We're not in any position to tell you that taco stands aren't romantic or are somehow inappropriate for Valentine's Day. That would be heartless at the very least, but mostly it would be very un-Mexican. But why not step it up this year with your someone special? Find your own corner in one of these restaurants, which are all ideal for celebrating el día del amor y amistad.

Pujol

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Consistently rated one of Mexico City’s finest restaurants, Pujol is all about making your own experience — starting with the fact that you don't feel pressured to dress up or down. The cuisine here is purely Mexican, referencing the culinary traditions of all corners of the Republic and using only the finest local ingredients. Even if you decide to show up in jeans, expect five-star service from the knowledgeable waitstaff. 



Where: Calle Francisco Petrarca 254, Miguel Hidalgo, Colonia Polanco

When: Mon.-Sat., 1:30-10 p.m.

More info: +52 55 5545 4111; Facebook

 

Séptimo Ostería

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There may be more famous restaurants in San Ángel, but we love the laid-back vibe here, the lighting and, of course, the food. Specializing in house-made Italian goodies and wood-fired pizzas, Séptimo Ostería also has an extensive wine list featuring some mighty fine Mexican reds from the Valle de Guadalupe vineyard region. You may find yourself there on a night with a jazz trio (which will be graciously kept at an appropriate decibel level) — a lovely experience combined with the open-air dining room and unpretentious waitstaff.
 
Where: Altavista 154, Álvaro Obregón, Colonia San Ángel
When: Mon.-Weds., 1 p.m.-midnight; Thurs. & Fri., 1 p.m.-1:30 a.m.; Sat., 8 a.m.-1:30 a.m.; Sun., 8 a.m.-midnight
More info: +52 55 5550 0126; Facebook

 

El Traspatio

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If your idea of romantic is a backyard barbecue with low lights and a communal vibe, this outdoor eatery may be your dream date spot. It's hidden among the plethora of sidewalk cafes in the neighborhood and allows you to feel ensconced in greenery in the midst of one of the city’s coolest barrios. The food — think burgers and taters — isn’t fancy, but it’s delicious and quite reasonably priced. It’s a destination for beer lovers, in case your ideal date this Valentine’s Day is tall, blonde and a bit cold.
 
Where: Colima 150, Delegación Cuauhtémoc, Colonia Roma
When: Tues. & Weds., 12:30 p.m.-midnight; Thurs.-Sat., 12:30 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sun., 12:30-10 p.m.
More info: +52 55 6380 7213; Facebook

 

El Mayor

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Overlooking the ruins of the ancient city of Tenochtitlán, this rooftop gem couldn’t be any more glittery. With a heavy dose of verdant plants and bright colors, El Mayor is enchantingly Mexican right down to the arrachera and nopal cactus salad. We won’t spoil the drinks menu for you, but we can’t conjure many scenes more romantic than gazing out at the remnants of pre-Columbian pyramids and drinking an artisanal tequila with your boo thang.
 
Where: Calle República de Argentina 17, Colonia Centro
When: Daily, 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
More info: +52 55 5704 7580; Facebook

 

Azul Condesa

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The dining experience at the various Azul restaurants in the city is every bit as anthropological as it is appetizing. Touching on Mexican cuisines both ancient and modern is one thing this restaurant is known for, as exhibited by its rotating menu of regional specialties. The Condesa location is fancy enough to make you feel like you’re going for a real night out, but relaxed enough to facilitate the whisperings of sweet nothings in your cielo's ears.
 
Where: Calle Nuevo León 68, Delegación Cuauhtémoc, Colonia Hipódromo Condesa
When: Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-noon & 1-11:30 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-noon & 1-6 p.m.
More info: +52 55 5286 6380; Facebook

 

Ave Maria

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Most people find making out on a bench to the tune of mariachi players in Coyoacán’s fabled historic center romantic enough. Want to go for the gold? Make a reservation at this stunning and classic restaurant. The space is charming and the food is excellent. Enjoy some of the most elegant chiles en nogada you’ve ever had while you watch an endless stream of life flow around the emblematic coyote fountain. 
 
Where: Jardín Centenario 10, Colonia Villa Coyoacán
When: Mon.-Thurs., 8:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.; Fri., 8:30 a.m.-midnight; Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m.-midnight
More info: +52 55 5554 4170; Facebook

 

La Opera

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One of the most antique and beloved cantinas in all of Mexico City — and that’s really saying something — La Opera is full of old-school charm, well-executed cocktails and traditional savory goods. Operating in the same space since 1895, with a clientele that has included a long list of poets, writers and former presidents, La Opera has seen and survived its fair share of history. The romanticism of days gone past reverberates through its red-and-gold-papered walls.
 
Where: 5 de Mayo 10, Delegación Cuauhtémoc, Centro Histórico
When: Mon.-Sat., 1 p.m.-midnight; Sun., 1-6 p.m.
More info: +52 55 5512 8959; Facebook

 

Bósforo 

When you’ve had more delicious food than your stomach can reasonably handle, wash it all down with some choice mezcals at this extraordinarily hip (some have dared to called it impossibly hip) bar in the city’s historic center. The mezcal list is extensive and exotic, with lengthy descriptions to help you make your choice. The space is narrow and intimate, just the right way to cap off a night on the town.
 
Where: Luis Moya 31, Delegación Cuauhtémoc, Colonia Centro Histórico
More info: +52 55 5512 1991

By Megan Frye

Megan Frye is a professional vagabond who swears she's danced with the dead at the pyramids. She can usually be found eating her way around Mexico City. Tweet her about the food that makes you squeal at @fryechild, or see what she’s up to on Instagram at @gypsy_fire