Mexico City! Wow. Definitely sits in my top 5 cities I’ve ever visited. Alive with culture, design, fashion, food, architecture. It’s all so inspiring here. The city has a distinct European feel, and the tree-lined streets of the Roma neighborhood reminded me a lot of Paris. CDMX is sprawling and quite dynamic. The street food culture is strong, as is the very long list of highly rated restaurants with award-winning chefs. Arguably one of the world’s best cities for food (my personal fave). Everything from traditional Mexican to modern Italian and Mediterranean. Beyond all of that, the thing that sticks with me most after visiting this amazing place is the warm and generous people that call this city home. All over the city, I felt welcomed and was in awe of the generosity of spirit that I experienced everywhere we went.
Because the city is so big and there is so much to do, it’s almost impossible to see/do/eat/drink everything you want to. I visited for a week and still have a very long list of places I want to check out when I visit again. The best way to get around the city is using Uber. Though it can often take quite a while to get from one place to another because of traffic, the rides are cheap and comfortable. I suggest building your daily itineraries around a specific neighborhood. That way you can limit the amount of rides you have to take.
Mexico City is a delight. Luckily for me, it’s relatively easy to get to (a 5-hour plane ride from PDX). And I’m already planning my next trip back. I’ll certainly be updating this guide when I add more places to my list. If you’ve been to CDMX before and have any recommendations of places I didn’t include, I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment on this post.
Chaya B&B – Such a sanctuary amongst the bustle of central Mexico City. Loved everything about staying here, especially the serene bathtub in the master suite and the delicious breakfast every morning.
Nima Local House Hotel – Gorgeous boutique hotel in a prime Roma location.
Condesa DF – Modern hotel in the trendy Condesa neighborhood.
Niddo – Everything about this place! The food (obviously), the interior, Karen + Eduardo (the mother + son dream team that own it). One of my absolute faves from my most recent trip. Be sure to order a mix of sweet and savory items from the menu. V excited to try their new spot, tziki, when I’m back in a couple weeks.
Masala y Maíz – Cannot be missed. Masala y Maiz is an exploration of mestizaje, the cultural blending that resulted from shared histories of trade, migration and colonization, in South Asia, East Africa and Mexico. The food is so special, as is their natural wine list. Chefs Norma Listman and Saqib Keval, the husband + wife team behind the restaurant, put so much love and intention into what they do. Major inspo.
Lalo! – Great brunch menu. Also the housemade fresh pasta for lunch is to die for!
Le Tachinomi Desu – Standing room only Japanese-inspired cuisine. Very small, but very delicious menu. Also great natural wine selection. Head to speakeasy-style Tokyo Music Bar afterwards for a cocktail and some tunes.
El Cardenal – Delicious, traditional Mexican food. In the lobby of the Hilton Hotel.
Lardo – One of my favorite meals in CDMX. Mediterranean and Italian inspired. Lots of small plates, great for sharing. Quality ingredients and simple preparations.
El Parnita – Casual cantina vibes. Lots of delicious small plates. Great spot for a beer, a mezcal and a snack.
Pizza Félix – One of my go-to spots. Great for drinks, pizza, salads, cocktails and natural wine. Love the ambience here.
Meroma – One of CDMX’s best restaurants. Absolutely gorgeous space. We loved everything we ordered.
Galanga – If you’re in the mood for Thai food, this is the spot. The interior is insanely gorgeous. The food is fresh and flavorful.
Limosneros – If you’re in the Centro Historico, this is the spot. The food is inventive and so, so delicious. Definitely on the spendier side, but we loved our meal.
Contramar – Not to be missed! Amazing seafood. Don’t skip dessert!
Tacos Orinoco – Northern-style tacos from Monterrey. Usually a line up of people. Casual. Very delicious.
El Moro – One word: CHURROS! Order with the chocolate especial. Original location in Centro Histórico is open 24 hours, seven days a week.
Eno – Enrique Olvera’s (Pujol) approachable, more affordable restaurant. Awesome, modern take on Mexican food using mostly local ingredients.
Por Siempre Vegana – Vegan taco stand in Roma neighborhood.
Loup Bar – Lovely selection of natural wines and delicious food to go with.
Toledo Rooftop – One of the most trendy places in CDMX. Reservations recommended. A really beautiful space and the views of the city are incredible.
La Botica (several locations) – Casual, straightforward mezcal bar with multiple locations throughout the city.
Blanco Colima – Trendy place for cocktails and snacks.
Café Ocampo – Super cute cocktail bar. Love the interior. And they make a nice mezcal Negroni.
Ardiente Cantina Latina – Hipster cantina. Food is great, too.
Departamento – Trendy bar with rooftop patio. Live music and djs.
Leonor – Great spot to go dancing! Gets quite crowded on the dance floor, but makes for a fun night!
THINGS TO DO:
Museo Jumex – Newest contemporary art museum with extensive permeant collection.
Museo Soumaya – This building is incredible! Must see. The art collection inside is also very impressive.
Museo Nacional de Antropología – Impressive and quite massive space. Holds the world’s largest collection of ancient Mexican artifacts. A great place to learn about Mexico’s history.
La Casa Azul de Frida Kahlo – Frida’s former home turned museum. Many of her famous works housed here, and many rooms of her house are exactly as she left them.
Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Khalo – Diego and Frida’s house from 1934 to 1940 in the gorgeous, somewhat secluded neighborhood of San Angel. Designed by their friend, muralist and architect Juan O’Gorman, the design and layout of the property is mesmerizing. A look inside Diego’s studio is the icing on the cake.
Xochimilco – Rentable by the hour, gondola-like boat rides down CDMX’s canals. This is such a fun experience. Pack a picnic, or just hail down another boat selling snacks and drinks.
Spa at W Mexico City – If you need a spa day, this is the spot. Had an incredible massage. There’s also a dry sauna and soaking pool that overlooks Polanco.
Museo del Templo Mayor – Ancient ruins of the main temple of the Mexica people (also known as the Aztecs).
Casa Barragán – Former residence of architect Luis Barragán. Advanced reservations required. Make sure you book far enough in advance to guarantee you’ll get the date you want.
Mercado Coyoacan – Bustling two-story market selling food items and crafts near the Museo Frida Kahlo.
Mercado Roma – Modern food market with stalls selling everything from tacos to churros to wine and cheese.
Lago DF – Clothes, furniture, textiles, and accessories all designed by Mexican and Latin American designers.
XINÚ PERFUMES – Beautiful perfumeria with locally made fragrances. All of their scents are made from and inspired by plants and flowers of Latin America. Xinú means ‘nose’ in Otomi. Otomi is a beautiful tonal language still present in various regions of Mexico. The bottles can be repurposed into vases once you’ve used all the perfume.
Morada Morada – One of my favorite shops in CDMX. A great selection of vintage. Also new accessories like giant scrunchies for $10.
Utilitario Mexicano – This is kind of the Mexican equivalent of Muji. Minimal housewares, beautiful, random things you never knew you needed, like funnels in all sizes, mini (and I mean actual mini) cast iron skillets and more.
Hi-BYE – A really interesting and fun concept store featuring clothing and accessories from local designers.
IKAL – Great collection of clothing, objects, ceramics, home goods. Lots of Mexican brands and designers.
Yakampot – Beautiful, modern women’s clothing designed by Francisco Cancino, made in Mexico.
STUDIO IMA – Beautiful concept and design space. By appointment only.
Goodbye Folk – Large selection of vintage and reconstructed vintage goods.
Vintage Hoe – Small vintage shop with great selection.