We Finally Eat at the World’s Largest Mexican Restaurant

One of the many dining halls in Restaurante Arroyo, Mexico City.

One of the many dining halls in Restaurante Arroyo, Mexico City.

Restaurante Arroyo has been on my “must-see” list since we moved to Mexico City. It claims to be the world’s largest Mexican restaurant and one way to simply explain this is that it has its own damn bullring.

We went yesterday with friends Jeremy and Nancy. The restaurant is located in the far southern portion of the city, in an area called Tlalpan (more on charming Tlalpan manana). We showed up at 2 p.m. — early for lunch around these parts — and by the time we left, the place was full, and that’s saying something for a restaurant that can hold more than 2,000 people.

Of course, there’s musicians everywhere, playing canciones from all over Mexico.

One of the stage performers at Arroyo.

One of the stage performers at Arroyo.

We dined in one of the main salons, but the place sprawls across a small hill with I don’t know how many dining areas.

A cook weighs out some chicharrones, or fried pork skins.

A cook weighs out some chicharrones, or fried pork skins.

Those of you in the U.S. probably would take a look at the menu and go “whaaaa?” It’s not Tex-Mex, and even the menu items that sound familiar (enchiladas, barbacoa) are still prepared quite differently down here.

But the food we ordered was amazing.

Ensalada nopales - cactus salad (nopales, cilantro, peppers, lime and cheese)

Ensalada nopales - cactus salad (nopales, cilantro, peppers, lime, onions, aguacate and cheese)

I loved the barbacoa (cooked in a deep pit in the front of the restaurant, while wrapped in the thick leaves of the maguey plant, a type of agave.)

Barbacoa wrapped in maguey leaves.

Barbacoa wrapped in maguey leaves, served with cactus salad and a tlacoyo.

Cook pulls out some maguey leaves from the barbacoa pit.

A cook pulls out some maguey leaves from the barbacoa pit.

We also ordered carnitas, and tlacoyos (that’s one of my favorite Aztec words, too). All delish.

I’d love to go back and have a big fiesta there. And it’s definitely a place we’d have no problem taking visitors. (Ahem.)

4 thoughts on “We Finally Eat at the World’s Largest Mexican Restaurant

  1. DKN says:

    Oh yes – next time.

    And btw I LOVE cactus salad! We had it when Jessica took your parents and me to Cafe Tacuba and I’ve never tasted anything like it. SO good.

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