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Living

Searching for Mexico City's Best Chilaquiles

We tried some of the most famous chilaquiles in the city so you don't have to (but you should)

Inside the Chilakillers restaurant, photo: The News/Nicole DeFuria
By The News Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
2 years ago

THE WHOLE ENCHILADA

CHILAQUILES
The word chilaquil’s origins can be traced back to Nahuatl, the language of the Aztec people. Its meaning is disputed but either means “placed in chilis” or “greens in chili water.” Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican dish that is typically served for breakfast. The dish consists of tortilla chips bathed in salsa (usually red or green and, more rarely, mole) and topped with cream, onion and cotija cheese. The salsa is served hot, making the chips soften from sitting in the spicy mixture. They are usually served with a variety of toppings such as chicken, chicharrón, cochinita pibil, eggs or different cuts of meat.

El Bajío- $$$
Calle Alejandro Dumas 7, Miguel Hidalgo, Polanco

Chilaquiles rojos at El Bajío. Photo: The News/Guillermo Verduzco

Chilaquiles rojos at El Bajío. Photo: The News/Guillermo Verduzco

Nicole: 🌮🌮🌮🌮 Even though we arrived after they had stopped serving chilaquiles, the kitchen had them made especially for us. I ordered chilaquiles verdes. The texture was perfect: not too soggy or too crispy. I think the perfect chilaquiles are soft but just a little hard in the middle, like al dente for chips! And the salsa had a kick but was not too spicy.

Guillermo: 🌮🌮🌮🌮 El Bajío is a restaurant chain that specializes in dishes from the state of Veracruz. While chilaquiles are not typically thought of as a staple from Veracruz, El Bajío serves them with a creative touch, as the salsas used to bathe them in are influenced by the cuisine from the coastal state. I ordered chilaquiles rojos. They were a textbook example of what chilaquiles should be like. Crunchy and completely bathed in salsa. They were accompanied by refried beans, another classic.

La Esquina del Chilaquil- $
Alfonso Reyes 145, Hipódromo

A line of people waiting for their chilaquiles. Photo: The News/Nicole DeFuria

A line of people waiting for their chilaquiles. Photo: The News/Nicole DeFuria

Nicole: 🌮🌮🌮🌮🌮 If you’re thinking about trying this Mexico City favorite, I advise getting there early. They start serving food at 8 a.m. and people start lining up even before that. They have several options of meat and you can choose between red or green chilaquiles. The sandwiches are incredibly cheap and delicious and overall well worth the wait. The chilaquiles inside the sandwich are more on the soft side. Best value!

Guillermo: 🌮🌮🌮🌮🌮 The legendary chilaquil street corner! This place has slowly grown in fame in recent years, mainly by word of mouth, and there’s a reason for that. We Mexicans love to make tortas out of everything. There are tamale tortas. There are fried tamale tortas. There are giant tortas filled with everything from sausage to pineapple to egg. Of course someone would think of stuffing chilaquiles inside one. And it’s a fortunate thing that they did. For only 35 pesos, La Esquina del Chilaquil offers a complete breakfast (or hangover cure) in a neat little bread package. They even put some refried beans topped with cheese inside! Everybody should try these tortas at least once. Just show up early and try their specialty: cochinita pibil.

El Chilaquilito- $$
Correspondencia 176, Narvarte

Photo: The News/Guillermo Verduzco

Photo: The News/Guillermo Verduzco

Nicole: 🌮🌮🌮🌮🌮 El Chilaquilito offers something unique to its costumers. The restaurant has a scale from zero to 10 when ordering how spicy you want your food. I ordered mole chilaquiles, which are more sweet than spicy, so unfortunately I was not able to utilize the scale. I ordered my chilaquiles with an egg. They were the perfect consistency, with the outside of the chips being soft and the inside still a little bit firm. Chilaquiles are typically a breakfast food, making them hard to find after 1 p.m. A great thing about this restaurant is that you can enjoy chilaquiles until 6 p.m.

Mole chilaquiles from Chilaquilito. Photo: The News/Guillermo Verduzco

Mole chilaquiles from Chilaquilito. Photo: The News/Guillermo Verduzco

Guillermo: 🌮🌮🌮🌮🌮 El Chilaquilito has offered a wide variety of chilaquiles since 1988, and the thing that makes the place stand out is its spiciness scale. According to customers, chilaquiles that go beyond 5 in the scale are so hot they’re practically impossible to eat. This was my favorite place of the list, because they offer mole chilaquiles, which are my favorite. Also, for me, they have the best price/quantity/flavor ratio of all places.

La Lorena- $$$$
Monte Libano No. 265, Miguel Hidalgo, Lomas de Chapultepec

Photo: The News/Guillermo Verduzco

Photo: The News/Guillermo Verduzco

Nicole: 🌮 This was one of the more expensive restaurants that we visited. The décor is nice and the restaurant is located in a cute little loft area. They did not take the traditional approach by serving their chilaquiles with cream, onion and cojita cheese on top. Instead they were served with manchego, a stringier cheese and most of the chips were hard and not fully bathed in salsa, resulting in something that resembled nachos more than chilaquiles.

Chilaquiles or nachos? Photo: The News/Guillermo Verduzco

Chilaquiles or nachos? Photo: The News/Guillermo Verduzco

Guillermo: 🌮🌮 La Lorena began as a bakery specializing in all kinds of scones, and then transitioned into becoming a full-fledged restaurant. Over time, it has become one of the hottest breakfast spots of the area. The chilaquiles served at La Lorena are kind of a reinterpretation of the dish. We ordered chilaquiles “divorciados (divorced),” which means that one half of the plate was bathed in red salsa and the other in green. They came topped with melted manchego cheese, onions and little dried chili peppers.

Chilakillers- $$$
Av. Revolución 23, Tacubaya

Photo: The News/Nicole DeFuria

Photo: The News/Nicole DeFuria

Nicole: 🌮🌮🌮 Chilakillers is a hip and colorful restaurant with many options for chilaquiles. They have lots of different meats and sauces to choose from, including an avocado sauce. They also have two different portion sizes: half and full. But be warned, no healthy, normal person ever needs to eat the full portion. After eating the entire serving, I can tell you that the half is enough food for anyone with a little self respect.

Chilaquiles in avocado sauce. Photo: The News/Guillermo Verduzco

Chilaquiles in avocado sauce. Photo: The News/Guillermo Verduzco

Guillermo: 🌮🌮🌮🌮 Chilakillers is a nice little traditional-fondita-like place, decorated with Mexican pop-culture items such as luchadores and catrinas. Although they also offer tortas and different options for breakfast, the chilaquiles (as the name suggests) are the star of the show. The salsa options are red, green, “super-spicy,” mole and avocado. I had to try the avocado one because I’ve never seen it offered in any other place. The chilaquiles were great, topped with two fried eggs, onions and cilantro. I had a full order, but sadly my reach exceeded my grasp and I couldn’t finish them. Be advised: a half order is more than enough for one person.

Price Guide:
$- Less than 40 pesos
$$- 40-70 pesos
$$$- 70-90 pesos
$$$$- 90-150 pesos
$$$$$- Over 150 pesos

Join us next month when we explore the city in search of tacos!

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