The Place: Pastelería Ideal: A Mexican Cake and Confectionary Legend
The Experience: Over 100 years ago a small cake and bakery shop opened in the Centro Histórico (Downtown) of Mexico City and has since grown into one of the most revered and frequented baking institutions in the entire country. Ideal is best known for their old school Mexican cakes with exorbitant amounts of frosting and tower like construction. However if you head to the main location in the Centro you can purchase just about any kind of traditional Mexican sweet bread. Some of the classics are Ojo de Guey (pound cake with crispy bread around it), Pan Danés (a special take on the classic Danish), Pan de Muerto (the classic Day of the Dead Bread) amongst others. The experience of touring the inside of both of Ideal’s 24-hour 365 day a year kitchens (one above the bakery in the Centro which cooks the breads (which are often hawked around the city on little bicycles) and another at a remote location almost completely dedicated to making their famous cakes.
It was comforting to see that Ideal uses almost all natural ingredients, natural liquors and natural jams and natural flavorings when making most all of their sweet delights. Also it was quite the experience to see that the kitchen upstairs is just as crowded as the bakery is with customers downstairs, it is like going into a maze filled with sweet delights. On top of all of this we the most impressive thing is that almost everything is handmade and Ideal has teams of workers that have worked for 40 or 50 years on one specialized bread or cake decoration and refuses to cut corners with automation in the belief that it would compromise quality.
Location: ORIGINAL: Avenida 16 de Septiembre 18, between Eje Central and Gante, Colonia Centro, DF.
Second location: República de Uruguay 74, between Isábel La Católica and 5 de Febrero, Colonia Centro, DF.
Photos & Video:
The so called "Museo de los pasteles" or Museum of Cakes: Mockups for Customers
The Famous Ideal Boxes being Prepped for the Streets of D.F.
A Multitude of Sweet Mexican Pastries on Sale
Cake Production Old School Style
Handmade Mexican Bread
Ojo de Guey (pound cake with crispy bread around it), Pan Danés (a special take on the classic Danish), Pan de Muerto (the classic Day of the Dead Bread) amongst others.
Tips: During the winter season and Mexican Independence Day Ideal can get super crowded so take your precautions.
Price Point: $
$: Fast and Cheap $$: Casual $$$: Formal $$$$: The Top of the Top
Internet Site: pasteleriaideal.com.mx/
Contact: None just show up and have explore this labyrinth of sweets!
Coming Up: Valle de Guadalupe Wine Country