MEXICO CITY GUIDE

Gabriel Figueroa Collection

From Yasmine & Kamal Rasool

Video Editing by Charles Prest

We were craving passion, fire, and some wild times, so we clearly had to head to Mexico City. On every corner there’s a vibrant feast for the senses that gravitates you to wanting to see, do and discover more. You might argue that the city has always had this aura to it, but at this very moment, there is a movement of new kids on the block carrying a whole new set of creativity to the table, making way for the future and bringing on a whole new set of reasons to visit the city. 

 

Walking through the streets of Mexico City is intoxicating, with wafts of street food stalls filling the air, it isn’t hard to be lured into a meal. We played mostly at Polanco, Roma, Centro and Condesa. From the classic eateries that haven’t changed a thing, to the chefs deconstructing classic recipes and taking them to the next level. In the guide we take you through a whirlwind ride of our favourite eateries discovered, showing you why it’s known as one of the great food cities.

 

And then there’s the art scene; no longer solely lifted up by iconic 20th-century artists like Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, David Siqueiros and Diego Rivera, but now by new, world-class art institutions like the Soumaya, and the Museo Lumex; artists like Orly Anan and Ana Segovia throwing out the rule book and re-interpreting what it means to be a Mexican artist. The old stuff is still there and beautiful, but it’s the new that has coloured us intrigued. We head to many of these institutions and studios, interviewing inspiring characters along the way and getting a glimpse into their glowing world.

 

Mexico City, or CDMX—as it's now known – is a marvel. Throw out every preconceived idea you have of the place and dive in fully to the new, the old, and everything in between. We explore it all and we can’t wait for you to experience it with us too. 

 

OUR TRUSTY TOUR GUIDES 

Maya Savage Founder of @mayasavage.earth - ethically made jewellery that preserves nature

Sarai Balderrama @saraibalderrama - Founder of Agencia de Arte @agenciadearte.mx 

Andres Siegel @andres_siegel - Art Collector 

Frederick Bernas @frederickbernas - global executive vagabond 

 

DINE 🍴

The options are never ending, but you have to try the ant eggs - it is a must - Escamoles also known as Mexican caviar, are the edible larvae and pupae of ants - YUM! 

 

OUR FAVOURITE

Contramar

It is a must to have a late lunch at Contramar. Located at the art-centric La Condesa neighbourhood, the eatery is a hot spot for a diverse clientele of creatives, tourists and businessmen on lengthy lunches. The food is essentially small plates – all the classics from tacos al pastor to ceviche de almeja roja and tostadas de camaron. All delicious and all the better for sharing with friends alongside their fine selection of wines or perhaps a pitcher of sangria. 

 

CLASSIC 

El Mirador de Chapultepec

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It doesn’t get more authentic then this - eating here is like traveling back to 1950s Mexico. With it’s classic long wood-framed bar, well dressed waiters finishing dishes at the table and a menu focusing on old classics like hearts of palm salad, beef broth soup (the signature), braised tongue and salt-baked fish, it’s a miracle that the joint has been staying true to itself since 1904!

 

CROWD PLEASER

Lalo!

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A no fuss eatery that bridges the gap between Western and Mexican dishes. Perfect for brunch with dishes like breakfast baps, chilaquiles en salsa verde and chorizo with eggs and French toast with whipped cream and berries all settling you to the warm atmosphere of the café. They also specialise in pizza’s and burgers with a twist for when you want a break from all the delicious street food you’ll be having. 

DF MUSEUMS 🏺

A friend of mine who worked at museums in DF sent me her ranked list of the best ones... The descriptions are in Spanish (sorry) but figured it was better that you have the list than not.” Fahed Sultan 

  1. Museo Nacional de Antropología. El mejor museo de México. Una colección impresionante de arte prehispánico. No perderse la sala azteca, la del fondo. Tiene también una cabeza olmeca y la sala maya es increíble. 

  2. Museo Nacional de Arte MUNAL. La colección de arte mexicano (no prehispánico) más importante de México. Ahí trabajaba antes de Stanford. Tiene arte virreinal muy impresionante (unas vírgenes de Guadalupe padres), Diegos, Orozcos, Siqueros, paisajes de Velasco y todo lo que te puedas imaginar. Está en un edificio hermoso en Tacuba en el Centro que fue ex Secretaría de Comunicación y Transportes, es el que tiene el Caballito en la Plaza Tolsá. 

  3. Museo Frida Kahlo. En Coyoacán, la casa azul. Es un must. Tratar de ir entre semana porque los fines de semana se llena muchísimo y a veces no se puede entrar porque como es chico no dejan pasar a tanta gente a la vez. Otra es comprar los boletos con anticipación. 

  4. Museo Palacio Bellas Artes. Super bonito Bellas Artes. Tiene expos temporales interesantes. Ir al edificio for sure. Tiene unos murales padrísimos también. Estaban en restauración en febrero, ojalá ya hayan acabado. 

  5. Castillo de Chapultepec. México es el único país de Latinoamérica con un Castillo. Es increíble ir y ver el edificio y las visas. El museo (de historia) es interesante pero es padre para ir a ver las vistas. 

  6. Museo de Arte Moderno MAM. Padrísimo. Obras increíbles de Frida, Remedios Varo y muchos otros. 

  7. Colección Jumex. El nuevo IT museum de arte moderno de México

  8. San Ildefonso. Museo increíble también en el Centro. 

  9. Museo Soumaya. El museo de Slim. El edificio es intresante y la obra es padre. No mi primera opción pero es interesante. 

  10. Museo Dolores Olmedo en Tlalpan. Tiene jardines llenos de los perros xoloitzcuintle

  11. Tamayo. Padre, pero no de las primeras opciones. 

  12. MUAC. Museo de la UNAM de arte contemporáneo. Super interesante para que vayan ustedes después 

 

SHOP 🌼

Mercado de la Ciudadela

If you're in the market for traditional crafts and mementos, this covered artisans market is kind of a must. You'll sift through a lot, and will need your best negotiating skills, but it's a great stop for papier maché figurines, paper flowers, hand-blown glassware, traditional kids toys, and plenty of papel picado—all great for gifts to take back home as well as party decór. If you come on a weekend, don't miss the public salsa, merengue, and danzón dance party attended by elderly couples on the square just across the street.

 

PEOPLE WE INTERVIEWED 🤝

-Gabriel Figueroa Flores - his father was a famous director who did the documentary on Diego Rivera (Frida’s husband) documentary name: Un Retrato de Diego, 2007

-Orly 

-Jeronimo Rüedi & met him at his cultural space, Aeromoto  

-Texontle - the architects – we visited their insanely beautiful studio 

-Ana Segovia @ana.sgv – we visited her studio 

-Sarai Balderrama - founder of Agencia de Arte

-Alejandro Trigos @alextrigos - art advisor 

-Javier Pelaez - artist studio visit 

-Prince Lauder - studio visit 

-Aldo Chaparro - studio visit

 

Look out for more coverage of our time in Mexico City on WAASTAA!  

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Gabriel Figueroa Collection