Traditionally, Mexican canteens were the place men chose to meet, drink, and snack. With each drink, they would continue to snack. After several hours, they would ask for the bill, struggle to pay, and stumble their way home. The snack was on the house. Over time, canteens have maintained their role as social hubs, but they have also been increasing their gastronomic menus.
El Sella is a peculiar canteen, rather a canterna. It began as a tavern in 1950 when Mr. Del Valle arrived from Asturias. Overtime, the space was expanded, as well as the menu, staff, and management to create the proud family business that exists today. The two sons act as managers while an omnipresent photo of the father resides over the bar and the mother frequently visits to reinforce the pleasant feeling of home.
You will leave El Sella happy, with a full belly, and a light mind. This is probably due to the delicious Chamorro: pork calf baked for five hours in lard following the original recipe of the Doña from a small town in Asturias. And, of course, between plates you will drink at least one tequila or one beer. Another suggestion is to try chorizo from Asturias with cider. This intensity of flavor combines very well with a cheese mousse that uses a cabrales or roquefort. The result is fun and bold.
The coat hooks at El Sella are hidden under several layers of white jackets. They belong to the numerous doctors in the area, regular customers who head over after work to start their feast. The proximity of the area’s hospitals and courts means El Sella is also an escape for many jurists and office workers.
The atmosphere really reaches its peak Wednesday through Friday at noon. Desserts last even longer than meals and the beverage menu is more extensive than the food menu. Hours pass like seconds and the wait staff is constantly buzzing. But, if you want to impress a date, Saturday is much calmer. You will find the right level of sophistication within a very casual environment. We recommend you experience El Sella at all times of the week to truly understand everything it has to offer!
Cantina El Sella
Dr. Balmis nº 210, esq. Dr. Villada. Colonia Doctores. México D.F.
Hours: Monday – Saturday 12 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Phone: 55 78 20 01
Text: Livia Arroyo Cella
Photos: Guénola Bally