Santa Maria la Ribera, a charming historical neighborhood in the heart  of Mexico City, is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and gastronomy. In this article, we’ll take you through the best restaurants in Santa Maria la Ribera, where you can savor the authentic flavors of Mexico City, while exploring the vibrant streets of this fascinating barrio.

So, let’s dive into the culinary scene of Santa Maria la Ribera and discover the top spots to eat and drink.

1. Oaxacaqui

best tacos in Santa Maria la ribera
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Address: Dr. Atl 205- B, Sta Maria la Ribera, Cuauhtemoc, 06400 Ciudad de Mexico, CDMX, Mexico

Oaxacaqui is undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in Santa Maria la Ribera, offering a delightful taste of Oaxacan cuisine. Located near the Alameda de Santa Maria, this popular eatery is often bustling with locals and visitors alike, eager to sample their delicious dishes. You’ll also find some interesting things to see in the streets surrounding like the Kiosco Morisco, a Moorish inspired central kiosk in the main park.

The menu features a variety of traditional Oaxacan delights, such as giant tlayudas (thin corn flatbreads) topped with queso oaxaqueno and succulent coloradito (red mole) enchiladas. Be prepared to wait in line, but rest assured, the mouthwatering food is well worth the wait.

Atmosphere and Ambiance

Oaxacaqui boasts a cozy and inviting atmosphere, with sidewalk seating that provides an excellent spot for people-watching. The vibrant colors and lively ambiance perfectly capture the spirit of Oaxacan culture, making this restaurant a must-visit when exploring Santa Maria la Ribera.

Must-try Dishes

  • Tlayudas with Queso Oaxaqueno
  • Coloradito Enchiladas
  • Oaxacan-style Mole

2. Mercado de la Dalia

Address: C. Sabino 225, Sta Maria la Ribera, Cuauhtémoc, 06400 Ciudad de Mexico, CDMX, Mexico

For a truly authentic neighborhood experience, head to the bustling Mercado de la Dalia. This lively market is a hub of activity, offering rows of shops with fresh produce, household essentials, and an array of food options.

At the heart of the market lies a small food court, where family-run comedores like Sabor de la Tierra serve up set-price lunches that include a soup, drink, and a choice of daily main dish specials.

The Market Experience

The Mercado de la Dalia offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the daily life of Santa Maria la Ribera residents. As you wander through the market, you’ll encounter a diverse range of Mexican flavors, aromas, and textures, making this location an essential stop on your culinary journey.

Must-try Dishes

  • Set-price Lunches at Sabor de la Tierra
  • Fresh Fruit Juices and Smoothies
  • Traditional Mexican Street Food

3. Pulqueria de la Joya de Santa Maria

different flavors of pulque

Address: C. Eligio Ancona 122, Sta Maria la Ribera, Cuauhtemoc, 06400 Ciudad de Mexico, CDMX, Mexico

A visit to Santa Maria la Ribera would of course not be complete without trying pulque, a pre-Colombian fermented alcoholic beverage made from the maguey (agave) plant. The Pulqueria de la Joya de Santa Maria, dating back to 1907, is the oldest pulqueria in the city, and offers a unique opportunity to sample this traditional drink.

Choose between a natural pulque or a curado, mixed with seasonal fruit, and be prepared to make new friends in this lively and welcoming establishment. Just remember to arrive early, as the pulqueria closes at 8 PM.

The Pulqueria Experience

Stepping into the Pulqueria de la Joya de Santa Maria is like stepping back in time, as you immerse yourself in all the places, history and tradition of this ancient beverage.

The walls are adorned with photographs and memorabilia, offering a glimpse into the pulqueria’s storied past. The friendly atmosphere and lively conversation make this an unforgettable experience for anyone looking to explore the local culture.

Must-try Drinks

  • Natural Pulque
  • Curado Pulque (with seasonal fruit)

4. Maria Ciento38

Address: Santa Maria La Ribera 138 – view map

For a taste of Sicilian cuisine in the heart of Mexico City, look no further than Maria Ciento38. This charming restaurant, run by a Sicilian, offers a delightful fusion of Italian and Mexican flavors in a picturesque and welcoming setting.

The menu features a variety of Sicilian classics, such as pasta a le sarde (the archetypal Sicilian pasta dish with fresh sardines and fennel), as well as a selection of authentic Mexican dishes. The pet-friendly and kid-friendly garden provides a relaxed atmosphere for a leisurely meal.

Atmosphere and Ambiance

The garden setting of Maria Ciento38 offers a peaceful oasis in the center of the bustling neighborhood of Santa Maria la Ribera. The funky and unique decor, combined with the warm and friendly service, creates an inviting atmosphere that will have you feeling right at home.

Must-try Dishes

  • Pasta a le Sarde
  • Sicilian-style Pizzas
  • Mexican-inspired Appetizers

5. Restaurante/Bar el Paraiso

Address: corner Eligio Ancona and Sabino; view map

If you’re looking for a laid-back cantina with a lively atmosphere, Restaurante/Bar el Paraiso is the place to be. This friendly establishment is popular with locals, who flock here for the delicious food and drinks, as well as the weekly sidewalk ‘parrillada’ (BBQ) on Thursdays.

With a three-drink minimum, you can enjoy all the grilled meat you desire, and even sample criadillas (a delicacy made from a certain part of the bull). The welcoming atmosphere and tasty fare make this a great spot to unwind and enjoy the flavors of Santa Maria la Ribera.

Atmosphere and Ambiance

El Paraiso offers a relaxed and unpretentious setting, where you can enjoy good food, good drinks, and good company.

The cantina’s lively atmosphere makes it a popular hangout for locals and visitors to town alike, and the weekly BBQ events are not to be missed.

Must-try Dishes

  • Weekly Sidewalk ‘Parrillada’ (BBQ)
  • Criadillas (if you’re feeling adventurous)
  • A variety of Mexican-inspired dishes

6. Salon Paris

cantina in Mexico CIty

Address: Torres Bodet 152, corner Salvador Diaz Miron, Alameda

Salon Paris is a traditional and friendly cantina, known for its legendary connection to ranchera singer Jose Alfredo Jimenez. Frequented by locals, this popular spot offers live music, generous botanas (snacks) during comida hours, and a reasonably priced seafood buffet on weekends.

With a cold beer and a plate of delicious food, you can relax and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of this historic cantina.

Live Music and Entertainment

Salon Paris has a long-standing reputation for hosting live music, making it a great spot to catch some local talent while enjoying your meal. Whether it’s ranchera, mariachi, or another style of Mexican music, the lively entertainment adds to the unique charm of this cantina.

Must-try Dishes

  • 33 Pesos Beer (which also includes a free lunch during comida hours)
  • Weekend Buffet
  • Traditional Mexican Botanas

7. Don Lazaro El Viajero

Address: Circuito Interior 241, near Salvador Diaz Miron, 6 blocks west of the Alameda of Sta. Maria la Ribera; view map

Don Lazaro El Viajero is a neighborhood institution that offers a unique dining experience, where you can learn English or Spanish while you eat. This quirky restaurant is open 365 days a year for breakfast and lunch, making it a convenient spot to grab a bite and practice your language skills.

An Educational Dining Experience

At Don Lazaro El Viajero, you’ll find a friendly and welcoming environment where language learning and delicious food go hand in hand. As you enjoy your meal, you’ll have the opportunity to practice your conversational skills and learn more about the local culture.

Must-try Dishes

  • Traditional Mexican Breakfasts
  • Hearty Lunch Options
  • Language-themed Specials

8. Pulqueria La Xochitl

Address: Eligio Ancona, between Jaime Torres Bodet & Naranjo; view map

For a truly authentic taste of Mexican culture, visit Pulqueria La Xochitl. This traditional and low-key pulqueria offers a friendly atmosphere, where you can sample the ancient beverage of pulque. While women may want to be mindful of their reputations when visiting this establishment, it’s a great place to experience the local vibe and enjoy a refreshing pulque.

A Taste of Tradition

Pulqueria La Xochitl is a hidden gem in Santa Maria la Ribera, providing a unique opportunity to eat and experience an authentic Mexican pulqueria. The friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere make this an unforgettable stop on your culinary tour of the neighborhood.

Must-try Drinks

  • Natural Pulque
  • Curado Pulque (with seasonal fruit)

9. Café de Tacuba

One of the most popular and beautiful restaurants in Mexico City, Café de Tacuba is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a taste of the city’s culinary heritage. Located in the downtown area just east of Santa Maria la Ribera, this historic eatery offers a stunning setting and a menu filled with traditional Mexican dishes.

A Historic Dining Experience

Café de Tacuba has been serving delicious food since its establishment in 1912. As you step inside, you’ll be transported back in time, surrounded by ornate decorations and elegant furnishings that reflect the restaurant’s storied past. The attentive service and exquisite food make this an unforgettable dining experience.

Must-try Dishes

  • Classic Mexican Appetizers
  • Traditional Mole and Enchiladas
  • Decadent Desserts

10. Azul Restaurants by Chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita

For a truly exceptional gastronomic experience, be sure to visit one of the Azul restaurants by renowned chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita.

These acclaimed eateries offer a refined take on Mexican cuisine, showcasing the diverse flavors and ingredients found throughout the country. With a focus on mole dishes and other traditional favorites, Azul restaurants provide a memorable culinary experience for food lovers.

A Culinary Journey

At Azul, you’ll embark on a journey through the rich and varied landscape of modern Mexican cuisine. The carefully crafted menu highlights regional specialties, while the elegant atmosphere and impeccable service ensure an unforgettable dining experience.

Must-try Dishes

  • Azul’s Signature Mole
  • Regional Mexican Specialties
  • Creative and Flavorful Desserts

The best restaurants in Santa Maria la Ribera in Mexico City offer a diverse and delicious range of culinary experiences, showcasing the rich flavors and traditions of Mexico City all in one interesting neighborhood!

From authentic Oaxacan cuisine, delicious tacos to Sicilian-inspired fare including pizza, there is something to suit every palate in this vibrant neighborhood. So, whether you’re a foodie, a history buff, or simply looking to soak up the local atmosphere, Santa Maria la Ribera in CDMX is a must-visit destination on your Mexico City adventure.