A Design Lover's Guide to Mexico City
Collected by Allegra Ben-Amotz, AFAR Local Expert
From followers of Frida to devotees of Luis Barragán's mid-century modern style, design lovers of all sorts have long flocked to CDMX. The city, which tells a unique and compelling visual story of history, tradition, urbanization, and innovation, was named the 2018 World Design Capital, making it the first city in the Americas to receive the title. When food and travel writer Allegra Ben-Amotz moved to Mexico City from New York, she naturally fell in love with the megacity's distinct architecture and design. Here, she shares her favorite spots in this creative wonderland.
Av. Gral. Antonio León Loyola #82, San Miguel Chapultepec I Secc, 11860 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Mexico City is full of architectural masterpieces, but there is nothing like the experience of being inside a Barragán-designed home. Very few are still in good shape and open to the public, including Casa Luis Barragán (the...
06700, Sinaloa 10, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Hand-poured coffee is a fairly new trend in Mexico City, and it’s only recently that coffee shops featuring amazing local roasters are starting to pop up. I live right down the street from this tiny café with a few outdoor tables, and...
Paseo de la Reforma & Calzada Gandhi S/N, Chapultepec Polanco, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Housed in a 1964 structure whose modern lines and central fountain greatly complement what's on view, this anthropology museum is a repository of the most important pre-Hispanic treasures modern Mexico has discovered. The works are...
Orizaba, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
In a city teeming with markets, this is one of the capital’s only true farmers’ markets. Everything is grown and produced within 100 yards of the city limits. It takes place at the corner of a park in the Roma neighborhood, and wooden...
Calle Dinamarca 44, Cuauhtémoc, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Whenever I’m craving a trendy meal-in-a-bowl, this airy café in la Juarez does the trick. There's nothing better than a table against the artfully chipped wall, a good book, the hearty kale salad with beet-pickled eggs, and a slice of...
Av. de Las Fuentes 180, Jardines del Pedregal, 01900 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Located in Jardines del Pedregal, an elegant suburb on the outskirts of the city, Tetetlán is worth the trip. Originally the horse stables of a home designed by Mexico’s most influential architect, Luis Barragán, the space was recently restored by...
Lafontaine 78, Polanco, Polanco III Secc, 11550 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
This yoga studio in the Polanco neighborhood is a beautiful place to practice. The main studio is inside a geometric dome bathed in light—it’s an instant dose of sanity. I particularly like that they offer Kundalini yoga classes, a...
Londres 247, Del Carmen, Coyoacán, 04100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
The cobalt-blue-and-brick-red residence where now-legendary Mexican visual artist Frida Kahlo grew up—and at times lived with husband Diego Rivera—is one of the city’s most consistently packed attractions; buying tickets in...
Orizaba 161, Local 3, Roma Norte, Roma Nte., 06700 Cuauhtémoc, CDMX, Mexico
La Nacional isn’t as hip as some of the Mexico City's more popular mezcalerias, like La Clandestina, but it has an incredible selection and a really laid-back vibe. It’s a great place to get a mezcal education—the menu is an...
Museo 150, San Pablo Tepetlapa, 04620 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
They intended it as their gift to Mexico, and what a gift it is. Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, two of the most famous artists of the 20th century, worked with renowned Mexican architect Juan O'Gorman to create Museo Anahuacalli, a temple-like...
Colima 129, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
This two-sided jewel box of a store—one half jewelry, one half clothing and accessories—is located on one of my favorite streets in Mexico City, where each apartment building is more beautiful in its pastel-and-wrought-iron glory than the next....
Campeche 101, Roma Sur, 06760 Cuauhtémoc, CDMX, Mexico
This classic Mexican market has it all: housewares, craft supplies, produce, meat and fish, pastes for making mole, and one of the best flower selections in the city. In true Mexican mercado tradition, most of the vendors will gift you freebies...
Plaza de la Constitución S/N, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06066 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Though his reputation is now arguably overshadowed by that of his former wife, painter and muralist Diego Rivera—commissioned by Mexico’s postrevolutionary governments starting in the late 1920s to adorn several national monuments in...
Havre 73, Juárez, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
The latest spot from Elena Reygadas, chef and owner of the lauded restaurant Rosetta, Café Nin has taken over the second location of her acclaimed bakery, Panadería Rosetta. Named for author Anaís Nin, the menu is eclectic and...
S/N, Balderas, Centro Histórico, Centro, 06040 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
La Ciudadela has been the go-to market for handcrafts for nearly 50 years, and it features crafts and handmade objects from all over Mexico. Expect to find everything from textiles (blankets, tablecloths, and hand-embroidered clothing) to...
Centenario 63, Del Carmen, 04100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
This outdoor ceramic school in the Coyoacan neighborhood is located close to the Museo de Frida Kahlo. The head instructor is a ceramic artist whose simple, Japanese-inspired designs can be found in some of the city’s best restaurants. They...
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