Mexico City's Roma district is a great place to find local designers, memorable food, and compelling art. It’s also maddeningly crowded. Luckily, that can be avoided. Follow this itinerary to dodge (most of) the craziness.
2 P.M. Your Caffeine Fix Cardinal was the first shop in town to take coffee really seriously. Unlike the vibe in many cool cafés, handpoured cups aren’t served with a salty attitude. It’s a friendly neighborhood spot where you can read the paper in peace and enjoy a solid cappuccino at the same time. Calle Córdoba 132
3:00 P.M. Get Lit Here English-speaking locals come to Under the Volcano, the city’s most celebrated English-language bookstore, to practice their skills. Discover books by obscure Latin American authors and American writers on Latin America (e.g. Kerouac’s apt B-side, Mexico City Blues). Celaya 25
4:30 P.M. A Time-Warp Museum Housed in an art nouveau mansion, MODO—Museum of the Objective of the Object—is an odd keyhole into everyday pre-21st-century life. You’re up close with items ranging from washing machines that were used in the 1800s to funky skateboards from the 1970s. Colima 145
6:00 P.M. Lofty Libations Run by a veteran of New York City’s Le Bernardin, Máximo Bistrot attracts a crowd of dedicated foodies, most of whom are not clued in to the new upstairs bar. Enjoy highbrow snacks (jamón ibérico), herb-driven cocktails (order any with bourbon), and kick your feet up on leather seats. Tonalá 133