Mexico City: Land of Luxury, Art & Design
Grant Hathaway Olsen
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
Whether it is fashion, gastronomy, architecture or design, Mexico City is at the forefront of each. Inspiring the world with it's innovative design and world-renowned chefs who awaken a symphony of mouthwatering flavors, Mexico City is ready to show the rest of the world what Mexico as a cultural and artistic powerhouse truly represents.
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Where to stay in Mexico
La Valise Mexico City
Located in a 1920s townhouse, this tiny urban stay offers three spacious and picture-perfect suites.
Complimentary mini-bar drinks.
Upgrade whenever possible.
The Alest Hotel
Chic and stylish hotel in Polanco.
Design forward hotel right in the city’s food scene.
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Day 1: Exploring Authentic Mexican Design in Mexico
Roma Norte is a great neighborhood filled with a bunch of fun boutiques, great restaurants and coffee shops. You can also get your fill of artistic and design inspiration by visiting the many showrooms in this area such as MAIA Contemporary. Additionally, a significant number of these galleries and showrooms require prior reservations, so be sure to reach out to me for exclusive access and a full list of the best galleries.
San Miguel De Chapultapec is also a hidden gem and a great place to get a taste for Mexican art and sesign. Explore this quaint neighborhood and enjoy a stroll through the many art galleries who call this neighborhood home. Some of the best spots to check out will be Le Laboratoire, Galeria RGR, Kurimanzutto and Maison Diez Company. These two neighborhoods should keep you well occupied for your first day of artistic inspiration in the City.
Dinner in Condesa
Mexico City is not small by any means and with a population similar to that of New York City, I have finally found the ultimate escape and sanctuary of peace and tranquility within the city. With beautiful Sonoran cactus rising to 75 feet in height, a quaint pond where you can witness the curiously cute Axiolote enjoying their watery abode and a plethora of flora and fauna thriving in elegance, this oasis of tranquility is worth a visit for the ambiance alone. Yet, it doesn't end there... the food is also fantastic. Using only the freshest ingredients, the dishes are nothing short of spectacular and boasting a generous wine list and fine cocktails (St. Germain Spritz tends to be my go-to to get the night started.) This is the perfect recipe for a romantic dinner or chic get-together with friends and family. Here are some of my favorite dishes that will most definitely add to the magic of the night:
Mussels with a coconut and lemongrass sauce
Ravioli filled with ricotta, toasted pink pine nuts and shallots in a pumpkin cream and white wine sauce and topped with blue crab and lemon thyme.
Day 2: Gastronomy in Mexico City Beyond the Taco in Mexico
Rosalia wasn't wrong when she was fervently asking her fan base via social media for the recipe for Aguachile. She loved it so much she needed to bring the recipe back to Spain so she could always have a little taste of Mexico back in Barcelona. Aguachile is a ceviche-style dish, typically made with raw shrimp or fish that is marinated in a mixture of freshly squeezed lime juice, chilies, garlic, cilantro and salt. This dish has a spicy yet well-balanced kick and is certainly something you need to try while in Mexico City. Both Rosalia and Dua Lipa knew where to go for this dish and some of the best seafood the capital has to offer. Just so happens that I may have the answer as well.
Dinner & Cocktails in Polanco
Polanco has the energy of a European City, a bit like Madrid or Paris. The main street on Masaryk is a bit like a mini Saks 5th Avenue and is definitely worth checking out for those interested in high-end brands and boutiques. Once you've had a little retail therapy, there is nothing better than a cold margarita or fine mezcal. Walking straight into one of the most chic spots for nightlife in Polanco, it seems like a scene straight out of a James Bond movie. The nocturnal elegance, candles flickering in an almost obsidian darkness and a carefully curated playlist with upbeat, vintage Mexican classics echoing off the walls entwine perfectly together in this sleek and sexy atmosphere. This is the perfect place to ignite a new spicy romance or to enjoy a romantically ignited dinner and cocktails with your media naranja. The restaurant and cocktail bar pay homage to two staples of Mexican cuisine: Maiz & Mezcal. Enjoy delicious Octopus tacos, pineapple pastor tacos and a selection of mezcal and tequila that can be enjoyed on its own or in truly unique cocktails that combine the most unique and authentically Mexican ingredients such as chapulines and other curiously creative ingredients.
Day 3: Coyoacan and the Hidden Wonders of Kahlo, Rivera & Wright in Mexico
When you visit Mexico City, the most obvious architectural wonder that you have to see is the Palace of Fine Arts. The other must is the archaeological museum for the amazing wealth of pre-Columbian art and history. Yet, there lies a hidden gem in Coyoacan in close proximity to the Frida Kahlo Museum that is a true hidden gem and holds a vast collection of pre-Columbian art and ceramics that often goes unnoticed. In Coyoacan, there is plenty to be discovered from Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and maybe even a little Frank Lloyd Wright.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Mexico City.