the Camelia, a blend of espresso, black tea, milk, and maple. Everything is prepared with high-quality beans from regions like Oaxaca, Veracruz, and Chiapas. See facebook.com/Avellanedakf/
Meroma has only been open for a little over a year, but it's quickly become one of my favourite spots. Here, husband-and-wife team Mercedes Bernal and Rodney Cusic serve a creative farm-to-table menu built with seasonal ingredients from small producers. This means the menu changes constantly, but you're sure to find a version of a brightly prepared crudo with the catch of the day and excellent pasta dishes. If you spot the orecchiette with homemade sausage, order immediately. See meroma.mx
Hanky Panky is hidden behind a nondescript little shop in Colonia Juarez, so it's always wise to call beforehand to ask for directions and secure a table or a seat at the bar. Once inside this sleek speakeasy, I always kick off the evening with one of their creative concoctions, like the Acapulco, a tiki-inspired, rum-based drink served in a beautiful coconut. Later, it's smart to go with their perfectly poured classics, like a Negroni or a Hanky Panky, which gives the bar its name. Call +55 9155 0958 for reservations and directions.
The high ceilings and elegant wood details of the dining room at Carmela y Sal promise that a memorable meal is on its way. Inspired by the flavours of her native state of Tabasco, chef Gabriela Ruiz has developed a menu that is delivered as a concert, considering the rhythm that each course should follow. I'm not exaggerating when I say that everything I've tried here is absolutely delicious, but there are three dishes you cannot miss: the "fake tostadas" (made with fermented coconut instead of pork), the "tierra de luna" plantain and black bean patties, and the bananas with cream, dulce de leche, and caramel dust. See carmelaysal.mx