The Art Lover’s Guide to Mexico City

Mexico City has plenty of contemporary art to keep you busy, as well as good food to keep you full and great hotels to lay your head.

Av. Pdte. Masaryk 390, Polanco, Polanco III Secc, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Mexico City has no dearth of luxurious boutique hotels, but Las Alcobas is a special option. Designed by famed firm Yabu Pushelberg, the hotel is full of gorgeous details, from hand-stitched leather wall coverings to a spiral staircase that surges up from the lobby. Upon arrival, guests enjoy a welcome drink as a bellman leads them to their room; explains the technology that controls the light, sound and temperature; and offers them a selection of handmade soaps. Once settled in, they can lounge in plush robes on their goose-down comforters while sampling snacks from the minibar. For a heartier meal, Las Alcobas offers two excellent restaurants. Just outside the hotel’s front door, there’s also Presidente Masaryk, Polanco’s main avenue full of restaurants and high-end boutiques.
Andrés Bello 29, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
The famed Brasserie Lipp in Paris has only one international outpost. No, it’s not in New York; it’s in Mexico City. Located in the JW Marriott in Polanco, Brasserie Lipp is a late-night bistro, open until 2:00 am every day but Sunday, when it’s open until midnight. Besides the fact that it’s a reliable spot for a delicious late-night French food, including oysters on the half shell, Lipp has an extensive wine menu (nearly 600 different labels) and an incredibly well-stocked bar with top-shelf bottles.
Calle Bahía de las Palmas 37, Verónica Anzúres, 11300 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
La Fonda del Recuerdo is one of those places (though not uncommon in Mexico City) where the servers are still called waiters and they dress like it: white button-down shirts topped with black vests, matched with black trousers. Everything here is traditional—from the food, which is Mexican with a special emphasis on the gastronomy from Veracruz—to the entertainment served up during your meal. Mariachis roam among the tables, serenading patrons with a full complement of instruments. Maybe it all sounds gimmicky and touristy, but that’s not the vibe here at all, as the tables full of Mexican businessmen and businesswomen enjoying leisurely late lunches attest. Try the tacos sudados. Though the translation (“sweaty tacos”) may not sound appetizing, these delicious tacos are so-named because they are “sweated” during cooking in clay pots.
Av. Universidad 199-B, Vértiz Narvarte, 03600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
If you’ve never eaten a taco in Mexico, then perhaps you think, “Well, a taco is a taco is a taco.” Not so, as you’ll find out if you swing by Tacos Joven for an order of their tacos en canasta (“tacos in a basket”). Since 1971, this fast-food spot has been turning out what many folks believe are the best tacos in Mexico City. Though a bit more expensive than comparable spots with the same fare, these tacos are stuffed until chubby with either potatoes, beans, shredded beef, or chicharron (fried pork rinds), and their size is outmatched by their flavor. You have to stop by early, as business ends at 4:30 pm each day, and a bit earlier on Sundays.
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Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
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