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Bars – La Gourmandista

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Categoría: Bars

Mexico City: A Vibrant capital that’s Multi-Facetic and Always on the Move

Having left Mexico, even though I don’t know if it will be permanently or just an adventure that when it finishes I will keep in my memories, my heart, my experience, and obviously, in this blog, has made me conscious of everything my land has to offer and I didn’t notice, even though it was there, in front of me, every single day.

Today, I am sitting in one of those coffee stores which have become famous in my country because they are authentic, Mexican, and they lawfully compete with the green siren logo. I see pedestrians passing by, and just as any tourist in my own city, I ask myself for each one of those places a foreigner shouldn’t miss when coming to visit one of the planet’s biggest megalopolis: My dearest Mexico City.

Being here for a few days can be a whole adventure. There are many neighborhoods that make us travel through the country’s history. Hence, given that I was born and raised in Mexico City but who’s become a Parisian by choice for now, I think that coming to my hometown as a visitor demands that you don’t miss as much as possible by goint to many, if not all of the following places, for they always make me sigh:

Starting in the Chapultepec fence, you should walk through the forest and walk all the way up to the Castle -I think the least athletic visitors can also ride a small train up/downhill. I’m sure you will be speechless upon your arrival, for I find many opinions very similar to mine. This castle is just as beautiful as those in the Old Continent.

Now, I am not a zoo fan, but if you like animals, I understand we have a very beautiful zoo right there. My walk would then end by the Auditorio Nacional, where I would take the tourist bus to go sightseeing downtown.

The places I like visiting in the city center is the Palacio Nacional (National Palace), the Cathedral, the Templo Mayor (Main Temple), and why not, just walk with no specific direction through the pedestrian streets and walkways. If you have time, there’s always the option of visiting the MUNAL (National Art Museum), the Main Post Office, some of the churches in the area (I am personally fond of ‘La Profesa’), and even the Franz Mayer Museum. But the fact is, that there’s so much to see and visit downtown that I fall so short. I’m still missing San Ildefonso, the famous Canteen & Bar ‘La Ópera’. Oh God… Well, energy and time are so necessary here. But, the place one should definitely go in and see is the Palace of Fine Arts -if you have the opportunity to get tickets for a show, even better- and then, why not just promenade yourself through the newly renovated Alameda. It’s really beautiful. If not, you can always go and sing-along with the mariachis in Plaza Garibaldi or have a tequila shot at the Tenampa.

Another day, I would dedicate it to the Coyoacán area. Have breakfast at Los Danzantes or have a cup of coffee at El Jarocho, and then just walk around the plaza, the church, and end the stroll by the plant nursery.

In the afternoon I would go to San Ángel. I just went there for the first time, and just fell in love with it. You can walk for hours around the small streets of the neighborhood and end your day having drinks on the terrace of the San Angel Inn restaurant to later have a culinary delicacy for dinner in the main dining room in front of the chimney.

And then, what?

Well, then you’re still missing La Condesa. There, you have to go have some ice-cream to the famous Roxy soda fountain, where couples and families have been going since the 1960s and walk around the Parque México, where you can finish eating at a traditional quesadilla stand in the uniquely Mexican style we are very popular for. Of course, if you have the energy, you can go to one of the popular bars around the area. It’s not my style, but everyone knows about them. It’s just an option the visitor has, hahaha!

If a Sunday happens during your stay, take advantage of Paseo de la Reforma. It’s closed to the cars, so you can walk, skate or ride your bike without any risk of being run over. I think it is an initiative that even though it’s not popular among the city drivers, pedestrians get a break in the heart of the city, and what a chance for it to be before a cultural visit any local or foreigner should do at least once in his/her lifetime: The Anthropology Museum.

And that’s it?

Of course not. The city is enormous. But for me these are the ‘not to be missed spots’. The rest, I think it’s up to each visitor, depending on what you like, what you’re curious about, etc. The offer the city has in terms of concerts, theater, and in general, entertainment I feel it’s quite important in Mexico City, and one can always find something different to do more than just be a couch potato in front of the TV set.

Needless to say, that the list of restaurants here falls really short. I am missing so many, but I cannot leave without inviting you to the famous and well-ranked Pujol, Dulce Patria or Quintonil.

Last but not least, and hoping there is time in your program, I take my chances and recommend that you make the small journey to the Teotihuacán pyramids. Stroll down the Avenue of the Death connecting the Sun and the Moon Pyramids, the Mesoamerican Ballgame and end your visit at La Gruta restaurant, which as its name states, is a restaurant inside a cavern. There, you can freshen up with a cold Pacífico beer and get to taste typical dishes just as those which women of my grandmother’s generation used to cook for their families at home while pre-hispanic classical folk dances are performed before your eyes such as the Deer Dance. Also, remember and take into consideration that if you find a tour guide available from the INAH (National Institute of Anthropology) to have them tell you the story of the place, the visit will be twice as interesting. And this will happen not just in Teotihuacán, but in every corner of the city. I am sure you will find unexpected secrets of my dear Mexico City.