Mexico City, my Paris of the west: city-scape and architecture, culinary wonders, warm and lovely people, party vibes, punk vibes, chill vibes, parks and nature, the clothes, styles, and shopping; the lounging, the small plates and drinks, the large plates. All the plates. Try the mezcal at every place.

Everything is unexpected because you simply couldn’t have expected a city to be SO cool and SO easy to get to from SF. It’s also super cheap. Why aren’t I living here? Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order. Don’t use this for the top cultural or historic sites. This is my guide as if I was doing a weekend at home in Sf but in CDMX. Also: get around by Uber and Lime scoots, duh!

  1. Muerte a la pizza falsa: Pizza isn’t usually in my book of must-have (unless I’m in Italy, obvi), but Muerte a la pizza falsa is an experience. Punk vibe, super upbeat, “so-much fun!” atmosphere, most incredible, unique pizza, not like anything you’re expecting.

Two locations: Central near La Condesa, and one a bit more South, Sta Cruz Atoyac. I’ve only been to the south location. Easy, cheap Uber ride.

Just look at this pizza! It has some magical kind of crispy cheese crust on top. Also see: mac n’ cheese pizza, nacho pizza, buffalo chicken pizza. Omg. You should go.

2. Parque Mexico, an idyllic, unexpectedly beautiful park in La Condesa. Walk through it, hang out, sit on benches, lose yourself in the trees, sculptures, statues, people watch. Stop into the restaurants and cafes. This photo doesn’t do it justice.

3. AzulCondesa Is a super fun and fancy food experience (and still so cheap!) near Parque Mexico. Elegant ambiance, craft cocktails, the best mole I ever remember having. So many little surprises: what is this printed on my tortilla? Is that a hand engraved coconut shell? Wow, that mezcal!

4. Palace of fine arts Be sure to walk by the majestic Palace of fine arts. This photo was taken from the top floor of a shopping center across the street from the palace with a viewing area. Go there. Probably just ask someone how. Shopping, cafes, people watching, all the city things right here. It’s touristy and its on all the lists but like..check it out.

5. Centro cultural Elena Garro Think cafe meets garden meets book store meets architectural wonder. There’s an indoor balcony-cafe area and an indoor tree, there’s a live garden wall on your way outside. There are more photo-ops than I could put on this page. There’s leisure eating-reading-atmosphere indoors and out like you’ve never had before. I don’t understand how Mexico City has everything I ever wanted, and yet it does.

6. La Faena Cantina I did not take pictures here because I was having too much fun. This is like a tacky, historical museum turned into a juke-box dance hall with all the crispy tacos, beers and micheladas you could ask for, packed with locals. Can’t miss it, must go. This should be number one on the list.

7. Rooftop Toledo We came here for a lazy Sunday afternoon after partying all night. DJ with a mix of chill beats and dancy beats. Cocktails, beer, Mezcal, taco bar, all the food, city views, light warm breeze, rooftop paradise, dancing. I want to come back on Friday or Saturday for the party vibe. Could‘ve lounged here for the rest of my life.

When in doubt: order mezcal. Every cantina, bar, lounge, restaurant serves it slightly differently — always with some kind of citrus and salty-spice mix.

8. La Bodeguita del medio Neither me, nor my pictures, nor anyone else can explain how absurdly cool this cuban place is. Mojitos, cocktails, impossibly delicious shrimp tacos — no really, how can they be *this* good? But the atmosphere?? The crazy-kitch decor everywhere, the style, the feel. Damn this place is chill.

9. Paseo de la Reforma Walk paseo de la reforma from Monument de Cuauhtémoc to the Angel of Independence for super cool city scape and architecture. Couches! Cards! Colors! Or just keep walking because damn this street is cool.

10. Tierra Garat Reforma. Please go to one of my favorite cafes while you’re strolling down la reforma. I can’t capture it in pictures. An unexpected emblem of perfect design, cafe culture, beautifully designed and decadent cakes and bites, coffee drinks and chocolate drinks. Can you bring me with you?

Reading, writing, learning, passion. Be passionate. Happiness is a thing we achieve through serious intention. Founder at LessonsUp,

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