Off to Mexico City! What's cool?
May 18, 2017 4:32 PM   Subscribe

Hola!, The wife and I are off to Mexico city during the week of July 4th. We've got reservations at Pujol and... not much else! We're fairly adventurous travelers and while my Spanish ends at 'Si', hers is close to fluent. We like to eat, are big frequenters of Atlas Obscura and don't mind a little discomfort if it leads to adventure. What's the coolest stuff in Mexico City? (And, perhaps, what should we look out for?)
posted by GilloD to Travel & Transportation around Mexico City, Mexico (16 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
You should also eat at Nicos and Contramar. You should also consider trying some street food. The anthropological museum is epic. Condesa and Roma are a bit "global hipster" so didn't sing to me.
posted by JPD at 5:09 PM on May 18

Well i love el tizoncito for tacos al pastor try to beat my record of 23. The mercado de artisans is pretty cool (also called ciudadela mercado).
posted by chasles at 5:10 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]

For the very most adventurous pallet.
posted by sammyo at 5:41 PM on May 18

Go to La Clandestina in Condesa and spend the night drinking microbrew mezcals and eating delicious crunchy crickets (chapulines) seasoned with salt, lime, and chilli.

Go to Arena Mexico and check out the Lucha Libre wrestling. We went on a weeknight and spent around $40 apiece I think for front row tickets.

We stayed in Roma Norte (yes it's global hispterish but we had a blast there and the street food and local flavour is still plentiful). If you're in the neighbourhood check out El Beso Huasteco, really good Huastecan food.

Honestly there's so much street food that it's hard to go wrong (so much competition). Try a few stands until you find your favourites. My favourites were tacos campechanos (mixed meat tacos) and dorilocos (doritos mixed with a bewildering variety of other stuff and doused in lime and hot sauce).
posted by sid at 5:54 PM on May 18

Put your reservation in at Contramar now. Also consider buying advance tickets to Casa Azul (Kahlo's house), and if you are interested in architecture, make sure to book a tour at Casa Barrigan.

I also highly recommend Museo de Juguete Antiguo De Mexico, aka MUJAM in Doctores. It's a museum stuffed with millions of toys, each carefully cataloged and indexed, displayed in layered dioramas and installations.

I second the Anthropology Museum recommendation - do not miss this.

Enjoy breakfast at Maque.

If you have time to make short day trips, there is easy public transport to Teotihuacan. Be ready to climb up and down the steep stepped pyramids.

I also recommend the excursion to Xochimilco Trajineras, the flat boats on the old canals. It's a slow moving party - you negotiate a time and a price with the boatman, he'll load you up with beers or micheladas, and once out in the canals you can have your boatman stop at vendors floating in the water - elotes, flower crowns, other snacks, even mariachis will offer to link up to your boat and play for a fee. Atlas Obscura has a post about "The Island of the Dolls", a creepy island covered in old doll heads, but this is deep into the canals and would take some time to get to.

I visited for a week last year and really enjoyed wandering around Centro, browsing and taking in all of the small shops, each selling very specific wares. Enjoy your trip!
posted by stachemaster at 6:15 PM on May 18 [4 favorites]

Frida Khalo house/museum
posted by bearette at 6:24 PM on May 18

Definitely the Anthropology Museum, and Teotihuacan if you want a day trip. We really liked the Templo Mayor and associated museum.
posted by gudrun at 6:36 PM on May 18 [2 favorites]

Roma Condesa. One of the world's great 'hoods, even on its edges.
posted by sandmanwv at 7:15 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]

-frieda kahlo house
-day trip to cuernavaca: palacio de cortez, more food, see the central mountains from a safe reliable bus, Cuernavaca Cathedral (good cafes right across the street).
-i am a supra budget traveler. mexico city hostel in el centro has private rooms. La Casita de Coyoacán is a very small hotel that is safe with a super nice staff.
posted by j_curiouser at 7:16 PM on May 18

The Diego Rivera murals are fabulous.
posted by ktkt at 7:18 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]

When you go to Frida Kahlo's house (and you should), spend an afternoon wandering around Coyoacan, poking into random shops, people-watching in parks or cafes, etc. it's a lovely, funky little neighborhood.

Nthing the street food recommendation. You must have at least one torta.
posted by lunasol at 8:42 PM on May 18

You'll end up in the center and where you are there, visit Dulceria de Celaya. I still pine for their candied orange peels.
posted by Duffington at 10:10 PM on May 18

The recs so far are spot on. If you drink, drink Mezcal! It's delicious, there are so many available in DF, and it's so much cheaper in Mexico than abroad.
posted by benbenson at 12:36 PM on May 19

Oh gosh. How did i forget the pyramids??? Do that fir sure. And take a tequila obsidian tour nearby. Anyone will do.
posted by chasles at 4:29 PM on May 19

Nthing Teotihuacan. I usually dislike touristy places, but this was a pretty chill spot: basically just 'here are some very old pyramids you can look at and climb on'. And the bus ride to get there was nice, if you like bus rides.
posted by actionstations at 12:55 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]

All these things are great. Seconding Tizoncito and Maque. See if you can get to some Pulquerias; pulque has made a resurgence in the District and it's something you'll have a hard time getting outside of Mexico. Very low alcohol if that's a concern. La Nuclear on Calle Queretero is awesomely divey.

Def try to get outside of Condesa/Roma a little bit; there's a lot more to the city. Be a little careful about street food with lots of raw things. La Merced is another amazing market to add to your list.

Like most global cities, your lack of the language isn't going to stop you much, but it's worth the effort to learn some more basics.
posted by aspersioncast at 6:48 AM on May 23

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