Mexico City Guide

Mexico City is my home away from home.  It’s a city I return to over and over to visit my family, friends, and the exceptionally talented artists and artisans I am fortunate to work with.  My mother was raised there, born to my Irish grandfather and Mexican grandmother.  Our family history runs deep, and I find myself more engrained in the beautiful layers of my lineage as time passes.  The city is a vibrant, ever-changing landscape filled with endless creativity and a magnetic energy that is completely irresistible. The food, the art, the craft, and most importantly - the people, are what make it one of the most traveled to cities in the world.  

On a recent trip, I returned to some of my classic spots - the places that never disappoint, that are Mexico City through and through.  I put together a list of 10 of my must-visits including restaurants, museums, and my favorite hotel.  A bonus on this trip was being able to run around in a wardrobe by my amazing friend, Natalie Martin.  Kneeland Co. Rarities will be doing an In Residence at Natalie’s new store opening in the Fall, with select objects available to shop.  We will also be carrying an edited selection of Natalie’s clothing beginning this month, and I couldn’t be more excited to offer a brand I’ve admired for many years that shares the same ethos as Kneeland Co., run by a truly inspiring woman. 

1. Mercado Lagunilla: This is one of my favorite flea markets the world, open every Sunday.  I’ve scored vintage furniture, antique embroidery samplers, incredible old paintings of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and most recently some cool ceramic demons made by a young guy who enthusiastically explained that he made them to serve as good omens. 
2. Museo Nacional de Antropologia: Stepping foot in the Anthropology Museum is an experience like no other.  It holds the world’s largest collection of ancient Mexican art and is an education in Mexico’s rich history of indigenous culture .  It is both powerful and deeply spiritual and I could spend days here.
3. Máximo Bistrot: This is hands down my favorite restaurant in Mexico City, run by my dear friends Lalo and Gaby.  The menu changes based on seasonal ingredients and combines Mexican cuisine with European techniques, offering delicious and impeccably presented food.  The hibiscus margarita is a must. 
4. Casa Pedregal: I’ve visited Luis Barragán’s modernist residence about 10 times and I never tire of it.  It’s a different experience each visit, depending on the light and the time of year.  Traditional Mexican design details are mixed with natural elements like volcanic rock and lush greenery, and it is a spectacular example of true indoor/outdoor living. 
5. Ignacia Guest House: My amazing friend Gina Lozada opened this charming bed & breakfast in Colonia Roma a few years ago and this is where I always stay in Mexico City.  I’ve slept, ate, drank, and cried countless times here and no one takes better care of me than Gina and her wonderful staff. Named after Ignacia, the housekeeper of this 1913 gem for over 70 years, it blends contemporary design with the work of artisans from all over Mexico.  The location is perfect as is the breakfast. 
6. Salón Rosetta:  Located above the classic Italian restaurant, Rosetta, this very chic bar by the sensational chef Elena Reygadas has become my favorite spot for a delicious cocktail and popcorn sprinkled with chapulines (grasshoppers).  
7. Buna: This is the only coffee I drink at home and I can’t get enough of it.  Buna has three locations where you can drink coffee and and stock up on beans, and they now offer shipping to the US.  Not only are their beans sublime, but they work with Mexican farmers to implement agroforestry practices with a focus on conservation. 
8. Trouvé: There is endless shopping to do in Mexico City, but one of my must-stops on every visit is Trouvé - a store and gallery owned by my good friend Javíer Carral.  Javíer has exquisite taste, sourcing the best vintage Mexican furniture and working with artists like Pedro Friedeberg to create special edition pieces. 
9. Contramar: This is probably the most talked about, frequented restaurant by locals and tourists alike but it’s worth the type.  The food, the scene, and the service are all top-notch.  Go for the tostadas de atún and stay for the fig cheesecake. 
10. Expendio de Maiz: I love this spot for lunch, and I especially love that I never know what I’m going to get.  There’s no menu, and each dish is based on the tortilla, made from an heirloom corn that chef Jesús Tornés sources.  I always leave perfectly full and totally inspired.