First visit to DF
February 25, 2008 1:37 PM   Subscribe

Art, architecture and food enthusiasts: what should I do during my short trip to Mexico City?

I've taken a look at this thread, but I thought I'd ask again based on my particular circumstances. I'll be there from Wednesday evening through Saturday afternoon. Any recommendations about museums or churches that must be seen, or especially restaurants that must be visited? I'm not really concerned about budget. I am doing this on a lark, and don't speak Spanish, but can understand it sometimes because of my Italian and will be traveling with a friend who speaks Spanish.
posted by lackutrol to Travel & Transportation around Mexico City, Mexico (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The other thread is pretty comprehensive, but I'll recommend some things I've discovered in the 6 months I've been living here.

On Thursday night, go to a place called Cantina Covadonga in Colonia Roma. On most other days, it is full of older gents playing dominos with their pals and people watching a soccer game, but on Thursday evenings the young hipsters descend and it is quite a scene, a mix of young and old you don't see back in the states. It's probably one of my favorite places in the city. Great spanish food too. Try the chistorra and the favada asturiana.

If you're gonna do one big Mexican dinner, then it should probably be at Hacienda de los Morales in Polanco. It is indeed a beautiful Hacienda, the food was great, and we were even dining next to members of the Slim family. For a more updated mexican cuisine, the best of the nouveau places I've tried is Pujol (in Polanco as well). Have some ceviche, and def. try the flor de calabaza cappuchino.

For a quick casual lunch, hit up El Tizoncito in Condesa and get some tacos al pastor. I can't eat less than 7 when I go.

If you like seafood, then you have to have lunch at Contramar (not open for dinner). I haven't been to that many other seafood restaurants, but the fish is incredible. It is always full, especially during peak hours of 2-4pm so make sure you get a reservation, or get there when it opens to get a table.

A good night spot is Cibeles in between Colonia Roma and Condesa. There are door people, but if you are a well-dressed gringo it won't be a problem to get in. Have drinks at the Condesa DF (if you aren't already staying there). For a more local flavor, go check out Mama Rumba and watch the dancers. And if you drink enough tequila, give it a shot yourself.
posted by lovejones at 2:53 PM on February 25, 2008

I have a trip report to Mexico City posted on I stayed at the Hotel Condesa which lovejones mentions above.

For restaurants in a new city, I've found Chowhound to be invaluable.
posted by vacapinta at 5:00 PM on February 25, 2008

When I lived in Mexico City, one of the only museums I always took visiting friends to see was the Trotsky Museum, which is where the Russian revolutionary lived after he lost his political struggle with Stalin. It's an old colonial villa with an interior garden and lots of pictures on the walls of Trotsky tending his chickens and rabbits, or picking cactus flowers, or hanging out with Diego Rivera (he was sleeping with Rivera's wife Frida Kahlo, of course). You also see the bedroom with the machine gun bullet holes in the walls--the famous mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros busted in one night with his posse of fellow Stalinists and tried to assasinate Trotsky. And finally the ice-pick with which another Stalinist agent finally did him in.

There's something really touching about the whole place, a snapshot of an old revolutionary in his dotage, but also of Mexico in a time when it was one of the vibrant centers of international leftism, a refuge for all the anarchists and artists and communists who fled from the grim, cold fascism of Franco's Spain and Europe's darkening horizons.
posted by jackbrown at 12:40 AM on February 26, 2008

There are some Argentine steak houses near the University, and there used to be some good bookstores (I remember one with books and newspapers in English) and cafes around there as well.
posted by mds35 at 5:43 PM on February 27, 2008

PS: Be wary of the karaoke bars on the edge of the Zona Rosa. Some of them are brothels.
posted by mds35 at 5:43 PM on February 27, 2008

If you can't resist, just be sure you don't get onstage and sing "Just a Gigolo."
posted by mds35 at 8:24 AM on February 29, 2008

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