A Guide to Good Food in Colonia Escandón

A Guide to Good Food in Colonia Escandón

Mexico City, Colonia Escandón

Mexico City (D.F.)  is enormous, teeming with history, activity, and people from everywhere.  Despite its massive size, the city’s individual neighborhoods (called colonias) can make it feel more intimate than its 26 million population would have you believe.  That being said, there are hundreds-if not thousands-of colonias in D.F., all with their own distinct essence that sets them apart from the others.  Escandón is one of them.
good food in colonia escandon
Streets of Escandon

History of Colonia Escandón

In the late 19th century, Colonia Escandón was crop terrain, part of a large hacienda belonging to the Countess of Miravalle, and later Dolores Escandón y Arango.  The family Escandón were supporters of President Porfirio Díaz’s regime and enjoyed many bourgeoisie perks because of this; namely, wealth, power, and great real estate.
Everything changed at the end of the Mexican Revolution in 1920; huge swaths of land that had previously belonged to the few were divided up, and Colonia Escandón began its development as a neighborhood.
colonia escandon architecture
Fire Station in Colonia Escandon

Nowadays, Escandón brings a historical and nostalgic feel to the big city.  It has a simple and handsome allure to it, full of colorful buildings, family owned businesses, tree-lined streets, and  20th-century architecture styles.

 

good food in colonia escandon mexico city
Escandon Architecture

Getting to Escandón

Located alongside Colonia Tacubaya, south of Colonia Condesa and Roma, and a stone’s throw from Parque de Chapultepec, Escandón is well-situated for easy access.
map of colonia escandon good food transportation
(another map will be provided at the end, detailing where to find the Good Food)

It sits between two major metro stations (Tacubaya on the west side and Patriotismo on the north), and is flanked by bus stations and frequented by taxis, while also supporting a healthy collection of ecobici stands.

Escandon Ecobici good food mexico city
Cycling through Escandon

Good Food in Escandón

Taqueria El Paisa: Colonia Escandón, Ave. José Martí

This is a veritable hole-in-the-wall restaurant, with the best birria I’ve ever had.   Birria is a tasty, spicy stew made from goat meat or mutton and hails from the land of Jalisco.

This restaurant, or birrieria, doesn’t have a website nor any yelp reviews, but is always full of locals chowing down.  They have windows that open to the shady street of Ave. José Martí, and you can drink a beer as you watch the cooks prepare giant pots of fragrant stew. It’s cheap, delicious, and spicy.

good food colonia escandon taqueria birria

Leon de Oro: Colonia Escandón, Ave. José Martí 103

Leon de Oro is a famous cantina and probably the most well-known restaurant in Escandón, set dead center in the neighborhood on Ave. José Martí (catty corner from Taqueria El Paisa above).  It was founded in 1954, and still maintains a sense of Mexico past, with live mariachi every Saturday and a great variety of patrons.  Any day of the week you will find most of its 150 tables occupied by families, couples, business folks, and students gathering to enjoy a meal, watch fútbol, or get drinks.

Cantina and food in Colonia Escandon mexico city

The food offered is traditional Mexican fare, Spanish tapas (entremés), and salty snacks like peanuts, chicharrones, shrimp broth, and onion soup to eat with your beer.  Leon de Oro’s pricing is not cheap nor is it outlandsish.  Expect to pay 500 pesos (~50 dollars) for a meal and drinks for two; check out their website for a full menu and pricing.

Tuesday Market: Calle General Salvador Alvarado (crosses Ave. José Martí)

Every Tuesday afternoon in Colonia Escandón, a farmer’s market sets up and sells fresh fruit, cheese, meat, tortillas, spices, and almost anything else you need to keep yourself sated and happy.  My roommates and I would go every week under the guise of buying groceries, but really we were there to gorge ourselves.  I would balance a plate of rajas con crema guisado in one hand, grip a squash flower quesadilla in the other, and eat my way through the eternally red-tinted market. If it wasn’t tacos de guisado, it was mixiotes or licuados or infinite postres.

good food colonia escandon outdoor market
Photos by Eunice Adorno

As mentioned, the mobile market of gastronomical delights is every Tuesday, starting in the late morning and lasting until the food runs out.

Los Pambacitos de Benjamin Franklin: Colonia Escandón, Ave Progresso

This little gem is situated on the small street of Ave. Progresso, in between the streets La Paz and Murguia.  It’s a mom-and-pop operation which has been around since 1947. They’re open in the evenings, though during the day you can see the family  behind the half-raised shop door preparing everything for the evening.

As their name suggest, they’re known for their pambacitos, which are wickedly good miniature fried sandwiches with fillings ranging from pork in green sauce (Chicharrón en una salsa verde) to potatoes and chorizo (papa con chorizo) to sweet mole.  I lived around the corner and feasted on too many pambacitos too many times.

Good food in colonia escandon mexico city
Photos courtesy of el gráfico

Another one of their delicious offerings is pozole (a thick Mexican stew made with hominy and pork), and the warm corn-based cinnamon and sugar drink known as atole.  They have several flavors in rotation (strawberry, chocolate, etc), but my favorite was always the original, straight up.

When I was there (circa 2012) everything was 10 pesos, with the exception of the pozole, which was around 30-40.  All their food can be taken to-go, or you can enjoy it at the counter and watch the family work as they fill orders.  Below is a short video (presented by El Gráfico) about Los Pambacitos; you don’t need to speak Spanish to understand that they’re damn tasty.

La Poblanita de Tacubaya: Calle Gobernador Luis G. Vieyra 12, Colonia San Miguel Chapultepec

I am cheating a little on this one…it is not located in Escandón, but it’s so close and so good, I had to add it (you’ll thank me for my discrepancy once you’ve eaten of their riches). La Poblanita de Tacubaya is a traditional restaurant located where the three colonias of Escandón, Tacubaya, and San Miguel Chapultepec meet.

good food in escandon la poblanita de tacubaya
Photo courtesy of Flickr

I first heard of the place from my boss who lived colonias away in Coyoacán.  When he found out I was living in Escandón, he immediately drew me a map to La Poblanita de Tacubaya.  He told me their mole was the best in the city, and their (seasonal) Chile en Nogada had garnered attention and awards throughout the country and beyond, and that if I did not dine there I was fired.

Though the threat of termination was hyperbole,  I soon found everything else he told me was not.  I went that following Sunday and continued to go almost every Sunday after that.
good food in escandon la poblanita de tacubaya

The interior of La Poblanita

Their decor is traditional, bright, and festive and everything comes on gorgeous blue and white dishes with fresh hand-made tortillas (but, of course) .  The restaurant has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, excellent service, and a delightful neighborhood atmosphere; sometimes they have live mariachi music.  The food is rich, plentiful, fresh, and completely fulfills its  reputation.  The pricing is reasonable at 100-200 pesos per dish.
good food in escandon la poblanita de tacubaya
Mole on the left, Chile en Nogada on the right
As mentioned before, Chile en Nogada is a seasonal, celebratory dish, typically served around September 16th–Mexico’s Día de la Independencia.  David, writer of the blog I Want Some A That, sums its history up nicely:
The Chile en Nogada is a lively and spectacular feat of culinary and Mexican excellence. Made for its colours of green (the chile poblano), white (the walnut cream), and red (fresh pomegranate kernels), to symbolise the country’s national colours in pride of El Grito. The Chile en Nogada was originally made by the Madres Contemplatives Agustinas of the convent of Santa Monica in Puebla when the General Agustin visited the city after signing the treaty of independence. The nuns of the Santa Monica convent used their freshest ingredients, the walnuts and pomegranates, which both come into season at the end August, along with the best local chile, the poblano, to concoct a dish worthy of the general and symbolic of the newly obtained independence.
I recommend reading the full blog post, as the writer delves further into the construction of Chile en Nogada (and mole!) and even features a little interview with La Poblanita de Tacubaya’s head chef.
 La Poblanita has a website, which gives their menu, hours, location, and history.

In Conclusion, Go to Escandón!

If the hectic cadence of the Big City starts wearing on you (or even if it doesn’t) hop on the metro (or bike, bus, feet) and spend a tranquil afternoon in Colonia Escandón.  Enjoy the small-town atmosphere, walk the colorful streets, and of course, eat all the food.

Good Food Map

As promised, a map for your geographical eating pleasure.

Guide to Good food colonia escandon mexico city

Have you experienced good food in Colonia Escandón? Let me know in the comments and we can expand our feasting territory.