Pujol Mexico City, created by Chef Enrique Olvera, is a top-tier restaurant in Mexico that has won many awards and is highly acclaimed worldwide. As the chef who brought Mexican fine-dining and cuisine into the global spotlight, dining at Pujol is a must for any food enthusiast visiting Mexico.
Enrique Olvera, who was born in Mexico City in 1976, completed his studies at the Culinary Institute of America in New York after spending several years in the USA. He later returned to his hometown and founded Pujol, which is named after his high school nickname “Pozole.” Before opening Pujol, he worked at Everest restaurant in Chicago. Currently, Enrique manages 8 restaurants in cities ranging from Mexico City to New York City.
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The chef’s passion for gastronomy was sparked when he cooked for friends and family. He explored more creative and innovative styles of cooking, but ultimately decided to focus on traditional Mexican cuisine.
At Pujol, you can expect ingredients that are pure, natural, and flavors and preparations that are authentically Mexican. To learn more about the chef’s cooking style and passion for Mexican cuisine, make sure to watch the ‘Chef’s Table’ episode before visiting Pujol.
Read Next: – Our detailed guide on the Best Things to do in Mexico City, the Mexico City Airport Guide and the list of the Best Hotels in Mexico City/
In 2017, the restaurant relocated to a new venue in Polanco, a wealthy area of Mexico City. The team dedicated two years to construct the new restaurant, which is now considered one of the most exquisite in the city. The new Pujol is located on a peaceful street behind a wooden fence and is composed of both indoor and outdoor sections. Although the design appears simple and tranquil initially, it creates a cozy and charming ambiance as you dine.
Enrique Olvera pays great attention to detail, evident in the design of his restaurant. The sunken floor behind the bar encourages interaction between guests and bartenders, while the subtle lighting and use of Mexican materials such as concrete, wood, and metal create an authentic Mexican atmosphere. Guests can dine in two indoor dining rooms, sit at the bar for the new Omakase menu, or enjoy the cozy outdoor garden.
The new Pujol restaurant can seat 75 people and has double shifts for both lunch and dinner, accommodating up to 300 people every day. The restaurant aims to provide a fun and casual fine dining experience and creates an atmosphere through music in both the kitchen and dining areas. The newly renovated kitchen is entirely Mexican and features a large central island, where all the food is prepared on a wood grill and finished in the oven.
Enrique Olvera’s kitchen features a large Comal for making fresh tortillas and an outdoor brick oven that contributes to the smoky and woodsy flavors of his dishes. He mainly uses Mexican ingredients and his dishes showcase a distinctive national flair. The menu offers a range of courses, including traditional recipes that date back over 100 years and use numerous ingredients, as well as contemporary dishes that feature simple combinations.
The chef incorporates modern techniques, but still remains true to traditional Mexican cuisine. The tasting menu has approximately 6 dishes and includes classic dishes such as the Mole Madre. The Mole Madre combines a “living” mole (which was 1452 days old during our visit in December 2017) with a freshly made mole. Additionally, the restaurant now offers an Omakase menu with tacos at the forefront, which can be enjoyed at the bar in the center of the restaurant.
The restaurant offers a variety of delicious tacos, including the lamb taco made with barbacoa lamb, salsa borracha, and fresh herbs. They also serve unique dishes like the signature ‘elote’, which is baby corn with Costeno chili mayonnaise, Chicatana ant powder, and coffee. If the weather is nice, you can enjoy the desserts outside. Try the traditional hot Mexican chocolate with crispy churros to top off your meal.
In recent years, Mexican cuisine and restaurants in Mexico have gained worldwide recognition. Chef Enrique Olvera is a key figure in this movement and his restaurant Pujol is a leading example of contemporary Mexican cuisine. In short, Pujol is an essential reservation for food enthusiasts visiting Mexico.
After watching the Chef’s Table episode featuring Enrique Olvera, my husband and I were inspired to visit his renowned restaurant and explore Mexico City. Learning more about the city through shows like Somebody Feed Phil and research further convinced us to go. Our trip was a pleasant surprise as we fell in love with Mexico City and its incredible culinary scene. In this message, I’ll be sharing our experience at Pujol Mexico City.
Dining at some of the world’s best restaurants can come with a high cost, which is why it’s important to ensure that the food appeals to your personal tastes. I suggest trying my experience and seeing if it works for you. However, I strongly suggest giving it a try.
Can I make a reservation at Pujol Mexico City
Our main objective when planning our trip to Mexico City was to make a reservation at a particular restaurant we were excited to dine at. Therefore, we made sure to secure a table before making any other arrangements for our flights or hotels.
You can make a reservation at Pujol through Open Table up to 3 months beforehand. They offer a taco omakase or a tasting menu. While they don’t require a deposit initially, you need to provide a major credit card as a guarantee for your reservation. This gives you ample time to plan your long weekend trip.
What about my Dietary Restrictions at Pujol
When you make your reservation at Pujol, please let them know if you have any allergies or dietary restrictions. They have vegetarian and pescatarian menus available to accommodate different dietary needs. I mostly eat plant-based, but occasionally have seafood, so I chose the pescatarian menu. When we arrived, they confirmed our choice and checked with us about every type of seafood, including insects and snails, to ensure that we were okay with everything.
Pujol’s Tasting Menu
Pujol is a well-known restaurant that offers a tasting menu combining Mexican ingredients with both traditional and contemporary techniques. Chef Enrique Olvera and his team have achieved the #5 ranking in the World’s 50 Best list.
Currently, the Michelin guide does not cover restaurants in Mexico. However, in the future, when they do, I anticipate Pujol will be highly considered for receiving a star. I will provide information and pictures of each course we had at the restaurant. Please note that the menu does change based on the season, so your experience may not be exactly the same, but it will be similar with a few variations in ingredients such as seafood or vegetables.
Snacks (baby corn)
Our “snacks” consisted of the famous baby corn coated with costeño chile mayo and powdered with chicatana ants. Yes, ants! You wouldn’t anticipate this to be so good, but it was one of my favorite dishes. The sweet and smoky flavors blend to create a complex dish that tastes like nothing I’ve tried before.
Some of our favorite Dishes:
- Sea Snail Ceviche: One of my favorite dishes was the sea snail ceviche served in heart of palm juice with parsnip. The dish was accompanied by homemade chips, which were very thin. The snails were sliced thinly and the dish had a tangy blend of sauces that tasted surprisingly good.
- Rockfish, Shellfish Chilpachole: Although Chilpachole is usually a seafood stew, I was pleasantly surprised by the creative version of it that I had. The dish consisted of rockfish served on a plate with kohlrabi guacachile (similar to salsa) and fresh herbs. Just when I thought that was it, they poured shellfish chilpachole over the top. It was a delightful and exciting course.
- Brussels Sprouts Tlayuda: I really enjoyed the unique presentation of Brussels Sprouts Tlayuda with almond mojo and ant roe. The dish consisted of perfectly arranged Brussels sprout leaves on a crispy tostada that was expertly connected by the almond mojo. This was an excellent take on the traditional Oaxacan Tlayuda dish by Olvera.
- Swiss Chard Wrap: For our next course, we enjoyed a swiss chard wrap filled with rice, bulgur, chile-ajo, and chickpea puree. The dish was served with warm blue corn tortillas, allowing us to make tacos with all of the ingredients and enjoy the perfect combination of flavors.
- Mole Madre: We had the chance to try Pujol’s famous dish called “mole madre”. It’s like a sourdough starter that is continuously fed and considered a living thing. During our visit, the mole had been going for 2,964 days, which is around 8 years! They spoon an older mole onto the plate and put a newer one in the center. I suggest trying each one on its own before mixing them together. At first glance, this dish may not seem impressive, but it is actually one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. The flavors are a unique blend of chocolate, nuts, and spices that work together to create a truly extraordinary taste. It pairs very well with fresh tortillas, so you might want to give it a try.
- Lemon Verbena Custard & Mini Conchas: For dessert, we enjoyed a lemon verbena custard accompanied by raspberry sauce. It was a refreshing and fitting conclusion to a tasty meal. The combination of lemon and sweet raspberries was heavenly. Also, we had mini conchas which are crispy on the outside and filled with banana cream on the inside. It was quite a delight!
Pujol Mexico City Beverages
Pujol has a wide range of beverages available on their menu, including cocktails, wine, beer, and specialty mezcal. As a result, they do not provide a beverage pairing service. Non-alcoholic options are also available for those who prefer them.
I suggest beginning your meal with a cocktail or trying mezcal. My recommendation would be to try the paloma which includes fresh grapefruit and mezcal. My husband ordered and enjoyed the mezest tequila I have ever tasted. For the main course, we enjoyed a bottle of delicious white wine, though it was a bit pricier than at another restaurant where we had it the next night.
The cost of the tasting menu, excluding drinks, is $2865 pesos. This translates to roughly $165 per person in USD, plus 16% taxes. Despite being listed among the best restaurants in the world, it is a pricier option.
Iujol to be worth its price and it definitely lived up to its hype. If you appreciate a tastefully crafted menu, I highly recommend visiting.
Consider it as an experience rather than a typical dinner. It is equivalent to paying for a tour or activity while traveling.
Sustainability at Pujol
I really appreciate chef Olvera for his dedication towards Mexican culture and local farmers. At his restaurant group Casamata, he sources the ingredients from small-scale farms that prioritize their environmental impact.
He collaborates with Gaia, a network of small farmers who practice regenerative agriculture in the Valle de Bravo. Their approach avoids the use of harmful agrochemicals which can compromise food quality, soil health, and worker safety. Additionally, some of their ingredients are sourced from the chinampas of Xochimilco, which can be visited for a deeper understanding of their sourcing practices.
The mezcal used at Pujol is unique because it comes from small batch farms in Oaxacan state. I recommend watching the Chef’s Table episode to fully understand the effort that goes into creating a high-end dining experience at Pujol. Taking into account all of these factors, the price is actually quite reasonable.
Is there a dress code at Pujol?
The restaurant’s dress code is “smart casual” and since it is located in the trendy Polanco neighborhood, it’s recommended to dress chic. Women can wear dressy pants, a skirt, or dress with heels and avoid jeans or shorts. Men can wear dress jeans or pants with a button-down shirt, and a sport coat is optional, especially on cooler evenings.
Does Pujol have any Michelin stars?
Michelin’s operations are mainly limited to Europe and they have yet to expand to Mexico or South America. Assuming they eventually do expand to that region, I am confident that Pujol will be awarded a Michelin star. As of now, Pujol is already ranked as the fifth best restaurant in the world on the World’s 50 Best list.
Should you tip at Pujol?
Yes, I recommend a tip of at least 10-15% as this is the norm in Mexico.
How much does dinner at Pujol cost?
The base price for the tasting menu at Pujol is 2565 pesos. This amount doesn’t include drinks. Converted to USD, it’s approximately $135 per person, with an additional 16% taxes.