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A Food & Art Lover's Guide to Mexico City

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. 


If you go

What to do

Casa Luis Barragan - for art and archinerds. Tickets must be reserved well in advance.

Lucha Libre - Mexican freestyle wrestling, a must.

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

Museo Soumaya - radical architecture housing work by the likes of Rodin, Dalí and Picasso

Museo Frida Kahlo - Frida. Need we say more? Buy tickets in advance.

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):

La Roma Apartment-15.jpg

We trolled Airbnb for awhile looking for beautiful apartments in La Roma for under $100/night.

Mexico Condesa Aparment-9.jpg

We followed our friends advice and spent our first two nights in Condesa, one of Mexico City’s best neighborhoods.

Hotels:

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.

Pujol-11.jpg

Mexico City's Pujol And The Incredible 1,345 Days Old Mole

Contramar - best seafood in the city. Get tuna tostadas and the red and green grilled snapper. 

Lardo - best brunch in the city. They also have incredible mini pizzas at night. Everything is delicious and the interior is beautiful. Same chef as the famed Rosetta

Lardo-20.jpg

A restaurant from one of Latin America’s Best Female Chefs and it’s Jess’ favorite place to eat in Mexico City.

Belmondo - best sandwiches in the city in a well designed setting. Thom Yorke approved.

Delirio & Abarrotes Delirio - gourmet bread, cheese, chocolate and marmalades. Yum!

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:

Azul HistóricoBikoRosettaLalo!Maximo BistrotMercado RomaMog BistroZapotFonda Fina

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).

Where to shop

Saturday Bazaar in San Angel - folk art, paintings, jewelry, clothing. Everything you’d want to take home with you is here. Jess scored this coat and a clutch from 1/8 Takamura.

For a perfect day, we recommend visiting early (before 11am), then going to Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo’s House & Studio, ending with a late lunch and glass of wine at San Angel Inn.

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

Watch:

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.

Listen:

Frida Kahlo - an inspired Spotify Playlist

Prepare:

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. 

Things To Do in or Near Mexico City on an Extended Stay

Things To Do in or Near Mexico City on an Extended Stay

Mexico City's Pujol And The Incredible 1,345 Days Old Mole

Mexico City's Pujol And The Incredible 1,345 Days Old Mole