Mexico City Guide
We came, we saw, we certainly did not conquer.
Mexico City is a big HUGE vast city full of good food, amazing humans, and divine art. It’s more than twice the size of New York City! I was truly inspired by the sheer amount of things to do (and eat). To say we merely scratched the service is an understatement. This city has so much to offer! I will surely be back soon, and with a short 4 hour flight (from SFO) it’s just a hop skip and half jump away.
While there is far more to do than the below, here is a quick drop in the bucket list for your time exploring this vibrant city.
Nima Local House - upper/mid range pricing, great location, elegant hideaway.
Four Seasons Mexico City - obviously on the higher end, but we were able to find a good deal here when both the above hotels were booked out. Also, their almond croissants at breakfast are not to be missed.
Casa Luis Barragan and Casa Gilardi - Luis Barragan is a famous mexican architect that is truly one of my favorites I’ve experienced. He has a way of working with light, color and environment to pull together incredibly serene and beautifully esthetic works of art. Pro tip: if Casa Barragan is full on bookings (which happened to us) you can likely get into the smaller single piece of work he did at Casa Gilardi. It’s an actual home that people live in but they open it up to the public twice a day for people to be graced with it’s presence. Highly recommend!
Frida Khalo Museum - Unfortunately we weren’t able to make it here, but have heard it’s cool (and always booked - so book early!). You can also show up first thing in the morning when they open up (10:30am) and wait on the list to get in. Apparently the little town surrounding the museum is a sight to see in it’s own right so probably worth the trip if you’ve got the time regardless.
Lucha Libre Wresting Match - We went straight from the airplane to a match and let me just say, whattttt an introduction to Mexico City. We saw it at Arena Mexico. We grabbed a beer (well two… they wouldn’t let you buy only one) and snagged a seat in the stadium to watch the theatrical event. Such a fun night!
Chapultepec Park - This park is huge. It’s over 1600 acres. You could easily spend a full day inside it, going to the Castillo, the art museum, the zoo, or riding paddle boats on the lake. As you walk the street there are little vendors set up everywhere selling crap (truly) but it’s cool to see. I appreciated that it was set up for locals, not so much tourists. After a bit of a stroll we made our way into the castle museum at the top of the hill. While the crowds swarmed the scene, it was still a nice view of the city. Plus who doesn’t enjoy being inside a castle?!
Roam around Roma (pun totally intended) and Condesa neighborhoods - These are the “trendiest” of the city at the moment. The cute colorful streets are littered with sweet little cafes and coffee shops. If your feet are in pain from hauling around the city, grab a seat and take in the superb people watching.
Polanco Neighborhood - We didn’t really get to explore this area but it is supposed to be a bit like the “Rodeo Drive of Mexico City”. There’s lots of upscale boutiques and restaurants in this part of the city. Definitely worth going with a full wallet from what I hear.
Museuems + Gallaries - There are literally hundreds all over the city. Do a good ol’ google search to find what tickles your fancy and get after it… and expect lines.
Mexican Markets - There are tons everywhere! Check out some that are happening while you’re there. Mercado la Merced is said to be one of the best. Here’s a list of some that I pinned prior to our departure.
Lardo - If you want to be in the “scene”, look no further than Lardo. It feels more like Europe than Mexico. We sat up at the bar sitting on aperol spritz and sharing small plate mediteranian food. Everything was to die for, especially the house bread they bring out (it has cumin and olive oil on top!).
Primos - This is a great little corner spot. Sit outside and take in the sights. Order the red snapper fish tacos and the tortilla soup. You can thank me later.
Contramar - Super trendy seafood restaurant. Here you’ll find white table clothes, a bustling atmosphere and every table looking effortlessly chic. It’s always packed so best to get a reservation (even for lunch). Instead of a bread basket you’re greeted with seared ahi tuna. Need I say more?
Maximo Bistro - Unfortunately due to the holiday, this was closed while we were in Mexico City but we heard no less than 15 times that we MUST go here. You should probably hit it if you can… and if they have openings.
EnHoraBuena - No one told us about this spot… it was a sheer stumble and let me just say my healthy little tastebuds were jumping with joy. Bulletproof Coffee? Check. Kale Bowls? Check. I even had a shot of fresh ginger INSIDE an espresso. I think it’s my new favorite move. This is definitely more of a low key breakfast/lunch spot but also a good spot to post up and get some work on the computer done if you must!
Pujol - Another one we weren’t able to make it to this trip but tops many lists. It seems like everyone I know that has been in Mexico City lately has hit this place with raving tastebuds! Be prepared to drop a pretty penny.
El Moro - Classic chocolate and churros spot. There are a few around the city and while the “chain” aspect of that may turn you off, please don’t let it. They are a staple in Mexico City!
A couple things to keep in mind when heading to Mexico City. It’s HIGH. The altitude is over 7,000 feet so make sure that you bring a layer for the night. Since it’s so high up it cools off a bit. It also means that that first margarita to you put to your lips might just hit you a biiiiiiiit harder than you imagined. Drink lots of water! Altitude sickness is no joke.
Also, Uber is a thing. Use it. It’s super cheap, very easy and always accessible. Go get lost and when you can’t find your way back (if you’re like me and can’t follow directions) just whip out the trusty phone and holler for a ride.