The following list focuses on Mexican restaurants that strengthen the country’s pairing culture and challenges visitors’ preconceptions. Like our annual Top 100 Wine Restaurants list for the U.S., these aren’t just restaurants where wine is a priority, but food, service, and atmosphere are top-notch as well. ¡Provecho!
Chef-Owner Francisco Ruano worked in such exalted restaurants as Noma, Mugaritz and El Celler de Can Roca before he returned to Guadalajara to open Alcalde in 2013. His approach is creative and playful, yet unpretentious and straightforward. He transforms familiar dishes like tuna tostadas, grilled octopus or pork and beans, and introduces flavor combinations like duck in an adobo of smoky chile morita, dried shrimp and eucalyptus. The wine list, which changes often, hovers around 100 selections.
Casa de la Troje
Located in a small town about an hour west of Mexico City, this is an unexpected wine lover’s oasis housed in a 225-year-old adobe house littered with art, books and immense charm. Casa de la Troje’s Owner Jorge Luis González’s extensive list leans toward Mexican and Spanish bottlings chosen for quality and value rather than name recognition. The menu features simple grilled fish and meats, Oaxacan specialties and original dishes like huitlacoche fondue and hibiscus duck. Its soups, like beet-coconut, blue corn or ricotta cheese, are exceptional, especially paired with a Sauvignon Blanc from Valle de Guadalupe’s Hilo Negro winery.
A fan of sweet wines, sour beers, and old-school Rioja, Bernstein is an exhaustive traveler in search of new and unsung chefs and restaurants, innovative wine and food pairings, and eating and drinking at the source. In addition to Wine Enthusiast, Bernstein has written for Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Hemispheres, and Kinfolk, among others.