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Helen Rosner

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A Guide to 10 Hot Neighborhoods in Mexico City

Everything you need to know about 10 of DF's coolest, most delicious colonias

Mexico City is divided into uncountable neighborhoods, or colonias, each with a distinct identity. You could dedicate a year to wandering through each of them — or, you could take our advice, and skim the cream from the top of ten of the most beautiful, exciting, historic, and great-tasting.


If you're a first-time visitor to the city, you'll likely end up in Condesa, and rightfully so: This lush neighborhood of meandering streets, upscale shops, and hopping nightlife is one of the city's most famous. See the map >>


After colonía Condesa, Roma is Mexico City's most fashionable neighborhood, restored to its former glory thanks to investors who bought up the broken and busted colonial homes, restored facades, gutted interiors, and turned classic mansions into luxurious residences as well as hip restaurants and bars. See the map >>


Thanks to the slew of hip bars, restaurants, and shops opening in this trapezoidal neighborhood, Juárez has been proclaimed by some to be the newer, better version of the hip neighborhood directly to the south, Roma. See the map >>


It’s easy to dismiss Polanco — the Beverly Hills of Mexico City — as a skippable part of town. Still, it's likely you'll end up here for one reason or another: The city's fanciest hotels stand in this area, and so do some of its most highly-rated restaurants. See the map >>


An entire borough is named after the former Aztec leader Cuauhtémoc, but this guide is for the colonía located off of Paseo Reforma, where upscale restaurants and third wave coffee shops are shoulder to shoulder with some of the best tacos in town. See the map >>

San Rafael

Located off of the bourgeois-hipster Condesa-Roma circuit, it maintains a residential calm. With a mix of architectural styles, hidden galleries, and half a dozen theaters, this is a pleasant ‘hood to spend an afternoon walking through. See the map >>

El Centro

Anchored on the tourist-magnet Zócalo, El Centro is where Mexican gastronomy is on most colorful display, whether at classic cantinas, bustling markets, or creative new restaurants in restored mansions. See the map >>

Zona Rosa

The 1960s artistic heyday of Mexico City's historic gay neighborhood may be long past, but the its central location makes it an ideal place to see the city’s diversity parade by. See the map >>


Ten kilometers south of the city's most fashionable districts lies Coyoacán, a delegación (similar to a borough, but with its own elected officials) composed of nearly 100 different colonías, or neighborhoods — worth its own day trip. See the map >>


Known as the "Barrio Bravo," Tepito is essentially a huge outdoor market that's especially busy on Sundays, when the neighboring Lagunilla (outdoor) market is also in full swing. Actually one part of the larger colonia Morelos, the neighborhood has a reputation for crime and piracy. The best food here doesn't have an address and won't pop up on a Google map. See the map >>

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