10 Best Places For Design Nerds to Dine in Mexico City
The metropolitan escape, rife with cultural destinations, is a design lover’s dream. Around every corner lies an eatery or shop evocative of your most lust-worthy decor fantasies—in a city that holds just under 10 million people, it makes for a thrilling landscape where extravagance and struggle coexist.
Situated at 7,200 feet above sea level, surrounded by soaring mountains and volcanoes, Mexico City is sprawling, and yet it exudes warmth. The people are kind and welcoming, and there’s something to do in every nook of the town. Neighborhoods like Condesa and Roma reign supreme in their design game. It’s a place to go to feel inspired in all respects, whether it be design, art, food, and culture—and there’s no better place to experience the magic of Mexico City than in its eateries.
Named the best restaurant in the world by multiple publications, the Chef’s Table eatery made a jump last year from the building on Calle Francisco Petrarca to a tree-covered bungalow in Polanco, 11 blocks away. Leaving behind the formality of the first location, chef Enrique Olvera shifted into a bright, airy space full of thoughtfully considered details—from the texture of the wood tables to the shade of gray for the poured granite. The sunken floor of the bar allows the bartender to be eye-level with seated patrons, and a bike rack takes the place of of valet parking.
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The design feels distinctly like Mexico: steel work and terrazzo and parquet floors give a nod to local building traditions, and everything save for the silverware and wine glasses were selected by interior designer Micaela de Bernardi and made or designed in Mexico (a highlight are the chairs, adapted from Cuban-Mexican Clara Porset's design). The result is captivating with an indoor/outdoor setting in an alabaster and wood palette; it’s lighter, friendlier, and creates a space where you feel welcome to sit for for hours on end.
Tennyson 133, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, 11570 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico, pujol.com.mx
Muted floral wallpaper, terra cotta floors, wood and white tables, and an abundance of plants make this place an Instagram dream. Channeling old colonial style with French doors, a curved bar, and cream-hued walls with sage accents, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported in time. Stepping through the ornate arched double doors, tucked in the La Juárez neighborhood, you’ll undoubtedly have the sensation of discovering a hidden gem with multiple rooms teeming with gorgeous details and indulgent dishes.
Be sure to head over to their bakery as well—they have some of the best pastries in town. The bollos de romero y azúcar (buns with rosemary and sugar) are to die for.
Colima 166, Col. Roma Norte, 06700 Cuauhtémoc, CDMX, Mexico, rosetta.com
Tucked on a leafy street in the hip, bohemian district of Condesa is the Condesa DF hotel, located in a 1928 French neoclassical building. Inside, modern interiors have been artfully renovated by architect Javier Sánchez, while the decor was the vision of Paris–based designer India Mahdavi.
Beyond the chic 40 hotel rooms are the stunning common areas, including the restaurant. Turquoise walls and ceilings lay down a bold palette, while Moooi’s fiberglass Random Lights add an eye-catching, ethereal sensibility. The Bishop bar stools by Mahdavi are the same as the ones at The Connaught hotel in London, though topped with pony skin versus leather. The open-space concept creates a stunning indoor/outdoor experience with a view of Chapultepec Castle and Parque España from the terrace and restaurant on the fourth floor.
Av. Veracruz 102, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico, condesadf.com
Located in Colonia Roma, the new Lorea has taken every detail in consideration, from the overall space down to the menus. The restaurant consists of casual dining on the floor level for their other concept, a lounge upstairs, and the main rooms and kitchen on the mid-level. The focal point, however, is the massive wooden sculpture hanging from the ceiling like a chandelier. The handcrafted woodworking, by designer Miguel Ángel, carries over to the tables, chairs, stairs, bar, and other accents.
The idea was to tap into a state of consciousness and let guests actively choose an experience. Guests are invited to "come as you are," offering an unpretentious evening of fine dining with a two options for tasting menus—a nine- or 14-course—each with their own set of surprises by chef Oswaldo Oliva (Mugaritz, Celler De Can Roca).
Sinaloa 141, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico, lorea.mx
Mia Domenicca resides in a 1920s house in the heart of Colonia Roma with a Mediterranean-inspired kitchen and cozy surroundings to match. Eats are prepared in the moment, and the experience here emphasizes slow living, reminiscent of a countryside terrace in Spain, France, Italy, or Morocco, where friends can sit around a table for an entire evening.
Bask on the sun-soaked patio under a canopy of hanging plants. Velvet chairs and cushions, and modern brass lamps add a sense of luxe, while gold dots on the wall and muted salmon, olive, and eggplant tones show that the place doesn’t take itself too seriously. Share plates prepared with seasonal and sustainable ingredients by chef Lucho Martinez like burrata, tomato, and peach salad, or a dish as beautiful as the decor—a pink organic mushroom cooked in an abundance of butter.
Calle de Durango 279, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico, miadomenicca.mx
Under the roof of this Porfirian-era mansion in the heart of Colonia Roma, gastronomy and culture collide. Stone, marble, stained glass, intricate reliefs, and baroque details surround multiple spaces to eat and experience art, each with a unique name and style of cuisine.
The main area, Blanco Colima, serves breakfast, lunch, and drinks. Black and white hues dominate the interior with geometric details adorning the ceiling and checkered floors. For dinner, head to Lázaro, a fine dining experience with local ingredients, or Belafonte, an oyster bar with fresh seafood run by chef Hiroshi Kawahito. Once the sun goes down, music and mixology take over; and on the top floor, you can take in exhibits with emerging artists, live music, movie premieres, workshops, and other events.
Colima 168, Roma Nte., 06700 Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico, blancocolima.com
In the heart of the upscale Polanquito neighborhood, chef Edgar Nuñez’s (Sud 777) Comedor Jacinta offers Mexican fare without a lick of pretension. With all the warm vibes of a small taqueria, the restaurant melds a sense of contemporary Mexican dining with Palm Springs flair.
Peach tones penetrate the space, which features wood, leather, and woven elements. Speckled throughout are cacti and plants—double shelves hold an array of terra cotta pots, ferns hang from the ceiling and skulls on the wall, and large daisy anemones sit on the ground. Wood-beam ceilings overhead, string lights, and hanging lamps create a snug interior, cooled by cerulean glass candle holders. A large family-style table sits under a waterfall of two double-hanging rattan lamps alongside a larger armoire, making it seem as though you're eating in Nuñez’s home.
Virgilio 40, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, 11550 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico, comedorjacinta.com
This is one of the quintessential visits when you go to Mexico City—and one of the most romantic. Walk through a stone entryway into an open courtyard with wooden tables nestled under trees laden pendant lamps, stained glass lights at every seating, and cobblestone and brick walls all around.
Dishes, created by the beloved chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, are served on ornate, floral, sapphire-hued plates, with a different theme each month focused on an ingredient.
Calle Isabel la Católica #30, Centro, 06000 Cuauhtémoc, CDMX, Mexico, azul.rest
Formerly Hotel Jardin Amazonas, Carlota was redesigned by local firm JSa Arquitectura and art-directed by Cadena & Asociados. The goal was to not only renovate, but also to meld past and present, calling to the forefront the neighborhood in which it resides—Cuauhtémoc, an area teeming with history with the U.S. and British embassies. Reforma 222, Historic Centre, Zona Rosa, and La Condesa are just minutes away.
The space is about balance. Concrete is paired with warm wood touches and cozy nooks, like the ornate library and airy restaurant. The central point is the glass-walled pool flanked with design details to create an urban-chic aesthetic. The tank slices the space down the center, offering a free-flowing dining experience. Eat upstairs inside, or wander out to nosh elegant fare by chef Joaquín Cardoso (a Pujol alum) and Sofía Cortina overlooking the water and patio. Afterwards, have a drink at the lobby-level bar, poolside.
Río Amazonas 73, Cuauhtémoc, 06500 Cuauhtémoc, CDMX, Mexico, hotelcarlota.com.mx
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, this one is not to be missed. The aquamarine gelato shop was designed by a team of dessert and design lovers, offering flavor combinations as wild as the decor. In line with the convivial theme, metallic materials and bright finishes take the forefront. Each of the circles is a lens to observe the product in different variations—in its true form or distorted. Created with magnifying glasses, kaleidoscopes, mirrors, and lighting, they are meant to spark a dialogue.
Get a fresh scoop of gelato in the quaint neighborhood of Polanco. Pastry chef Fernanda Prado serves up unique concoctions like matcha ice cream with caramel popcorn and toffee. On Thursday nights, you can get flavors inspired by classic cocktails.
Av. Vasco de Quiroga 3800, Santa Fe, Lomas de Vista Hermosa, 01509 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico, gelatoscopio.mx
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