Ok… Pujol and all the other new Mexican fine-dining joints are great, sure. But the culinary highlight of a trip to Mexico City is Contramar. If you love seafood, or even if you just like it, this is THE must-stop when in D.F. Contramar is a VERY popular restaurant, amongst locals and visitors, for authentic, fresh Mexican seafood fare in a casual environment. Which is why it’s always super busy and getting a table is hardly ever an easy task. Call or email to book in advance and be on time: they will give away your table after 10 minutes. If you don’t have a reservation, come in as a walk-in, but your name down and patiently wait for the deliciousness ahead.
The atmosphere is always lively and the crowd is a mix of locals, devout regulars, business lunches, family gatherings, and tourists of course. The interior is unassuming and pretty casual, with a relatively large dining room overlooking an open kitchen. Contramar is located in a nice tree-lined street in the trendy Roma district, so best seats are at their outdoors street-side tables, weather (and luck) permitting.
Ask to sit outside if you can
It’s hard to sum up a meal at Contramar, because everything about it is stellar. The food is simply phenomenal, with every single fish and seafood dish oozing with freshness and delicious flavors, although all executed in a somewhat straightforward, unfussy way. Ask for the freshest catch, go with the chef’s recommendations of the day, and do-not-leave-without-ordering-their-tuna-tostadas. Trust me – you think you’ve already had several tuna tostadas in your life, but the flavor and texture of this appetizer dish are unmatched. The chef himself told me it was the dish he was most proud of!
Best for lunch!
You’ll be tempted to skip dessert (ok fine, who am I kidding) as over-ordering at Contramar is almost a guarantee. At first glance, the dessert tray doesn’t look particularly appealing, but do not leave without having at least one (or two, or three?). The Fig Tart, the Nutella Cake, the Meringue cake… all sweets are surprisingly very satisfying.
To top it off, the service is flawless. Professional, unpretentious, knowledgeable, and extremely friendly, despite the constantly-busy and packed restaurant. Prices are not cheap for Mexican standards, but considering the high-quality ingredients, it’s a bargain!
If you’re fortunate enough to be in Mexico City, do not miss out on Contramar for a wonderful seafood lunch, for any occasion.
Open Sun-Thurs 12pm-6:30pm / Fri-Sat 12pm-8pm