by Luis Mario Vargas
Chilaquiles (fried tortilla dipped in green tomato sauce, with onion and garlic) are one of the most iconic elements in Mexican cooking. Most Mexicans like chilaquiles because of their intense flavor, due to the mixture of fried tortilla or totopos (type of nachos), green or red tomato, flavored with a bit of onion. To make it even more special, we serve them accompanied by a lot of sour cream and grated cheese.
There are a lot of different ways to eat them. Nevertheless, as it is such a popular meal both for Mexicans and visitors from other countries that are looking to experiment new flavors and sensations, finding a place that offers really good chilaquiles can become something complicated to do.
So, here you have a list of places where you will surely have some pretty good chilaquiles, in the lovely Mexico City.
La Esquina del Chilaquil
Tortas de Chilaquiles (tortas are a typical Mexican, type of sandwich) is a very typical way of enjoying chilaquiles. In La Esquina del Chilaquil, in the neighborhhod of La Condesa, you can find huge tortas, with a very special flavor. The torta does not have only chilaquiles, but also milanesa (breaded, fried beef steak), sour cream, cheese and beans. That’s the perfect combo if you are looking for a heavy dinner or a heavy lunch, specially if you’re a fan of great food. It is also ideal to treat the hangover, due to its high calorie value.
Just one more thing: take into account the time that you will be on the line to get your torta, because they have a lot of clients. Specially if you go in the afternoon at lunch time.
This beautiful restaurant, located in Monte Líbano #265 (Lomas de Chapultepec), offers plenty of typical Mexican food. But for now, we will only focus on chilaquiles, and I can tell you, the chilaquiles in La Lorena, are amazing.
The way chilaquiles are served in La Lorena is not very common. The fried tortilla is cut in thin, long slices, not in triangles at it is usually sliced. This gives them a more fancy and sofisticated look, but over all, it is easier to eat them because they don’t fall over from the fork or spoon, as they are smaller pieces. Obviously, they are accompanied by cheese, sour cream and epazote (a very tasty herb).
El Cardenal is well known for their delicious chilaquiles from Veracruz (a warm, more tropical state in the southeast of Mexico), which are not made with green tomato sauce, but with red tomato. As I mentioned before, there are both green and red chilaquiles, but the green ones are much more common. However, if you don’t like sour flavors, you might like better the red chilaquiles that El Cardenal offers. Believe me, the flavor changes quite much, just because of the green or red tomato.
El Cardenal serves its chilaquiles veracruzanos in a ceramic crockpot (a traditional element in a Mexican kitchen since the Aztecs), which is taken to your table, and accompany them with sour cream, cheese and extra onion. Additionally, you need to try their exquisite hot chocolate and its bread, recently oven.
El Cardenal has four different locations in Mexico City. One of them is in downtown, in the 23 of Palma street, between 5 de mayo and Francisco I. Madero streets. Another one is in las Lomas, more specifically in Palmas #215. The one in the south of Mexico City is located in San Ángel, Av. de la Paz #32. And, finally, there is one more of their restaurants in Avenida Juárez 70, inside the Hilton Hotel Mexico City Reforma, just across the street from la Alamaeda.
This place reinvents many of the typical Mexican dishes, being the refreshing restaurant it is. It offers a lot of options, but its specialty is, as you can imagine due to its name, chillaquiles. They are served in many different ways, all of them refreshing and new. Among these new variatons that accompany the delicious chilaquiles are: cecina (dry meat), pastor meat (delicious marinated meat), steak, cochinita pibil (marinated pig meat), scrambled eggs, chicken and many, many other options. You can also pick from the different types of chilaquiles they prepare: dipped in vinegar, tanned or many other sauces.
Additionally to the sour cream, you can pick among 3 different types of cheese, onion and beans.
Believe it or not, that’s not everything! They also have tortas de chilaquiles and many typical Mexican desserts, such as rompope jelly (rompope is a very light, sweet liquor made of eggs, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar), arroz con leche (made of milk, sugar and rice), cookies, etc.
Chilakillers is in Avenida Revolución 23, Tacubaya.
Los Hijos del Maíz
The concept this restaurant is based on is simple: all of their food is made of corn. But, once again, referring only to the chilaquiles, you can find here the tecolotes (literally means “owls”). This is a torta filled with green or red chilaquiles, as well as cochinita meat, birria (mutton on sauce), chicharrón (fried pig skin), bean sauce, shrimp and an very wide variety of more options.
You can find all of this in the street of Nueva York #264, en la Colonia Roma, entre Álvaro Obregón y Yucatán.
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