Gerardo Vázquez Lugo
Sopa seca de natas, a savoury mille feuille with tomato, cream and chicken
Av. Cuitláhuac 3102 Clavería, Azcapotzalco, Mexico City
+52 55 5396 7090
Why go: A much-loved institution, Nicos has been satisfying Mexicans' stomachs for more than 60 years. Architect-turned-chef Gerardo Vázquez Lugo creates dishes that take diners on an odyssey through the country's rich culinary heritage. Having just celebrated the restaurant’s 60th anniversary, Vázquez Lugo and his mother Maria Elena Lugo Zermeño this year received The Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 for their joint contribution to Mexican cuisine.
What's the chef's ethos? A keen supporter of the Slow Food movement, Vázquez Lugo is a passionate advocate of local sourcing and traditional styles of cooking. His menu chronicles the country's diverse regional flavours and cooking techniques.
From the menu: Try the locally sourced organic pork marinated with chilli, brown sugar and chocolate, accompanied by tamalito corn and corn sprouts. The signature enchiladas, with green sauce, poblano peppers and grilled vegetables, are also recommended.
What's the vibe? Friendly and unpretentious. Vázquez Lugo’s mother, María Elena Lugo Zermeño, who set up the restaurant in 1957, still flits among the white-clothed tables chatting to customers as her son works in the kitchen.
Bonus point: Nicos is renowned for its excellent selection of mezcals.
Images: Beto Lanz and Carlos Soto