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11 Mexican restaurants recognized among the 50 best in Latin America


Above, left, an elaboration of the Pujol restaurant, which achieved fifth place in the Top 50 in Latin America. It is a tasting toast of tuna, avocado and kimchi. Above, on the right, the interior of the Quintonil restaurant; Below, to the left, the interior of the premises Sud777; below, on the right, an elaboration of the Pangea restaurant, in Nuevo León (Photo: theworlds50best.com/latinamerica)

Mexican gastronomy it has an identity and leaves an imprint. Attached to its roots, which go back to pre-Hispanic times, it reinvents itself over and over again in the high kitchens, without losing its stamp.

The flavor of our cuisine has become one of the great attractions when visiting the country. And the ingenuity of Mexican chefs, always creative, attracts the eyes of the world. This was recognized by the famous list Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021, which was unveiled this week during an event organized in Mendoza, Argentina.

In this edition, the prestigious awards changed their usual annual ranking to draw up a retrospective list of the 50 best restaurants in Latin America by the last nine years, from 2013 to 2021. Central, located in Lima, Peru, took first place as “The Greatest Restaurant in Latin America 2013-2021 ″, but Mexico managed to grab numerous positions, with a total of 11. Only Argentina could tie that feat .

Eleven Mexican restaurants achieved a place in the ranking: seven are located in Mexico City and the rest are divided between Nuevo León, Guadalajara, Quintana Roo and Edomex. The place that achieved the highest position was Pujol, from the renowned chef Enrique Olvera, which managed to enter the quoted Top 5, by taking fifth place. In addition to Central (1st), he was surpassed by two other Peruvian venues, Maido (2nd) and Astrid and Gastón (4th), and also the Brazilian DOM (3rd).

The next national establishment that managed to climb to the top of the ranking was Quintonil, from chef Jorge Vallejo, with an admirable eighth position. They followed Sud777 (12th); Pangea, (15th); and Rosetta, (27º).

In addition, Eduardo García from Máximo Bistrot, in Mexico City, received the “Estrella Damm Chef`s Choice Award- Best Reinvention” recognition for having managed to reinvent himself during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the health crisis, the premises kept 100% of its staff, and moved its facilities to a larger space to guarantee the safety and tranquility of workers and customers.

11 Mexican restaurants recognized among the 50 best in Latin America
View of the Pujol restaurant (Photo: theworlds50best.com/latinamerica)

1. Pujol, (5th in the ranking)

Tradition, reinvention, sustainability. That seems to be the recipe for success for Pujol, which was recognized by the organization as the fifth best restaurant in Latin America.

The establishment opened its doors in 2000, in the mayor’s office of Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico City. Since then, its founder, the famous chef Enrique Olvera, has sought to transform himself but always starting with the ingredients and Mexican culinary techniques of all time.

“In trying to represent Mexico’s vast natural pantry, Chef Enrique Olvera’s search for indigenous ingredients in the country’s 32 states is endless. He seeks to pay tribute to each region and establishes relationships with producers to whom he pays in advance and is rewarded for showing sustainable credentials, ”said the organization, which also recalled that Pujol won the Flor de Caña Award for the Most Sustainable Restaurant in 2020.

Pujol is the best example that Mexican gastronomy cannot be separated even in its most avant-garde forms from centuries of tradition dating back to the indigenous populations of the pre-Hispanic era. In this sense, from the list they highlighted the elaboration of one of the most applauded dishes on the menu.

“If there is a dish from this Mexican restaurant that best defines an era, it is Mole Madre, Mole Nuevo. A simple looking option comprising a perfect circle of fresh mole surrounded by a larger concentric ring of mole that has aged for over 1,000 days. It is a dish that has been on the menu throughout the history of Pujol, capturing the past, present and future of Mexico in a single bite ”.

Those who want to see why this Mexican restaurant was chosen as the best in the country and the fifth best in Latin America, according to Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurant, can try its tasting menu, for a price of 2,395 Mexican pesos.

11 Mexican restaurants recognized among the 50 best in Latin America
Quintonil Restaurant (Photo: theworlds50best.com/latinamerica)

2. Quintonil (8th in the ranking)

Quintonil, the chef’s hallmark, is also in the Top 10 of the famous list Jorge Vallejo.

Of this restaurant, also located in the exclusive area of ​​Polanco, in Mexico City, the organization highlights its “freshness” and “flavor”. And also his ability to change the dishes on his tasting menu with each new season and always achieve excellence.

“Diners can expect Moorish crabs with green pipian sauce, sunflower seeds and blue corn toast, or arugula marinated in rice paste with Veracruz sauce and parsley. It would be a mistake not to stay for dessert: the strained mango with toasted rice and seaweed is the perfect way to end this Mexican festival of flavors ”.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Quintonil had to temporarily close its doors in 2020. But during the crisis, his team kept working. They bought ingredients from peasant families in Mexico City and with them, they made meals for hospital patients and vulnerable families.

Quintonil’s menu is a la carte. The prices of the main dishes are around 500 Mexican pesos, while the entrances have an approximate cost of 300 pesos. Those who prefer it can opt for the Autumn Tasting Menu, which costs 3,280 pesos without pairing and 5,235 with wine.

11 Mexican restaurants recognized among the 50 best in Latin America
Sud777 Restaurant (Photo: theworlds50best.com/latinamerica)

3. Sud 777 (12th in the ranking)

In position 12 of the ranking appears the third Mexican restaurant recognized among the 50 best in Latin America. It is about Sud 777, located in the Jardines del Pedregal neighborhood, in Mexico City.

This restaurant, founded in 2008 by chef Edgard Núñez, climbed several positions in the ranking this year – in 2020 it was ranked 17th. The magic of its elaborations resides in the commitment to “Mexican vegetable cuisine”, since vegetables are “the guiding axis of its gastronomic proposal”.

In Sud 777, the ingredients go from the garden to the kitchen, and from the kitchen to the table, since most of the raw materials are grown in the local crops. The dishes on the tasting menu change according to the seasonal vegetables and fruits, an aspect that stands out from Latin America.

“True to Núñez’s personal character, friendly, sociable and always willing to participate, the restaurant has a party atmosphere. The wide-lined space is divided into several rooms that feel intimate, while the tasting menu changes monthly with names of dishes that sound postmodern, such as Liquid and Green, which is a cold seasonal vegetable and herb soup, served as a raspberry salad, ”reads the awards website.

For the organization, Núñez is “one of Mexico’s prodigy sons”, with an outstanding international career that includes his time at some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the world, such as Noma or El Bulli.

11 Mexican restaurants recognized among the 50 best in Latin America
View of the Pangea Restaurant, in Monterrey, Nuevo León (Photo: theworlds50best.com/latinamerica)

4. Pangea, (15th in the ranking)

From the capital of the country we travel to Nuevo León. There is the Mexican restaurant that managed to be recognized as the 15th best in Latin America. It’s called Pangea and it’s a benchmark for contemporary haute cuisine in northeastern Mexico.

The place was born in 1998, under the direction of chef Guillermo González Beristáin. And since the awards of the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list began to be awarded, it is one of the irreplaceable names. The organization itself recognizes on its website that it is one of “the most beloved restaurants” in the history of the awards.

“The brilliant chef and his team apply modern French cooking techniques to the excellent local produce of the region, resulting in sophisticated and tasty dishes. Beristáin’s characteristic dish is a kid cooked in the chef’s Bocanegra craft beer, a dark wheat beer, served with cauliflower puree and indigenous Huasteca sauce, which is essential ”.

They assure that Pangea is reason enough to jump to Monterrey. Numerous à la carte dishes are prepared in the Beristáin stoves. In addition, a tasting menu is offered for 1,845 pesos -with an extra charge of 935 pesos, if you want to pair lunch-, and a cheaper option, of 675 pesos, for the menu of the day.

11 Mexican restaurants recognized among the 50 best in Latin America
Rosetta Restaurant (Photo: theworlds50best.com/latinamerica)

5. Rosetta (27th in the ranking)

The fifth Mexican restaurant that entered the list is Rosetta, located in an old booth in the Roma neighborhood, in Mexico City, and led by Mexican chef Elena Reygadas. From the organization, they highlight the ability of the cook to change register and succeed with a more delicate bet that puts national ingredients on top.

“Chef Elena Reygadas made a name for herself specializing in exquisite handmade pasta dishes. In recent years, the restaurant’s emphasis has shifted towards a deeper Mexican sensibility with reinterpretations of recipes for tamales and mole, along with quail served with lighthouse, dates and mustard greens. “

The prices of the dishes are around 250 pesos, although in the case of meat and fish elaborations, the cost rises to 450 pesos, approximately.

Other Mexican restaurants in the Top 50

The list of the 50 best restaurants in Latin America also included the Mexican Mayor, from Guadalajara (32nd place); the capitals Máximo Bistrot (33), Nicos (35) and Corazón de Tierra (40); as well as that of Cancún, Quintana Roo, Le Chique (38).

From Toluca, State of Mexico, Amaranta managed to rank 44th.

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