From Mezcaleria’s and lively bars to street food and innovative dining, my time in Mexico City was expansive in the culinary and craft cocktail scene. There’s no shortage of hidden gems to popular food to explore in Mexico City.
I stayed MUCH longer than I expected – five and a half weeks in total. Many of my instagram followers have asked me if it is safe to travel there after seeing things on the news about the recent earthquake and also safety concerns in terms of violence presented in the media. In my personal experience as a single female traveler, I never once felt unsafe walking the streets alone in neighborhoods like Roma Norte and Condesa day or night. I say now more than ever is the time to travel to Mexico City.
Here are the food spots – and even a boutique hotel to stay at – that hit it out of the park for me.
MY MEXICO CITY FOOD + DRINK FAVORITES
- Where To Eat Chilaquiles
- Coffee Shops
- Best Bars in DF
- Mexico City Street Food
- Mercado’s To Feast At
- Nightlife in Roma Norte
To note: Most of the restaurants, bars, and mercados you’ll find on my list below are in Roma Norte, which quickly became my favorite neighborhood. It felt like a mix of Soho meets Williamsburg meets Tribeca.
FOOD TOUR THE CITY
My Mexico City adventures began on a food tour with Bikes + Munchies. I went out with owners Sven + Paola on a Sunday which was perfect because they close off Reforma (the main street of downtown) for everyone to ride their bikes from 8 am – 2 pm. We visited several Tinguitas (markets that change based upon the day), stopped at the traditional San Juan Market where we tried some traditional and popular food in Mexico City, and also visited the modern market – Mercado Roma, where you can still find a few traditional foods like tortas with bread from Puebla.
FOOD + DRINK
MERCADO JAMAICA (for the flowers + the food)
Get up early and uber your way over to Mercado Jamaica for a delightful colorfully overwhelming experience. Flowers here cost about a tenth of what they would back home so treat yourself to an array. Sticking with the theme of floral for food too, find a vendor selling squash blossom quesadillas. They cost around 1 USD each.
If you dig a watering hole with house party vibes, Departmento is for you. It feels like you’re hanging out in someone’s stylish 70’s living room. You’ll likely find a DJ spinning too! Probably my favorite unique bar find in Mexico City.
Bar Felix is Mexico City craft cocktail heaven on the main drag in Roma Norte. Get ready to get cozy with your neighbor because this place is always packed. Also, beautiful lighting and a great spot for a date.
More on the mellow, quiet side, El Palenquito is the perfect spot to bring a friend for apps, have good conversation, and a huge list of Mezcal to taste from.
Licoreria Limantour is a shotgun like in design Roma Norte watering hole to go for craft cocktails.
Side Note: Drinks are made to perfection, so it’s smart to order a beer or something simple to sip on while the bartender is mixing up your concoction.
While I personally can never get enough of eating tacos, sometimes it’s nice to change up the style of food. Rosetta is a beautiful Italian restaurant in the heart of Roma for a meal. You won’t find a bar to sit at this restaurant in #ColoniaRoma, which is where I’d normally belly up to for a meal when traveling solo, asking the bartender where to eat and drink next. The wooden floors showed their age as I walked over them and the floor gently creaked. I came in slightly underdressed yet over-welcomed by Julia who took care of me. I sat in the ‘patio’ where inside-out design takes over and plant life fills the room and long stranded big circular lights drop from the never ending ceiling.
Side Note: Hop catty-corner across the street and have your morning coffee and some of the most incredible pan (bread) you’ve ever tasted at Rosetta Bakery.
Elena Reygadas second restaurant, Lardo’s Italian and Meditteranean flavors will wake your tastebuds in a split second. Pull up a wooden seat at the bar inside this earthy-modern feeling space. Again, the burrata (can you tell I’m into cheese?) and the handmade pasta – you just can’t go wrong.
MY FAVE’S FOR CHILAQUILES
ENO – modern
The wait staff is incredibly nice and so is the coffee and the Chilaquiles. Great spot to call a remote office for the morning or afternoon. They also have a few tables for streetside outdoor seating.
VOLVER CO.– spicy
Modern yellow and black interior, great coffee, and if you enjoy spicing things up a little, you’ll love the Chilaquiles here.
PASTELERIA LA JOYA– traditional
Near the zocala, this loncheria and pasteleria is a traditional spot where you’ll eat lunch with the locals. Their chilaquiles will only run you about 40 pesos – 2 USD. To Note: You probably won’t find anyone who speaks English here, so practice your ordering skills in Spanish before you arrive.
LALO – sour
Lalo has a huge common table great for conversation or spreading out to get some work done during deysayuno (breakfast). I went back a second time to try their also homemade pasta, which is to die for.
Sweet treats and hipster modern space.
Tip: In the back, you’ll see a goodwill with a hidden door where you can take a workout class just behind in the studio called Hapi One.
Tiny little place – with a couch and two small tables – that specializes in cold brew and pour-overs has the most lovely staff.
The interior is instagrammable and it’s also a pet-friendly place serving delicious coffee that comes from nearby Puebla. There are a few tables streetside out front and a water bowl for four-legged friends. Upon visiting, I happened to meet the Venezuelan owner of Cuyagua Cafe – Luis. He had just become a Mexican Citizen the day prior.
TREATS ON THE STREETS
MERCADO SAN JUAN
One of the cities oldest most traditional markets. Great for a Sunday stroll. My favorite food I tried in the market was in the seafood section – fresh mixed seafood tostada.
QUESADILLAS WITH NOPALES
Found on the corner of Calle Alvaro Obregon + Av. Monterrey.
Order blue corn quesadillas and add nopales (cactus) and whatever else you want to it. I’m returning to Mexico City in a few weeks. Stay tuned for more delicious eats!
Filled with traditional foods, pinatas, fresh produce, fish and meats, you can find just about anything at this market. I went just before Christmas with a local architect – we tried some of the traditional Christmas foods when I visited. Mercado Medellin is also a great place to get a handmade piñata and fill it with local candies.
Street stand is on Calle Chihuahua just before the corner of Calle Jalapa. My guilty pleasure – I ate here more than 5 times as it was a block from one of my AirBNB’s.
ACCOMODATION: STAY LUXURY BOUTIQUE IN ROMA NORTE
I’m still getting to know the DF Hotel Scene, but my fast favorite on this trip was Condesa DF. I had my eye on the hotel when I first arrived in Mexico City. This 1928 building has been entirely refurbished on the interior. It feels a bit bohemian, a bit 70’s with the color scheme and circular lamps in the rooms. There are rain showers and beautiful big bathtubs to relax in. I also love how much natural light comes in, and rooms like mine that also have blackout sliding doors and thick curtains. Third floor rooms have terraces with wraparound balconies and sliding glass doors where inside becomes out. Each room is slightly different from another due to the original architecture of the building.
Note: Check back for updates to this post. Always exploring new places in Mexico City to add to the list.
Follow our adventures live on Instagram here.