La Mascota is a traditional cantina known for having some of the best botanas (free tapas with a three-drink minimum) in the city’s historic center. The restaurant is located under a small green awning at the bottom of a slightly dilapidated Colonial building. The interior looks a bit shabby, too, yet in a good way that represents the seven decades of cantina-goers having partied in this 1940s-era space. Small tables make for an intimate setting as mariachi music plays, the drinks flow, and foods such as caracoles (snails), taquitos, carnitas, and fava bean soup arrive.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.