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Where to Go in Mexico City’s Colonia Condesa and Roma Neighborhoods

Colonia Condesa in Mexico City
Getty Images/Robert Harding World Imagery

Mexico City has been gaining momentum as one of the hottest travel destinations in North America. And the hottest areas at the moment are the Colonia Condesa and Roma. Centrally located between trendy Polanco and the touristy Centro Histórico, just south of the busy Zona Rosa, the two neighborhoods are unlike those more congested areas, with wide, quiet, tree-lined boulevards. Artists stroll the streets (a rare sight in this car-obsessed metropolis), walking dogs and ducking into the shops, galleries, and restaurants that have overtaken European-style town houses and Art Deco storefronts.

These neighborhoods feel surprisingly like Europe—though far closer to home and with a much better exchange rate. Chilangos may want to keep the news to themselves, but some things are too good not to share. Here, six spots to add to your can’t-miss list.

Condesa DF

This intimate-yet-hip hotel is located on Veracruz, a lovely, tree-lined street in Colonia Condesa; it offers great views of Parque España and the Chapultepec Castle from its rooftop bar, which is tranquil during the day but gets energized at night. The building dates from the 1920s and has 35 sunny rooms, decorated with minimal furniture and sophisticated details.

Contramar

A high-ceilinged, blue-and-white dining room is the setting for long, loud, convivial lunches, especially on weekends. Fashionable locals come here to see and be seen, but the food is better than you’d expect. The ideal meal: oysters and pescado a la talla, grilled porgy painted with green and red sauces.

Carla Fernandez

One of Mexico’s top designers, Fernandez makes clothes that marry traditional patterns and textiles to a modern silhouette. Her bias-cut ponchos and cotton minidresses might include a pointillist print of a Mayan warrior or an armadillo embroidered in silk.

Neveria Roxy

On weekend afternoons, lines wind around the block at the always-popular Nevería Roxy (89 Fernando Montes de Oca, Condesa; no phone; about $1 per scoop), an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. Try a cone topped with one of the more than 30 flavors, including melon, coconut, and prickly pear.

San Luis Club

On weekends at the San Luis Club the vinyl banquettes are packed with music fans of all ages who come to hear the 11-piece band play classic salsa/merengue tunes. Want to take a twirl with one of the ficheras, or dancing girls?It'll set you back 10 pesos (about a dollar).

Belmondo

Stylish members of Roma’s creative class line up for tables at this unpretentious year-old café with Midcentury chairs and industrial light fixtures. The menu is straightforward: salads, pitch-perfect sandwiches (try the grilled cheese with caramelized onions), and a well-edited list of wines by the glass.

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