Wow, it feels like it's been ages since Reuben and I were wandering around the streets of Mexico City trying to find the best tacos at every corner. Our trip to CDMX was short but some how we were able to fit in a ton of activities, consumed 30 tacos total, and walked enough to burn off maybe half the tacos. And now you can to! I said that in my best infomercial voice. To be honest, it was incredibly hard for me to write this Mexico City round up because I planned absolutely nothing... Reuben did it all! He was a man of leisure during a bulk of the planning process, so I just sort of let him run with it. Plus he's like a million times better at the whole Spanish translation thing than me. So you can thank Reuben for this little blog post and for your future Mexico City tacos!
Mexico City was seriously such a beautiful place. The people were kind and patient with us. All the food we ate was literally the best ever. And our Airbnb was so homey and warm that it almost made me cry. Reuben and I travel pretty similarly. I typically need a few more nap breaks than him, but other than that we are pretty compatible. We develop an overall framework or game plan for our days, but then allow for a lot of wiggle room to wander and change plans based on how we're feeling or what smells good at the moment. Pretty much each day went sort of like this: wake up, venture out in search of coffee, wander around a cute neighborhood, find food, walk some more, see something cultural, find more food, walk some more, stop for an afternoon cocktail, head back to the Airbnb to rest and clean up for dinner, eat dinner, eat dessert, walk home, hydrate, and sleep. Oh and then sprinkle in a mini photoshoot in front of every colorful wall that calls to you every few hours! So many great paint colors in Mexico City!
I split up the recap into three sections: Architecture, Food, and then our Airbnb. I don't necessarily "shop" when I travel so I don't have any recommendations for that, but we did stop in this really cute home goods store: Utilitario Mexicano! I picked up a few enamel bowls and handmade ceramic bowls to lug back home. Take a look, see what sparks your interest, and I hope you get to plan your own trip to Mexico City soon!
art + architecture
La Condesa // The neighborhood we stayed in, and it was absolutely perfect! I wouldn't want to stay in any other neighborhood. It was lovely and quiet, but close to so many great cafes and restaurants. The neighborhood is also centrally located, so it was super easy to get to other parts of the city either by foot or by Uber.
Bosque de Chapultepec // The Golden Gate Park or Central Park of Mexico City
Polanco // Honestly, my least favorite neighborhood out of the ones we explored, but if extra fancy shops and luxury cars are your thing then you'll love it here
Coyoacán // Might be my second favorite neighborhood. There were quaint streets line with colorful homes. Frida's house was here too! And it was open to our favorite open air market with the best tostadas.
Biblioteca Vasconceles // An incredible library that reminded me of why I loved architecture. Haven't felt that way in an incredibly long time.
Casa Estudio Luis Barragán // The beautiful home and studio of Luis Barragán aka Mexico's most prolific architect. We also saw Ryan Seacrest here! It was crazy. I was sort of the only person that recognized him and became an embarrassing American. We don't have any photos of the tour, or of Ryan here because photos weren't allowed unless you paid $20 USD, each...
Archivo // A small gallery and garden right next to Casa Estudio Luis Barragán
Museo Jumex // Wonderful art museum and where we saw Ryan Seacrest again! We became BFFs obvi.
Museo Nacional de Antropología // Super cool anthropology museum. We got here about an hour before they closed and I wish we had planned to get there sooner because there was so much to see! I particularly wanted to see the grounds of archeological sites, but they were shooing people away towards the end of the day. So go early!
Centro Cultural Elena Garro
The Palacio de Bellas Artes
Iglesia de San Francisco
food + drinks
First of all, I just want to apologize for my lack of food photos on this trip. I'm not a great travel blogger... When I travel I guess I try to not have my phone or camera out too much and try my best to just enjoy where I am, especially when it comes to eating. I don't want to fuss with styling the table and finding the best light in a tiny fluorescent lit taqueria. I just want to eat. All of these spots were awesome though. Trust me.
El Tizoncito // They claim to have invented the Al Pastor taco and I might believe them because they were sooooo good. Also, the guys carving the meat off of the trompo do it with style.
El Moro // Trendy and cute spot to grab some churros and hot chocolate. Or a churro ice cream sandwich!
Chiquitito Café // Coffeeshop with San Francisco vibes and matcha lattes.
Maque // lovely little bakery with the best conchas. They will yell at you if you take photos!
Mercado Roma // Trendy food market where we got the tastiest paletas at Bendita Paleta.
Tacos Orinico // Home of awesome tacos and revolutionary quesadillas! Ok, this Al Pastor is better, and the quesadilla was more like a grilled cheese taco with crispy edges, and it was insane.
Cicatriz // Open air cafe and cocktail bar. Amazing mescal cocktails and third-wavey espresso.
Pasillo de Humo // Fancy-ish but relaxed dinner spot. We ordered the chicken mole and it was life changing. Make sure to ask for extra tortillas so you don't waste a drop! This is also where I was introduced to my new favorite dessert, which is Pastel de Elote con Guyaba (Corn Cake with Guava). Need to make a version of it soon!
Ojo de Agua // Juice bar and lighter fare breakfast and lunch spot. The walls are covered in fruit and their chilaquilles are super tasty and spicy. Ok, so maybe it wasn't that light.
El Pescadito // a fried seafood lover's dreamland. Fried shrimp and smoked marlin with a chopped up chili relleno, on a taco. Need I say more?
Cardinal // tiny coffee shop where we stopped for an espresso
Esperanza // The most glorious bakery I have ever seen. Imagine one of these classic Chinese bakeries where everything is in a plastic case and you pile everything you want onto a plastic tray with some tongs, but on Mexican steroids. Also featuring security guards with shotguns in front of the kitchen.
Contramar // OMG so good. Get the big fish entree (Pescado Contramar) and the tuna tostadas. The chef also has a restaurant in San Francisco, Cala!
Café Negro // Great coffee break spot in Coyoacan. I got a matcha latte and a matcha concha : )
Mercado Coyoacan // Our favorite open air market where you can wander around for hours! Free samples and friendly merchants.
Tostadas Coyoacan // This place is impressive and it seems to be taking over the whole market! Big piles of tostada toppings everywhere. Get the pulpo tostadas and the guava agua frescas. I wish I could eat that everyday!
Alipús Endémico // Mezcal bar where we celebrated Reuben's birthday!
Molino el Pujol // Not the world famous Pujol, but their tortilla shop! We bough 2 dozen tortillas to take home and split a squash blossom tamale before heading to the airport
Okay. So if you do go to Mexico City, you MUST stay at our Airbnb. You can book it here! I really can't praise it enough. The space is a studio loft in La Condesa. Our host Guillermo was so sweet! He's also an architect, which made it super easy to connect with him since we're both architects too (Reuben is... I'm technically not, but whatever). But I bet if you were a kindergarten art teacher or an NASA engineer you would love him too. He owns the house with his mother and brother and it's a super well preserved classic Mexico City home. You walk through the house into the beautiful courtyard in the back and then climb up a few stairs to the roof where Guillermo designed and built 2 separate loft studio spaces. Both are available on Airbnb and each have their own outdoor patio spaces. No one else was staying in the other studio while we were there, so we have the whole roof to ourselves! Gosh, I could have sat up there forever. It was so sunny and peaceful. The studio space was perfectly sized for 2, well designed, and homey. At the end of our stay, Guillermo brought us up some Mexican pastries from Maque, which we went to on our first day, and told us that he loved having us there and that his home was our home now. Really wonderful hospitality gets to me and I almost cried. He was so sweet. We also invited us to Merida, Mexico in a few months because he's designing some vacation properties out there, so you'll probably see another Mexico travel post sometime soon!