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Viernes Media Lab

Mexico City Neighborhood Guide: Roma

One of the most fashionable neighborhoods to eat, drink, and people-watch

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After colonia Condesa, Roma is Mexico City's most fashionable neighborhood. It was originally a wealthy suburb just west of the city center where the Spanish erected beautiful stone colonial homes, but the earthquake of ‘85 nearly leveled this part of town. It took two decades — during which crime and squatters became rampant — but Roma has been 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. Some of the city's most creative chefs are working in and around Roma today.

Roma is so hot and so sprawling that there is now an official Roma Norte (North Roma) and Roma Sud (South Roma) in addition to an area called Romita, or small Roma. Served by several major metro stops and home to many Americans, Europeans, and well-heeled Mexicans, it's a lovely place to get lost in. Almost everything along the famous Avenida Álvaro Obregón is great. Roma is worth exploring on foot all day and into the night.

See guides to all of Mexico City's greatest neighborhoods — plus everything you need to know about eating in DF, one of the best food cities in the world — in the Eater Guide to Mexico City.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Zoku por Hiroshi

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(on border) Sushi is having a moment in Mexico City, thanks to fresh seafood shipped in daily from Baja. Hiroshi is a sushi chef who has been making the rounds at some of DF’s finest spots. At Zoku he presents a menu of nigiri plus a few specialties that incorporate Mexican chili, tostadas, and salsas.

La Gatería

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Ever been to a cat cafe? This experience won’t be too different from that, though the cats (and kittens!) here are especially friendly. The food and drink offerings are solid but nothing special.

Contramar

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Do not leave Mexico City without tasting the food here for brunch, lunch, or an early dinner. The tuna tostada is the thing to get, but everything on the menu is fantastic, including the drinks. Get the flan queso or fig tart for dessert. Note: the place closes at 7 or 8 p.m. most nights, so plan accordingly.

Fonda Fina

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Chef Jorge Vallejo (Quintonil) applies fine dining technique and flavorful nuances to regional Mexican dishes and the results are spectacular. The attention to detail both in service and food makes this place feel both homey and like an elevated fonda.

Delirio

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A marketplace-cafe from chef Monica Patino, this place mimics the feel of a cafe in the South of France, though the ingredients are all locally sourced. Residents of Roma are known to wait in line on the weekends for a table. The pastries, tortas (on ciabatta), and cheese and charcuterie are nice if you want to feel like you’re in Rome while in Roma.

3D Lab Fab Café

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The coffee here is serviceable, but it’s really worth a stop for the 3D printer in the center of the room which can provide a fun distraction on a rainy afternoon.

Buna Café Rico

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One of the original third wave coffee roasters to open in the city, this shop has expanded to include a full-service cafe. The coffee drinks are great, the wifi is strong, the French-style salads, sandwiches, and pastries are reliable, and the patio seating is lovely on a sunny day.

Panadería Rosetta

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Chef Elena Reygadas studied in Mexico, New York, and London before returning to her homeland to open the fine dining spot Rosetta. Nearby, she opened Panadería Rosetta; though the newer Juárez location is bigger and cuter, the original is a glimpse into daily life in Roma. It’s the spot for a coffee and pastry. Don’t miss the guava and cheese danishes.

Rosetta

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Elena Reygadas’ lovely fine dining restaurant in Roma is a solid standard for locals, perfect for a date night or dinner out with friends. Mexican ingredients lean heavily on European technique. While the pasta is purely Italian, many of the rest of the dishes take cues from regional Mexican fare.

Licorería Limantour

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A hipster bar with seriously good cocktails. You’ll likely run into other tourists here, but the mixed drinks make it worth a stop.

Belmondo

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Belmondo encompasses a deli with a menu heavy on American standards like fried chicken, biscuits, and roasted vegetables and bar that makes good use of Mexican spirits. Great for a late lunch or casual dinner.

A comfortable, sometimes rowdy spot with a long list of mezcals and tequilas that’s open until 3 or 4 a.m. SO perfect for a final nightcap.

Romita Comedor

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In the small, central enclave of Roma known as Romita, there is a concentration of fashionable bars. Romita Comedor is actually a full-service restaurant but it’s far, far better for a drink. Plus, the people-watching is great.

El Hidalguense

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Hidalguense barbacoa is stewed goat meat that is wrapped in leaves and roasted over an open flame and it's spectacular. Note: hours of operation are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Los Parados

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A small chain, but this location serves reliably good tacos arrachera and al pastor. Open for lunch and until 3 a.m.

Zoku por Hiroshi

(on border) Sushi is having a moment in Mexico City, thanks to fresh seafood shipped in daily from Baja. Hiroshi is a sushi chef who has been making the rounds at some of DF’s finest spots. At Zoku he presents a menu of nigiri plus a few specialties that incorporate Mexican chili, tostadas, and salsas.

La Gatería

Ever been to a cat cafe? This experience won’t be too different from that, though the cats (and kittens!) here are especially friendly. The food and drink offerings are solid but nothing special.

Contramar

Do not leave Mexico City without tasting the food here for brunch, lunch, or an early dinner. The tuna tostada is the thing to get, but everything on the menu is fantastic, including the drinks. Get the flan queso or fig tart for dessert. Note: the place closes at 7 or 8 p.m. most nights, so plan accordingly.

Fonda Fina

Chef Jorge Vallejo (Quintonil) applies fine dining technique and flavorful nuances to regional Mexican dishes and the results are spectacular. The attention to detail both in service and food makes this place feel both homey and like an elevated fonda.

Delirio

A marketplace-cafe from chef Monica Patino, this place mimics the feel of a cafe in the South of France, though the ingredients are all locally sourced. Residents of Roma are known to wait in line on the weekends for a table. The pastries, tortas (on ciabatta), and cheese and charcuterie are nice if you want to feel like you’re in Rome while in Roma.

3D Lab Fab Café

The coffee here is serviceable, but it’s really worth a stop for the 3D printer in the center of the room which can provide a fun distraction on a rainy afternoon.

Buna Café Rico

One of the original third wave coffee roasters to open in the city, this shop has expanded to include a full-service cafe. The coffee drinks are great, the wifi is strong, the French-style salads, sandwiches, and pastries are reliable, and the patio seating is lovely on a sunny day.

Panadería Rosetta

Chef Elena Reygadas studied in Mexico, New York, and London before returning to her homeland to open the fine dining spot Rosetta. Nearby, she opened Panadería Rosetta; though the newer Juárez location is bigger and cuter, the original is a glimpse into daily life in Roma. It’s the spot for a coffee and pastry. Don’t miss the guava and cheese danishes.

Rosetta

Elena Reygadas’ lovely fine dining restaurant in Roma is a solid standard for locals, perfect for a date night or dinner out with friends. Mexican ingredients lean heavily on European technique. While the pasta is purely Italian, many of the rest of the dishes take cues from regional Mexican fare.

Licorería Limantour

A hipster bar with seriously good cocktails. You’ll likely run into other tourists here, but the mixed drinks make it worth a stop.

Belmondo

Belmondo encompasses a deli with a menu heavy on American standards like fried chicken, biscuits, and roasted vegetables and bar that makes good use of Mexican spirits. Great for a late lunch or casual dinner.

Félix

A comfortable, sometimes rowdy spot with a long list of mezcals and tequilas that’s open until 3 or 4 a.m. SO perfect for a final nightcap.

Romita Comedor

In the small, central enclave of Roma known as Romita, there is a concentration of fashionable bars. Romita Comedor is actually a full-service restaurant but it’s far, far better for a drink. Plus, the people-watching is great.

El Hidalguense

Hidalguense barbacoa is stewed goat meat that is wrapped in leaves and roasted over an open flame and it's spectacular. Note: hours of operation are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Los Parados

A small chain, but this location serves reliably good tacos arrachera and al pastor. Open for lunch and until 3 a.m.

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