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01 Sam Youkilis

Dessert tray At Contramar

Destinations

Sam Youkilis’ Guide to Mexico City

Food, Guide

Words & Images Sam YoukilisDate 05 February 2024

Mexico City—think vibrant street art and architecture, the best tacos of your life on every corner, and a thriving nightlife scene that makes you never want to leave.

For New York photographer and videographer Sam Youkilis, the city provides some of the best meals (and memories) in the world. The seasoned traveler is known for his signature visual language; documentary-style images and micro-videos of poetic everyday moments that consistently go viral: a perfect affogato crafted in a Florence cafe, the simple joy and artistry of slicing citrus, or an elderly couple in a tender moment sitting on a town square bench.

02 Sam Youkilis

Sam Youkilis Portrait by Noah Emrich

I’ve been coming to Mexico City since 2017 when I was 23. I bought a one-way ticket leaving New York City and decided to stay for 6 months. I return to Mexico City several times a year and spend a few months out of the year here. I find it to be one of the most inspiring places in the world for food, art, architecture, and markets.”

Sam Youkilis

If there’s anyone who knows how to document and enjoy la dolce vita, it’s Youkilis. We asked the creative for seven of his personal favorite recommendations in Mexico City.

04 Sam Youkilis

Raw tuna and winter tomatoes At Fugaz

03 Sam Youkilis

Fugaz A restaurant in Roma Norte

 

 

Fugaz

Cda. Orizaba 3-3 B, Roma Norte

“Fugaz is a small restaurant between Roma Norte and Juarez that is known for seasonal, simple, and delicious food from Giuseppe Lacorazza. It is only open on weekends with a tiny menu of tostadas and whatever is good and fresh that week, great wines, a single mezcal, and micheladas.”

Casa Gilardi The last house constructed by the architect Luis Barragán

Enomaladas At Comal Oculto

 

 

Comal Oculto

Calle Gral. Gómez Pedraza 37, San Miguel Chapultepec

“A tiny breakfast and lunch spot in the San Miguel Chapultepec neighborhood serving some of the best enmoladas and chilaquiles I’ve had in the city. Make sure to order either with chamorro.” This is also a really nice area of the city to walk around. Combine lunch with a visit to one of the Luis Barragán's houses or head to the park for a walk to Tamayo or the National Anthropological Museum.

08 Sam Youkilis

Campechano taco At Maizajo

 

 

Maizajo

Fernando Montes de Oca 113, Colonia Condesa

“A tortilleria + taqueria in Condesa serving tacos, flautas, quesadillas, fritas, and more. A standing-only bar serves tacos all day long made on some of the best tortillas in the city. They’re also sold for takeaway—all made from corn sourced from small-scale farmers surrounding the city, nixtamalized and processed in house.”

09 Sam Youkilis

Milanesa At Paris 16

Tuna Tostadas At Contramar

 

 

Paris 16

Av. P.° de la Reforma 368, Juárez

“A restaurant that hasn’t changed much since opening in 1985 inside of a Mario Pani building on Reforma. Its a classic. I go for the Milanesa—one of my favorites in the world—and, when in season, the chiles en nogada, a traditional dish of stuffed Poblano peppers.”

Contramar

Calle de Durango 200, Roma Norte

“One of my favorites and one of the unvaryingly good restaurants in the world. It’s usually the first or last meal I have in the city. All the classics are wonderful but the esmedregal al pastor, the soft-shell crab tacos, the callo de hacha tostada, and the flans shouldn’t be missed.”

Painted ceramics From Oaxaca at Lagunilla

12 Sam Youkilis

Lagunilla Purchases from my last visit in one of the largest markets in the city

 

 

Lagunilla

Av. P° de la Reforma 6300, Morelos

I go every Sunday morning to Lagunilla. It's one of the largest markets in the city and always has great antique and midcentury finds. It's worth getting up early to beat the crowd but it's also big enough to spend the entire day exploring.” Find Lagunilla in the El Centro neighborhood, with ties back to the pre-Hispanic period.

Casa Gilardi

Calle Gral. Antonio León 82, San Miguel Chapultepec

“It is one of the last homes designed and finished by architect Luis Barragán. It was built around an impressive jacaranda tree. It’s my favorite of all the Barragán properties and one of his most colorful.” The family that lives there organizes the tour and it is a unique glimpse at his functional architecture and blurring of public and private life.

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