Chef Gabriela Cámara has an impressive resume. She’s both an acclaimed chef and restaurateur and has long been serving the best seafood in Mexico City.
In 2019, Gabriela Cámara released her cookbook, My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictions.
She’s the star of a Netflix documentary, A Tale of Two Kitchens. A film that shows her restaurants as more than culinary endeavors, but as centers of community and opportunity for her staff as well.
Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2020. And along with serving as an advisor to the president of Mexico, Cámara has numerous awards and accolades to her name – including being a two-time James Beard Award semifinalist.
Most recently, Cámara has made her return to Netflix as one of the Iron Chefs competing in Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend.
Contramar: A Gabriela Cámara Restaurant
She has run successful restaurants in both Mexico and the United States. However, Contramar, Gabriela Cámara’s restaurant in Mexico City, is what put her on the map back in 1995.
Contramar brings the sea to the city. It’s a place where diners can escape city life and feel those vacation vibes.
Focusing on only the freshest ingredients, the menu at Contramar changes based on availability. And with seafood flown in daily, it’s some of the best seafood in Mexico City.
The ambiance of Contramar is fun. The always-full restaurant has a lively atmosphere that buzzes throughout the room.
It’s a hotspot for locals, celebrities, and tourists alike, so planning ahead and making a reservation is definitely recommended.
The bar features an ample selection of quality mezcal, tequila, wine, and beers, making it an excellent choice for a leisurely lunch
Best Seafood in Mexico City
At Contramar, seafood is the star. This Gabriela Cámara restaurant has a reputation for serving the best seafood in Mexico City. While it’s hard to go wrong, there are two dishes not to miss:
First, the tostadas de atún – or tuna tostadas. Thin slices of raw tuna come placed on a crispy fried tortilla. Complemented with a bit of spicy mayo, fried onion, and avocado, this dish is the perfect way to start your meal.
Top the tostadas off with a squeeze of lime, and you’ll instantly get the hype. They’re fresh and addictive. A dish that is now regularly copied by other Mexico City establishments, yet the original has no competition.
Next, the Pescado a la talla Contramar. For this dish, a whole fish is butterflied and then grilled. You order the fish by weight, so the staff will pick one that’s the right size for your party. Order it Contramar style, and it comes topped with two different sauces. On one side, you’ll have a red chili adobo, and on the other, a fresh green parsley rub.
With two flavors in one, this picture-perfect dish is one of Chef Cámara’s best. Additionally, the fish is served with freshly made tortillas, refried beans, and salsa so you can make your own delicious fish tacos.
To end your meal, a tray of housemade cakes and tarts will arrive tableside to tempt you. One look at the stunning tray, and you’ll see dessert is a must.
Opting for the strawberry meringue is always recommended. Made of meringue, whipped cream, and fresh strawberries, it’s light but incredibly decadent.
And if one dessert isn’t enough (which it shouldn’t be), order the fig tart. Slightly reminiscent of cheesecake, the tart has a crumbly cookie crust and a silky custard filling. It comes elegantly topped with slices of fresh fig and is a favorite among regulars.
Chef Gabriela Cámara lets the quality of her ingredients shine. She’s mastered the art of simplicity to showcase the flavors of Mexico. Her cuisine isn’t overly fancy, but it’s timeless.
For over 20 years, people have counted on Contramar for good food and a good time. It’s one of the city’s staples and a Gabriela Cámara restaurant not to miss when in Mexico City.
Things to Know:
While reservations aren’t necessarily required, they’re highly recommended. Plan ahead and book a table here.
Mexico City tends to be a bit on the dressier side when dining out. Business casual attire is recommended.
Contramar is perfect for lunch or early dinner. Their hours are:
Monday – Friday 12:00pm – 8:00pm
Saturday – Sunday 11:00am – 8:00pm
Contramar is on the pricier end compared with many other restaurants in the city. As an estimate, I’d expect to pay around $100 USD for two people.