Mexico City is absolutely enormous so there’s really no way that three days could ever do it justice. This trip was solely about the food. There was a bit of culture and architecture sprinkled in, but the main goal was to cram in as much good food as humanly possible in three short days. And we were not disappointed.
Heading to Mexico was kind of a last minute decision, well for me it was last minute, but I did have a whole month to plan. One month is very spontaneous of me because generally I spend months planning trips. Anyways, it was a way to see an old friend and experience the one thing I have been dying to do since my travels started. Hitting one of the restaurants featured on the Netflix show “Chef’s Table.” That experience alone was enough for me to buy a ticket to Ciudad de México, sometimes referred to as CDMX.
Where to Stay
While there are lots of hotel options in CDMX, I rather enjoyed staying in an Airbnb this time. We found an Airbnb in the Condesa-Roma Norte area of the city that ended up being the cheapest accommodations I have ever stayed in. For three of us in a two bed/two bath apartment we each paid $45 for 3 nights. If budget trip is what you are looking for, put CDMX on your list, PLEASE.
The street stayed on was very noisy, especially at night so if you are a light sleeper maybe this isn’t the place for you. Even so, it was in a very safe area…as three females we wanted to make sure we were able to walk around in the evening if necessary. The apartment had a security guard and he was the only person who could open the door when entering and leaving the building, which was also very comforting.
We were also a very comfortable walking distance from main areas such as Parque Mexico, Chapultepec Park, and Avenida Amsterdam. This meant that every morning we could wake up and get breakfast just a 15min walk away, and there were several very delicious restaurants around us.
How to Get Around
Taxi’s and the Metro are an option, but for price and convenience, I would highly recommend just using Uber. The most expensive Uber we took was from the airport and it was less than $7 with a tip. I repeat… if budget trip is what you are looking for, THIS IS IT.
When we arrived at the airport, we went straight through immigrations and customs and then right out of Salida 7 which is where you can wait for a taxi or uber. To get a taxi, you will need to prepay at one of the ticket stands inside the airport, this is why I think uber is much easier and more efficient. If uber makes you a little weary, go to your settings and make sure that a pin is required for you to take your ride. This specific setting will require the driver to enter a pin only you have correctly in order for them to start the directions.
It is important to mention, that having a basic understanding of Spanish as in numbers, greetings, and ordering food is very helpful. Depending on the area you stay in, I’m sure this isn’t completely necessary, but we mostly used Spanish while in the city.
Once you get to your accommodation location, chances are you’ll be able to do a lot of walking as well. Unfortunately the city center is a bit of a long walk so you will need to get an uber there (depending on where you stay). Also, you can’t very easily walk from neighborhood to neighborhood but once you get to one you can walk around it with no problem!
Where to Eat
I confess, this section will be much more important than “what to do” because food was the main ingredient of this trip. It’s only purpose. Obviously we didn’t make a huge dent in my restaurant list in only three days, but we tried, and we ate as much as we could.
I don’t know about you, but I love a good churro. Let me be the first to say, with no shame, we ate churros daily. DAILY. And I had no objections then and no regrets now. The first churros came from our airbnb experience Churro Masterclass. Which were very delicious if I do say so myself… but the ones we had made by actual professionals were even better. For that, I would recommend Churrería El Moro. There are 11 locations so there’s no excuse not to make it to one.
Next up, my favorite meal of the day: Breakfast! I honestly was hugely surprised by the breakfast restaurant selection and delighted by just how delicious the food was. Within a 15min walk we had breakfast at Maque, Blend Station, and Ojo de Agua.
If you love chilaquiles (which I do) and freshly baked pastries like Pan de Muerto, Maque is your place.
Juices, waffle benedict, oatmeal? Go to Blend station, you won’t regret it.
Açai bowls? Ojo de Agua has the best. And each of these places is literally around the corner from the other. All right around Parque Mexico. They do have other locations though if you aren’t planning to stay in the Roma Norte/Condesa area.
Last but not least… Lunch/Dinner. Honestly, one of our dinner restaurants deserves a blog alone because it was a whole experience. For lunch we really enjoyed Lalo! Their pizza and fried calamari was to die for.
Mercado Roma was also a really cool place to check out, especially if you are vegan/vegetarian. I had some really tasty vegan pozole that I would highly recommend if you don’t mind mushrooms!
The real star of the show… of the whole trip honestly, was Pujol. I have to warn you, it is VERY pricey, but 100% worth every single dollar spent. Pujol will set you back about $100pp, if you don’t get anything to drink. It’s a 7 course tasting menu with an ambiance like I’ve never experienced before in a restaurant. Every single plate was done with purpose and seriously some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. You do have to be quick about reservations though, I’d recommend making reservations as soon as you book tickets, or even make the reservations beforehand because it can be very difficult to get a table.
What to Do
Admittedly, we didn’t really get to see a whole lot of the city in the short amount of time we were there. But I guess that gives me a reason to go back! Even so, we were able to get a glimpse at the beauty Mexico City provides. On a short trip, I recommend airbnb experiences, they are usually very well priced and offer guided tours with locals – which is the best way to see a city.
For CDMX, we chose two experiences. The first being a Churro Masterclass, put on by Churros El Chamo . This was put on by a pastry chef, and allowed us to learn about some of the key ingredients used to make churros, the chocolate dip, and cafe de holla which are all things very special to Mexico. Our experience was very intimate, in a home with 6 people total and we had such an incredible time.
We also chose to do a biking taco tour. This was put on by El Taco Club. We were lucky enough to end up with a private tour, mostly because it was a Monday during the off season and a lot of things are closed in the city on Monday. The tour started in Condesa and we biked all the way to the Polanco neighborhood, which was well worth a visit. Our bikes took us through Chapultepec Park, which we also had to ourselves because the park is closed on Mondays (except to bikers, biking through). We sampled 6 different tacos from 5 different “states” around Mexico, each with it’s own unique flavor. My tacos were all vegetarian, if you are vegan/vegetarian this is a great tour for you!
Mexico City is also literally filled with parks. There’s a park on every corner it seems and all of them are worth a visit. If you are short on time (like we were), I’d suggest hitting the biggest park in the city: Chapultepec Park. Chapultepec Park is twice the size of central park and boasts a castle just on a hill that used to house the presidents of Mexico. Keep in mind, the park does have an actual schedule, 8am-5pm Tues-Sun and it is PACKED on the weekends. The castle is definitely worth a visit as well, but just take a walk around and breathe in the fresh air.
Parque Mexico is also just as beautiful, and within walking distance if you are staying in the Roma Norte/Condesa area.
Unfortunately, we were unable to make it to the city center, but I would highly highly recommend you make a trip to El Zòcalo. That is where you’ll find most of the significant buildings including the Post Office, Plaza de Bellas Artes, and the national Palace.
Lastly, you should check out the Polanco Neighborhood. This area is home to the rich and famous, and has a street to rival Rodeo Drive or the Champs-Elysee. It is also where you’ll find Pujol, so if you’re in the area… might as well just take a walk around. Polanco has esthetically pleasing restaurants, ice cream shops, and bars and is just a super cute area to spend the day!
I’d say you’d need at least 5 days to really see most of the tourist attractions in the city, but if you only have 3 like we did, cram everything you can into that small amount of time! Or, you can visit multiple times.
As always, leave a comment below with any questions you have regarding our trip! If you’ve been to CDMX, feel free to tell me what I’ve missed so I can add to the list for next time!