96 hours in Mexico City
Mexico mi lindo! Mexico will forever hold a special place in my heart. It’s where my family roots begin and run through us forever. A little bit about my family history – My mom’s side of the family come from Durango and my dad’s side from Morelia. Both sides eventually moved to Mexico City, where many live today. Both sides of the family, at different times, made their way to East Los Angeles.
I love visiting Mexico City for many reasons but mainly to see my family. It’s always a great time filled with laughs, stories and amazing food. Having the opportunity to travel again to Mexico City with friends was a blessing as I could not wait to share with them the reasons I love Mexico City. The city is full of life, music and incredible restaurants.
Here is my guide to Mexico City <3
WHERE TO EAT:
Mexico City is known for is delicious and fresh food. What I love most is the accessibility to eat well, no matter the budget. From rooftops overlooking the city to street vendors selling bomb tortas, there’s a little something for everyone. In my opinion, the best restaurants fall somewhere in the middle. I’m not sure how to describe them but they are small restaurants, with an open patio or floor to ceiling windows. The openness to these restaurants are inviting and cozy, like going to your tia’s house.
Rooftops are now trending through out the city, along with Bali inspired restaurants and cafes. My all time favorite place in Mercado Roma. It’s one open space with many small restaurants inside. You can order from different places and enjoy and array of food while enjoying the cascading plant wall in the back.
There are many places to choose from that are all equally tasty but so far these are my favorites that I like to return to.
My Rooftop List:
- Rooftop condesa DF
- La Lavandería Mezcal
- Mano Santa mezcal
- Pulqueria los insurgentes
- Casa franca jazz bar
- La Azotea
- Terraza Cha Cha Cha
- El Moyor
- Terraza Domingo Santo
My Cafe List:
- Pendulo Book Cafe
- Lalo’s for breakfast (acai bowls & more)
- El Moro
- Cafe don Porfirio
- Cafe habana
- Dosis café
- Cafe Avellaneda
- La Ventanita
My Mariscos List:
- La Pescadería Condesa
- Mariscos Juan
- Me Gusto Es
- El Rey de Mariscos
WHAT TO DO:
Mexico City is full with history that can be seen throughout the city with many historic buildings still standing. Like San Francisco, there are different districts known as colonias, each with its own personal charm. The most popular neighborhoods are Condesa, La Roma, Coyoacán, Polanco, and Zona Rosa.
Getting around the city has become so much easier, thanks to Uber, with each ride averaging to five dollars. Driving in Mexico City is chaotic and heart stopping at times, I would recommend leaving it to the pros, aka the locals.
Mexico City’s main square. Before the Spaniard colonization, it was the main ceremonial center in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. Today there is a cathedral and national palace, surrounded by the financial district. On a quiet day you can stand in the center and really take in just how big this plaza is, but if you’re lucky, you’ll be in town for some event that’s held in the plaza. My first time here, was to celebrate El Grito, the plaza was beyond lit, like a Mexican wedding but a million times better. Grab a drink at the Gran hotel, and enjoy sipping it out on a balcony overlooking the square.
Casa de los Azulejos
Beautifully covered in blue tiles, this restaurant will make you feel royal. Inside you can roam around up and down the stairs or enjoy a meal on the ground floor. My aunt took my cousins and I here years ago and it’s been one of my favorite restaurants ever since. After you eat, go upstairs and find an open window that leads to a balcony. You can take a fun photo or people watch.
The Venice of Mexico. This has been on my to-do list for some time. Here you can rent a long boat and have someone steer it through a lake. The bigger the party the better. Make sure to bring plenty of food, drinks, and a portable speaker. You can bring your own food and drinks (alcohol too) or you can buy from local vendors. It’s a fun place to spend a few hours with good company, celebrating any occasion.
Sitting on a hill that was sacred to the Aztecs. The castle overlooks a good portion of the city. The castle is located deep in Chapultepec park. In the park there are a lot of vendors selling snacks and candy. There were a lot of families out enjoying the day. Walking the grounds of the castle, I couldn’t help but to think what would this hill and city be like of the Spanish stayed in their lane and left Mexico alone.
Sitting in the valley of Mexico, is the ancient Mesoamerican city. Consisting of the moon pyramid, sun pyramid and the Avenue of the dead, this ancient site is worth the visit and drive. During one of our Uber trips, the driver offered to take us to the pyramids and he can give us a tour. He gave us a great deal and he did an amazing job. Teotihuacan is breathtaking and the photos really don’t capture just how big the pyramids are. It may seem scary but take the time to go up to the top of the pyramid, the view is worth it. It’s an indescribable feeling to be standing at the base of each pyramid or when walking down the Avenue is the Dead. I just kept thinking how incredibly smart and powerful were our ancestors, all the while so mysterious.
Frida Khalo’s House
The iconic blue house is located in Coyoacán. Her home is gorgeous and persevered very well. You can find her paints and paint brushes, sketches and see first hand the details inside her home. The first time I went, we didn’t need to buy tickets beforehand. We were able to buy them the same day and there was no line. Now you have to buy them in advance because it has become very popular. So popular that the will call line wraps around the house and down the street. Once inside you’ll need to buy a sticker to wear inorder to take photos inside the home.
Palacio de Bellas Artes
Has hosted some of the most notable events in music, dance, theatre, opera and literature and has held important exhibitions of painting, sculpture and photography. The best view is from the Sears building across the street. Take the elevator to the top floor. You’ll need to purchase something from the cafe in order to go out to the balcony.
La Villa de Guadalupe,
One of the most important places in Mexico City. This is where the Virgin Mary appeared on a cloak of Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin. Many travel far to see the cloak first hnd. In the 20s a vase of flowers was placed at the altar inside the church. Inside the vase was a bomb that destroyed the interior yet the cloak was untouched. The old basilica is now attached to the newer one, which was recreated because the original basilica was sinking. Today you can still see the tilt of the original basilica
Museo Nacional de Antropología is a great place to witness the history of Mexico. It is a large scale museum that could take all day to do. There’s a lot to see and learn. We visited to escape the rain and it was beautiful way to stay dry and dive into history.
Museo Soumaya is known for the architecture. A great place to grab lunch and sit on the steps. The museum is free to enter, unless it recently changed. There’s a lot of art to admire especially from David Alfaro Siqueiros.
WHAT TO WEAR:
Wear whatever suits you. Here you’ll find a ray of style and fashion that can be found in the states. The only tip I would recommend is that if you go out at night, especially to a club or lounge, dress up. Fashion is taken seriously depending where you go, for both men and women. We tried going to La Santa and were not let in because some in our party were not dressed up enough. Depending on the neighborhoods you visit, you will find women and men dressed really well, no matter the time and day.
If you’re visiting Mexico City soon, I hope this guide helps you navigate a little better. You can check out all the behind the scenes below!