Teeming with life, motion, commotion, peace, smells, sounds, Mexico City has a vibrancy impossible to capture with only words. When you’re here, you can feel a creative energy coursing through the air. Maybe it stems from the deep connection to the country’s rich craft culture, where each region has its own specialty artisanal craft, music, and food. Maybe the feeling is the rhythm that emerges from the chaos inherent to the city of nearly 21 million. Whatever it is contributing to this magic, we know the curious minds and adventurous hearts out there will love Mexico City as much as we do.
Expendio de Maiz
There is something so special about Expendio de Maíz that you simply must go to to experience. But we’ll try to share here: The four-table outdoor restaurant celebrating all things corn gives you the luxury of making no choices, and in turn, asking for your complete trust. Simply tell your server any dietary restrictions and enjoy each course as it comes out of the open-air kitchen. In your last few bites, your server will ask if you want the next course. It’ll be hard to say no.
Roma Norte, Del Valle, San Jerónimo, Polanco, Condesa, Zona Rosa
This cult-favorite taco shop in La Roma is a must-visit spot for anyone craving authentic Mexican tacos. Open late into the night, Tacos Orinocos serves a core menu of tacos with a rainbow of salsa options, beautifully crisped potatoes, some aguas frescas, and a popsicle. What more could you ask for?
Head to this tucked-away singaporean restaurant for big flavors, a great wine list, and a lively nighttime vibe set in a lush garden.
El Cardenal is a local institution. A block away from Zocalo in the historic center, this classic establishment opened in 1969 and is one of the best Mexican breakfasts in the city. Try a fresh Concha with a side of nata (clotted cream) for starters.
Mi Compa Chava
A lunch at Mi Compa Chava will feel like you’ve made a day trip to a vibrant beach town for a day of crisp, cold micheladas, the freshest seafood, and sun-soaked fun. Or at least you can pretend. Ask for The Lost Explorer Mezcal to pair perfectly with your coastal cravings. And bring your friends, but prepare to wait a bit—it’s quite popular.
Masala y Maíz
Masala y Maíz explores the migration of people, ingredients, techniques, and political movements of East Africa, Mexico, and South Asia through food—very good food at that. Let husband-and-wife chef duo Norma and Saqib treat you to inventive flavor combinations and an exciting and extensive natural wine list.
A homey spot overlooking the beautiful Plaza Río de Janeiro, Marmota brings a taste of the Pacific Northwest to Mexico.The menu is focused on wild-caught seafood and farm-fresh produce, plus an amazing cocktail selection. Ask for The Lost Explorer Espadín Mezcal in any of your mezcal cocktails, or try our Tobalá or Salmiana mezcals for sipping with your meal.
Not only is the food at Tetetlán first rate, the restaurant was originally the horse stables of a home designed by the hugely influential Mexican architect, Luis Barragán. Art and design nerds and foodies alike will go wild over this spot—it’s well worth the trip to Coyoacan.
Café de nadie
A listening bar with an excellent sound system and imaginative cocktails. Try any of the Lost Explorer Mezcal expressions here as well.
Number 4 on the list of the World’s 50 Best Bars, Limantour is known for its craft cocktails. Let your curiosity lead you to one on-menu, such as the smoky pineapple-forward Vicuña, made with The Lost Explorer Mezcal, or as the bartender to create you something custom.
A cocktail bar and restaurant serving delicious vaguely mediterranean cuisine in an airy 1930s Bauhaus-style home. Order The Lost Explorer Mezcal in a cocktail or to sip neat.
Balcón del Zócalo
A unique view of the historic Zócalo makes for the perfect backdrop for a sunset mezcalito at this upscale Mexican restaurant. Order any of the Lost Explorer Mezcal to keep the palate entertained.
A speakeasy serving up world-class craft cocktails (pro tip: Upgrade your mezcal cocktail by choosing it made with The Lost Explorer Espadín). Reservations encouraged.
At Rayo, craft cocktails are made especially with premium spirits from Mexico (like us 🙋) and beyond. Get lost in conversation with one of the very knowledgeable bartenders here as you sip.
A hidden gem, this cocktail bar is the perfect place to stop for a pre- or post-dinner mezcal, or settle in for an evening of craft cocktail exploration: cozy, nice menu of bites, and creative bartenders.
A cocktail bar and restaurant set in a beautiful Art Nouveau–style mansion. In addition to a cocktail menu centering on adventurous takes on classics, Casa Prunes also offers a selection of wines fermented in-house, and an impressive collection of Mexican spirits (including yours truly 🙋).
This speakeasy is a total vibe. In a cozy and velvety interior, you’ll be served craft cocktails that creatively blend Mexican spirits with flavors from around the globe. Ask the bartenders to make you something special with The Lost Explorer Espadín Mezcal. Thursday through Saturday, they have a DJ in the evenings.
A neighborhood favorite, Cafe Ocampo is known for its great drinks and good crowd. Their mezcal and amaro menu’s worth a shout-out, and their espresso drinks are top notch as well.
Making home in a 17th-century manor, Downtown Mexico hotel is a modern oasis in the middle of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the bustling Centro. Plus, it’s got a pool and rooftop terrace for all the sun-soaking one desires.
Casa Bosques Pensión
This subdued three-room guest house is tucked away in a quiet corner of La Roma and behind the beloved Casa Bosques book shop. Travelers looking for a more private and low-key homebase during their stay will love this design-minded space. Perk: unlimited book exploration!
This luxury hotel is located in the trendy Condesa neighborhood and features modern rooms, a rooftop pool and bar, and is close to dozens of great restaurant options for morning, noon, and night.
Ignacia Guest House
Nestled in the heart of the vibrant Roma neighborhood, Ignacia Guest House exudes bohemian charm with its colorful, eclectic decor and laid-back atmosphere. Unwind in one of the property’s cozy, tastefully color-saturated rooms or seek respite in the lush private courtyard or common areas flaunting Mexican design and craft.
Located in the historic center of Mexico City, Circulo Mexicano offers a unique blend of old-world elegance and contemporary design with the shaker-style interiors of this 19th-century mansion. A rooftop terrace with a small pool makes for a great escape to take in views of the Catedral Metropolitana across the street.
At La Valise, located in a charming 20th-century French-style building in La Roma, try to book the Terrace Suite where you can slide the bed onto a spacious terrace and gaze at the clouds (or stars) in the crisp air of Mexico City.
To See / To Learn
Pirámides de Teotihuacán
San Juan Teotihuacán, State of Mexico
These ancient pyramids near Mexico City are worth a day trip to see the third-largest pyramid in the world, the Pyramid of the Sun, measuring over 200 feet tall.
Museo Frida Kahlo
The famous cobalt blue campus that housed the beautiful creative life of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Spending time here is an illuminating look into the mind of one of Mexico’s national treasures, dear Frida. Personal objects, artwork, tools, furniture, portraits … there is so much incredibly preserved material here to help you understand the artist.
Casa Luis Barragan
Book a tour of the stunning home of the renowned Mexican architect and see how he designed his most intimate spaces. Visitors will come away not only with the sights, but a closer understanding of how he saw the world.
Museo Nacional de Antropología
You could spend days getting lost in here—and we’d recommend it. Explore the world’s largest collection of ancient Mexican art, in chronological order. The institution also offers amazing ethnographic exhibitions on present-day indigenous groups.
Fonoteca Nacional (sound archives/museum)
There’s not much to see here—but come with curious ears. Fonteca Nacional is dedicated to preserving and sharing the sounds of Mexico and promoting a culture of listening. The museum also has a gorgeous garden perfect for a small rest amid your day strolling Coyoacan.
Museo Mural Diego Rivera
This museum’s main attraction is the impeccably kept mural by Diego Rivera “Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central” (1946-47). Spanning 15 meters wide, the mural has many hidden gems and histories, which explanatory charts in the museum map out.
Mercado Abelardo L. Rodriguez
Stroll through this market to see the 1,450 sq. m. of walls and ceiling covered in murals painted by students of Diego Rivera, under his supervision. Plus, don’t miss the massive wall sculpture “History of Mexico” by Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi.
Gran Hotel de la Ciudad de México
Stop by the historic Gran Hotel to see the jaw-dropping Tiffany style stained glass ceiling—one of the four largest in the world!—made by French artist Jacques Gruber in 1908.
A very well curated bookstore filled with Spanish and English independent publications, art books, and beyond. The associated and eponymous chocolate project also presents many of its adventurous flavors of premium chocolate here.
Lagunilla Antiques Market
A visit to Lagunilla is a must for the curious. Grab an extra-large michelada and stroll around the many stalls selling antiques, vintage clothing, furniture, art objects, and weird tiny things you didn’t know you needed until you saw them. The market is only open Sundays; we recommend getting there early and keeping your wallet/bag close to you (it can get a little crowded).
Mercado Artesanal Mexicano
Hundreds of merchants gather here every day to sell handcrafted art and souvenirs, making it a great place to pick up gifts or just stroll through for the ambiance and visual excitement during a day exploring Coyoacan.
Mercado San Juan
Buy typical mexican food
This one’s for the foodies out there. Visit this fresh food market to explore local delicacies, snacks, and fresh produce. As with all markets, keep your belongings close to you.
Mercado de Artesanías La Ciudadela
La Ciudadela is a charming, low-key artisan market in the historic Center. Hundreds of vendors offer handcrafts and folk art from different regions of Mexico—pottery from Puebla, silver jewelry from Zacatecas, local textiles and leather goods…the list goes on.
To Be in Nature
Parque Ecológico Xochimilco
Some of the last remnants of the Aztec empire, the Xochilmilco water canals are what remain from what used to be a much wider network of canals established in the 16th century for water transport and farming. Gaze at these floating farms from the comfort of a humble boat you can charter. Or seek out one of a sunrise tour for the most epic views against a soundtrack of an ecosystem awakening.
Bosque de Chapultepec
If you’re craving a long walk in nature during your trip, stop by Bosque de Chapultepec and stroll through the most important “lung” of Mexico City—and one of the largest city parks in the world. Also located within the park and worth a visit are the historically preserved presidential residence Castillo de Chapultepec, Museo Tamayo contemporary art museum, and the Museo Nacional de Antropología.
A great spot for dog watching, winding snacking strolls, and enjoying being around people living life.
Viveros de Coyoacán
A mystical urban national park and tree nursery originally founded in the early 20th century to nurture seedlings to help with reforestation efforts for the damaged forests surrounding Mexico City. There is a beautifully maintained walking/running trail that encircles and winds through the park. Great place to soak up nature in the city.