The food, people, art, greenery and sunshine, yep Mexico is the Shit. Beautiful and vibrant yet rooted in culture and tradition, this is the DF.
EAT: Gotta start with eat. There is no bad food in Mexico City. For breakfast or lunch or reading a book or getting a coffee or….you get it…go to Eno. Everything is simple an fresh and the vibes are right. Love their juice, sandwiches (perfectly crusty bread), chips, smoothies and coffee.
You never really know what meal you’re on while in this city, the days just flow and long meals at varying hours are the lovely norm. Amongst the bougie streets of Polanquita is unpretentious Comedor Jacinta. I ate this iceberg, blue cheese salad that sounds basic but was anything but. The rest of the food looked bomb and the staff was sweet as pie. Everyone tells you to have lunch at Contramar and ya know what, they are right. Yeah it may be a tad touristy but it’s fun and festive and delicious. Get the signature whole fish (go halfsies and try both kinds), I also loved the tuna tostadas. All of the seafood is so fresh and it’s a fun weekend scene. The best traditional Mexican style food I ate was at El Bajio. Go there. It’s straightforward and authentic and filled with locals. Looks like there’s a bunch of locations, we went to the one in Polanco.
So much Mexican food, sooo Rosetta. The charming Italian resto in an old townhouse with homemade pasta and a menu full of seasonal unfussy goodness by Elena Reygadas (shout out to female chefs!). The best thing we got was the lemon pasta, also delicious was the burrata, cauliflower salad, endive salad and this crumble with ginger ice cream for dessert that was insane. Ok so if you find yourself in the city looking for live Mexican music while you sip legit drinks and eat tacos then look no further folks. Cantina La No. 20 is playful and fun, always packed, kitchen is open late and the traditional Mexican live music is poppin off. Speaking of drinks…Xaman. It’s a speakeasy in a basement that is quite civilized, with a design backbone, filled with beautiful furniture and fixtures, plants galore, artfully made cocktails served from a bar that has a backdrop of hundred of little glass elixer bottles and the drinks feel more like potions than cocktails. We were there early, were told all of the tables were reserved (even though it was fairly open) but managed to worm our way in. I’m guessing it gets good and weird in that basement late night…gotta go back to find out.
SHOP: I found my happy place at La Ciudadela. There’s a bunch of good markets in and around the city, this is the one I landed in and it’s heaven on earth. Came home with more stuff (textiles, clothes, art, accessories) than I thought possible, even bought a large rug for my apartment, that is fabulous and cost $40. Yep, $40. Already feigning to go back.
Also shout out to the fabulous ladies of Caralarga whose craft jewelry is made in Mexico and sold in a number of stores throughout the city.
DO: Per the usual, my favorite “do” is a hike. But this is so much more than a hike. 45 minutes from the city center is the beautiful Desierto de los Leones. The forest is dense, so green, so peaceful, it’s hard to believe you are still within city limits. We hiked for a few hours, there’s tons of trails and it’s fairly easy to find your way. The best part is after a long hike, at the base, there an awesome restaurant that feels like a Mexican treehouse. We sat by the fire, sipped hot coco, then ate a hefty Mexican breakfast- this is living people! There’s also an old convent to check out and little market stalls.
The best part of Mexico City is the art and architecture everywhere you look. By walking the city, you can hit as many museums and sites as you can handle. There’s also amazing street art so look up! We hit the Diego Rivera Mural Museum to see “Dream of a Sunday afternoon in the Alameda”. There’s other stuff in there but it exists for that mural. The mural is worth a museum, it’s fascinating. Next we hit the Biblioteca Vasconcelos, quite a specimen of modern architecture. Also on our walk from the Diego Museum to the library we passed a street called Calle Violeta. It’s stuck in between run down streets and Violeta itself is pretty run down but I could not get over this street- the whole block is violet. Like stone facades framed in violet trim or others with full on violet paint jobs. I tried to go deep in finding out more about Violeta and really there’s not much written about it and very few photos which surprised me. Save Violeta! Side note, there’s also a “HEROES” sign with an arrow on the corner of Violeta, I’m telling you, this street is something special!! We also checked out Chapultepec Castle which was packed and hard to enjoy because there were so many people, beautiful though and nice views. Also the chocolate covered churros in the park below the castle were top notch.
KNOW: High altitude is a factor in CDMX. The first couple of days I could feel it. If you are a runner, bring your sneakers, it’s a great city to run. Uber is really good in the city, comes in a second and really cheap- best way to get around aside from ya two feets.