A lengthy recap of all the eating, walking, shopping from our time in DF
It’s been a few weeks since Andrew and I returned home from our one year anniversary trip to Mexico City, which you may have seen snippets of over on Instagram stories. We had a fabulous and unforgettable long weekend soaking in all the culture and character that this magical place has to offer. As I mentioned previously, we were super lucky to return home one day before the tragic earthquake hit the city. It is terrible when natural disasters like this occur, but also serves as a reminder to cherish every moment that you get to spend with loved ones safe and healthy. Today I wanted to share with you places to go, see, stay, eat, and shop in this massive city. However, like I said Mexico City really is expansive – there is so much to see in every neighborhood that we could not possibly do it all in one weekend. Reason enough to go back! Also, check out the Goop guide if you are planning a trip as they have a ton of fabulous recommendations and it was a great resource for us.
Downtown – We stayed at this boutique hotel for the duration of our trip and I could not recommend it highly enough. There are only 13 or so rooms and the space itself is absolutely stunning – a minimalist’s dream with plenty of modern open areas and exposed brick. There is also a great rooftop bar and pool, a lovely area to hang out when you need a bit of downtime during the day. The hotel staff could not have been more considerate and as soon as they found out it was our anniversary, upgraded us to a suite, which was beyond thoughtful. The room was beautiful, spacious, and had a private balcony looking out over the city streets below. It turns out that it was actually Mexican Independence Day during our visit (completely coincidental), but it was so fun to see the city come to life during this celebration. Also, our hotel was perfectly located – right in the heart of the city and only a few blocks away from the Palacio Nacional and the Metropolitan Cathedral where many of the festivities – think food, drink, and dancing in the square – were taking place.
Additionally, each morning the hotel served a small buffet breakfast with an extremely fresh selection of fruit, homemade granola, pastries etc. The chef will also whip up any type of fresh egg dish that you desire. They were extremely accommodating and created a plant based avo toast for me each morning that was scrumptious and absolutely inspired my love for huitlacoche. Finally, the Downtown hotel is designed above an open courtyard, with greenery hanging from the open sky roof (it is exquisite). Right below is a bustling restaurant that whips up some yummy food and was the perfect place to grab lunch as we were ravenous after getting off the plane. The lower levels also contain a nice selection of shops with everything from art, to designer clothing, and local seasonings. (Fair to say that we did some damage and definitely worth checking out if you want to pick up some gifts before returning home). 🙂
We could not possibly have seen everything that Mexico City has to offer as it is renowned for some of the world’s best museums and architecture – but these were all sites that we did get to experience and would highly recommend!
Plaza de la Constitucion – As I mentioned, this main square was only a few blocks away from our hotel. It is gigantic in size and truly a site to behold as it is one of the largest city squares in the world. Flanked by monumental buildings such as the Cathedral and National Palace – it is definitely a must see.
Torre Latinoamericana – Another site that was just walking distance from out hotel. This building provides breathtaking views of the entire city. At the very top is a lookout deck where you can see for miles and miles, plus snap some pretty extraordinary photos. Be prepared to wait in a bit of a line, but I promise that the views are worth it.
Museo Soumaya – I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this is one of the best museums that I have ever stepped foot in. Founded by Carlos Slim, it is an impressive building architecturally and immaculately clean and beautiful once inside. Each floor reveals another collection as it spirals up and up. When we visited, the top floor was a Rodin exhibit, with a tremendous collection of paintings and sculpture. Not to mention, the top is impressive in and of itself as the roof is made of windows letting the light reflect into the stunning space.
Frida Kahlo Museum – The famous blue house where Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, lived, painted, and created is not one to miss. You can take part in a self guided tour of the property, which is truly magical. Almost all of the furniture, fixtures, and design are exactly how they left it and seeing their quirky and all together fabulous works up close is unforgettable. Definitely try to buy tickets in advance and get there early as the line to enter grows pretty rapidly.
Mexico City has certainly evolved into quite the foodie town. Renowned for some of the world’s best chefs and restaurants we did not experience a disappointing meal during our stay. Additionally, everywhere we went was happy to accommodate a plant based/vegan menu as they are all outfitted with some of the freshest fruits and vegetables.
Maximo Bistrot – We stumbled into this quaint cafe on our first night after realizing that Forever Vegano was closed for Independence Day. It ended up being a stroke of luck as it was one of the best meals of our trip. Located in the trendy Roma neighborhood – the space is small but we snagged a table right outside (perfect for people watching) and enjoyed a super fresh multi-course dinner. The chef whipped up a vegan tasting menu for me and Andrew enjoyed risotto and an avocado soup. It is the type of establishment with a romantic vibe, where everyone eats late. The crowd is mainly young professionals, and ordering off the menu is only partially necessary – provide the waiter with some ideas and the chef will throw together something wonderful.
Forever Vegano – This adorable vegan cafe has two locations in the city. We went to the Polanco outpost for brunch and I loved every second of it. I had a quinoa porridge and an almond milk matcha latte while Andrew ordered tofu based huevos rancheros. The hardest part was deciding what to order as everything looked amazing and I was pretty ravenous. They also had an impressive looking fresh smoothie and juice menu. If we had more time I would have certainly gone back for dinner one night and sat in the adorable outdoor courtyard strung with fairy lights. Additionally, the cafe hosts a vegan market of sorts – selling all types of goodies such as natural skincare, aromatherapy, prepared foods, and seasonings.
Biko – This was the most upscale meal of our trip and the only one that we made a reservation in advance for. Named one of the 50 best restaurants in the world – it lived up to its name. This was a fabulous place to celebrate our anniversary, with exquisite Mexican dishes that were somehow light yet satisfying. I once again had a plant based tasting menu and am still thinking about that mushroom risotto 🙂
Dulce Patria – On our final full day in Mexico City, we came to this famous outpost for a late brunch. After reading rave reviews about the gorgeous interiors as well as presentation from chef Martha Ortiz, I knew that we had to come. The food was mouthwatering and Andrew said it was the best mole sauce he has ever tasted. Meanwhile I loved the carrot based enchiladas. The presentation of the food is extraordinary, beautifully designed with exquisite and memorable details such as pink bread, lightly scented of berry and small vegetables cut into stars. Also, the bright pink door and blush staircase inside are must sees as they represent the city’s fiery color choice so perfectly.
Vegan Inc – On our final night in the city, we were quite exhausted and just craving some easy, comfort food. Our hotel concierge pointed us in the direction of this casual vegan spit and it was exactly what we wanted. Andrew and I shared a crispy broccoli starter and then for my main I enjoyed my favorite – a massive cauliflower “steak” and potato mash. After the meal I also ordered the fresh ginger tea. This was exactly what the doctored ordered before boarding our flight home the next morning.
P.S. Keep an eye out for vendors selling mango. It is fresh, flavorful, and they will top it with chili salt. The perfect pick me up on a day spent exploring.
Shopping in Mexico City is such an experience as the designs, especially homewares, are exquisite and so unique to the country. We did not have a chance to visit any of the markets, but would love to search for treasures on our next trip. We did, however, still manage to do a bit of damage and I outlined some of our favorites below. For the most part we did our shopping in the Polanco neighborhood, which is a gorgeous area to meander around as it is full of greenery and outdoor parks. Also, this is where many of the high end designers such as Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Gucci etc. are located if you are interested.
Common People – A very unique concept store, owned by a husband and wife team, with two locations in Polanco. They specialize in fun designers with a taste of everything from local to Adidas and Stella McCartney. They also sell a bunch of quirky home goods and unisex personal grooming products from excellent natural brands like Grown Alchemist. Common People introduced me to the Mexico City based brand, Ethnology. I fell hard for a bunch of their tongue in cheek pieces including all the Rosa Millenial gear and we picked up this print, which is now proudly displayed in our living room and makes me happy whenever I look at it. Whether you intend to buy anything in the shop or not, I would highly recommend having a look around as the interiors are just one of a kind, with amazing art installations – think colorful birds draped from the ceiling and greenery/flowers strung from the mantles. Every room is a new experience and don’t miss the adorable Hungarian cafe at the top with some of the best cold brew I’ve had.
The Shops at Downtown – We were lucky in that some of the best shopping was actually located right at our hotel. The stand outs for me were this shop, which sold some Ethnology goods; this one where we picked up a paper mache bull’s head created by a local artist; and this designer where I could have window shopped all day.
Lust – One of the best sneaker stores that I have come across and we just happened to stumble into while out and about in Polanco. Prepare for fun designs and collaborations that might be hard to snag or even find in the US. My love for the Stan Smith sneaker is well documented and it was here that I spotted the Stan Smith x Pharrell collaboration, which I believe is completely sold out in the States. Of course I had to get the pink and Andrew went with the blue. If you are a sneaker lover, this store is a must visit.
Whew – that’s it for now but please let me know in the comments below if you have ever been to Mexico City and if I left anything out. I would love to hear your recommendations as I know it is a place that we will revisit.