Travel Guide: Mexico City
Over the Christmas and Hanukkah break ;) , I traveled to Mexico City with my boyfriend and my brother. When we booked it, I knew it was a cool city, but I didn't know much about it. I started doing extensive research whenever I could. Being the Capricorn I am, I knew I had to take the planning into my own hands or we would be running around Mexico City not knowing where to eat and what to do and that is my biggest nightmare.
We took a direct flight to CDMX from Dallas. It was such a short and reasonable flight. I always see flights to Mexico City pop up on Scott's Cheap Flights too. I would sign up for his free emails.
SAFETY: When people asked about my trip, this was the second question they asked - ALWAYS (after how was Mexico City?). Overall, I felt very safe. I do get a bit anxious when traveling especially about safety. The first few hours I didn't feel 100% safe, the only reason was because I was in a new place I had never traveled to and didn't know my surroundings. After checking into the Airbnb and getting out into the town, I felt very safe. There are police in every neighborhood. It felt good to see that if something happened that there was someone nearby that could help. Safety was not an issue in my eyes.
HOTEL VS. AIRBNB: Both are amazing options. Depending on who you are traveling with and how many people, will determine what situation is best for you. We stayed in an Airbnb in Condesa. This is a great neighborhood with a ton of restaurants and bars. Our street was quiet, which was nice. Another neighborhood that would be good to get an Airbnb in would be Roma Norte or Polanco.
IMPORTANT INFO: Everything is pretty cheap in Mexico City. We were surprised at how inexpensive a 15 minute uber from Polanco to Condesa was. It was anywhere from 60-80 pesos about $3-$4 *mindblown*. Meals with multiple drinks per person didn't cost more than $45 USD. Be sure to drink from water bottles to make sure you avoid getting sick.
If you think CDMX is all about pico de gallo and guac you are wrong. It is interesting that this city isn't the traditional Cabo or Mexican food you might be used to. If you are eating tacos all they really put on it is onions, cilantro and salsa. Most of the food here is fresh seafood, tacos al pastor and vegetable forward dishes.
The Altitude is high. Always have a water bottle and order these electrolytes.
Condesa - is a technically a trendy hip area to be in. It is extremely walkable and safe.
Roma Norte - There are a ton of well-renowned restaurant in this area and it is very walkable.
Polanco - Definitely not walkable to Condesa and Roma Norte, but a quick uber away. It is seen as the "Beverly Hills" of Mexico City and you can tell. There are bushes shaped in crowns. It is very clean too.
WHAT YOU CAN'T MISS (ACTIVITIES):
This is a non-negotiable. We had the absolute best time. We biked from Roma Norte, to Condesa, to Polanco and back to Roma. Totaling 9 miles, 4 taco spots and 6 tacos, we were stuffed. I would 100% recommend doing this one of the first two days you are in CDMX. It helps you get a better lay of the land. I like to say I have a good sense of direction, and CDMX is such a large city, I had a hard time catching my boundaries.
---> If you can't make it I would definitely stop at Molino El Pujol - Vegetarian (Condesa), Taqueria El Turix (Polanco), El Rey Del Suadero (Polanco), and Los Panchos.
- Best Speakeasy and Mezcal Tour - I would also say this is another non-negotiable. The hosts were beyond personable. Took us to 4 different speakeasies, some of which were members only. It was a small group. Only two other couples and us three. The hosts made Jake and I feel very special because it was our birthdays. They paid for our mezcal tasting and all of our ubers. They even got us tacos at the end of the night.
---> If you can't make it I would definitely stop at Hanky Panky (reservations only "behind a restaurant wall")
- Xochiomolo Canals / Frida Kahlo's Museum - I had planned on doing this in our itinerary, but we didn't end up going. The way to do it is purchase and Airbnb ticket or tickets online before had so you know you are locked into a price and have a ticket to the museum. Supposedly, you can easily get ripped off if you go and try to hop on a boat. It is about a 40 minute drive outside of town. I will forsure be doing this next time!
- Teotihuacan Pyramid Tour - This we could have done without. If you are a history buff or like ruins this is the spot for you. It is about an hour ish outside of the city. We had a private driver take us, but you can also book these through Airbnb. You Ancient Ruins from before the Mayans. There are a ton of amazing stories and sites to see. I will say it gets very very hot out there because there are no trees and there are a TON of foreign tourists. We were so exhausted by the end of walking the property that we didn't even climb the pyramid. It was definitely cool to see though. We ended up having a very traditional lunch at the restaurant in a cave. A delicacy in Mexico City is fried grasshoppers- that was a no for me dawg.
- Hotel Condesa Rooftop Bar - This is a great place to watch the sunset, grab a drink and a quick sushi bite. Our favorite drink that we drank at all hours of the day is called a carajillo. A carajillo is coffee mixed with liquor 43, but it is on ice. It is so amazing! Plus the bathroom is gorgeous.
SPOTS YOU CAN'T MISS: This is the most important section duh!
Lardo - really good brunch and lunch spot right on the Condesa Roma border. Go early in the morning or make a resy. It is a pretty healthy menu.
Contramar - Do not miss this for lunch! It is the famous fish that has a green sauce and a red sauce - Order it. I also recommend ordering the tuna and shrimp tostadas - party in your mouth
Dulce Patria En Los Alcobas - A culinary experience. The food is a presentation itself and it all tasted incredible. What we thought was going to be an expensive lunch turned out to be about $50 USD per person. You could go here for lunch or dinner. It is in the Polanco neighborhood.
Dinner: I will say that all of these dinners are the top rated spots in the city and even in the world. All of these are amazing and you MUST make a reservation.
Maximo Bistrot - Seen as a farm to table spot. One of the locals must eat spots. It is so fresh and the dishes are unlike anything you've ever tasted. I had the sweet potato ravioli and all the staters were amazing. The menu changes everyday. I had the chef sign my menu because I was so impressed.
Rosetta - This spot was gorgeous. Green vines hanging from the ceiling. More of an Italian take on incredible food. Another top rated restaurant. You might be thinking Italian food in Mexico... I am not crazy. Trust me. They had a large selection of typical mole, which I am newly obsessed with. We ordered the this dumpling pasta and a gnocchi and both were incredible.
El Pujol - We unfortunately did not get a reservation here. When we booked our tickets in I believe October, the first available table was January 6th and that wouldn't work. If you want to eat here it is one of the best restaurants in the world, so you must book early. They do a taco omakase, which is said to be amazing. This restaurant was also on chef's table on Netflix. We did stop at the chef's taco spot I mentioned above and that was perfect. Don't be bumped if you can't get a reservation here. Every spot on this list is amazing.
Quintonil- Another spot we didn't get to go to, but a fancy taco place same kind of concept as El Pujol. Book early as well. I got on the waiting list a few hours after the date opened and still couldn't get a reservation.
El Churrero El Moro - Best Churros Ever !
- The Four Seasons - The hotel has a gorgeous atrium and great drinks.
- Taqueria "Orinoco" - Another famous late night taco spot