The Insider’s Guide to Mexico City

The capital city shows a different side of the tourist destination, a side you are sure to fall in love with.

Summer is still in full swing, but the threat of fall is looming. As the sun begins to set on the season, we have our eye on an exotic new romance: Mexico City. Charming and sophisticated, Mexico City is also unexpectedly chill (seriously, it rivals the laid back beach resorts that tourists usually choose). Complicated, a touch dangerous and intimidatingly immense, this place is an enigma. Of course we wanted to get to the heart of Mexico City, so we asked some insiders for a few of their hole-in-the-wall favourites. Get ready for a whirlwind romance.

Jewellery designers Alejandra and Gabriela Morales of Mani Maalai

Neighbourhood: “Cuauhtémoc, because there’s a lot to do.” Restaurant: “Salon Rios for a martini and octopus tacos, Romita Comedor, because it pushes the boundaries, and Rosetta for its truffle pasta.” Tacos:“Tacos al Pastor at El Califa.” Dish: “If you come across aguachile, eat it.” (It’s shrimp marinated in chili peppers, lime juice, salt, coriander and onion.) Architecture:“Palacio de Bellas Artes. I mean, look at it!” Shopping: “Roma Quince and Polanco’s El Palacio de los Palacios.” (It’s a mall with more than 500 luxe brands.)

Ana Paula Ruiz Galindo and Mecky Reuss, co-founders of Pedro&Juana

Neighbourhood: “Colonia Juarez.” Restaurant: “Amaya for good Mexican wine. Cicatriz for its fried chicken sandwich. Bar Bucardón for its mezcal.” Shop: “Utilitario Mexicano.” (It’s a kitchen and decor shop that celebrates the simple tools we use in our daily lives.) Local Market: “La Ciudadela.” (It’s known for its traditional folk art and handicrafts.) Architecture: “Biblioteca Vasconcelos.” Mexican Artists: “Sculptor Tania Perez Cordova: few have her sensibility; Montserrat Albores Gleason: she’s an artist curator-turned-fashion designer with an amazing mind and clothes; and Susana Vargas: she’s a queer theory acrobat.”

Mafer Tejada Zuzuarregui, a mixologist at Licorería Limantour

Neighbourhood: “La Roma.” Tacos: “Maguey worms and escamoles (ant eggs) with a Michelada, a beer with clam juice.” What to Drink with Tacos: “Tepache, a fermented beverage made from the peel and the rind of pineapples.” Mezcal: “Rey Campero Jabalí, Gracias a Dios Tobalá and Mezcal Amores Cupreata. These three have the smoothness, texture, intensity, subtleness and the smoke of the real mezcal.” Must try: “Pulque, which is an alcoholic beverage made from the sap of the maguey plant.”