We took a last-minute trip to Mexico City last week. Mexico’s capital has all of the energy and funk of NYC or London, but at a significantly lower price point. A cheap, 3 hour flight from LA takes you totally out of your element and straight into a city loaded with art, food and nightlife.
The Distrito Federal (DF) is not scary. There are police stationed all over the place at night and we never felt threatened or out of place. You can easily navigate the city on the underground Metro, which is a great way to get to know the local vibe. Uber is everywhere in Mexico City now, and rides across the city were never more than $3 US. A ride from the airport was about $7.
We stayed at an adorable Airbnb rental that was perfect except that it lacked heat. We happened to be there for a rare cold snap and it was really, really cold in the apartment. Otherwise, Airbnb is a great option.
Cirene – Friendly and adorable seafood restaurant and bar where I learned my new favorite words : Burrito de Pulpo.
Nicos – Nicos is apparently where the city’s business-people settle in for a long lunch. We saw dudes knocking off multiple beers and eating five courses of Mexican classic plates. Their fresh tortillas are incredibly delicious and there is a formidable level of formality and precision that goes into the tableside guacamole-making ritual. It gets busy, so come early.
El Tizoncito – The best al pastor tacos I’ve ever had, and dirt cheap. You also get a tower of salsas, snacks and chips right when you sit down that is all damn good.
Mercado Roma – Mexico city’s gourmet food hall. You can get artisanal paletas, churros, tortas, cheeses and more. It’s total chaos, but definitely worth a stop.
Maximo Bistrot – Lovely and sophisticated cuisine and one of the hottest tables in the DF. You’ll need a reservation well in advance. Maximo is not cheap, but is surely worth a splurge dinner.
Delirio – Delirio hard to explain, but it’s basically a shop that has lots of lovely foodstuffs, but they also have a set dinner menu and a gourmet torta window. This is for when you need a break from heavy tacos and want something a little lighter but still casual.
Street Food – There are tacos and tortas and tlacoyos everywhere you look on the street. EAT THEM! Do not be afraid – choose one with people milling around and jump right in.
Ojos de Agua – this is your place if you need a healthy breakfast or lunch. Sure, the place is full of ex-pats and hipsters, but they have delicious juices and egg dishes, and the restaurant is on an adorable plaza.
We went to Contramar (daytime seafood fantasyland) and Pujol (really nice, but a little pretentious) when we were last in Mexico City eight years ago.
Licoria Limantour — serious cocktail establishment where the bartenders wear leather aprons and charm the hell out of everyone. Maybe the best margarita I’ve ever tasted, and I’ve tasted many.
Hotel Condesa DF rooftop bar – an exceedingly pleasant place for a snack and a drink. The bathrooms have lovely tiny green tiles.
Art and such:
Museo Jumex – cutting-edge huge contemporary art museum. Definitely worth a trip.
Roma Galleries – take a stroll around the Roma Norte neighborhood and you’ll see galleries everywhere. Some of them might not seem open, but you can usually push the buzzer and someone will let you in. Some favorites