Mexico City is an absolute treasure trove for travelers seeking an unforgettable experience. It’s the fifth largest city in the world with a magnetic charm that captures the hearts of visitors from around the globe. Get ready to enjoy its breathtaking parks, world-class museums, and a culinary scene with multiple restaurants that are recognized as some of the bests in the world.
In recent years, Mexico City’s international tourism scene has gone through a remarkable transformation, especially with everything that went down during the pandemic. You won’t believe the influx of digital nomads and adventurous wanderers from the United States and beyond. While many countries closed their doors, Mexico said, “Hey, come on in!” This open-minded approach not only put Mexico City on the map but also skyrocketed its popularity among travel enthusiasts since 2020.
Let me take you on a journey beyond the usual tourist hotspots. Together, let’s explore some hidden gems and savor delightful gastronomic experiences that will make your trip to Mexico City truly unforgettable. Get ready for my handpicked list of activities and culinary delights, giving you a fresh and vibrant perspective on this extraordinary city. Let’s dive in!
Table of contents: ()
- Best Food Markets in Mexico City
- Chapultepec Park: The Largest Park in Latin America
- The Mexico City Hot Air Balloon in Teotihuacan: A different view of the Ancient Ruins
- Visit Polanco: The High-End Neighborhood in Mexico City
- Discover Plaza Carso and the famous Soumaya Museum
- Mexico City: An International Hub for Food and Drink Experiences You Must-Try
Best Food Markets in Mexico City
Discover how locals make their Groceries Shopping in multiple markets spread throughout the city with different Styles and Food to fulfill all customer needs. If you’re looking for a truly local experience this is a must-do activity. Try some food, buy some fruit or souvenirs sold by local vendors. Here are my two favorite Markets for you to visit when in Mexico City:
Mercado de San Juan
Mercado de San Juan is a famous food market located in the historic center of Mexico City. This market has become a popular gourmet food destination that attracts both chefs and food enthusiasts from all corners of the city. In this market, you’ll find aisles filled with an impressive array of fresh and vibrant produce, seafood, meats, cheeses, and international ingredients. However, what sets Mercado de San Juan apart is its unique offering of exotic foods, including an unexpected item: scorpions.
This traditional market caters to both passionate home cooks and professional chefs, making it a go-to destination for culinary enthusiasts. There have been rumors circulating about the market’s ability to provide even more unusual delicacies, such as tiger and bear meat. While these claims may be viewed as urban legends, some insiders claim that if you know the right people to ask, you may be able to procure these exotic meats.
If you’re not looking to purchase raw ingredients, Mercado de San Juan also offers a tantalizing variety of prepared hot foods. Following the inviting aromas, you can discover stalls where you can sample and indulge in a range of delicious culinary creations. One particularly popular snack specialty worth trying is chapulines (grasshoppers), which are toasted grasshoppers—a unique and flavorful Mexican delicacy.
Mercado de Coyoacán
The market known as Mercado de Coyoacán, or Coyoacán Market, is a lively and vibrant marketplace situated just a short distance from downtown Coyoacán.
Established in 1956, Mercado de Coyoacán stands out with its artistic atmosphere and the availability of unique crafts and artwork for sale.
What I really like about this market is its fabulous location, this “Mercado” is located in the Coyoacan Neighborhood which is famous for tourist attractions like the famous Frida Kahlo Museum and the beautiful main square of the Coyoacan Neighborhood.
Visitors have the opportunity to purchase traditional garments, toys, gifts, and various other handmade crafts, making it an ideal destination for acquiring souvenirs to commemorate their visit.
In addition to the customary fruit, vegetable, meat, and fish stands, the market also boasts numerous popular food vendors and refreshing juice stalls.
If you’re looking for snacks, tostadas, quesadillas, meat or seafood dishes, or even indulgent sweets, you will find everything here in this market. Be sure to check the fried Quesadillas, they are one of my all-time favorite Mexican dishes to try in Coyoacan.
Chapultepec Park: The Largest Park in Latin America
Chapultepec Park is the largest city park in all of Latin America Spanning over 1,700 acres. Chapultepec offers a diverse range of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages.
Chapultepec Park is home to the historic Castillo de Chapultepec, which holds a significant place in Mexican history. Once a presidential residence, this stunning castle now houses a museum that takes you on a captivating journey through Mexico’s past. From ancient civilizations to modern-day culture, the exhibits offer a fascinating glimpse into the country’s rich heritage.
Another must-do attraction within the park is the National Museum of Anthropology. This remarkable museum showcases an extensive collection of artifacts from indigenous cultures across Mexico.
If you love animals, the Chapultepec Zoo is a must-do attraction. This zoo is home to over 2,000 animals from around the world, including majestic lions, playful elephants, and graceful giraffes, this zoo offers an unforgettable experience. Explore the various exhibits, from the reptile house to the mesmerizing aquarium, and get up close with some of nature’s most fascinating creatures.
For a moment of relaxation, head to the picturesque Lago de Chapultepec. Walk or even work out along the lake’s shores, or rent a boat. It’s a beautiful lake where you can enjoy the beauty of nature and a peaceful retreat from the urban landscape.
Chapultepec Park is not only a natural escape in Mexico City but also a culinary experience space. With multiple restaurants like the Famous El Lago Restaurant, you can enjoy delicious meals while enjoying the park’s scenic views of the lake.
If you like history, love nature, or are simply looking for a peaceful escape, Chapultepec Park is a must-visit destination. The park is open from 6 am to 6 pm daily.
The Mexico City Hot Air Balloon in Teotihuacan: A different view of the Ancient Ruins
Imagine floating above the city, taking in the stunning views of the ancient Aztec ruins. Embarking on a hot air balloon adventure presents a remarkable opportunity to witness Teotihuacan from an entirely unique vantage point, leaving you with an unforgettable experience to treasure during your visit to Mexico City.
As the journey unfolds, the excitement builds alongside the rising sun. In the early morning hours, as the balloon is gradually filled with warm air, anticipation surges through your veins. Finally, the moment arrives. You step into the basket, ready to embark on an exhilarating ascent into the heavens.
As you ascend higher, a panoramic tapestry of the city unfurls before your eyes. The majestic pyramids of Teotihuacán emerge into view, standing as silent witnesses of ancient grandeur. Simultaneously, the modern skyline of Mexico City paints a contrasting picture, melding the past with the present. It’s a truly breathtaking sight, where the collision of ancient and contemporary worlds unfolds right beneath your gaze. The price for this experience starts at $150 to $200 depending on which touring company that you use to make your booking.
Visit Polanco: The High-End Neighborhood in Mexico City
Polanco is the ultimate High-End neighborhood in all of Mexico City, this is where the most exclusive shops and restaurants are located, especially in Avenida Masaryk. But don’t panic, I’m going to recommend some activities you can do for free in Polanco. One of them is definitely visiting the beautiful Lincoln Park. People gather here to spend quality time with friends and family members because not only is the park beautiful but also there are multiple restaurants, bars, and Ice Cream parlors to have a good time and take a nice walk in the park. I highly recommend you have a nice Ice Cream at Amorino which is an international Ice Cream Brand that is simply delicious.
Discover Plaza Carso and the famous Soumaya Museum
After your visit to the Park, you can walk for 15 mins and arrive at Plaza Carso. In this modern shopping center, you will find 2 very important Museums: Museo Jumex and the Iconic Soumaya Museum. This Museum is housed in a unique building designed by Mexican architect Fernando Romero. The building, constructed with pristine white concrete, boasts a captivating spiral staircase that gracefully winds its way to the museum’s zenith. Inside, the collection spans across five floors, with each floor dedicated to a unique theme.
The Soumaya Museum has a collection of 66,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and drawings from Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
For over the past 15 years, the Museo Soumaya Building has been one of the most popular Landmarks in Mexico City. Some people say that you haven’t been to Mexico City without taking a picture at the Famous Angel of Independence and The Museo Soumaya, the building itself is simply beautiful.
The Soumaya Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm. Admission is free.
Mexico City: An International Hub for Food and Drink Experiences You Must-Try
Best Restaurants in Mexico City
Over the past five years, Mexico City has emerged as a prominent global destination for food and drink enthusiasts, boasting a captivating array of top-tier restaurants and bars. This city is home to some of the world’s best restaurants, making it an ideal choice for those seeking exceptional culinary experiences. Currently, Mexico City proudly hosts two of the best restaurants globally, alongside several esteemed dining establishments that rank among Latin America’s finest. If you are a passionate food enthusiast craving an outstanding upscale dining experience, here is a curated list of some of Mexico City’s most exceptional restaurants:
Pujol: Pujol Mexico City is a fine dining restaurant located in the Polanco neighborhood, recently named the 5th best restaurant in the world according to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. With this ranking, Pujol is now the first Mexican Restaurant that becomes the Best Restaurant in North America led by Chef Enrique Olvera and Chef de Cuisine Jesús Durón, Pujol Mexico City has gained recognition for its exceptional cuisine and chic setting.
Quintonil: Located in the fashionable High-End Polanco neighborhood of Mexico City, Quintonil Mexico City is the brainchild of chefs Alejandra Flores and Jorge Vallejo. Since its opening in 2012, Quintonil has become one of the most celebrated restaurants in Mexico City, offering a unique take on Mexican cuisine that combines traditional flavors with a modern twist. Quintonil was recently awarded as the 9th best restaurant in the world.
Rosetta: Rosetta is an extraordinary restaurant located in the neighborhood of La Roma in Mexico City, celebrated for its remarkable reinterpretation of traditional Mexican cuisine. This popular restaurant resides within a charming, centuries-old mansion in the vibrant Roma Norte neighborhood, exuding an ambiance that is both welcoming and enchanting. With a commitment to using locally-sourced ingredients, the menu at Rosetta evolves with the seasons, ensuring an ever-changing selection of fresh and delightful flavors.
At the helm of Rosetta is the exceptionally talented chef Elena Reygadas, whose culinary prowess has earned her global recognition as The Best Chef in the World according to the 50 Best Awards. Reygadas expertly combines Mexican and European influences to craft dishes that are not only inventive but also bursting with delectable flavors.
Beyond its phenomenal cuisine, Rosetta boasts a beloved bakery that has become a local favorite. This delightful haven offers an array of heavenly breads, pastries, and cakes, all crafted with the finest seasonal ingredients. If you’re seeking a quick bite on the move, the bakery at Rosetta is the perfect destination to satisfy your cravings. Be sure to ask the Famous Guava Roll, you won’t regret it.
Maximo Bistrot: Established in 2011, Máximo Bistrot was founded by renowned chef Eduardo García and his wife, Gabriela Lopez. The restaurant is recognized for its commitment to showcasing the best of each season through the use of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. García’s dedication to sustainability is evident in his utilization of nearby gardens and crops in Mexico City. Widely regarded as a culinary luminary in the city’s vibrant food scene, García’s exceptional skills earned him the esteemed Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award for Best Reinvention in 2021.
Garcia fuses classic European culinary techniques with authentic Mexican ingredients, resulting in remarkable flavor combinations. Some noteworthy dishes on the menu include tantalizing creations like grilled octopus served with mole de olla sauce and organic sweet potato, or morels complemented by a delightful sherry and foie gras emulsion.
Best Bars in Mexico City for Nightlife
Handshake Speakeasy: This is considered the Best Bar in Mexico since it´s the Bar that ranked the highest in this competitive ranking. This Bar is incredible and a Must do for Cocktail Enthusiasts. Once you pass this Door with #13 on it. Jump into a very exclusive and intimate venue with Great Gatsby vibes. I always say expect the unexpected with these fabulous Drinks.
Hanky Panky: Considered the 12th Best Bar in the World by the 50 Best Bars Ranking, this year they ranked as the 20th best bar in North America and will soon change their World ranking as well. Pass this Mexican Restaurant, head backstage, and prepare to be transported to one of the Sexiest and most exclusive Bars in Mexico. Hanky Panky is considered to be the Ultimate Speakeasy Bar Experience in Mexico with amazing Cocktails and a fashionable atmosphere to have an amazing night. I highly recommend the Pornstar Martini: vanilla-infused vodka, passion fruit liqueur, lime juice, and simple syrup. They serve it with a shot of prosecco to reduce some of the sweetness of this drink.
Limantour Bar: Since 2014 this bar has ranked as some of the Best Bars in the World and now it is honored with the 4th Best Bar in North America. This Bar is famous for its legendary Margarita al Pastor that technically tastes like a taco but I promise you it doesn’t have any Meat, however, they do make a taco mix with Cilantro and Pineapple that we as Mexicans think tastes like a Taco and of course Tequila. This Bar is simply incredible and is located in one of the hottest spots of Mexico City: La Roma. However, this is one of the Bars that fill up very fast so reservations are highly recommended at least 2 weeks in advance.
Mexico City is a city that’s got it all! From fascinating history to rich culture, and amazing food to epic nightlife, this vibrant metropolis offers something for everyone. No matter what you’re into, exploring ancient ruins and cool museums, checking out lively neighborhoods and local markets, indulging in mouthwatering culinary delights, or partying the night away, Mexico City has got you covered. Get ready to create unforgettable memories in this incredible city.