Autumn has always been an ideal time to visit Mexico City; between Independence Day celebrations in mid-September and Día de los Muertos activities at the end of October, it seems like the season is just one long, colorful party after another. In addition to these traditional fall festivities, there are two relative newcomers: Fevino, El Festival de Vino Mexicano, scheduled for October 9 and 10, and Corona Capital, a music festival taking place on October 11 and 12. It's the second year in Mexico City for FEVINO and the fifth for Corona Capital, which will feature Jack White, Massive Attack, Kings of Leon, and Beck, among several dozen other artists. If you'll be in the city for one or (lucky you!) both of these events, take some down time to munch your way around the capital on one of these five food tours.
Less a tour than an outing, co-founder Kristin Díaz de Sandi says the description of Club Tengo Hambre offered up by a blogger who participated in one of her roving supper clubs “perfectly and succinctly captures what CTH is: 'It felt like very cool friends were showing us around their town.'” “We're about getting people together who love food and sharing with them what this beautiful city has to offer,” Díaz de Sandi adds.
Started in Tijuana, Club Tengo Hambre expanded to Mexico City earlier this year. At present, the club offers one DF tour: DF Street Food Essentials, “a definitive Mexico City street food experience,” according to Díaz de Sandi. The menu ensures participants “will be able to try menu items they might not be able to find outside Mexico City,” she says. This tour, which costs US$90, includes samples at six stops and takes place every Saturday at 11 AM.
Club Tengo Hambre's second Mexico City tour, “Chilangolandia After Dark,” will launch later this year. It will introduce participants to Mexican craft beer and spirits through private mezcal tastings and beer flights. Tours will take place on weekend nights at 6 PM.
The company also designs customized itineraries for travelers who have specific interests; request a private tour here.
When Lesley Telléz launched Eat Mexico in 2010, she probably didn't imagine just how quickly the business would evolve. Within a year of starting, Telléz had been named a “top global culinary guide” by the editors of Travel+Leisure, and since then, business has been brisk; Eat Mexico, which started in Mexico City, has expanded to Puebla, and Telléz, who also authors the popular food blog The Mija Chronicles, is finishing up her first cookbook, which is tenatively titled Eat Mexico, and will be published by Kyle Books in spring 2015.
Eat Mexico guides offer four DF tours: Street Food; Mexico City Markets; Regional Tacos of Mexico; and Late Night Tacos and Mezcal. Each tour ranges in price from $85 to $145 and is three to four hours. Group size never exceeds six people, as Telléz believes it is easier to navigate busy markets and street food stalls and communicate with a smaller number of people.
Cristina Potters is Mexico City's grand dame of the country's cuisine. She has lived in Mexico for more than 30 years and has been blogging about Mexican culinary traditions on her blog, Mexico Cooks!, for nearly a decade.
Potters also creates bespoke culinary adventures for visitors to the capital, and each tour is designed specifically to indulge clients' particular interests. “I offer specialty guided tours, including hands-on culinary adventure tours, extraordinary tours to the homes of artists and artisans, and off-the-tourist-track adventures ,” she says. Potters, who lived in the city of Morelia before moving to Mexico City three years ago, is also extremely knowedgeable about the culinary traditions of the state of Michoacán, which received special mention by UNESCO when the organization awarded Mexico the coveted “Intangible Cultural Heritage” status for its food in 2010.
Potters requires a minimum group size of two and can not accomodate more than seven guests for a tour. Trips can range in length from one day to several days, depending upon your interests. To contact Potters and plan a tour, email her here.
Whereas Mexican Food Tours specializes in Polanco, Sabores de México focuses on Colonia Roma and the Centro Histórico on its two tours. Unlike Mexican Food Tours, the goal of Sabores de México isn't to highlight “authentic” or “traditional” Mexican food, but, says guide Salimah Cossens, to introduce participants to the wide variety of food available in Mexico City, including French classics, and to taste delicious interpretations of iconic Mexican dishes. At Tres Galeones, the first stop on the Roma tour, for example, participants try tacos “al pastor,” but made with fish rather than pork.
The three and a half hour Roma tour costs $48 for adults; in addition to seven stops, which include a microbrewery and a specialty coffee shop, guides offer smart commentary about the social, cultural, and architectural history of the neighborhood.
Mexican Food Tours leads tours in Guadalajara and DF. In the capital, two different itineraries are offered: Great Markets Tour and Polanco Food Tour.
“Polanco?” you say. “Well, that must mean we'll be eating at some of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants!” Ni modo.
“Our goal is to give guests a taste of authentic Mexican food,” says Leticia Hinojos, a guide for the company. The Polanco tour, which is offered daily, starts at Barro Negro, a restaurant specializing in the food of Oaxaca, and ends at Nevería Roxy, where participants try one of more than two dozen flavors of ice cream and nieves. Along the way, the tour, which takes about three hours and costs $55, makes stops at the recently opened cebicheria, Agua y Sal and the Mexican chocolaterie, Que Bo!, where truffles and other confections feature ingredients like grasshoppers (chapulines) and Boingo, a Mexican soda. Four other stops on the tour ensure guests eat heartily.
Be sure to ask about group size when you make your reservation, as the company rarely imposes limits on the number of people who register for a tour.