Three days in Mexico City is a whirlwind, considering the size and span of the actual city. To say I barely scratched the surface is an understatement, considering that a 1/3 of the time I was violently sick. I will share the things that I liked and disliked and also all the amazing crowd sourced recommendations that I didn't get to but shouldn't go to waste.
I went with two girlfriends and we knew we would be staying in the Condesa/Roma neighborhood. Anyone I knew who had recently gone and enjoyed their time insisted this was the area to be in and they were right. The feel was the right one quieter leafy lush streets brimming with cool cafes, restaurants, and shops. To be fair, this is an American heavy area - all we heard was English next to us in restaurants and walking down the street. Both expats and tourists in for the weekend like us. It had a hip, young, friendly, and relaxed airiness to the neighborhoods which we enjoyed very much.
We stayed at Casa Decu which I found perfect for our needs. The suite we were assigned was well decorated, had two comfortable beds, a common area, and two bathrooms. The rooms were clean and modern. The rooftop patio was a lovely way to start the day with continental breakfast included and I thought the pricing was very reasonable.
Before that, arrival from the airport - the hotel arranged a car for us but I regret that. It was $45 which is fine, but Ubers and taxis were easy enough to hail from there and the Uber ride back was like $12.
Our first evening in we were looking for a casual late dinner. I saw that I had bookmarked Botanico in my maps and it was close enough to the hotel for us to walk over. It was beyond a delightful surprise. The street was quiet on a Thursday night but once we walked through the doors of the art deco villa and 100 year old cacti garden converted to a restaurant it was buzzing with people and energy. The definition of a fun night. The interior rooms of the house were converted to the kitchen, cocktail bars, and private dining rooms but we were able to walk around and absorb the modern design updates to the historic house. The garden was a tropical haven with a koi pond and brutalist concrete outdoor bar. I loved the food too. It was the perfect way to start our trip and I highly recommend it.
The next morning was ripe for exploring by foot. The hotel was at the base of a horseshoe shaped boulevard surrounding Parque Mexico called Avenida Amsterdam that is dotted with relaxed cafes and a few small shops. Its a residential part of the city that connects to the more commercial parts of the Roma neighborhood and a very pleasant area to walk back and forth through for us.
- Ojo de Maiz/Ojo de Agua was a great natural eatery for us
- Tout Chocolat for coffee and confectionaries
- Quentin Cafe for very good coffee
- Mendel is a Jewish Deli with a rad looking modern interior that was about to open when we there. I would have loved to check it out in person but I fully appreciated the aesthetic peeking through the window.
Moving into Roma where the majority of the hip vintage, restaurants, and clothes/home shopping is located. Very Brooklyn feeling with a lot of Old World Colonial architecture meets jungle. The food scene in Mexico City is HUGE with so many imaginative forward thinking fusion infused dishes and spaces to try. There simply wasn't enough time to get to them all but even the $$$ restaurants were very affordable. We had beautiful meals and walked away spending about $40 pp.
We had reservations at Huset and Rosetta in this part of town. Both were gorgeous and elegant. We would have loved to also try these restaurants that came highly recommended by multiple sources:
- Blanco Colima
- Masala y Maiz (Indian Mexican fusion that was raved about)
- Kura (Japanese)
- Hugo (wine)
- Lardo (Med)
Try to get reservations in advance for the nicer or more popular restaurants or your chances are kind of slim.
- Rosetta has a more accessible European style Panaderia down the street that was bustling, if you want a taste without the full service rigamaroll.
Roma has its share of street food vendors and taquerias too if you want a more authentic local flavor. We were tempted. They did seem very popular and delicious. But with only so many meals, we never got the chance.
The next day we took a 25 minute car ride via Uber to the posh San Angel neighborhood. Its a upscale historic neighborhood known as the Beverly Hills of CDMX. On Saturdays there is an outdoor artisan craft market on the San Plaza San Jacinto. Very nice, sanitized, more of silver haired touristy excursion but very lovely goods for sale both outside at the temporary booths and indoors at the permanent halls. It got very crowded the later we stayed so go before lunch time.
We walked through the streets of this nicer neighborhood to the Diego Riveria Studio. It was great. That's when I started to feel ill. My friends wanted to visit the Coyoacan Market for lunch. By the time we got to that area, I started vomitting and it was game over for me. This oldest area of town is "muy autentico". Its grittier and dirtier for my taste but also interesting and colorful. It did not agree with me. I know plenty of people love it because the market has a lot to offer in terms of food and right next to it there is a big plaza and church. Freida Kahlo's house museum is a few blocks away. Its an experience. Because I was so sick and the sights, smells, and sounds were making it worse I needed to jet. I can't say I enjoyed it but you might.
Then I was out for the count but the final day I was able to do a walk through the Condessa neighborhood to the large Chapultepec Park and onto the Polanco neighborhood. We found this luxurious neighborhood to be too scrubbed and polished for us. A lot of the major high end retailers we have in the US have stores here and it feels like being in Palm Beach or Palm Desert. It just wasn't interesting so we left and spent the reminder of our time meandering through our home base of Condessa.