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One of the largest cities in the world, Mexico City is enjoying a 700-years-due renaissance. As the oldest city in the Western hemisphere, Mexico (as the locals call it) is teeming with museums, culture, authentic and contemporary food, vibrant nightlife and activities—all fueled by the passion and rich history of the Mexican people. Dispel anything negative you’ve heard of this city, and discover the colorful lego-block houses, endless art and culture, political vivacity and above all, rare generosity and welcoming hospitality. The Zocala, or central plaza, is the largest in the world, and the Pasea de la Reforma surrounds the city and is modeled after the Champs-Elysee in Paris.
In the Centro colonia, the Zocalo is the beating heart of the city and one of the biggest plazas in the world. It is built on the ceremonial center of the Aztec capitol. The Ayuntamiento, or city hall, as well the Catedral Metropolitana, surround the square. Get lunch and a view of the square from the top-floor restaurant at the Hotel Majestic.
Museo Nacional de Antropologia
Ave. Paseo de la Reforma, Polanco
Tel. +52 (55) 553.1902
To learn more about the Toltec, Mayans and Aztecs, come and be fascinated by 100,000 square feet of beautiful space on how native cultures of Mexico thrived before Spanish conquest. Designed by Pedro Ramirez Vazquez, this museum provides not only history about native cultures, but also how modern descendants carry on their legacies today.
Castillo de Chapultepec
Section 1 of Bosque de Chapultepec
Tel. +52 (55) 5.241.3100
Mexico City could be named Mural City, and the Castillo de Chapultepec is part of the reason why. Murals by O’Gorman, Orozco and Siqueros grace the structure’s first floor. The castle used to house Mexican presidents and was a military academy and stronghold in the 19th century. Since 1939, however, it is the Museo Nacional de Historia. Take a trip through the history of Mexico in Chapultepec’s museum: from the rise and fall of Nueva Espana to the Mexican Revolution.
Masaryk 513 (Polanca)
Tel.+52 (55) 5282.1820
Oaxacan food, complex and culturally rich has found it's way to Mexico City. Many of the ingredients are actually trucked in from the six hour away city of Oaxaca. Chef Alejandro Ruiz, who has overseen this immensely popular restaurant is responsible. The upscale restaurant strives for authenticity so a visit here will not disappoint.
Astrid & Gaston
Tennyson 117 (Polanca)
Tel. +52 (55) 5282.2666
This Peruvian restaurant which opened in Lima over 15 years ago has taken off and now has branches all over Latin America, Madrid and now in Mexico. Peru’s cooking, like that of Mexico, is based on an intricate fusion of native ingredients and techniques and those of Europe, notably Spain. Unlike in Mexico’s cooking, there is a rather profound Asian influence.
Maximo Bistrot Local
Tonala 133 (Roma Norte)
Tel. +52 (55) 6264.4291
A small, elegant and somewhat subdued ambinace is what Maximo Bistrot Local is noted for. The open kitchen creates a menu that changes daily.
Hegel 406 (Polanco)
Tel. (52.55) 5255.0612
Polanco is a chic area of Mexico City. It is also where some of the best shopping and eating can be found. D.O. specailizes in distinctive Spanish cuisine. You can dine at the bar and enjoy some of the best tapas south of the border. The main dining room is more elegant but still informal. I
Av. Presidente Masaryk 513 (Socrates)
Tel. +52 (55) 5.280.1671
Reservations are not only essential, but also difficult to get at Izote. Even Hollywood moguls seek out this place. Try the shark fillet or any one of the other delectable fish dishes.
Nuevo Lyon 66 (Condesa)
Tel. +52 (55) 5.286.6268
Enjoy a bite of nouveau Mexican cuisine at this all-white, sleek, minimalist eatery. This is a good place to start for those heading out for a night on the town.
Homero 704 (Polanco)
Tel. +52 (55) 5.203.0306
Excellent local cuisine, great mariachi music and Spanish sayings on the wall make Villa Maria a highly recommended dining experience. Enjoy unique (and spicy) favorites like Chiles Enogadas or Queso Fundido.
155 Malitzin, Coyoacan district
A brand new cantina co-owned by "Y Tu Mama Tambien" star, Diego Luna. It serves upgraded classics like rib-eye tacos. Inside, the hip design enlists circular butcher blocks as stools and tables. Cult-chic Mexican fashionistas fiesta here week after week. Expect a cool but casual crowd.
Saltillo 1 Colonia Condesa
Split-level restaurant-bar for the city's fashionable elite is still one of the city's hot spots, although the crowd can get a bit youthful on weekends. Spread over three floors, the club/bar/restaurant is encased with glass walls featuring street views while the dress code seemed to be New York black, with tie-less suits favoured by the men. Expect 30-somethings, mostly single, and very stylish.
Hamburgo 224 at Praga, Zona Rosa
Tel. +52 (555) 525.2881 or +52 (555) 525.2996
Premier selections of 18th and 19th century antiques are available. Recently featured items include an 1803 Napoleonic vase.
Florencia 14 (Zona Rosa)
Tel. +52 (555) 33.2509
Get the finest in leather bags and accessories for men and women.
Fuentes 180B (Pedregal)
Tel. +52 (555) 595.4852
www.dupuis.com.mx (in Spanish only)
A furniture store with smaller accessories representing different influences in Mexico: colonial Spanish and turn-of-the-century French. Dupuis offers elegant picture frames, flower pots and more.
5 de Mayo 39 (Col. Centro)
Tel. +52 (555) 521.1787
For those with exotic tastes and a strong sweet tooth, Celeya specializes in candied pineapple, guava and other exotic fruits. Try cajeta, made with caramelized milk. Unique, traditional and rare Mexican sweets can be found here.
Goldsmith 56-D (Polanco)
Tel. +52 (555) 281.0818
Plata Real preserves the traditions of silversmiths from the colonial period. High-quality contemporary sculptures plus replicas of colonial pieces are available here.
Be sure to write down and remember these numbers. They may come in very helpful.
Sitio de Autos Niza
+52 (555) 525.5823
+52 (555) 271.2560
Great Mexico City Website:
Ballet Folklorico de Mexico
Palacio de Bellas Artes
Av. Juarez at Eje Central Lazaro Cardenas
Tel. +52 (55) 5.512.3633
Get a true taste of Mexican dancing by witnessing this wonderful blur of professional folk dancers. Performances are on Wednesday and Sunday nights. It’s a nice relaxing night out if one is not in the mood for dancing and drinking until the wee hours.
Queretaro 230, Roma, or Plaza San Jacinto 23 (San Angel)
Tel. +52 (55) 64.6920 or +52 (55) 50.8099
Get friendly with fellow dance patrons at the most popular and hip dance clubs in the city. The San Angel location is a little more subdued and refined. Dance to Latin beats from all over the region.
Mexico City, Mexico
Paseo de Reforma 483
The newest and most popular hotspot in Mexico City, with a chic, ultra-modern design, is a real treat for those who love living la vida loca. Located on the famous Paseo Reforma, Living is a trendy club that caters to upper-class Mexicans and circuit boys and girls. On the main floor, a glass wall divides two separate dance areas: one with high-energy techno, dancers in colorful costumes and sweaty boys showing off nude torsos; and the “Pop” area, offering a mix of Spanish and American music, supermodels and celebrities, business travelers and a seating area. The party starts late—around 11:30pm—and goes on until early morning. The drinks are pricey and strong, and the waiters are quick to fetch you a new one.
Club de los Industriales
J.W. Marriot Hotel in Polanco, 29
Located in the classy Chapultepec Polanco. Try to wrangle an invitation to this private club, that caters to the "Who's Who" on the Mexican power scene. Designed by famed architect Sordo Magdaleno, and populated with paintings by Tamayo Toledo and other renowned artists, its food is as notable as its décor. Recently it played host to the chef from Paris' Hôtel Le Bristol.