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El Parnita (Best tacos in Mexico)

Updated: Jul 11, 2019

My introduction to El Partnita came from Gastronautadf a well known CDMX food blogger. El Parnita is where all the hipsters, successful artsy types, celebrities, food blogger following foodies, influencers, older shaggy haired folks with funky eyewear rim don’t mind to mingle on the sidewalks of the cool and popular Roma neighbourhood in Mexico City while they wait for a table to open up.

It’s one of the few places I’ve seen at a restaurant where it’s actually enjoyable to wait in line and hang out on the sidewalk lined with benches.

I came here for their Parnita taco which is their pulled pork, purple onion and avocado taco served on a blue corn tortilla. Definitely try this popular taco but if you love seafood, then go for their Carmelita taco which is their breaded shrimp taco. Also their Huerfano taco which is also shrimp taco with a slather of refried beans. When I really love a place, I go there 3 times. Coming here 3 times for tacos was a no-brainer. On my 3rd visit they had soft-shell tacos (jaiba suave) which is a seasonal item - when you’re presented with something tantalizing like soft-shell crab at a place that serves some of the best tacos in Mexico City - you say yes.

One of the other reasons why I love coming here were the friendly staff. They seem to recognize faces and greet people like they’re coming over to your cool aunts for Sunday dinner. The other reason was it didn’t matter what time of day it was, I was asked if I wanted Mezcal. I’m a mezcal lover and answering that question with no, anytime of the day, is next to impossible. Normalizing mezcal consumption for me makes you a winner.

Another little know story about El Parnita, is their attention to the humble and often underrated corn tortilla.

Paulino Martinez the owner of El Parnita noticed a taco stand in front of his restaurant run by Jesus Tornés, a cook and farm producer. They became friends and Paulino wanted to travel with Jesus to learn more about where the corn comes from in a world where GMO is interfering with preserving heirloom corn in Mexico. This friendship would eventually turn into a business partnership and opening el Expendio de Maiz next door.

This is an experience if you’re in Mexico City you must do. While you’re waiting in line at el Parnita walk over to their open concept community kitchen next door and book their next available seating of another day.

While you’re doing that, notice how many corn tortilla orders their filling for local chefs that are walking in for their orders.

Any establishment that is that obsessive about the humble tortilla (made with fermented heirloom corn) that’s purpose is really just too be a tasty plate and napkin to vessel a delicious taco filling and homemade salsas - then you can imaging the care going into everything else they’re serving.

El Parnita - Av. Yucatan 84, Roma Nte. CDMX

Check out my episode hunting down the best fish tacos in Mexico City featuring El parnita. It's a funny account of how different taquerias are like different types of guys you date. We all can relate.

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