Posted on February 24 2014
Mexico City is home to many gems but my favorite are the dulcerías, panaderías and pastelerías. Mexico City has 80 year old shops in the historic downtown like El Moro Churreria and Pasteleria Ideal and modern shops are slowly dominating the posh towns of Polanco (Da Silva Pasteleria) and Roma (Cachito Mio). There is a chocolate movement that began years ago with QueBo! Chocolates and the newest in town is Casa Tropical.
1. Da Silva Panadería Artesanal - My favorite pastry shop in Mexico. One time in Portugal I had a pastel de belém which blew my mind. Here they call it pastel de nata but it's the same thing. It is a flaky, crispy bottom and inside there is a sweet, rich orange flavored egg custard. It is on the sweet side but it is small; it usually makes me feel better when I share it with someone. But Da Silva has many other sweets like macaroons, eclairs, chocolates and much more. They also carry non sweet items like baguettes, bagels, and pretzels.
2. Pastelería Ideal. This is the biggest and most traditional bakery in all of Mexico, it was founded in 1927 and is near the old center. Although their specialty is pan dulce they also sell gelatinas, sugar skulls, cookies, and seasonal candies. Like most panaderías this one is self serve; pick up a set of tongs and a tray and have fun. Yes, most pan dulce is all made with the same dough; it's just the shape that changes. Different flavors are obvious because the texture is different and it will have inclusions like jams, sprinkles or glazes. I suggest trying the conchas, orejas, puerquitos or elote which are the most popular pan dulces.
3. El Moro Churrería. Like every Mexican child I thought churros were an invention of Mexico until I realized it was a tradition brought from Spain. The oldest churreria in the city is El Moro. Also in the center of town and founded in 1935. They serve a Spanish, French, Mexican and Swiss hot chocolate with plain, cinnamon or sugar churros. They make the churros to order and they always come out hot and steamy.
4. Dulcería De Celaya. Founded in 1874 this shop has many traditional candies like glorias, besos de nuez, gaznates, mazapán and so on. They are very proud of keeping the tradition of these candies and also offer seasonal items. The location in the centro is my favorite although they have another in Roma. The store is reminiscent of those candy stores you see in the movies and it really takes you back to another time.
5. La Rifa Chocolate. This is the place to visit to try hand made, small batch, artisanal chocolate. They buy some chocolate already made but do produce their own line of craft chocolate as well. It's on the rustic side but they are the only bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the city.
6. Tout Chocolat. Is the fanciest chocolatier in town and a Callebaut ambassador- they don't make their own chocolate but do produce some quality bon bons.
5. Delirio. Located in Roma and one of the newest hippest spots in town. I came to Delirio in search of chocolate and found a trendy cafe and marketplace/deli. They have amazing pastries, jams, baguettes, cheeses and chocolates. You can take your items to go or put your name on the waiting list and have a seat as their main business is a restaurant. I came in search of Casa Tropical chocolate but they were sold out so I opted for their pastries and their own chocolate brand.
6. Cachito Mío. Located in Roma Norte, this cute little cafe serves quiche, tarts, desserts and coffee. I saw a very tempting chocolate and strawberry tart next to caramel, apple, nut, pear, etc. tarts! If you need a tart in Mexico City this is THE place. This hip, high quality cafe also carries the chocolate from Casa Tropical which was my main purpose here.
7. Mucho Mundo Chocolate is the first chocolate museum of Mexico. I know it's crazy. But it's finally here and although it is small there are some interesting stories, photos, and chocolate tools. At the end of the museum there is a cafe where you can find some interesting chocolates and chocolate treats like brownies, cookies and snacks.
8. QueBo! Chocolates. The most famous chocolatier of Mexico. Jose Ramon Castillo started with a shop in Polanco and now hosts a television program about chocolate and is growing quickly. He also just opened a location in downtown Mexico City. Here you can find truffles, bars and some desserts. He uses chocolate made with Mexican cacao but focuses more on creating sweet and fun combinations rather than high quality chocolates. I recommend the desserts and bars.
Then there are the street vendors who sell traditional candies, gorditas de nata, and raspados. Try them all.
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