Hotel restaurants

The Coolest Restaurants and Bars in Mexico, According to Brandon Berkson, Founder of Hotels Above Par

Mexico is a booming destination that has only grown in popularity now that most international travel has been restricted. And when it comes to travel, where you stay matters and can really make or break a trip. No one knows this better than Brandon Berkson, the founder of Hotels Above Par, an online guide featuring articles under two minutes and curated by experts for the discerning traveler, with a focus on boutique hotels. and high-end, forward-thinking independents.

This website is unique for many reasons, but one of the best things is that it provides the traveler with easy-to-read 300-word stories written by travel journalists, along with beautiful images. And a visually stunning and informative Instagram page, @HotelsAbovePar, which has attracted over 70,000 followers since its launch in April 2020.

We chatted with Berkson about some of his top picks for the coolest restaurants and bars.

From Spanish Colonial-style interiors and sprawling courtyards to innovative fine dining, wood-fired grilling and insect-based dishes, here are eight of Mexico’s must-visit hotel restaurants and bars, as told by Brandon Berkson , founder of Hotels Above Par.

Hotel: Casa Hoyos | Bar: BEKEB

San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico

“The Spanish colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico is my happy place – I could spend the rest of my life there. I am in love with the architecture, the courtyard cafes, the art galleries and, of course, from the boutique hotel scene. So if you like to find the perfect holiday balance between authenticity and fashion, this city and the hotel I’m about to tell you about is for you. When here, I almost always stay at Casa Hoyos is super cute, with 16 rooms and an overall aesthetic that blends colonial styles with the vibrant contemporary vibrancy of Mexican design.

“The hotel has a fantastic rooftop bar, BEKEB. It’s run by master mixologist Fabiola Padilla, who returned to Mexico after helping run Enrique Olvera’s New York restaurant and bar, Cosme. I was recently at BEKEB and met Fabiola, who introduced me to her treasure trove of cocktail creations. We talked for hours, sipping cocktails while lounging on trendy earth-toned furniture. Among others, my favorite drinks were the Carajillo Allende — a mix of espresso, cocoa liquor and banana liquor — as well as the Lavender Sour — served in a bird-shaped glass, it consists of gin, Cocchi Americano , Crème de Violette, Aquafaba, and lemon.

Hotel: Hotel Sin Number | Restaurant: Restaurant Sin Number

Location: Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico

“Oaxaca de Juárez is authentic, authentic and culturally rich – it is largely untouched by commercial dynamos, making it the ideal destination for those looking to immerse themselves in the province of Mexico (expect buildings colorful and traditional craft shops). When here, I recommend you stay at the Sin Nombre hotel. The setting is a 17th century colonial style building with 22 rooms. It has a super charming, high-ceilinged courtyard atrium where guests can relax, snack, and sip wine after a day of sightseeing.”

“They have an incredible gastronomic establishment, the Sin Nombre restaurant. Acclaimed Mexican chef Israel Loyola cooks up a menu here that features vegan interpretations of authentic Oaxacan dishes. From the impeccable presentation of the plate to each savory bite, the black mole with roasted cauliflower is amazing. I highly recommend ordering it on your next vacation to Oaxaca de Juarez.”

Hotel: brick hotel | Restaurant: Cerrajeria

Colonia Roma, Mexico City, Mexico

“The trendiest neighborhood in Mexico City is Colonia Roma! It is best explored through a guided tour with an expert guide, Rodrigo Salas (@Roll.in.CDMX). He knows everything about the area, from all the chic boutiques, to authentic food markets, to historic Beaux-Art mansions. The area is also home to Mexico City’s most stylish new haunt, the Brick Hotel. It’s totally my style: 17 rooms, olive tones, suites with large windows, charming terraces and a speakeasy on the ground floor.

“Hotel Cerrajería’s restaurant artfully serves modern Mexican cuisine with an international influence from France and the Basque Country. Decor flaunts floor-to-ceiling windows and an open floor plan with plops of lush foliage throughout. Chef Armando Acosta’s dishes are so tasty you’ll want to make a dinner reservation every night of your stay. I’m a huge fan of Kampachi’s Tiradito with macha sauce – it’s a perfectly prepared raw fish plate that wins in both presentation and flavor.

Hotel: Downtown Mexico | Restaurant: Azul Historico

Centro Historico, Mexico City, Mexico

“I’m a big fan of all of Grupo Habita, one of the trendiest hotel groups in Mexico. Wherever I am in Mexico, if there is a Grupo Habita property in that city, I always try to visit it. On my last trip to our southern neighbor, I was particularly impressed with their hotel in downtown Mexico City. It is in the historic area of ​​the city and a short walk from the famous Zócalo. Its Spanish colonial style interior and exterior are magnificent.

“But, the best part? The courtyard restaurant, Azul Histórico, which has a charming patio covered in towering trees. The place is perfect for a romantic dinner. My favorite dish may not appeal to everyone, but I’m quite an adventurous eater: Guacamole con Chapulines, or Guacamole with grasshoppers. Don’t say “no” right away; they are amazing. For dessert, finish your meal with their delicious tres leches cake. Take a slice and count it as a cheat meal – you’ll thank me later.

Hotel: Sforza House | Restaurant: Casona Sforza Restaurant

Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

“Located on the beach in the increasingly trendy beach town of Puerto Escondido, Casona Sforza is, in my opinion, a boutique hotel and a design lover’s dream. Its 11 vaulted suites, neutral tones, tropical woods, and natural textures collectively contribute to its impressive aesthetic that stands out from other hotels in the area.

“Their on-site restaurant and bar is atmospheric, with an alluring patio that overlooks the sea. Food and drink are all farm-to-table and sourced from local producers. Here you must try the Mezcal Jamaica, which includes Espadìn Mezcal and hibiscus flower infusions in its recipe. There’s nothing like sipping this cocktail while admiring the sunset.

Hotel: Bruma Casa 8 | Restaurant: Wildlife

Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California Norte, Mexico

“Valle de Guadalupe is the perfect weekend getaway for those living in Southern California, less than two hours by car from the San Diego/Tijuana border. Since it’s an easy ride, it’s a great option for those who want to take an international trip but don’t yet feel comfortable flying. When here, I enjoy traveling with regional expert Erick Rosales (@BajaTourGuide). It offers a wide range of tours including border pick-up and drop-off.”

“With my last trip we went to Bruma Casa 8 which is home to one of my all time favorite restaurants, Fauna. They also have an on-site winery called Bruma Vinicola. The atmosphere is alluring here, especially the outdoor patio and its views of vineyards and hills beyond. Run by celebrity chef David Hussong, the farm-to-table restaurant sources ingredients from its on-site herb garden. The menu changes constantly, however, for the most part their special braised lamb is always available. This dish is irresistible; I talk about it all the time, to this day.

Hotel: Las Ventanas al Paraiso | Restaurant: Grilled from the sea

Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

“This beachfront hotel is absolutely stunning, both the accommodations and the restaurants on site. For any Cabo lover, this place has to be on your bucket list, especially if you’re a fan of unique stays that don’t feel like a mega resort. My favorite is the Sea Grill, which is right on the sand and decorated with ocean-toned furniture. Golden hour is the best time of day here, especially with the color of the sky, the rhythmic sounds of crashing waves in the background, the warm air and one of the restaurant’s margaritas in hand.”

“In terms of gastronomy, they are known to cook via wood-fired grills and a clay oven. I have so many favorite dishes, but if I had to pick one, I’d probably go with the Vegan Coconut Ceviche. When in Mexico and on the beach, I always go for ceviche! Overall, the food is very clean here, with items even more nutritious now than ever — a result of the hotel’s new partnership with plant-based lifestyle brand, Bonberi.

Hotel: Paradero Todos Santos | Restaurant: Restaurant Paradero Todos Santos

Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

“The Paradero Todos Santos is one of the coolest new hotels in Mexico. It takes place in the chic bohemian town of Todos Santos, an hour north of Cabo. The property is carefully eco-friendly, avant-garde and unique; in fact, it has a plan of 80% landscape, 20% man-made structure. Chef Eduardo Rios – who was once at Mexico City’s famous restaurant, Pujol (another amazing place to eat in the capital) – heads the open kitchen at Paradero Todos Santos. It serves Mexican coastal cuisine.

“The dishes are fresh, with the majority of ingredients sourced from local and on-site gardens, surrounding family farms, as well as the Pacific Ocean and Sea of ​​Cortez. They make their corn tortillas from A to Z, in a clay oven. Believe me when I tell you that these corn tortillas are phenomenal and you have to order a plate with them, at least once there.