I told myself in November of 2019, “no more new trips!” I already had Iceland scheduled in March, five trips planned over the summer, and was still working out details for Germany in the fall. I didn’t have the time, or the budget, for anything else. But when my friend begged me to go with her as a final hurrah before her new big girl job, I couldn’t say no. It was only a weekend, and it wouldn’t hurt to dip into my savings just once, right? Plus, the travel bug was already starting to set in again after just being home for a month.
So off we flew to Mexico, City! To be honest, I didn’t have a ton of expectations. The city (nor the country) has ever been high on my priority list. So whenever my friend, Sharon, asked me about stuff for our itinerary my only response ever was “I just want to make sure I get lots of cute pics.” I’m glad to say that the city does not disappoint! Everything was so fun and vibrant. They had colorful murals and blooming flowers everywhere. I didn’t expect to be blown away by nature so much in this city. We stayed in the La Condesa area, a place highly recommended by everyone we talked to for its safety and location convenience. From there we were able to walk to about half of our destinations. Some areas we were explicitly told to avoid were Patriotismo and Chapultepec.
Since we were just spending a brief weekend there, we made sure to list out everything we wanted to see and eat. The main attraction for these few days was Casa Gilardi. The other museums in the area were hands down the most fun and interesting I have ever seen. Houston has a great museum district as well, but the pieces I saw in Mexico City were far more unique and intricate than I had witnessed anywhere else. The food was also a surprising highlight for me. I’m not a big person on Mexican food. I rarely even like TexMex. So I was a bit worried about enjoying the cuisine and finding food that would go with my low gluten lifestyle. I forgot to take into account the amazing fresh fruit and produce that thrives in Mexico. Below are some of my favorite highlights of the trip:
Lunch at Ojo de Agua was probably one of my favorite meals. We originally planned to go to Cicatriz Café in the Juárez area. Unfortunately they only had coffee, and we were on the hunt for some real food, we ended up at this amazing health food restaurant. I ordered this amazing stuffed corn dish, and my friend got a delicious chia seed banana and chocolate smoothie. Everything was so delicious and very filling.
Dinner at Azul Histórico was like a fairytale. The restaurant is in a beautiful shopping centre with brick roads and fun places to explore. The restaurant itself is the closest I have been to dining in a treehouse. They had tree trunks featured throughout the dining area with lanterns hanging off of them. The service and presentation was impeccable. I had a hibiscus, fig, and goat cheese salad. My friend ordered one of their famous mole dishes. For dessert I got us a tiramisu that they served in a beautiful teapot. We also treated ourselves to mezcal, Mexico’s version of tequila, that was served with season mango as a chaser. I believe this is one of the fancier restaurants in the city, but CDMX has tons of amazing restaurants. I suggest making a reservation as early as possible. Most places that Sharon called were already booked a month in advance.
Breakfast at Lardo was another highly recommended place. They are very tourist friendly there with amazing Mexican cuisine. This was within walking distance of our air bnb, so we actually came here for breakfast twice. The first time I ordered an amazing black ride pudding while Sharon took an adventurous leap for the cricket mole. The second time we both split their amazing pancakes that comes with various sauces in place of just syrup.
The museums were my favorite that I’ve ever been to. Our first stop was Casa Gilardi. If you plan on stopping by, be sure to book your reservation ahead of time through their facebook page. It’s cash only and worth every cent. The guide, who also lives there, is very informative of the city and recommended the other great galleries we ended up at afterwards. These galleries ended up having complimentary exhibits that were only available for a limited time. The first was The Autonomy of Color by Carlos Cruz-Diez at Galería RGR. The second was my favorite. It was an exhibit called Esculturas Pendientes by Abraham Cruzvillegas at Kurimanzutto. The sculptures featured unique furniture hanging upside down, coupled with plants growing out of them. I’m not an art critic, but I love looking at pretty things. So if you’d love to learn more about the art, make sure to check out those links!
Another priority for Sharon was Mexico City’s library. Biblioteca Vasconcelos is an amazing building that would be overflowing with books if it weren’t for their amazing system. They literally have shelves hanging from the ceiling, filled with books. It’s a book worm’s dream.
Since we were only in Mexico City for a couple nights in the beginning of the week, night life was a little harder to come by. We did end up finding a grunge speakeasy called Jules Basement. It’s hidden in a taco shop, behind an industrial refrigerator door. The have an extensive cocktails list, coupled with multiple skull fixtures to enhance the forbidden and dirty little secret vibe that every speak easy should have.
If you’d like to see more of the trip, make sure to check out the vlog!
The song featured here is Natalia Lafourcade’s Mi Lugar Favorito. I was given a bunch of great music suggestions for my CDMX playlist from some friends that I compiled into a Spotify playlist. You can check that out below, too. Some of my favorites are La Jura by Chicano Batman (I was told to listen to the prelude, too) and Girl Ultra’s Llama. The band DRIMS is also a great listen if you’re into the alternative rock vibe that I feature on this blog a lot.
There’s obviously still a ton to do in Mexico City that I couldn’t get done in a couple of days. If you’re looking for more ideas, feel free to ask! I got a whole itinerary that’s just sitting on my phone. I’ll talk to y’all next week for more music recs!