Mexico’s capital city has long been known to travelers looking to eat; this irresistible culinary city is known as one of the top foodie destinations on the planet. Mexico City is having a moment right now, and it’s not just because of world-renowned multi-coursed meals, mom-and-pop restaurants, and iconic street food. It’s delicious, yes, and it's also historic, cultural, and imaginative. We think this moment isn’t one that will depreciate any time soon, if ever.
The Aztec city that started on an island within Lake Texcoco and later expanded after the Spanish conquest and the lake being drained, Mexico City resides on the lake basin and is located within the Valley of Mexico surrounded by mountains. Its subtropical highland climate is mild throughout the year and the city rises to an elevation 7,400 feet above sea level. The city consists of 16 boroughs, similar to boroughs of New York, and is divided into colonias or neighborhoods with the traditional center comprising of four of those boroughs.
A city that’s one of the largest and liveliest in the world–22 million people and the sixth largest metropolitan area in the world–its large population breeds cultural depth and diversity through the architecture, art, and its people. With numerous museums, nearby archeological sites and ancient ruins, a thriving art scene, ancient, colonial, and contemporary architecture, and vivacious nightlife, Mexico City has it all. And we know you’ve heard that before, but as a city frequently overlooked by its coastal counterparts and within a country that is oftentimes misunderstood, Mexico City gives “has it all” a new meaning. Blending old and new and city grit with lush parks and plant and tree-lined streets, Mexico City is your ideal long weekend away destination. Suitable for friends and couples, it's easy to get to from many parts of the United States, and it can easily be combined with other cities in Mexico for a longer stay. Think San Miguel de Allende, Oaxaca City, or Guadalajara, or against the grain coastal towns like Puerto Morelos, Isla Espíritu Santo, or Puerto Escondido.
Recently our team spent a few days in Mexico City. A first time for all of us, it's safe to say it won't be a last; we were all plotting a return trip even before leaving the city! The following hotels, restaurants, and things to do/see only scratch the surface. By no means is this an all-encompassing list of where to stay, what to eat, and what to do in Mexico City in its entirety, because, hey, Mexico City is HUGE! But I do think we found some gems. Take this as a starting point—let it inspire you to finally say yes to Mexico City.
Casa Polanco is a boutique hotel in the heart of the sophisticated Polanco neighborhood, right in front of the beautiful Parque Lincoln. This newly renovated property blends the service of a high-end hotel with the sense of staying at an impeccable private residence. Central to Mexico City's vibrant energy, but intimate and exclusive, it combines luxe design-forward elements with the original bones of a 1930s Spanish colonial mansion. The hotel is both contemporary and historic with restored original architecture, rare pieces and furniture collected from antique shops, and a contemporary eye for interior design. The hotel's 19 elegant suites have unique decorative details and a stylish color palette of muted browns, black, and white.
From the first glance, undeniably, Casa Polanco is special for its gorgeous design, but it's the staff and attention to detail that makes being a guest there truly memorable—so much so that our departure was met with a warm hug from the manager. From a welcome cocktail and snack (tequila in a champagne flute and spicy taro chips we couldn't get enough of), cappuccinos delivered to our rooms in the morning, daily tea (wine) time, the extensive breakfast buffet, and to the staff who were so welcoming and generous with their time and energy, we couldn't recommend Casa Polanco enough.
Brick Hotel is a sexy and modern boutique hotel located on Orizaba Street in Colonia Roma. La Roma quickly emerged as the city's hottest neighborhood with a myriad of cafes, bars, restaurants, art galleries, and vintage stores. Full of contrasts: dark and sleek interior spaces with moody lighting, as well as sun-drenched, plant-filled balconies and patios, the hotel was once a private estate for the head of the Bank of London & Mexico. The original building's structure is in tact with brick shipped from London, giving the hotel its name, but more contemporary and industrial additions were made like floor-to-ceiling windows and unique light fixtures.
This 17-room boutique hotel also has spa with a sauna and steam room, and a lively bar, a basement speakeasy, and restaurant, Cerrajería. The rooms and suites are lavish in their comforts, especially the two-level Rooftop Suites with their private patios. Brick Hotel is in an ideal location to further explore Mexico City and do so in style and comfort.
Sofitel is located in the heart of Mexico City’s historic Reforma Avenue just steps away from iconic monuments like The Angel of Independence and the Castle of Chapultepec. With sweeping views of Mexico's capital from up high, Sofitel has 275 guest rooms and modern decor influenced by chic French style. Guests will find themselves right in the middle of all the action; this hotel truly makes you feel in the middle of a massive city.
Sofitel Reforma boasts 5 bars and restaurants, all with unique flavors and creative culinary expressions. Whether looking for spirited cocktails in the 38th floor bar Cityzen or elevated gastronomic exploration at Bajel, there is truly something for every style of dining. Those looking for a tranquil escape from the bustling streets of Mexico City can relax in the serene and calming atmosphere of Sofitel’s lavishly appointed spa. A highlight for us, though? The gorgeous pool on the 38th floor with striking views of the city.