We just got back from our first trip to Mexico City, and I can assure you it won’t be our last. Mexico City is a fantastic city to explore history, culture, and food. This Mexico City Guide and Round-Up will give a glimpse into our trip!
Quick Notes for this Mexico City Guide and Round-Up:
- Mexico City is HUGE. Keep in mind that this is the largest city in North America.
- With that being said above, traffic is a beast. Exploring the entire city is impossible not only because of how large the city is, but because you’ll be stuck in the car all day. You’d be better off just hitting a few highlights that aren’t super far from each other. It took us 2 hours to go 5 miles one day.
- So many people asked me “did you feel safe”. Yes, I felt very safe. In fact, I can’t think of one time that I felt unsafe. Again, Mexico City is a huge city— and as our nanny, Martha, said it (she grew up visiting Mexico City and lived in nearby Leon): “Mexico City has many faces because it is a huge city. There are good faces and bad faces, but if you stay in the good neighborhoods you are safe.” She also just warned me to watch my belongings while visiting touristy places– but I do that in Europe and NYC, too!?
- Don’t ride in the Taxi’s. I’ve been told they tend to rip you off. We used Uber on occasion (very safe and affordable) and also hired a private driver who I highly recommend for the days that we were bustling around the city doing lots of activities and he took us out at night. [see comments for contact information]
- While you don’t need to put on a gown and high heels, keep in mind that Mexico City locals dress a little nicer. My t-shirt and jeans felt a little out of place the first day so the things I intended on wearing to dinner became my daytime attire. I recommend jeans and a nice blouse modest but stylish dresses or skirts for women. Jeans and a nice button down for men. No shorts or sandals or you’ll stick out even more like a tourist haha.
- Click here if you want access to my YELP collection for Mexico City which will allow you to more easily access all of the restaurants we went to and were recommended.
Contramar– This was my personal favorite place we ate as far as the taste of the food. I loved how fresh the seafood was and how spicy all of the condiments were. So spicy and good!! Not to mention, the service was friendly and great. Everything we tasted was fantastic, but I highly recommend you get the tuna tostadas to start, the fish 2 ways, and the carnitas tacos.
San Angel Inn – as far as ambiance goes (which all the restaurants had great ambiances) this was the best. Located in a stunning courtyard right across the street from Frida Kahlo’s home, this restaurant is an oasis. Be sure to get the classic margarita (it comes in a martini glass) and walk around the garden out back afterward. This is a come, sit, stay for at least 2-3 hour experience that you will just adore. Get the cochinata pubil.
Buna Coffee- I wasn’t able to make it here but was told by so many that it’s fantastic for coffee.
El Califa – A great and easy stop for tacos (great for lunch). Be sure to get the Gaona Cheese crust taco. Woah!! The Pastor Gringa was our other fave!
Lardo– fantastic for breakfast (we didn’t make it)
Rosetta- (same chef as Lardo) we went here for dinner one night and not only is the restaurant stunning, the Italian food was absolutely fantastic. In fact, my tagliatelle pasta was one of the best pastas I’ve eaten to date! Highly recommend going here! (side note: we came here after sightseeing Teotihucan in tee shirts and jeans and I felt a little out of place. It’s a nice location with very fancy people. Dress a little nicer for this dining experience).
Panaderia Rosetta– (same chef as Lardo and Rosetta) wow!! this bakery (located in Roma) is absolutely fantastic. We grabbed a few boxes of the most sublime breads and pastries before our drive to Teotihuacan and it was like eating a cloud send straight from the heavens above. I’ve honestly never had a baked good quite like it. Truly magical.
Pujol– you’ve probably heard about Pujol before because it’s named by the Wall Street Journal as Mexico City’s best restaurant, voted as one of the top 50 restaurants in the world, and has been featured on the popular Netflix show Chef’s Table. Yeah, it’s kind of a big deal. Celebrity chef Enrique Olvera takes rustic Mexican flavors and transforms them into stunning, contemporary dishes. For big-time adventurous foodies, this is a must and be sure to make reservations way in advance. [side note: I am just being honest that we all went back to the hotel later that night and ordered a burger and fries because we weren’t full. The food was great and the experience was incredible, but the plates are small portions of very interesting dishes that may or may not leave you full after a night of boozing].
Nico’s – again, highly recommended.
Maximo Bistrot— Mexico City locals say the best new chef for local food.
Eno– owned by same chef as Pujol
Azul Condesa– high recommended for a great variety of Mexican dishes.
Mercado Roma -highly recommend and was told it is like a Mexican Eataly, cool vibe, go there and try different dishes,
also has sit down restaurants and a beer garden on top.
Paramo — you can eat great tacos, too
Club Petanca Roma– you can play Petanque and drink vermouth
Limantour— one of the top 40 bars in the world
La Condessa DF Rooftop – we grabbed drinks here one afternoon. Loved this cool and quaint hotel for an afternoon cocktail and relaxing.
Leonar– I didn’t make it out the night the group I was with went here (as I was sick), but if you are wanting a dance club kinda night, they had *the best time* here.
King Cole Bar– located in the St. Regis Hotel with great views, good drinks and small bites.
Teotihuacan– an ancient Mesoamerican city located in a sub-valley of the Valley of Mexico (about a 45-minute drive from downtown), this place is stunning and filled with such ancient history– it was built between the 1st and 7th centuries A.D.. It is characterized by the vast size of its monuments – in particular, the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, laid out on geometric and symbolic principles. As one of the most powerful cultural centers in Mesoamerica, Teotihuacan extended its cultural and artistic influence throughout the region, and even beyond. I highly recommend going here but wear your comfy shoes. It’s big! Especially if you plan on climbing to the top of the Sun Pyramid (which I did and it was awesome, but a little scary because the steps are steep.) The drive isn’t bad to get here at all and I am really glad that we did it!
Bazaar Del Sabado– a big market open on Saturday’s only filled with food, artisan goods, and more.
The Home of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera (La Casa Azul)
Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo House Studio Museum– While this is totally worth it if your in the area, I wouldn’t personally go out of my way for this. Don’t get me wrong, I am a Frida fan and was excited about this but it’s a little underwhelming; however, if you’re enjoying a meal at the across-the-street San Angel Inn, I’d certainly make time to drop in! Perhaps the Frida Kahlo Museum is a better stop that I’d like to make next time.
Chapultepec Castle- While driving around the city, you might notice a big, beautiful castle on the top of a lush, green hill. That is Chapultepec castle. I *really* wanted to visit here but we didn’t have the time. Our nanny, Martha, says this is her personal favorite site to see when visiting Mexico City and said it is absolutely beautiful.
Museo Nacional de Antropología – I really wish we could have visited here, but there is so much to do and it’s impossible to see it all in one trip to Mexico City. I’ve heard, from museum lovers and museum haters, that this is an outstanding museum.
*With this Mexico City Guide and Round-Up, please note that I was only in Mexico City for 3 days on vacation with a group of 10 people. I could only do, see and eat so much while also being a part of a large group trip. Mexico City is a big, beautiful city and I am certain I missed some delicious foodie spots and things to do so if you’ve been or if you live there and I missed something that you love, please share in the comments below for others to see and add to this Mexico City Guide and Round-up!*
Kelly C. SimpsonMarch 13, 2021 at 5:53 pm
Also looking for ‘areas to stay’ recs!
MollieJanuary 11, 2021 at 3:42 am
Looking for a place to stay! Where did you stay (or anyone reading this post!)?
thedefineddishOctober 19, 2020 at 11:17 pm
Our Driver’s Contact information:
*Oscar is in charge of the driving service. He sets everything up and will assign a driver to you. Daniel was our driver and *all communication* must do done via WhatsApp.
Oscar +52 1 55 3660 0904
Daniel +52 1 55 9596 5735
Our Tour Guides Information:
Lorena +52 1 55 1820 3808
^^ she was incredible.
Kellianne HodgesOctober 19, 2020 at 11:17 pm
Any recommendations on where to stay! I looked on Yelp and maybe you stayed at the Four Seasons?? Wanted to see how you liked it!
Carolina ChavezOctober 19, 2020 at 11:17 pm
La Casa Azul is in Coyoacan and is Frida Kahlo’s childhood home that she also shared with Diego Rivera (it’s officially called the Frida Kahlo Museum). You went to the Studio, which is also blue but not the Casa. Just clarifying because the Casa Azul in Coyoacan is totally WORTH IT.
Glad you had fun! CDMX is incredible.
Marisol RamirezOctober 19, 2020 at 11:17 pm
I love your trip! On your next visit you should try to stop by Xochimilco. It’s a canal system with a floating market, boats with mariachis, and even floating restaurants.
Also, side note, the dish is actually called “cochinita pibil.” I also recommend trying one of the signature dishes “Chiles en nogada,” it’s such a fun and interesting flavor combination.
Thanks for this amazing post, now I’m nostalgic, hungry, and searching for my mariachi playlist.