Travellers have an appetite for Mexico

MEXICO CITY — “You weren’t expecting a place like this in the ‘Third World’,” says my guide with tongue firmly planted in cheek as we eat dinner at Sud 777, a haute-cuisine restaurant in Mexico’s capital that has been voted not only one of the Top 50 restaurants in Latin America, but one of the best of the world

My dining companion isn’t just any guide, either. Introducing me to the city’s food scene is Cecilia Núñez, the well-travelled editor of Food and Travel Mexico, the Spanish-language edition of the British magazine that explores culinary trends happening in every corner of the world. She also appears regularly on radio in Mexico and was a judge for Top Chef México.

Cecilia thinks too many visitors have stereotyped views of her country and its food and wants me to know that it’s even more rich and varied than I can imagine. It is my first night on my first visit to Mexico City and Cecilia has

driven me through the sprawling city’s notorious traffic to this restaurant which lies in Jardines del Pedregal, an affluent and leafy southern neighbourhood that is a good distance from downtown.

On the way, Cecilia explains to me that the food scene in Mexico is a bit like the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacán, for which the city is famous. On the top, there are fine-dining establishments like Sud 777, in the middle are everyday restaurants serving every type of cuisine you can think of and at the base are the street food vendors and market stalls that are ubiquitous throughout the country.

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Mexico City is the oldest capital city in the Americas.

Mexico City is the oldest capital city in the Americas. Its founding dates back to 1325 under the Aztecs. It later became the capital of New Spain in the 16th century and has remained the country’s capital since independence.