The Urbanist’s Mexico City: What to Do

180° shopPhoto: Toni François

Where Four of Mexico City’s Star Designers Drop Their Dinero

Punto I Coma
Monte Himalaya 815, Colonia Lomas de Chapultepec; 2623-0288;
“It’s not safe to walk and shop in D.F., so this is one place where you can go for everything: coffee, accessories, home items, baby clothes, bathing suits. And the designers are mostly from Mexico City.” —Christian Cota

Goodbye Folk
Colima 198, Colonia Roma; 5525-4109;
“They have a lot of vintage and reconstructed vintage, and their own line of classic shoes. The prices, compared with New York, are not expensive at all. And there’s also a hairdresser in the shop.” —Marvin Duran Diaz of Marvin y Quetzal

Cana Miel
Avenida Javier Barros Sierra 540, Colonia Santa Fe; 5292-3869;
“This boutique opened like six months ago and sells Latin American designers. You see the super-sexy aesthetic of the Brazilians, the good cut of the Colombians, the colorful style of the Mexicans.” —Carla Fernández of Taller Flora

180° Shop
Colima 180, Colonia Roma Norte;
“It has a very boyish look, like a tomboy from the eighties. They sell bicycles, things for the home, and some clothes and accessories. There’s a Rockola (vintage jukebox), and the counter is made of old videotapes. It’s very cool, but not very expensive.” —Alejandra Quesada

One Wild Night

7 p.m.
Arrive early at Félix (Álvaro Obregón 64, Colonia Roma) to claim one of four sidewalk tables, prime for people-watching along Colonia Roma’s main drag. Order cervezas and the oversize sliders, and shout above the soundtrack ranging from Elton John to the Clash.

9 p.m.
For mezcal cocktails, aguardiente (firewater), and local microbrews beneath an undulating brick ceiling and Edison bulbs, wait your turn for a seat at Roma’s most recent hot spot, La Nacional (Orizaba and Querétaro, Colonia Roma).

11 p.m.
On a gritty corner of the Centro Histórico, Bósforo (Luis Moya 31; Colonia Centro) serves housemade pulque, grasshopper tacos, and a mezcal bottled with a baby rattlesnake. If you can get in the door, there’s the invitation-only club M.N. Roy (Mérida 186, Colonia Roma), named for a famous communist, hosted by a trans socialite, and frequented by models.

1 a.m.
Hit Bahía Bar (Tolsa 36, Colonia Juarez) for rockabilly bartenders and stylish twentysomethings dancing to Mexico City’s distinctive genre, cumbia sonidera. The adventurous might then cab to notorious Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl and Disco Spartacus (Ave. Cuauhtémoc No. 8), where muscled men cage-dance, drag queens vamp, and leftist intellectuals flaunt their open-mindedness.

Market Rate
Ranking the city’s bazaars from stroll-your-baby sleepy to hang-on-to-your-purse hectic.

El Bazaar Crafts Market
(Plaza San Jacinto, No. 11, Colonia San Ángel; Saturdays only)
Recent Find: masks and boxes covered in milagros (small, religious charms), from $8.

Plaza del Carmenfine Art Market (Colonia San Ángel; Saturdays only)
Recent Find: pewter and ceramic salad servers, $11.

Mercado Artesanal de la Ciudadela Crafts Market(Balderas and Plaza de la Ciudadela, Colonia Centro; daily)
Recent Find: Tonalá-style ceramic sugar dish, $8.

Jamaica Flower Market (Corner of Congreso de la Unión and Guillermo Prieto, Colonia Jamaica; daily)
Recent Find: perforated paper flags; five to 60 cents.

Most Chaotic:
La Lagunilla Antiques Street Market or Tianguis
(North of Mercado Lagunilla on and around Comonfort, Colonia Lagunilla; Sundays only)
Recent Find: devotional paintings from the twenties to the fifties, $27.

Urban Amalgams
In-demand neighborhoods and their New York City equivalents.

Do this: Walk ash-tree-lined streets, while ogling Art Deco and neo-­Colonial homes; see world-class modern art at Kurimanzutto (Gob. Rafael Rebollar 94); explore the great urban park Bosque de Chapultepec (Constityentes).

Do this: See avant-garde installation art at Museo Universitario del Chopo (Dr. Enrique González Martínez No. 10); watch a brass band play at neo-Moorish pavilion Kiosco Morisco (La Alameda); eat barbacoa (goat) at La Oveja Negra (Sabino 215).

Do this: Explore the recently restored centuries-old buildings around Calle Regina; take in the reemerging downtown with mezcal-drinking scenesters at Al Andar (Regina 27-B); watch lucha libre antics at Arena Coliseo (República de Perú 77).

The Urbanist’s Mexico City: What to Do