T R A V E L / C I T Y G U I D E S
Discover our favourite hotels, restaurants, nightlife and things to do in Mexico City right now.
Updated March 2017
This insider's city guide has been a long time in the making. We've eaten in countless Mexico City restaurants, dined in the best local eateries and visited the latest hotspots. We've also asked the most discerning locals we know to share their favourite hangouts – whether brand new or classic institutions. We bring you our hand-picked selection of our favourite places in Mexico City right now.
| Mexico City |
Whether you're looking for the ultimate luxury hotel, a cosy boutique hotel, or an ultra-cool design hotel, here is our pick of the best places to stay in Mexico City.
1. Luxury Boutique...
This sophisticated luxury boutique hotel is known for its highly personalised service.
Acclaimed New York design firm, Yabu Pushelberg, has created a sleek, urban sanctuary at Las Alcobas, where traditional Mexican design is infused with a sense of Manhattan glamour and European elegance. For a heavenly escape, visit the Aurora Spa and indulge in a signature botanical facial before experiencing chef Martha Ortiz’ modern Mexican cuisine at Dulce Patria.
Presidente Masaryk 390A Col. Polanco, 11560 Mexico D.F.
lasalcobas.com | +52 1 55 3300 3900
2. Chic & Homely...
LA VALISE HOTEL
One of Mexico City’s hippest boutique hotels.
Housed in an elegant 1920’s townhouse in the trendy Roma neighbourhood, La Valise Hotel is a unique urban retreat in Mexico City. Celebrated designer Emmanuel Picault designed La Valise’s three stylish suites – we love Terraza, where the king-sized bed rolls out onto the hardwood terrace, where you can enjoy a movie beneath the stars courtesy of your own film projector. Another bonus is the 24-hour room service from award-winning chef, Elena Reygadas. $$$
Tonal 53, Cuauhtémoc, Roma NTE, 06700, CDMX
lavalise.com.mx | +52 55 5286 9560
3. Luxury Haven...
ST. REGIS MEXICO CITY
A haven of classic luxury and impeccable service.
Towering over the historic Paseo de la Reforma, the St. Regis is one of the city’s most prestigious hotel addresses. Designed by New York firm, Yabu Pushelberg, interiors are swathed in tones of cream and violet, accented by stunning original works of art. Rooms, suites and even the indoor pool showcase spectacular views of Popocatépetl volcano and Chapultepec Park. Retreat to the clubby King Cole Bar for cocktails, followed by dinner at the elegant Diana restaurant.
Paseo de la Reforma 439, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, Mexico City
starwoodhotels.com/stregis/mexicocity | +52 55 5228 1818
4. Downtown Cool...
A stylish boutique hotel by the trailblazing Habita Group.
Situated within a magnificent 17th-century palace only moments from the Plaza de la Constitución, Hotel Downtown immerses guests in a romantic world of cloistered terraces, vast studded doors and sweeping staircases. The hotel’s 17 modern, minimalist guest rooms feature beautiful cast-iron balconettes and rough-hewn stone paired with sleek lines and deep charcoal tones. After a day spent by the sun-drenched pool, mingle with the creative crowd on the rooftop terrace or discover the selection of restaurants centered around the hotel’s romantic courtyard.
Isabel la Católica 30 Colonia Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Mexico City
www.downtownmexico.com | +52 55 5130 6830
5. Modern Design
W MEXICO CITY
W flaunts cutting-edge interiors and a trendy social scene.
Located in Mexico City’s chic Polanco district, the W Mexico City is surrounded by leafy streets, stylish boutiques and edgy art galleries. Enjoy sweeping views over Polanco and Chapultepec Park from the designer guest rooms, featuring an eye-popping palette of tamale red, lime and sapphire. Make sure to relax in the sweat lodge, swim in the jet stream pool then enjoy drinks in the glamorous Living Room Bar.
Campos Eliseos 252,Chapultepec, Polanco, Mexico City
wmexicocity.com | +52 55 9138 1800
6. Local Institution
One of Mexico City’s hottest design hotels, set within a converted 1928 Neo-Classical building.
Nestled on a tree-lined avenue in the bohemian Condesa neighbourhood, the hip Condesa DF pairs elegantly refined living spaces with a trendy afterhours scene. Discover the subtly playful, light-filled interiors and custom-made furnishings of acclaimed Paris-based designer, India Mahdavi, whose has decorated the hotel’s 40 rooms in native woods and handmade tiles. After sunset, join the city’s beautiful people on the hotel’s stylish rooftop terrace, where cocktails and sushi are served in a Miami Beach-inspired atmosphere.
Avenue Veracruz 102, Col. Condesa, Mexico City
condesadf.com | + 52 55 5282 2199
| MEXICO CITY |
Whether you're looking for a fabulous foodie dining spot, the city's best casual eatery, or a see-and-be-seen dining spot, here is our pick of the best places to eat in Mexico City right now.
1. Wow Factor!
One of Mexico’s most celebrated fine dining restaurants.
Celebrated Mexican chef-owner, Enrique Olvera, helms the kitchens at this sophisticated dining space in the exclusive Polanco district. Ranked amongst the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Pujol has won international acclaim for its reinvention of traditional Mexican cuisine, where Olvera’s eclectic inspiration might see him experimenting with everything from chicatana flying ants to grasshopper sauce. Expect a modern twist in dishes like Mole Madre, Mole Nuevo - a signature creation which uses mole that has been aging for more than 1,000 days. Don’t miss the innovative wine, mezcal and tequila pairings for the complete Pujol experience.
Petrarca 254, Polanco V Secc, 1156 Mexico City
pujol.com | +52 55 5545 4111
2. Creative Mexican Cuisine...
Enjoy the freshest Mexican flavours by world-renowned chef Jorge Vallejo.
Currently ranked 12th of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Quintonil is home to one of the city’s most exciting young chefs, Jorge Vallejo. Refreshingly unassuming and relaxed, Quintonil’s lofty spaces are warmed by wood-panelling and lush greenery, hinting at Vallejo’s passion for the freshest produce. Embark on a voyage into contemporary Mexican cuisine that starts with the signature Quintonil Cocktail, moving on to a sensational tasting menu that champions seasonal vegetables hand-picked from the restaurant’s local garden nearby. $$$
Newton No. 55, Miguel Hidalgo, Polanco, 11560 Mexico City
quintonil.com | +52 55 5280 1660
3. Local Institution...
Perfect for a long lunch, El Contramar is the place to discover regional Mexican fare and superb seafood.
Vivacious slow food queen Gabriela Camara and partner Pablo Bueno opened this charming, low key venue with the simple vision of offering flavoursome cuisine in a cosy environment. Once settled beneath the hand-made straw lanterns and immersed in the vibrant buzz of conversation, try the signature grilled marinated snapper, a whole fish delicately flavored with red chilies and parsley, perfectly accompanied by a ‘Michelada’ - beer served over ice with splashes of lemon and Worcestershire sauce. Nb. Closes at 6.30pm. $$
Durango 200, Colonia Roma, Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Mexico City
contramar.com.mx | +52 55 5514 9217
4. Basque-Mexican Fusion Cuisine...
Discover award-winning Basque-Mexican Fusion by a trio of playful chefs.
High above the bustle of Avenue Presidente Masaryk, Spain and Mexico collide in the Biko kitchen, where chefs Gerard Bellver, Mikel Alonso and Bruno Oteiza can be found riffing on a Basque theme. Choose from two distinct menus - the first inspired by the Spanish foodie enclave of Saint Sebastian, the second full of contemporary twists driven by Alonso’s time at El Bulli. Interiors in pale suede and slate lay all emphasis on the art on the plate: think Mexican pork jowl with tomato emulsion, and quail with clarified gazpacho.
Presidente Masaryk 407, Miguel Hidalgo, Zentro La Plaza, Polanco, 11550 Mexico City
biko.com.mx | +52 55 5282 2064
5. Sophisticated Italian...
Enjoy fresh, Italian fare in a beautifully restored mansion.
While the freshly baked breads of chef Elena Reygadas are a thing of local legend, the chefs simple yet sophisticated Italian creations have earned Rosetta a reputation as one of the best Italian restaurants in the city. A seasonal menu showcases homemade pastas, risottos and fluffy gnocchi alongside new creations like succulent braised short rib with baked marrow and polenta. The beautifully conceived interiors were designed by the chef’s architect husband, who coupled rustic wooden furnishings with moulded ceilings, grand fireplaces and delicate frescoes. $$$
Calle Colima, 166, Delegación Cuauhtémoc, Col. Roma Norte, 06700 Mexico City
rosetta.com.mx | +52 55 5533 7804
6. Mexican Slow-Food...
Heart-warming organic, slow-food Mexican cuisine in a relaxed and rustic dining space.
Attracting the city’s discerning foodie crowd, Nicos delivers deeply flavoursome, authentic Mexican cuisine by one of Mexico’s favourite slow food chefs, Gerardo Vazquez Lugo. As a bowl of guacamole is freshly prepared at your table, peruse a menu of historic recipes ingeniously reinterpreted by Lugo using only the freshest, organic, locally sourced ingredients. We love the inspired savoury mille feuille with tomato, cream and chicken, but don’t miss Nicos’ expert mezcal pairings for the complete Mexican dining experience. $$
Avenue Cuitláhuac 3102 Clavería, Azcapotzalco, 02080 Mexico City
nicosmexico.mx | +52 55 5396 7090
7. Casual Mexican...
Reviving historic, pre-Spanish Mexican flavours at four stylish venues.
One of the city’s top dining spots for authentic Mexican cuisine, the bustling El Cardenal is famous for its Mexican breakfasts and homemade chocolate, fresh breads and tacos. The menu changes monthly and showcases seasonal dishes, ranging from Oaxacan moles and spicy stuffed chilies, to the tortilla con escamoles (ant egg omelets). El Cardenal boasts four venues located across the city – we love the picturesque Centro Histórico outpost with its lofty ceilings, stained glass windows and mahogany staircase. $$
23 Palma Street, Centro Histórico, 06000 Mexico City
restauranteelcardenal.com | +52 55 5521 8815
8. Authentic Tacos...
EL FAROLITO & TIZONCITO
Taste authentic Mexican street food at two of Mexico City’s favourite taco addresses.
With a constellation of locations across Mexico City, El Farolito draws a loyal local crowd, thanks to its signature coal-roasted meats and crowd-pleasing menu of hearty chorizo and bean soup, ribeye tacos and chicken with manchego cheese. Another local favourite, the original El Tizoncito lies in the Condesa neighbourhood, where the famous Al Pastor - a taco filled with marinated spit-grilled meat - is said to have been invented. With multiple outposts across Mexico City, don’t miss Tizoncito’s chicken Al Pastor, served with a medley of salsas that are a drawcard in their own right.
Taqueria el Farolito - Tacambaro 4, Cuauhtémoc, Condesa, 06140 Mexico City
taqueriaselfarolito.com.mx | +52 55 5276 5116
Tizoncito - Campeche 362, A Col, Condesa 06100 Mexico City
eltizoncito.com.mx | +52 55 5211 5139
9. The Best Markets…
LA MORERA CENTRO CULINARIO
Experience a local buzz and savour Mexican flavours at the city’s markets.
Selling everything from avocados and novelty chocolate skulls to toasted grasshoppers, the colourful stalls of the bustling Coyoacan Market give way to a huddle of tostada stalls at the centre, where hungry locals enjoy fresh seafood and meat specialities. Market shopping gets a hipster spin at Mercado Roma, a foodie destination packed with over 60 vendors, where a lush vertical garden towers above visitors savouring grilled squid, chicken tostadas or moreish churro sprinkled with sugar. La Morera Centro Culinario is Mexico City’s gourmet destination, an urban hotspot where you’ll find everything from rice bowls and succulent chicken wings to artisanal ice cream.
Coyoacan Market - Centro de Coyoacan, Hidalgo and Malintzin, 04100 Mexico City
+52 55 4072 1596
Mercado Roma - 225 Queretaro, Colonia Roma Norte, 06700 Mexico City
mercadoroma.com | +52 55 5564 1396
La Morera Centro Culinario - Juan Vázquez de Mella Polanco, 11550 Mexico City
cclamorera.com/ | +52 55 6303 0384
| MEXICO CITY |
Whether you're looking for the perfect cocktail, the city's best alfresco bar, or a late-night club, here is our pick of the best places to drink and party in Mexico City right now.
1. Exclusive Nightclub...
M.N. ROY NIGHTCLUB
Dress to impress at one of Mexico City’s most exclusive nightclubs.
Discover one of the most breathtaking architectural spaces in Mexico City - and one of the hottest nightclub scenes - at M.N. Roy Nightclub, a clandestine world hidden behind the crumbling facade of an ice-cream parlour. This former home of Mexican Communist Party founder M. N. Roy has been transformed by world-class architects Emmanuel Picault and Ludwig Godefroy, revealing a futuristic vision of cathedral-height ceilings, moody black basalt and sweeping geometric lines. Expect the best local DJ talent, a 7am closing time, a tequila-stocked bar and an ultra-glamorous crowd. $$
Merida 186, Colonia Roma, 06700 Mexico City
mnroyclub.com | +52 55 4737 0151
2. Rooftop Lounge Bar...
CONDESA DF BAR
A rooftop paradise in the trendy Colonia Condesa neighborhood.
The place to see-and-be-seen in Mexico City, La Terraza is the crowning jewel of the hip Condesa DF hotel, where a glamorous rooftop terrace lures the city’s celebrities. Lounge on elegant circular couches with a potent Cucumber Mezcal Mojito as sunset views over the leafy Parque España fade into a panorama of city lights. As the evening breeze drifts through the jacaranda trees, live DJ sets draw revellers onto the dancefloor and hungry revellers enjoy superb Japanese cuisine. $$$
Av. Veracruz 102, Col. Condesa, Mexico City
condesadf.com | + 52 55 5282 2199
3. Sophisticated Cocktails...
Discover a little Art Deco sophistication at this upscale drinking den.
With locations in two of Mexico City’s trendiest neighbourhoods, Roma and Polanco, Licoreria Limantour is a magnet for the city’s fashion crowd. At Roma, a winding iron staircase leads from the wood-clad bar up to a chic low-lit lounge, while in Polanco it’s all about airy white spaces, apothecary-style shelves and stylish Art Deco motifs. Whichever address you choose, expect dapper barmen in bow-ties and braces, pouring seriously sophisticated cocktails.
Alvaro Obregón 106, Roma Norte C.P. 06700 Mexico City
limantour.tv | +52 55 5264 4122
Oscar Wilde 9, Polanco, C.P. 11560
limantour.tv | +52 55 5280 1299
4. Hidden Speakeasy...
Expect glitzy designer style at this hot cocktail speakeasy.
Hidden away in the sophisticated Polanco neighbourhood, what may look like just another taqueria is in fact one of Mexico City’s hottest cocktail bars. Accessed through an industrial refrigerator door, this reservations-only speakeasy is an exercise in subterranean glamour, with interiors by French designer Emmanuel Picault. Giant white skulls encased in glass lie beneath jet black ceilings studded with pyramids, adding a dash of drama to your Mezcal Negroni, expertly crafted by Seattle-ite mixologist Jay Kuehner.
Julio Verne 93, Polanquito, 11560 Mexico City
julesbasement.com | +52 55 5280 1278
5. Latin Dancing...
MAMA RUMBA BAR
Dance until dawn at this laid-back latin dance club.
Discover the irresistible Latin rhythms of salsa, cha-cha, merengue and cumbia at the Mama Rumba Bar, where live bands will keep you dancing into the small hours of the morning. Enjoy a mojito or a tequila shot in the second-story bar while watching the swirling dancers below from the balcony. In need of some salsa steps before hitting the dancefloor? Mama Rumba’s 90-minute dance classes on Wednesday-, Thursday- and Saturday-nights will give you everything you need to party. Nearby, a second outpost awaits at Plaza Loreto. $$
Querétaro 230, Roma Norte, Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Mexico City
+52 55 55 64 69 20
Altamirano 46, San Ángel, 01000 Mexico City
+52 55 5550 2959
6. Rooftop Cool...
DOWNTOWN HOTEL ROOFTOP
A stylish cocktail terrace awaits on the rooftop of this former palace.
As one of the city’s most stylish residences, the Downtown Hotel seduces guests with its sleek rooftop terrace, superb cocktails and breathtakingly romantic views over Mexico City’s historic centre. Pool terrace by day and glamorous drinking destination by night, the Downtown showcases clean modern lines and a sleek minimalist feel, where low-slung sofas invite guests to lounge with an expertly crafted Lime Caipirinha or Pibirita - a classic mezcal with a passion fruit twist.
Isabel la Católica 30 Colonia Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Mexico City
downtownmexico.com | +52 55 5130 6830
7. Craft Beer...
A rooftop social scene for a chilled-out crowd.
While the bustling Mercado Roma features more than 60 tempting food and drink destinations, its secret weapon awaits on the rooftop - where Biergarten offers the perfect place to enjoy an ice-cold cerveza. A haven for lovers of craft beer and relaxed revels, Biergarten offers a sociable setting of wooden floors, beautiful tiling and lush trailing plants where guests can be found scanning the blackboard for the latest beer selections, challenging friends to a game of table football or making new ones at shared wooden tables.
Querétaro 225, 06700 Mexico City
+52 55 5264 3478
8. Local Institution...
AREA BAR AT THE HOTEL HABITA
Come for the cocktails, sunsets and sophistication at this rooftop hotspot.
A gathering place for Mexico City’s elite, Area Bar oozes refinement from its perch on the sixth floor of the stylish Hotel Habita, where supermodels, film industry executives and wealthy young A-listers mingle on the deck against a backdrop of twinkling city views. As the sun sets, conversation buzzes by the striking 12-foot-long outdoor fireplace as guests sip cocktails and share plates of tapas before DJ-spun house tempts them onto the dancefloor. $$
Avenida Presidente Masaryk 201, Miguel Hidalgo, Polanco, Mexico City
hotelhabita.com | +52 55 5282 3100
Average Price of a Drink: $ = Less than $10; $$ = Around $20; $$$ = More than $30
SEE + DO
| MEXICO CITY |
Don't miss these incredible Mexico City museums, cultural landmarks and local experiences.
Museums & Galleries...
Built in volcanic rock and marble by architect Ramirez Vazquez, the National Museum of Anthropology is a fitting home for one of the world’s finest archaeological collections. Set within a stately neoclassical building, the National Museum of Art spans the history of Mexican fine art since the 16th century, providing a fascinating insight into Mexico’s artistic history. Immerse yourself in the daily life of the legendary artist couple at Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s Houses and Studios, or marvel at the extravagant Art Nouveau exteriors of the Palace of Fine Arts. Inside, spectacular Art Deco interiors are home to the National Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Books.
At the heart of Mexico City, the Plaza de la Constitutión is one of the world’s largest squares. Commonly known as El Zócalo, the square is flanked for 200 metres by the imposing Palacio Nacional, official residence of the President of Mexico. Nearby, the Templo Mayor was built using stone taken from the ruins of Tenochtitlan. Today the square is home to the largest cathedral in the Americas, Metropolitan Cathedral, a superb mixture of baroque, neoclassical and Mexican architecture. To the north of the city lies the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, where over 12 million visitors each year come to see a cloak bearing the image of the Virgin Mary. Considered the ‘lungs’ of Mexico City, the Bosque de Chapultepec Park is an ecological area of over 2,100 acres, home to the famous Museum of Anthropology, the City Zoo, the Modern Art Museum and the Baths of Montezuma.
The Best Spas...
Head to the funky Away Spa at the W Mexico City to enjoy the traditional ‘Temazcal’ or sweat-lodge, heated relaxation pool and sweeping aerial views. In the hip district of Condensa, Qi Urban Spa is a contemporary haven of pale woods and designer furniture. Enjoy a traditional Punta Mita massage before sinking into the relaxation pool, or soak up the sun on the deck. An elegant spa experience awaits at the elite Four Seasons Spa, where guests can indulge in tailored beauty treatments while making use of the hotel’s beautiful outdoor swimming pool.
The Best Markets...
For handicrafts and local art, visit la Ciudadela Centro Artesanal, a street market bustling with hundreds of stalls. On Sundays, the huge Lagunilla Market spills out onto the streets, where flea-market stalls provide the perfect setting to practise your bargaining skills. In the charming colonial neighbourhood of San Angel, the Bazar del Sabado is the place to visit on Saturdays for a wide range of contemporary art, silver jewellery and antiques. In the peaceful Coyoacan neighbourhood, the weekend market in the central Coyoacan plaza is a more sedate option for visitors in search of local crafts and souvenirs. Trendy dining and drinking awaits at Mercado Roma, a foodie destination packed with 60 vendors, while at the funky La Morera Centro Culinario it’s all about international gourmet stalls.
The Best Shopping...
The elite Polanco district is Mexico City's most fashionable shopping spot. Discover cutting-edge international and Mexican designer labels at the ultra-chic Frattina boutique, or check out Galeria Mexicana de Diseno, a unique urban-gallery space showcasing unique jewellery, textiles and furniture pieces. For homewares that blend Mexican handicraft with modern design, Artefacto is the boutique of choice. Art Deco neighbourhoods Condesa and Roma are also a shopping mecca. Head to Chic by Accident, where a 1920’s mansion has been transformed into a designer showroom of unique contemporary pieces. At funky street wear boutique, NaCo Miscelanea, edgy screen-printed t-shirts are a best-seller.
Discover some of the largest ancient pyramids in the world at Teotihuacan City, where you can stroll along the Avenue of the Dead before climbing the two colossal pyramids of the Sun and Moon. Two hours drive from Mexico City, the city of Puebla is an open air museum of elaborate baroque buildings, colonial churches and 16th century architecture. With its dramatic landscapes, ancient history and picturesque colonial towns, the Valley of Oaxaca lies 500 ilometers south of Mexico City, while nearby the site of Monte Alban marks one of the oldest cities in Mesoamerica. At the Floating Gardens at Xochimilco, hire a brightly-painted flat-bottomed boat, or trajinera to explore the ‘Venice of Mexico’, once the agricultural centre of the ancient Teotihuacan civilisation.
O U R O T H E R C I T Y G U I D E S . . .