Glow Guide to MEXICO CITY // A Weekend with Materia
Mexico City is one of the most vibrant, interesting and delicious cities we've ever visited. Follow along on our Glow Guide to discover the best of Mexico City's amazing food, spicy Mezcal, and Materia’s hand-selected recommendations for the perfect weekend of culture, art, shopping and more.
Roma: Roma is known for being the hippest epicenter of the city. The quaint neighborhood streets are lined with vibey restaurants, bars, clubs, shops, cultural centers, churches and galleries.
Condesa: This magical neighborhood is young, hip and fashionable. Inhabited by artists, students and intellectuals, here you will find many hidden hip restaurants and nightclubs despite the fact that it is mostly residential.
Polanco: The "posh" neighborhood of Mexico city, equivalent to the Beverly Hills of Los Angeles. High-end hotels, designer stores, restaurants and bars are located here.
EAT & DRINK:
Contramar-- Absolutely amazing food, vibe and service. Fresh seafood -- don't miss the tuna tostadas and the grilled fish with green and red sauce served with tortillas!! Order a bottle of crisp Sauvignon Blanc and you'll be stylin'. Open for lunch only, reservations a must!
Rosetta -- You'll love the romantic and glowy atmosphere at this delicious Italian restaurant. High ceilings and an abundance of hanging plants... super special! The homemade ciabbatta bread is what dreams are made of and the linguini with clams was some of the best we ever tried.
Blanco Colima-- Next-door to Rosetta, perfect place to sit outside and enjoy drinks in a gorgeous setting.
Lalo!-- Cutest breakfast/brunch spot in a colorful, hip environment. One long communal table buzzing with good energy beside a playful mural wall. Amazing cappuccinos, beautiful food, and decadent treats! Look out for the cinnamon rolls!!!
La Lavanderia-- Next-door to La Clandestina, this is a perfect spot for some authentic Oaxacan fare washed down with, you guessed it, more Mezcal! Super friendly wait staff and a no frills, lovely setting.
Mercado Roma-- The Chelsea Market of Mexico City. A feast for the eyes and stomach!!
Panaderia Romero-- Cutest Ma and Pa bakery with gorgeous pastries and breads. Go for a cappuccino and a treat as a little break from exploring Roma.
Tres Galeones-- INSANELY good spot for tacos and burritos!! Woah! Delicious Micheladas and just basically a perfect establishment. Eat on the sidewalk and savor every bite.
El Parnita -- Yes, yes, yes. Bomb tacos and Mexican food for a great price.
Maximo -- Best Italian restaurant in Mexico City. Make a res!
Havre 77 -- Very glowy French cuisine and oyster bar. From the wall color, the flower choice, crockery, cutlery, and the sound and light, the interiors will make your evening and dinner a magical experience.
MN Roy -- This is the type of club we like. Located in the hip Roma neighborhood, this exclusive, hidden spot is worth trying to get into.
Cafe Paraiso -- Cool , dark, vibey club with live electro-Cumbia music. Perfect for a wild dance party.
Cafebreria El Pendulo Polanco -- This place is what dreams are made of. Coffee shop/cafe/bookstore and the coziest place to read with a latte and a pastry!
Las Alcobas-- Lovely and quiet upscale hotel with excellent service in the high end area of Polanco, which is like the Rodeo Drive of Beverly Hills. They provide 10 different beautiful bar soaps beside their gorgeous tubs in the bathroom.
Condesa DF -- (Condesa) This is the glowiest spot to stay in Mexico City. Amazing design, vibe, boutique and killer rooftop bar.
A WEEKEND IN MEXICO CITY WITH MATERIA
Emily Ellis Fox has history in Mexico. Her great-grandparents were figures in the country's midcentury arts scene and, growing up, she inherited the family love for Mexican design. Emily's online shop
Materia stocks handmade Mexican objects that interpret traditional materials in new ways. With an LA-based studio, frequent trips to Mexico City are a necessity! For first timers with only a weekend to spare, here's her 48 hour intro to this design and culture-rich capital:
Your first night in town, head to of-the-moment Roma for instant immersion in the city scene. Many standout restaurants are here, but I second the Glow Guide's recommendation of Rosetta--don't skip the herb ice cream! Also plan to snag a croissant (or two) at Panaderia Rosetta, their bakery across the street. These rival the best I've had in Paris (seriously) and will be perfect for tomorrow's breakfast.
There's only one Saturday tour at Casa Luis Barragan, but design lovers should book it. Home of the famous Mexican modernist architect, it's all concrete, geometric spaces and gorgeous color--the dream! Otherwise, head to well-heeled San Angel and Bazar Sabado for your market fix: You'll find traditional blouses, handmade ceramics, silver pieces and the most stunning etched glassware. In the interior courtyard, look for the man with the fortune-telling bird.
For lunch, nearby San Angel Inn is reminiscent of a bygone era, with fountains flowing, music playing, incredible service and the best margaritas I've had. This is a safe and stunning area outside the city center. Keep your eyes peeled for incredible homes if you do some strolling.
Post-lunch, you'll see the adjoining studios of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera just across the street. I'm biased here: My great-grandfather was the architect. But that cactus fence is a can't-miss photo op. Breeze through the museum for a quick intro to the couple (Diego's studio is the standout) or, for a deeper Frida experience, visit Museo Frida Kahlo in nearby Coyoacan. Her family home is filled with paintings, visual inspiration and moving personal effects--just as she left it. A must for any aficionado.
Late afternoon, skip siesta and visit Polanco, where it's easy to navigate between design shops. Drop by Onora for exquisite textiles (coming soon to Materia!) and elegant goods for the home; Yakampo for swoon-worthy clothing, which deftly incorporates handmade details; Lago for jewelry and accessories--all by Mexican designers and Carla Fernandez, whose line is credited with starting the artisanal craze. Anatole 13 also makes a good onestop shop for everything from local food to fashion to decor.
Come evening, the Glow Guide has you covered for some of the most popular spots around. You might wind down the evening with a drink at Baltra, a jewel-box of a bar serving the city's most innovative cocktails. Or for something completely different and offthe-radar, check out Bosforo Mezcaleria and the no-name restaurant next door.
For your second and last day visit Chapultepec, Mexico City's Central Park equivalent. Among the bike path, peddle boats and tchotchkes for sale, there's culture here in spades: The useum of Anthropolog is spectacular, world renowned for both its architecture and pre-Colombian collection. For contemporary art, visit Museo Tamay next door. Or head to Chapultepec Castle, perched on a hill. Views from here are amazing and inside is a great history of Mexican art.
Those interested in checking the ocalo off their list should head to the city's historic center next. One of the biggest squares in the world, it's ringed by government buildings and the largest cathedral in the Americas.
Nearby Azul Historic is great for lunch and pre-airport shopping, located in a beautiful, boutique-filled courtyard. Nearby, axonomia showcases up-and-coming designers. And Utilitario Mexicano is piled high with beautiful, useful Mexican kitchen accessories.
Then again, you might skip further sightseeing and instead spend your afternoon parked in one final Glow Guide spot: Contramar. That's not a bad idea. You could linger here for hours, indulging and people watching until heading directly to your flight. Need a lastminute souvenir? Mercado Roma's provisions and gourmet food stalls aren't far. Same with Delirio, which stocks Mexican pantry staples from local honey to mezcal. All make delicious gifts.