Fonda Margarita


Fonda Margarita

By Eduardo | @cazadordelomejor

If you’re a very early morning person who will eat lots during breakfast – Fonda Margarita is for you. If you’re not – you still need to go. It’s a true Mexico City breakfast experience. Lots of plate-licking involved.

Fondas are small, simple and unpretentious restaurants serving real, delicious inexpensive Mexican food. You feel as if your grandma was cooking some of her best dishes for you. Well, only if your grandma was Mexican, and had the best sazón.

My grandpa was the first person to introduce me to this 50-year-old fonda. I’m not super keen on waking up at 5:00 in the morning, yet will wake up without a problem just thinking that I’ll soon be wrapping a fresh tortilla around all the different guisados. They open at 5:30AM and that’s when everything is the freshest. This early in the morning you’ll be bound to encounter people who sneak in a quick breakfast before work and crazy people like myself who simply have a strong craving. Closing time depends on how fast all the food they have prepared for the day is eaten, which is usually around 11:00AM.

some of the dishes at Fonda Margarita

Long communal tables, an open kitchen, large casseroles, stacks of crispy churros, fast moving waiters and a live guitarist make up the feel of this place. Alberto Castillo, one of the three siblings who inherited the fonda from his hard-working mother will always be at the front of the kitchen, welcoming people as they walk in and making sure everything’s running smoothly.

fonda margarita

Like most fondas, there’s new and different menu items every day of the week. There’s also the traditional dishes they’ve been preparing for years. Frijoles negros con huevo (black beans scrambled with eggs), chicharrón en salsa verde (crispy pork skins in tangy green salsa), bistec en pasilla (thin steak in pasilla chile salsa) are just a few of the classics. The communal seating allows you to take a peek at what everyone else is eating. The best way to make the most of the experience is to go with friends, order a variety and wrap everything you eat with a warm tortilla. Finish off your breakfast with a hot, sugary churro dipped in a steaming café de olla.

Churros at Fonda Margarita

Thank you, abue Miki, for introducing me to one of my favorite breakfasts in Mexico City about 10 years ago, and to one of my close friends, Eduardo García, for the recent repeated visits.

Fonda Margarita, Adolfo Prieto 1364, Tlacoquemecatl del Valle, Ciudad de México

16 comments on “Fonda Margarita

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  1. Visiting your website, we are doing our research, making lists of places to visit for our up-coming trip, in early December, to Ciudad de Mexico – and we want to acknowledge that YOU are the one who inspires us to go! We love your show! We hope to pick up some kitchen tools that we’ve seen you use. Muchas gracias!

  2. Pati,
    So enjoyed watching you from Tucson on PBS last year, but do not see your show listed anymore? Your recipes are mouth-watering and you make them so easy to reproduce. My husband and I always looked forward to your travels and experiences throughout Mexico and then to see how you would pair your recipes. Time in the kitchen for me is like an artist being in his/her studio. I am a “foodie” with an affinity for all types of ethnic foods. However, Mexican food and chilies (esp. the ones high of the Scoville Scale) are among the top 3. Do you have a tasty recipe for Chilequillas (spelling). We used to get some great ones in Puerto Penasco, Mex. at the Playa Bonita Hotel’s weekend buffet. It was the sauce the tortillas swam in that really made them sing. And, yes, my first full name is Fonda. I am not Hispanic (my stomach is). My mom just liked the name. Tell PBS we want you back in Tucson!!!


  4. Pati, You are the best ambassador for Mexico, ever! While we hear daily in the news about crime, drugs, murders, etc. in Mexico, you are THE one who shows gringos (and others) the sunny side of Mexico, the happy cooks who have everything from tiny stands all the way to fine dining restaurants, the gorgeous scenery, the colors that defy description. If only all of Mexico was like the one you proudly show on your TV program! Of course, the same can be said about the U.S.A. For many years, Hollywood showed Beverly Hills, Malibu, upper class New York, etc. It’s good to see a country in its entirety, warts and all. My husband and I have been to Mexico at least twenty times, all over the map. I am a retired bi-lingual teacher from California, origin Russian-Jewish, one of the hundreds of ethnicities in California. I use many of your recipes, and tweak those with meat, since we don’t eat meat in our home. Love your recipe for churros, best (in my opinion) with Valor hot chocolate from Spain. Also love your sunny personality and the friendly and enthusiastic way you present your cooking.
    I look forward to many more of your TV shows.

    1. Thank you for tuning in and using so many of my recipes, Helene. It is such an honor to share my love of Mexico’s people, food, and culture with everyone.