A Food & Art Lover's Guide to Mexico City
Mexico City was a place we really wanted to visit while living in San Francisco, but couldn’t with our old schedules.
The 4.5 hour flight was just too far for a short weekend trip. So when we found ourselves free from our 9-5s and in Houston (only a 2 hour flight away) we made it our priority. Mexican art and mezcal? Yes, please.
We took things slow when we got there because of the change in altitude and were happy to know there wouldn’t be many mosquitos because of the high elevation (yet somehow they found their way into our bedroom at night). Once adjusted, we quickly adapted to the common courtesy of saying Buenos Dias/Tardes to everyone we met and the free bread, salsa and pickled veggies we received at sit-down restaurants instead of the American staple of simple bread and butter.
We also enjoyed the mild July weather (sunny in the morning, cloudy and cool in the evenings with occasional rain). It was a welcome change of pace from the scorching summer temperatures we had come from and it reminded us of our old foggy summers in San Francisco.
Without further ado, here’s our quick guide to Mexico City (or DF as the locals call it), Jess & Philipp Style.
Chapultepek Park - go for a stroll through Mexico City’s massive Central Park
National Museum of Anthropology - CDMX is one of the cities with the most museums in the world. This is the countries largest and most visited and you’ll understand why when you get there.
Museo Tamayo - small contemporary art museum Chapultepec Park
Diego Rivera Murals - you can see Diego’s work at his old studio & home, Anahuacalli (the museum he founded for his private collection), and at Museo Dolores Olmedo, but you won’t see his best and most profound work unless visit one of his public murals. In particular, “The History of Mexico” at the National Palace in Centro, which he started in 1929 and took 6 years to complete.
Where to stay
Two of the Airbnbs we stayed in (and loved):
Hotel Condesa DF - design hotel in the hippest neighborhood with tequila shots upon check-in. Go for brunch on the patio or drinks on the terrace bar even if you’re not a guest. (Rooms start at $213)
Downtown Hotel - another design hotel, this one in Centro. The neighborhood isn’t the best (too bustling for our tastes) but it’s city center so close to museums and historic things. What gets us is the colonial architecture, rooftop bar/pool, and restaurant (Azul Historico) and shops in the lobby. Again, go even if you’re not a guest. (Rooms start at $250)
Where to eat & drink
Mexico City has some of the best food in the world so if you’re visiting, go with a healthy appetite. Here were our favorites:
Pujol - one of the best restaurants in the world. Expect fine dining with all the wonderful flavors of Mexico in a new and refined way.
Belmondo - best sandwiches in the city in a well designed setting. Thom Yorke approved.
Licorería Limantour - best cocktail bar in the city. Mexican mixology at its finest.
Restaurants that were on our radar, but we didn’t get a chance to dine in:
Japanese food in general - it’s the city’s most popular International cuisine so might be worth exploring. Oh yea, and street food (for the brave souls out there).
Carla Fernandez - Mexico’s top fashion label, which uses indigenous techniques to produce artisan textiles. Multiple locations. We visited Roma and San Angel stores, both in good areas to check out other shops.
Before you go or while you’re there
Alejandro González Iñárritu - Any film by this Academy Award winning Mexico City native
GLOW - a Netflix Original based on a real-life girls wrestling league from the 80s. It’ll get you pumped for Lucha Libre.
Frida Kahlo - an inspired Spotify Playlist
Take a good probiotic - like this one to help prevent or ease food poisoning and traveler’s diarrhea. Buy in advance as they’re more difficult to find and expensive once there.