Anna Petrow Photography

Mexico City

- MEXICO CITY -

I’ve found a new favorite in Mexico City– a stunningly historic and expansive city, with kind people and delicious food– and plenty of mezcal to wash it all down.

A trip I loved so much, I’m finally kicking off my Travel Guides. First stop, CDMX:

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Above all, the best thing to do in Mexico City is just walk around. The varied neighborhoods and architecture make this a city best seen on a foot. I was blown away by the walkability of this city, particularly surrounding many of the restaurants and bars listed here. It made it easy to fit in multiple stops on a night out. A few areas you’ll want to explore:

Polanco | This trendy shopping district puts Beverly Hills to shame with its upscale restaurants and boutiques. Post up on a patio here with a bottle of rosé and watch the stylish shoppers go by.

Roma | The namesake of Netflix’s stunning black and white film, and home to CDMX’s first expression of truly Mexican architecture- colorful homes and bustling bodegas.

Condesa | This hip neighborhood is sprawling with parks, cool boutiques and up-and-coming art galleries.

Juárez | We stayed in this cute neighborhood and loved all the shaded streets, little shops and cute cafes.

WHERE TO CAFFEINATE

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Cafe Nin | Havre 73

Neighborhood: Juárez

I booked an Airbnb on top of this cafe, and that was no mistake. A lovely spot to start your morning with an espresso and their famed rol de guayaba– a danish-like pastry with a light cheese filling and a punchy, tropical guava paste.

 
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Cicatriz Cafe | Calle Dinamarca 44

Neighborhood: Juárez

Part of the third wave coffee movement sweeping the city, Cicatriz pours an excellent latte and serves hefty slices of breakfast breads like everything banana and chia carrot.

 
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Churros El Moro | several locations

The large cup of dipping chocolate counts as the caffeine here, where the churros are fried to crispy perfection upon order. Several locations throughout CDMX, all adorned in pretty blue and white tiles.

WHERE TO EAT

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Quintonil | Ave Isaac Newton 55

Neighborhood: Polanco

Ranked the 12th restaurant in the world, and argued by many locals as better than the famed Pujol, Quintonil is a meal of a lifetime. Remember to book your reservation as soon as you book your flights– it’s worth the advanced planning. You’ll be blown away be the dazzling flavors (the molé was heaven on earth), new life brought to simple dishes (simple ingredients elevated to perfection, like the avocado tartare), and stunning presentation.


La Fonda Fina | Medellín 75

Neighborhood: Condesa

Creatively executed Mexican classics stand out here. The molé here is excellent, and if you’re feeling adventurous, so are the cricket tacos.  


El Tizoncito | several locations

A favorite of locals and celebrity foodies alike, El Tizoncito claims to have created the al pastor taco. Whether or not they did, it’s decidedly the best I’ve ever tasted. We may or may not have ordered a second round after scarfing down our first platter.

 
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Loose Blues | Calle Dinamarca 44

Neighborhood: Juárez

Great spot to post up with a Mexican craft beer and do some people watching from above. The hamachi crudo was wildly spicy and perfectly fresh.

 
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Rosetta | Colima 166

Neighborhood: Roma Norte

You might wonder why I would recommend an Italian restaurant in Mexico City (or if you know me, maybe not– I am more than a little pasta obsessed), but the romantic greenhouse-like interior of this restaurant would be worth visiting alone. Luckily, it’s bolstered by dreamy, delicate pastas (perfect pillows of lemon ricotta ravioli) and beautifully executed Mexican-Italian plates like the roasted carrots with white molé.

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Lardo | Agustín Melgar 6

Neighborhood: Condesa

Lardo looks like it could have jumped off the streets of Greenwich Village and landed in CDMX, but celebrated chef Elena Reygada’s restaurant pays homage to her Mexican heritage with dishes like the green chilaquiles (rumored to be the best in the city) and arroz negra, black rice steeped in coconut milk with mangoes.  

 
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La Pitahaya Vegana | Calle Querétaro 90

Neighborhood: Roma Norte

I wasn’t expecting some of the best tacos on this trip to be vegan, but sure enough– the mushroom al pastor taco with grilled pineapple might just top my list. People flock here for the Instagrammable hot pink tortillas (guilty)– but they seriously deliver.

WHERE TO IMBIBE

 
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CondesaDF | Ave Veracruz 102

Neighborhood: Condesa

A rooftop bar perched atop this Hotel CondesaDF. Wonderful place to watch the sunset and sip a tamarind mezcal margarita.

Hanky Panky | Turín 55

Neighborhood: Juárez

This speakeasy, hidden in a taco shop, slings creative cocktails all night long- just be sure to snag a reservation through their Facebook page first. When it’s time to leave, just exit through the refrigerator.

 
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La Clandestina | Avenida Álvaro Obregón 298

Neighborhood: Condesa

My favorite drink in Mexico City was at this mezcalería– a creamy and tangy avocado and blackberry cocktail. They serve some great late night food, too– chorizo fundido, and chicken tinga tacos. There’s also a great little beer bar just down the block called Trappist– and we actually saw some KC beers there!


Casa Franca | Merída 109

Neighborhood: Roma Norte

A candlelit late night spot for classic cocktails and live jazz.

Loup Bar | Tonalá 23

Neighborhood: Roma Norte

A cozy little wine bar perfect for sipping pet-nats and sharing small plates. The steak tartare is wonderful.

WHERE TO SHOP

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Mercado de Medellín | Campeche 101

Neighborhood: Roma Sur

Browse through the many stalls of fresh produce, cacao and true Mexican chocolate, mountains of dried peppers, molé paste, family-secret hot sauces, fair trade coffee and more. Don’t quote me on this to the TSA, but we were able to bring home several bottles of hot sauce, dried hibiscus flowers (boiled with water and strained, they make a deliciously floral and slightly sweet base for a hibiscus margarita), and dried guajillo peppers for tortilla soup.


El Liquor Store | Orizaba 203

Neighborhood: Roma Norte

Aptly named, this darling Roma shop offers a wonderfully curated selection of mezcal, tequila, and Mexican wines.

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La Cuidadela | S/N Balderas

Neighborhood: Centro Hístorico

This artisan market is a must see. Roam through the winding alleys of this extensive market, where artisans sell everything from hand embroidered cloth to Mexican ceramics and intricately carved copper pots. Most vendors deal in cash only.

IKAL Store | Ave Pdte. Masaryk 340

Neighborhood: Polanco

This upscale shop carries a little bit of everything: home goods, mezcal, jewelry, mens & women’s clothing. It’s a great spot to find a quality, unique piece that hails from the nations best designers and artisans.

WHAT TO SEE & DO

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Castillo de Chapultepec | Bosque de Chapultepec

Enjoy your walk through this massive beautiful park on the way to North America’s only true castle. The art, marble floors, massive chandeliers and stained glass windows are all beautiful– but the glorious views from the rooftop terrace and garden are really something to remember.

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Casa Jacaranda | Roma Norte

Learn to shop and cook like a local with darling duo Beto and Jorge. The chefs will take you to Mercado Medellín to do the shopping and meet the vendors (and of course taste some food), then back to their impeccably decorated home in Roma Norte afterwards to cook, drink mezcal, and enjoy a long and lazy lunch on the terrace under their jacaranda tree. Our favorite part of the trip, hands down. Book ahead of time– their popular class fills up quickly, since they keep group sizes small and intimate.

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Museo Soumaya | Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303

Neighborhood: Polanco

The incredible exterior of this museum hardly compares with the interior. The museum winds upwards and upwards via one long ramp, each floor more incredible than the last: Impressionist works free-hanging so you can see the backs of frames, intricately carved elephant tusks, an army of brass sculpture. Free admission here, and truly not to be missed.

 
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Mama Rumba | Calle Querétaro 230

Neighoborhood: Roma Norte

Learn to dance the mambo Cubano– or do your best, anyway, at trying to follow along with the quick classes (in Spanish) that kick off the night as this club opens. Or just swing by later in the night and jump right in!