The Best Places to Drink Coffee in Mexico City

You’ll need an occasional hit of caffeine if you want to keep up with the pace of Mexico City. Here are a few spots—from hip to historic—where you can order a delicious cup of coffee in the capital.

Paseo de la Reforma 243, Col. Renacimiento, Cuauhtémoc, 06500 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
There are plenty of Starbucks in Mexico City, and plenty of excellent independent cafés, too, but if you’re looking for a quick cup to go, Cielito Querido isn’t a bad option. The Mexico City chain is hipper than Starbucks, with its black, white, and aquamarine color scheme, tile floors, and funky fonts. If you’re looking for a WiFi connection, you’re in luck, too; each Cielito Querido offers free WiFi–the code is on your receipt.
30 Isabel la Católica
You have a few different options when it comes to stopping for a coffee at The Shops at Downtown, the retail complex inside Hotel Downtown in Mexico City‘s Centro Histórico. There’s the hotel’s own restaurant, which offers comfortable chairs and couches; the chocolate purveyor Que Bo!, which also serves espresso drinks; or one of the several restaurants and cafés in the complex, among them Padrinos, Azul Histórico, and Café Punta del Cielo. Take your pick–no matter where you end up in the center, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a 17th-century building with volcanic walls and lots of history.
Cozumel 94 A, Condesa, 06400 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
La Balance is a French-style bakery and café, complete with macarons, madeleines, and other Parisian confections, all of which go down nicely with a freshly pulled espresso. La Balance has several cafés around the city; more central locations include this one in Polanco and the light-filled, corner café on Calle Cozumel in the Colonia Condesa neighborhood.
106 Interior (Av. José Vasconcelos)
A caveat: You’re not really going to Sanborn’s for the coffee. The regular drip brew is absolutely nothing to write home about, mediocre at best. But the setting and its historic value... now that’s a different story. Sanborn’s is the Mexican equivalent of Woolworth’s, a variety store and cafeteria-style restaurant that seems a throwback to the mid-20th-century. You can find Sanborn’s all over Mexico City, but this one, located in a historic building called “La Casa de los Azulejos” (“The House of Tiles”) is the one to visit. The 18th-century palace, located in Mexico City’s Centro Histórico, is a sight to behold, its entire exterior covered in blue and white tiles from the Mexican state of Puebla. The interior of the building is similarly stunning, featuring mosaics and murals, including some by luminaries such as José Clemente Orozco. The beauty is enough to make you forget that you even came for coffee in the first place.
Calle Morelos 62, Juárez, 06600 Cuauhtémoc, CDMX, Mexico
On the non-descript, busy corner of Bucareli and Morelos streets in Mexico City is a café with a famous history: Fidel Castro and Che Guevarra met here at Café La Habana several times, chain smoking and drinking strong coffee, to plan the Cuban Revolution. Nowadays, you can still get excellent coffee—and pretty good food—while you plan something a little less dramatic (but more enjoyable), like your vacation itinerary. Old journalists and businessmen congregate here for hours on end while salt-of-the-earth, slightly surly waitresses take your order and bring you your food and drink. Come for breakfast and order their chilaquiles, motuleños, or molletes, and wash it down with an espresso or café americano.
República de Guatemala 18, Centro Histórico, Centro, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
On the ground floor of this building just behind the Zócalo, within view of Templo Mayor, is an art gallery run by the Spanish Cultural Center (El Centro Cultural de España), which is certainly worth your time. On the top floor is a never-crowded café, where murals adorn the walls and the room gives way to a terrace (be sure to bring your camera to get a snapshot of the view). It’s a pleasant, peaceful place to recharge after exploring the Zócalo and its surroundings.
Orizaba 42, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Café Toscano sits on the edge of Plaza Rio de Janeiro, its walls opening up practically to the park itself. WiFi, light café fare, and the people-watching are all complemented by the fact that the café is less than a two-minute walk to several galleries that are also on the park’s periphery, including OMR and El 52, both specializing in contemporary art.
In a country that produces as much coffee as Mexico, you might expect more cafés to feature domestic beans, but that’s not always the case. At Café Avellaneda, however, you can be certain that the coffee in your cup was brewed from beans grown in the Mexican states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, or Veracruz. The space is small but staff is warm and welcoming, and it’s an ideal spot for a cup of coffee before or after visiting La Casa Azul, also in Coyoacan. If you get your cup to go, head to Coyoacan’s main plaza (pictured here) and enjoy its fountain and people-watching.
More from AFAR
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: United States
Journeys: Sports + Adventure