The Best of Mexico City
Collected by AFAR Traveler, AFAR Contributor
Great experiences in one of the most vibrant cities in the world.
Plaza San Jacinto 11, San Ángel TNT, San Ángel, 01000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Once a separate municipality, San Ángel—in the city’s south, nestled into its western foothills—is a leafy, genteel enclave whose relative isolation adds a soigné feel (for better or worse) you won’t find in...
Madero 3, San Ángel TNT, San Ángel, 01000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
A traditional Mexican cantina. When I was in college, I played dominoes there every Thursday with some good girlfriends. 3 Francisco I. Madero 52/55-5616-4668 As told to Nathalie Jordi. This story appeared in the March/April 2010 issue. See all of...
Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico
Insurgentes Sur 2113, San Ángel, 01000 Alvaro Obregon, CDMX, Mexico
This place, near the 16th-century Convento del Carmen, is famous for its churros, fried dough rolled in cinnamon sugar. A mandatory stop. 4 Plaza del Carmen 52/55-5616-0978 As told to Nathalie Jordi. This story appeared in the March/April 2010...
2a Frontera 37, San Ángel, 01000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Right off the market hubbub is this colonial square flush with bougainvillea. You go through a narrow alleyway, and all of a sudden you’re in the most tranquil placein Mexico City. Near Calle del Arbol and 2a Cerrada de Frontera. As told to...
San Ángel Inn, Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
This used to be a hacienda, but it was turned into a restaurant almost 50 years ago. The food is phenomenal and the margaritas are famous—in fact, they’re my favorite thing on the menu. There is always a band or a pianist playing. 50 Diego Rivera...
Av. Veracruz 102, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Mexican hotelier Grupo Habita turned the shell of a 1928 French neoclassical mansion into a wholly contemporary property, CONDESAdf, which immediately became the standard for boutique hotels in Mexico City when it opened to rave reviews...
Avenida Álvaro Obregón 99, Roma Norte, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Housed in a mansion built in 1911, Casa Lamm is a cultural center, art school, and gallery. The permanent collection includes works by such notable Mexican artists as landscape painter Abelardo López and sculptor Jorge Marín. Sign up for a...
Puebla 121, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
For libations in Colonia Roma, visit the cantina Salón Covadonga, where waiters in white shirts and bow ties serve up palomas, tequila drinks made with grapefruit soda. At this sprawling local institution, you’re just as likely to find old-timers...
Historic center of Mexico City, Centro, 06000 Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico
Its massive size, centrality to daily life in the capital, and easy accessibility (a Metro station opens up right onto the plaza) makes the Zócalo an ideal place for large-scale temporary exhibits. The government hosts occasional exhibits...
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...
Av. Insurgentes Nte. 1980, Lindavista, 07300 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Precariously standing on a thin strip of concrete, four feet above an angry bull, I wondered what my insurance deductible would be if I slipped. Earlier in the morning I had driven down to Lienzo Charro Regionales de la Villa or as I prefer to...
16 de Septiembre 82, Centro Histórico, Centro, 06000 Cuauhtemoc, CDMX, Mexico
Fabulous art nouveau lobby of the Gran Hotel in Mexico City. This is an amazing interior located in an unexpected building in an unexpected city. It's a few blocks from the Zocalo. 16 de Septiembre 82, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City
Av. Juárez, Centro Histórico, Centro, 06050 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
The imposing, white-domed wedding cake now known as Palacio de Bellas Artes was originally planned as a national theater, and construction was begun in 1904. The Mexican Revolution, among other things, postponed its completion until 1934, which...
Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas 43, Centro, 06000 Cuauhtémoc, CDMX, Mexico
They've been popularized and commercialized in movies and may even seem to be a cultural stereotype of sorts, but visit Mexico City's Plaza Garibaldi on any given evening and you'll soon see that the tradition of mariachis is alive and well and...
Colima 166, Col. Roma Norte, Roma Nte., 06700 Cuauhtémoc, CDMX, Mexico
Perhaps it’s more interested in diner loyalty than in snagging prizes, but chef Elena Reygadas’s original Mexico City restaurant is still beloved—and busier than ever. So while a few greatest hits linger season to season,...
Colima 174, Colonia Roma, Colima 174, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
"Located in a gorgeous old house in the heart of La Roma, TOCA is an intimate boutique gallery that showcases the rising talents of contemporary Latin American art. It represents international artists as well." —Alondra De La Parra Colima 174,...
Agrícola, Chimalistac, Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
"The architect, Eduardo Mata, was inspired by the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Berliner Philharmonie. I love performing in this monumental building. It was specially designed for symphonic music, and the audience surrounds the musicians...
55800 San Juan Teotihuacán, State of Mexico, Mexico
While it's not in Mexico City proper, the sacred pre-Hispanic city of Teotihuacan is close enough–about 30 miles– for an easy day trip if you're interested in architecture, archaeology, and indigenous history. The site's primary...
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...
Av. Río Churubusco 410, Del Carmen, 04100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
The Coyoacan neighborhood is well known for Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul—totally worth the trip—but poor Leon Trotsky doesn't seem to get much attention. He was murdered here, an ice pick to the head, and his heavily fortified house is fascinating to...
Calle de Durango 200, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
With almost 20 years at the helm of a dining room that’s jammed every afternoon, Gabriela Cámara at Contramar must be doing something right. For one, the seafood on offer—traditional, even homey recipes, impeccably...
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