Cooler Than Condesa: 3 of the Hottest Up and Coming Barrios in Mexico City
La Condesa appears in every Mexico City guidebook as the “in” neighborhood. Its great gastronomic, nightlife and cultural offerings make it a place where anyone can have a good time.
But, there are other neighborhoods just steps away from La Condesa, which are becoming more and more the places to see and be seen in Ciudad de México.
These are three of the hottest up-and-coming barrios in Mexico City.
This neighborhood is located right next to Condesa. You won’t be able to recognize its borders because their streets are mixed with each other. It’s like its sibling, but with a vibe even more bohemian, cultural and intellectual.
Some of the most appealing factors in “la Roma” are its beautiful Art Deco and Art Nouveau buildings that have been transformed into cozy cafés, hip restaurants and relaxing bars. There are countless at galleries. And new gastronomic trends show up here first.
Walk through Orizaba street, the heart and soul of the neighborhood, which is packed with restaurants, cafés and bars. Designer shops and art galleries can also be found on this artery, but most of them are scattered in the smaller streets that cross Orizaba.
What to see and do in la Roma: Casa Lamm Cultural Center and Galería OMR, for art exhibitions; Fábrica Social to shop modern ethnic clothing (mainly for women) made by artisans and Mexican independent designers; and Plaza Río de Janeiro, a public square in which bazaars, film festivals, organic markets and other cultural events are held.
Where to eat: Tres Galeones, probably the best gourmet seafood tacos in town; Cancino, a pizza place with a cool vibe and a beautiful view of Cibeles fountain; and Dulcinea, Mexican restaurant with a modern twist, located in a fine old traditional house of la Roma.
Where to drink: Traspatio, as its name suggest is located in a house patio and is great for chilling out with a beer or mezcal; Gin Gin, for people who appreciate stylish places with good drinks (especially prepared with gin); and Limantour, which has been recognized more than one time by “The World’s 50 Best Bars” list.
Chapultepec avenue separates Roma from the Juárez neighborhood. Once a wealthy area, this barrio is getting its charm back with trendy restaurants, hip bars, designers’ bazaars, museums and art galleries. If you have to choose only one street to walk through, pick Londres, where you will find a bit of everything to enjoy.
The area located between Paseo de la Reforma, Florencia street, Chapultepec avenue and Insurgentes avenue is known as “Zona Rosa” (Pink Zone), and is one of the main meeting points of the LGBT community in Mexico City.
What to see and do in Juárez: Museo del Chocolate, for chocolate tastings and workshops; Galería Marso, for great national and international contemporary art exhibitions; and Bazar Fusión, a Mexican designers bazaar where you will find unique clothing, footwear, accessories and decorating items.
Where to eat: Comedor Lucerna, a gourmet cuisine food court located in a comfortable patio; Alba Cocina Local, a small restaurant with delicious dishes made by young Mexican chefs; and Casa de Toño, one of the most famous Mexican food restaurant chains in the city, where you can eat traditional dishes like pozole, enchiladas, quesadillas, sopes and tostadas.
Where to drink: Xamán, a sort of “speakeasy” bar with cocktail drinks prepared with traditional Mexican ingredients; Bar Milán, with a young vibe and best known for its mojitos and martinis; and Parker & Lenox, for a more relaxed night listening to jazz music (sometimes live) while sipping a good whiskey.
Years back, this neighborhood was one of the favorites of artists, architects and intellectuals in the city. Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington — the two most famous surrealist artists in Mexico — used to live here. Some of San Rafael’s old and elegant buildings are being restored; good places to stay are being developed; and lots of art galleries now give space to the new artistic trends of the world.
What to see and do in San Rafael: visit art galleries! Some of the best in the city are located here, like Casa Maauad, Galería Hilario Galguera and Yautepec; and Taller LU’UM, a shop to buy objects made by artisans and contemporary designers who work with traditional Mexican techniques.
Where to eat: you won’t find fancy or trendy restaurants here, but the street tacos, and local eateries are terrific — and genuine. Go to Cochinita Power, to eat cochinita pibil — pork marinated in a mix of spices called achiote; La Tía, with delicious —and quite cheap— Mexican food; and El Paisa, a street tacos stand located at the corner of Icazbalceta and Rosas Moreno streets.
Where to drink: the best place to grab a beer is Crisanta, a restobar located in front of the Revolution Monument, with a huge variety of Mexican and International artisanal beers, which you can pair with the food you order.