It feels like Mexico City has been having a moment for well, a while now. But, we’d argue it’s only getting hotter.
The obvious draw here is the food, but it’s more than delectable pulquerías (though, we are obsessed with those, too). It’s the palpable energy coursing through the city’s markets, galleries and vibrant cocktail scene that keeps us coming back for more. Plus, with weather that’s enjoyable all year round, there’s no bad time to go.
Join us as we take you through our favorite spots the city has to offer, from museums to yes, inevitably, a very extensive list of cafés, restaurants, bars and clubs.
Four Seasons Hotel, Mexico City is best described as an urban oasis. Guests will experience a respite from city life with a stroll through the idyllic garden courtyard, surrounded by lush jungle greenery and complete with strings of lights. Order a drink from Fifty Mils, take a seat along the colonnade and mingle with friends both old and new. When you’re ready to finally step out, the hotel is in close proximity to tons of incredible restaurants and within a few minutes to the best museums by taxi. It’s a great fit for the sophisticated traveler who wants a relaxing retreat in the middle of bustling DF.
Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Mexico City is a former residence which has been crafted into a series of private, earth-toned, intimate alcoves, reflecting its Spanish namesake, “Las Alcobas.” Two- and three-bedroom suites and penthouses feature wraparound terraces overlooking the city for a total of 35 spacious guest rooms, each custom designed with beautiful furnishings and the finest bedroom linens. Guests are pampered with personalized service and state-of-the-art amenities in a warm setting right in the heart of Mexico City’s bustling business, commercial and entertainment district.
This city is the art and architecture lovers’ paradise, with no shortage of museums to check out as you explore. While it’s tough to narrow it down, here are a few of our favorites.
- Museo Nacional de Antropología – A visit here is your chance to see unique artifacts from different cultures of the Americas in a beautifully laid out space with seamless indoor and outdoor spaces. We advise planning to spend at least two hours here due to its sheer size alone.
- Castillo de Chapultepec – Offering some of the best views of the city, this castle is a great place to “escape” the city and spend an afternoon. A visible reminder of Mexico’s bygone aristocracy, it stands atop Chapultepec Hill, once acting as the home of Emperor Maximilian and Empress Carlota when arrived in 1864 and refurbished it as their residence. The east end of the castle preserves their palace, where you can view the sumptuously furnished salons.
- Casa Gilardi – Available to be viewed by appointment only, your guide will be your key to viewing this unique structure, built for the Gilardi family in 1976 by the Mexican architect Luis Barragan. Located in the San Miguel Chapultepec neighborhood, it’s considered one of the main works of the famed architect. Not only is the design stunning, but be sure to take in the colors, textures and overall arrangement of spaces.
- Soumaya Museum – Recognized by Vogue as one of the most iconic museum buildings in the world, the exterior of this architectural gem alone warrants a visit; upon arrival, you’ll marvel that it’s covered by more than 16,000 hexagonal plates, with no visible openings besides the entrance door. Inside, view 140 of Rodin’s works as well as the masterful paintings of Diego Rivera, Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso.
- Frida Kahlo Museum – First thing’s first, you need to pre-book tickets to visit, which of course, your travel advisor can facilitate. We advise going around lunchtime so that you can maximize being nearby so many fabulous restaurants (detailed below). Meander through the Blue House, the creative universe where Frida was born and where she died. During your visit, you’ll learn more about the intense correlations between Frida, her work, and her house.
- Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo– A separate entity from the museum, this stop showcases home Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo lived in on and off for twenty years. The two artists notoriously needed a lot of space from one another, so here you’ll see the separate buildings built for each of them united by a drawbridge. It’s a quick stop that’s notable both for the architecture and symbolism of the famous works created here.
We love exploring the shops in the Polanco neighborhood where exclusive boutiques offer everything from Huichol pieces to beautiful fabrics from Tenango can be found. Aside from this trendy spot, there are also several markets with collections of artisan goods ranging that make for perfect souvenirs or gifts.
- Tienda del MAP – One of the flagship stores of The Popular Art Museum where crafts from communities throughout the country are sold. Tienda MAP offers folk art from from different regions of Mexico. You’ll find a typical hand-woven shawl from Estado de México, huichol bracelets made in San Luis Potosí, or even maque from Michoacán.
- La Ciudadela – If you want gifts, this is your spot, offering an amazing selection of artisanal goods right in the Centro Histórico neighborhood. Whether you’re looking for the talavera-style white-glazed, hand-painted plates and bowls from the state of Puebla or blown glass, woven rugs, or hand-crafted toys, you’ll be able to find a vendor selling it. Plus, bargaining is acceptable here, so don’t be afraid to negotiate.
- El Bazaar Sábado – This cute market is located in an area that used to be a little village. Now, every Saturday they have art there and unique items ranging from paper flowers, embroidered blouses, carved Pepita glass and more to buy from 10am to 5pm. Based on its location, this is great to combine with brunch at San Angel Inn (see below) and a visit to Diego and Frida’s houses.
Basically, you’re going to Mexico City to eat. So, excuse us while we break down the spots on a meal by meal basis (and we totally won’t judge if you double up on a couple lunches or dinners…actually, we encourage it).
- Lalo! – This graffiti-covered casual spot comes from Chef Enrique “Lalo” García, who is doing amazing things both at here and at sister restaurant, Maximo Bistrot (we’ll get there later). They have one communal table, inviting a cozy vibe to all that sit down. The almond croissant here is life-changing. No reservations needed, just go!
- San Angel Inn – A classic, lively Mexican restaurant across the street from the home (now museum) of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, this is a great place for brunch while experiencing authentic local culture. If you’re dying for a margarita in Mexico City – this is your spot. Plus, it’s open on Sundays, which many places are not. There is also a bazaar here on Sundays, which is another reason to go this day!
- Contramar – First thing’s first, this place should be at the top of your list. The team is doing seafood right here – everything is fresh and simple – but there truly is no wrong order! We love sitting outside and ordering the fish of the day “Contramar style” which comes whole-roasted with two different rubs.
- Dulce Patria – Connected to Las Alcobas Hotel, this spot serves up traditional Mexican fare by a well-known chef Martha Ortiz Chapa. The food is delicious and made even better by the service that’s both fun and super-attentive. Order sipping mezcal and hibiscus flowers as an appetizer (not on the menu). Pro tip: beware of the habanero sauce!
- Bravo Lonchería – A more casual spot for lunch, this hip space serves delicious tortas of all kinds. Don’t miss their housemade aqua frescas (add a shot of mezcal) or many options of queso to start. The seasonal veggies is a a favorite and worth a trip alone. Pro tip: you can also take tortas – which are massive and totally shareable – to go if you’re in a rush!
- Restaurante Nicos – Inspired by traditional Mexican cuisine, this place is focusing on combining the best ingredients with traditional dishes – very well done, and best to make a reservation!
Coffee, Gelato + Churros, oh my!
- Mercado Roma – With a concept similar to Eataly, this is a cool to check out whether for dessert or a drink on the cool rooftop garden. It’s a great spot for walking around and people watching!
- Barrio Alameda – Located the Bella Artes neighborhood in El Centro, this is a cool building that has been occupied by restaurants, cafes and bars – a great place to walk off your lunch or grab a drink before dinner.
- Churreria El Moro – Open 24 hours, this is your spot for churros and hot chocolate. Don’t question it, just go.
- Gelatoscopio – Craving, ice cream? We’re big fans of this shop in the the Polanco neighborhood (where you’ll likely end up shopping).
- Cicatriz – Stop by for afternoon coffee or drinks, depending on your mood.
Restaurants here are definitely trending towards high-quality food in casual environments.
- Rokai Izakaya – Serving the best sushi in Mexico City, this is a really cool space that’s small size alone warrants a reservation. In addition to incredible sushi, they have other Japanese dishes including a delicious a la carte ramen menu.
- Máximo Bistrot – With the same chef as Lalo!, you can’t go wrong with dinner here. We were told by “foodie” locals this would be their one dinner if they had to pick. Make a reservation in advance, they book up!
- Merotoro – Owned by Gabriela Cámara and Pablo Bueno who also oversee Contramar, this Baja-style food comes with a reputation of being beloved by locals. Think California meets Coastal Mexico described by the NYT as “…satisfied the high-altitude, landlocked city’s taste for straight-from-the-boat, beachside-style seafood.”
- Rosetta – If you’re looking for a switch-up from Mexican, this spot offers perfectly executed Italian food in the most gorgeous and unique space. The ambience is perfection and just another reason not to skip dessert. Be sure to make a reservation.
- Pujol – With a reputation as the Mexico City restaurant, of course Pujol makes the list. But, just make sure you’re keen on splurging on this tasting menu before building your trip around it.
- Quintonil – Voted as one of the World’s Top 50 Restaurants, this is the one to try if you want something a bit fancier. Charismatic young chef Jorge Vallejo is a protégée of Pujol’s Enrique Olvera and has developed a menu of modern Mexican cuisine dishes that appeal to both the eye and the palate.
- La Clandestina – This mezcalería is located on a main street (Alvaro Obregon) alongside tons of other bars and restaurants, and offers a super cool, cozy vibe. Set aside time here to try lots of unique mezcals curated by the knowledgeable team on staff.
- Gin Gin – Okay, trust us when we say you cannot miss this beloved favorite, with one location Condesa and one in Polanco. Not only will you have delectable drinks but the clientele is equally cool.
- Casa Franca – Housed in a gorgeous setting upstairs, this is your spot for live music changes that nightly; with everything from acoustic guitarists to opera to classic Mexican ballads, it’s a solid scene that overlooks Álvaro Obregón.
- Aurora – Also on Obregónon, come on Wednesdays and Saturdays for their live music. It’s beautifully decorated with lots of greenery and yummy bites if you’re still looking to snack on something.
Want to take it up a notch from Mexico City’s trendy bar scene? The antros, or clubs, are calling.
- El Departamento – A great place to start the night, this spot looks like a house party on the inside. As a bonus, they always awesome DJs on deck.
- Janis Palmas – also more electronic (Condesa)
- Leonor – After a remodel, this spot is a solid bet with a DJ playing classics mixed with electronic.
- Café Paraíso – Known for playing latin music, this place is more than its Miami-esque reputation leads you to believe. One minute you’re listening to salsa, the next, it’s electronic.
- M.N. Roy – If you can get in, this is your late night hotspot, always sure to draw a glamourous crowd.
Want to combine CDMX with nearby Puebla? Check out our Mexico City + Puebla guide.
Four Seasons Mexico City, Av. Paseo de la Reforma 500, Cuauhtémoc
Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Mexico City, Av. Pdte. Masaryk 390, Polanco, Polanco III Secc
Museo Nacional de Antropología, Av. Paseo de la Reforma s/n, Polanco, Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, 11560
Castillo de Chapultepec, Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, 11100
Casa Gilardi, Calle Gral. Antonio León 82, San Miguel Chapultepec I Secc
Soumaya Museum, Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Presa Falcon esquina, Granada, 11529
Frida Kahlo Museum, Londres 247, Del Carmen, 04100 Ciudad de México
Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo, Av. Altavista esq. Diego Rivera, San Angel
Silver Deer, Av. Javier Barros Sierra 540, Santa Fe, Zedec Sta Fé, 01219 | +52 55 5292 9587
Lago DF, Av. Pdte. Masaryk 310, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, 11560 | +52 55 7261 9343
Onora Casa, Lope de Vega 330, Polanco, Polanco V Secc, 11560 | +52 55 5203 0938
XINÚ PERFUMES, Alejandro Dumas 161, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, 11560 | +52 55 7589 5572
Tiendo del MAP, Aristóteles 8, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, 11550 | +52 55 7090 3589
La Ciudadela, Avenida Balderas y Plaza de la Ciudadela, Centro Histórico, Mexico City 06040 | +52 55 5510 1828
El Bazaar Sábado, San Jacinto 11, San Ángel | +52.55.5616.0082
Lalo!, Zacatecas 173, Roma Nte., 06700 | +52 55 5564 3388
Panadería Rosetta, Colima 179, Roma Nte., 06700 | +52 55 5207 2976
San Angel Inn, Diego Rivera 50, Alvaro Obregon, Distrito Federal 01060 | +52 55 5616 1402
Contramar, Calle de Durango 200, Roma Nte., 06700 | +52 55 5514 9217
Dulce Patria, Anatole France 100, Polanco, Polanco III Secc, 11560 | +52 55 3300 3999
Bravo Lonchería, Calle Río Sena 87, Cuauhtémoc | +52 55 5207 6276
Restaurante Nicos, Av. Cuitláhuac 3102, Claveria, 02080 Ciudad de México| +52 55 5396 7090
Mercado Roma, Calle Querétaro 225, Roma Nte., 06700 | +52 55 5564 1396
Barrio Alameda, Calle Dr Mora 9, Colonia Centro, Centro, 06000 | +52 55 5512 3810
Churreria El Moro, Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas 42, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, 06000 | +52 55 5512 0896
Gelatoscopi0, Av. Moliere 222, Polanco, Polanco II Secc dentro de la Terraza de El Palacio de Hierro Polanco, Polanco, 11550
Cicatriz, Calle Dinamarca 44, Cuauhtémoc, 06600 | +52 55 4041 7931
Boicot Cafe, Jalapa 99, Roma Nte., 06170 | +52 55 6845 6037
Rokai Izakaya, Río Ebro 87, Cuauhtémoc, 06500 | +52 55 7159 5808
Máximo Bistrot, Tonalá 133, Roma Nte., 06700 | +52 55 5264 4291
Merotoro, Amsterdam 204, Hipódromo, 06100 | +52 55 5564 7799
Rosetta, Colima 166, Roma Nte., 06700 | +52 55 5533 7804
Pujol, Tennyson 133, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, 11550 | +52 55 5545 4111
Quintonil, Av. Isaac Newton 55, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, 11560 | +52 55 5280 1660
La Clandestina, Av. Álvaro Obregón 298, Colonia Condesa, 06140 Ciudad de México
Gin Gin, Av Oaxaca 87, Roma Nte., 06700
Casa Franca, Mérida 109, Roma Nte., 06700
Aurora, Alvaro Obregon 126, Colonial Roma
El Departamento, Av. Álvaro Obregón, 146 Col. Roma Norte, 06700
Janis Palmas, Av. Paseo de las Palmas 555, Lomas de Chapultepec, 11000
Leonor, Nuevo León 163, Condesa 06140
Café Paraíso, Plaza Villa de Madrid 17, Roma Nte., 06700
M.N. Roy, Mérida 186, Roma Nte., 06700