Where To Sleep, Shop, Drink and Eat in Mexico City

Say, "Hola" to your new go-to getaway.
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Tacos and street food, Tequila and Mezcal, Frida and Diego. While these pairings are somewhat synonymous with Mexico City, and already foster a major incentive to visit, there is so much more to uncover in the city whose alchemy of young artists, new restaurants and up-and-coming neighborhoods with flourishing creative energy is just heating up.

At the forefront of the art and design community, for which Mexico City has always been known, is Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Pritzker Prize architect, Luis Barragán. All of whom have existing homes and studios sprinkled throughout the city and are open to the public. Among the greats are the larger, modern institutions, like Museo Jumex and Kurimanzutto Gallery, housing the works of contemporary artists. Another draw is Mexico’s artisan community that can be explored at the various trade markets around the city, like El Bazaar Sabado and La Ciudadela.

But what’s making Mexico City so cool right now is its bustling, younger neighborhoods like Roma, Condesa, and Polanco with shops, restaurants, nightlife and creative communities so dynamic they’ll have you canceling your return flight.

To Stay

There’s no cooler place to stay in Mexico City than at CondesaDF, one of the many properties of Grupo Habita, a Mexico-based hotel group with various properties through Mexico and the US. The hotel’s central location tucked along a historic tree-lined street in Mexico City’s cool Condesa neighborhood makes it walking distance from all of the best spots in Condesa and Roma. You’re met with a decanter of tequila and two shot glasses awaiting you at check-in just so you don’t forget where you are. 

Walking further into the hotel, you’ll notice the playful turquoise walls and subtle cowhide decor in the hotel’s ground-level bar and restaurant. The accommodations are comfortable and simple, with patio rooms perfect for solo travelers and terrace suites for those that seek waking up to views of Condesa. Upstairs at the popular terrace bar and restaurant, you can enjoy drinks in a chic local scene surrounded by Condesa’s tranquil greenery.

To See

Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera's digs:

You can’t leave Mexico City without a tour around La Casa Azul, or the Frida Kahlo Museum. La Casa Azul was where Kahlo was born, grew up and then lived with her husband Diego Rivera. A tour the property gives you an emotional, inside look into her tragic life. It’s also worth visiting Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, a home they shared for twenty years.  

Luis Barragán architecture:

Luis Barragán is the heart and soul of Mexico City's architecture. You can see his fusion of modernism and Mexican design elements by visiting many of the properties he designed all over the city. Instagram awaits your visits to Luis Barragan House and StudioCasa Gilardi and Cuadra San Cristobal Los Clubes Luis Barragán.

Museo Jumex:

While Museo Jumex houses works from Eugenio López Alonso’s collection of major contemporary artists, the museum invests in and supports the local art scene, too.

To Eat

Contramar: Contramar is not as much a restaurant as it is an institution. It’s where the cool crowd of locals and expats congregate for long, late lunches of mouth-watering tostadas and ceviches.

Pujol You can’t visit Mexico City without dining at the highly raved about, Pujol. Known for its daily-changing gastronomical prix fixe menus, you might know what you’re eating, but odds are, you’ll love the surprise.

Quintonil Another favorite is Quintonil. Pujol Alum, Chef Jorge Vallejo and his wife, Alejandra Flores opened their more laidback Quintonil to offer a modern take on traditional Mexican comfort food.

Carmela y Sal While the newly opened, Carmela y Sal is popular among the chic local crowd, you’ll likely be the only tourist in this sceney spot. When you waiter insists on you ordering the Tostadas de mentiras and the Tierra de luna, trust him.

Rosetta Stepping into this chicly lit brownstone in what was once the Beaux Arts mansion, the first thing you’ll notice about Rosetta is the chinoiserie mural that fills the room. You’ll come to Rosetta if you need a break from tacos and mole, and are up for some Italian-arguably the best in Mexico City.

El Parnita Locals favorite lunch spot, Parnita is the casual on-the-go lunch you can’t miss. While it’s not open for dinner, it’s sister-restaurant, Páramo is, and it’s just upstairs.

To Drink

In Polanco:

In Mexico City’s more polished neighborhood, Polanco, there’s plenty of cocktail bars from which to choose. If you’re looking for a cool local hangout, head to Licorería Limantourwhere you’re bound to find groups of young locals enjoying rounds of their impressive collection of craft cocktails. Another hidden gem popular among locals is Scotch, with minimal decor and a distinctive selection of cocktails. Finally, Jules Basement, with its prohibition era vibe is the one-stop-shop for live music and good drinks. 

In Roma Norte:

Roma Norte is one of Mexico City’s younger and more lively neighborhoods day and night (along with Condesa nearby). Café Paraíso is a tropical gem that combines Mexican and Cuban vibes. Chill to start but if you’re up for a night of dancing, you’ll find that here later into the night. The bar upstairs of Maison Artemisia is another must-hit spot with a Belle Epoque-themed living room and wide assortment of absinthe cocktails. For an unpretentious scene and drinks that you actually recognize, Can Can is another local favorite in the area.  

To Shop

Roma Quince: Tucked in a Carlota & Emilia’s café garden atop the first steps of a decadent brownstone sits Roma Quince, a concept store selling the creations from a variety of local Mexican designers.

Void: Upon entering Void, Mexico City’s best vintage shop, you’re greeted with a cheeky sign that says, “come in we’re closed.” Inside, you’ll find themed rooms with treasures from Hermes, Chanel, and Missoni.

Onora: Locally sourced handicrafts and homeware for airy, modern homes is what you’ll find in Polanco’s beloved shop, Onora.

Córdoba 25: On Córdoba street, you’ll find some of the best collection of shops, restaurants, and bars in the city. The best of the boutiques is Córdoba 25 (or Apartment 25), a multi-floor concept store carefully curated with the coolest art, fashion and design.

Bazaar Sabado and La Ciudadela: The two best artisan markets are Bazaar Sabado (open Saturdays only) and La Ciudadela (open every day). Don’t leave CDMX without picking up some art for local artists or jute bags and jewelry from Oaxaca.

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