CITY GIRL GUIDE: Mexico City


A perfect Mexico City pastime is watching the well-behaved dogs in Parque Mexico.

 

Whether you're on a layover to a surf destination or coming for the full DF experience, we have some surprising and delightful suggestions for your Mexico City stay.

WHERE TO EAT


Image via @alicesolakim

Bósforo

Luis Moya 31
Colonia Centro
 
It can be debated whether the restaurant is Bósforo and the bar is Sin Nombre or vice-versa, but you’ll want to go to both. Usually pretty busy after 7PM, so put your name in at the restaurant, and they’ll come find you at the bar when your table’s ready. At the bar, our fave mezcal is the Chino Verde (grassy, very light smoke, clean finish), but there are a number to choose from. It’s an art crowd scene and not too heavy on the pretension – trippy music sounds like you’re drunk underwater and the staff is super friendly. At the restaurant, it’s rustic Oaxacan fare: great moles, interesting tamal creations, stewed meats, and an Oprah-like generosity with the grasshoppers.

 

 
Image via @amayamexico

Amaya

Calle General Prim 95
Colonia Juárez
 
About the best upscale restaurant for the price in the city. Basically Euro-Mexican: ceviche, tartare, paella, gnocchi, housemade sausages, and perfectly cooked pieces of fish. The plates are made to share, so it’s a great spot to go with a group (you can reserve ahead of time). They have an excellent natural wine selection, and it’s the ideal place to try something from the burgeoning Mexican scene. They usually have most of the current Bichi vintages from Baja California – one of the most celebrated Mexican producers and a steal at Amaya’s prices.

 

 

Image via @marikagaga

El Parnita

Avenida Yucatan 84
Colonia Roma Norte
 
El Parnita is great for people watching. Try a Michelada con Clamato (beer, Clamato, Salsa Maggi, Worchestershire, cucumber), a couple Carmelita shrimp tacos, and check out the passersby. Food served ‘til 6PM. 

 

 

Image via  @gumerzindio

Rabioso

Donceles 64
Colonia Centro

If you need to get some carving in, Rabiosa has a bowl for open skating and serves up some strange pizza combinations for the post-skate. Be sure to check out their website and Instagram for shows before you go. It's right in the middle of Centro Histórico, so there's plenty of culture to skate around to in the area.

 

 WHERE TO DRINK

 

La Botica

Centro, Juárez, Roma, Condesa, and Coyoacán

If you’re already a mezcal aficionada or interested in just dipping your toes, La Botica won’t disappoint. With locations throughout the city, you’re likely to pass at least one of them on your stay, and it’s worth stopping in. Order your mezcal by region or maguey (the plant it’s distilled from), shake some sal gusano (worm salt) on your orange slice, take a sip, and bite the orange. The staff is more than happy to help out if you’re not sure what you like. The locations are tiny and cozy, with indoor and outdoor seating, and the laid-back atmosphere is great for chatting up strangers. 

 

 

Image via @marcelsteiner

La Faena

Calle de Venustiano Carranza 49

Colonia Centro

An enormous, cavernous old building with plastic tables, strange cherubs along plaster moldings, and dusty glass cases full of decaying bullfighter memorabilia – these days La Faena is more aligned with the Mexico City hipster/punker, queer, and intelligentsia sets than anything to do with killing bulls. But it certainly is a great place to knock back some drinks or browse the 30-foot-long paintings of young Spaniards learning to tease angry bulls.

 

 

Image via @therealunder

El Real Underground

Monterrey 80
Colonia Roma Norte

Perhaps related to the national fascination with death, the people of Mexico City are never ones to shy away from darkness, and the goth scene is alive and well. “The Royal Underground” in English, or simply “El Under” is a two-story “darketo” paradise. The drink list is short (beer by the bottle or liter; tequila, rum, or vodka mixed with whatever soda might still remain), but the dance party is strong with two levels to choose from. You can generally expect to hear The Cure, The Smiths, Joy Division and the like, with the rabbithole darkening and deepening depending on the DJ and the crowd. If you happen to have brought your prosthetic vampire ears or creepy colored contacts, this is the place to bring them out, but if you left them at home, you’ll blend in just fine. 

 

WHERE TO SHOP

Image via @querencia_mx

Querencia

Calle Dinamarca 46
Colonia Juárez

Querencia or “haunt” has a decidedly boho bent, but it’s thoroughly curated, so there’s something for everyone: handmade human face planters, enamel statement pins, peculiar and beautiful jewelry in silver and clay, and hand-painted ceramic housewares and weed pipes. It’s almost all locally made and generally inexpensive, so it makes a great place for gifts.
NEARBY: It can give off a heavy New York vibe, but Cicatriz on the corner is a great place for a glass of wine or cocktail. Or try some “crate digging” for weird old books and photos at Libreria Jorge Cuesta

 

 
Image via @reveparty for Tuza

Tuza 

Colima 129
Roma Norte

Mexico City design is all about clashing the past, present, and future together. Architecture, clothing, artisan crafts - they all mash up tradition with deco with new world flair and Tuza is no different. A mini pop-up shop and jewelry store featuring local designers and in-house designs, Tuza has a cool-kid edge that you don't find in the markets. Think chunky bangles, quirky charms, mega-statement earrings and silk mini dresses that conjure the hippest 90's high school lunchroom. Of course, there's also an outpost in New York City, but it's always cooler to get your trends from the source.
 
NEARBY: Tres Galleones, a tiny place specializing in Baja-style seafood tacos. It’s worth it for the housemade salsas alone, but the softshell crab is incredible.

 

 

Image via @_moradamorada

Morada Morada

Coahuila 129
Colonia Roma Norte
 

Despite the glut of vintage wear in Roma, Morada Morada is an upstart at the front of an apartment complex where Che and Castro used to stay. Their vintage delivers the goods at a fraction of the cost of more “international” vintage stores. Definitely worth a browse!