Review: Mexico’s Most Celebrated Restaurant Pujol

Mexico’s most celebrated restaurant is Pujol, originally designed to offer an upscale version of street food. This year it moved into new quarters, instead of simply cooking in restaurant space they have space designed for their restaurant.

The kitchen has no burners, they sear on a wood grill and finish in the oven, and everything is organized around a central island. They have a comal for making tortillas. They have an outside brick oven pit. They serve a mole that’s been aged for more than 3 years.

It’s just a few blocks away, an easy 5 minute walk at most, from Las Alcobas where I was staying last month.

I think it’s fair to say the overall design of the restaurant is midcentury modern, and informal. I was surprised to see people in jeans, but they were all seated in the bar area. Still it wasn’t a place with white table cloths and suits. The name Pujol is derived from the chef’s high school nickname ‘Pozole’.

The restaurant offers a six course menu, here’s the one from my lunch, you make a selection four courses 2, 3, 4, and 6:

Beginning is a selection of ‘street snacks’.

For my first choice I selected the octopus which was outstanding.

In fact the entire meal was phenomenal. Everything was unique in its own way, different from pretty much any Mexican meal I’ve tried.

I never thought of mole as a course, but when you’ve aged and cared for it for 1409 days it deserves to be highlighted on its own.

We completed the meal with an intermezzo and my dessert choice of a black sesame tamale was a no brainer.

And after the formal dessert how could a meal like this be complete without a churro?

Although the restaurant is less formal than I’d have expected the service was mostly excellent. There was someone to help people put their jackets back by the restroom. (Although in the afternoon’s only fail, a course was served while I excused myself briefly.)

A visit to Pujol is a no brainer, well worth the price which while not insignificant at about $105 is reasonable for this sort of meal, less than you’d pay in other major cities.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I totally agree. We visited in Sept 2017 for dinner. I used open table for the reservation bookings at the bar. I really enjoyed it and found the prices very reasonable (compared to a comparable experience in the USA)

  2. Interesting review, Gary, but one small correction;
    One tamal, as in “black sesame tamal”
    Two tamales
    There is no “tamale”
    My favorite restaurant in Mexico City, and that of many local folk, is the Catedral, on Las Palmas, in the Centro Historico, not too far from another favorite, Azul. Although not as pretentious as Pujol, it gets rave reviews and has survived for decades in a tough restaurant climate, while not charging exorbitant prices for excellent food and service, even providing an English menu. So many good restaurants, so little time.

  3. Been to Pujol a few times. Great place to take clients to but Mexico City has has restaurants with more unique experiences and, in my opinion, better food.

  4. @Alan, Pujol is a different level than Roma Norte street food. @Garry, mole has always been an entree. Next time you’re in town I’d also like to suggest Dulce Patria, which is at walking distance from Pujol.

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