Though Mexico City’s Colonia Roma is receiving quite the buzz thanks to the Oscar-winning film by Alfonso Cuarón, Roma’s northern neighbor of Colonia Juárez is attracting the city’s cool kids. Set in the Cuauhtémoc neighborhood—south of bustling Paseo de la Reforma and north of Avenida Chapultepec—this borough was once the city’s most affluent area in the 1900s, when Mexico’s wealthiest left the historic downtown to build country homes near the Chapultepec forest. Though the area eventually fell into ruin, Colonia Juárez was revived when artists and intellectuals moved in during the 1960s, laying the groundwork for today’s evolution. Now, opulent French-Colonial mansions are being renovated to host the city’s most exciting openings, from familial cafés with worldly comfort foods to swanky new bars serving hard-to-find Mexican spirits.
Here, your ultimate guide to the best of Colonia Juárez.
Where to Stay
To experience the true essence of life in Colonia Juárez, opt for a stay at Varsovia by The Local Way, an elevated three-room home rental for up to eight guests with traditional Mexican crafts by the country’s best artisans and carpenters. With the convenience of concierge service you would expect at the city’s finest hotel plus the perk of the privacy of your own home, sip your morning cappuccino with ease on the airy balcony or enjoy an afternoon siesta in the living room's white-knit hammock. Also in the neighborhood is Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City, a luxurious hacienda-style property set near the grand boulevard of Paseo de la Reforma. Select from one of 200 rooms and 40 suites, all centered around a tropical courtyard where fruit trees attract chirping canaries.
Where to Shop
Join a Wild Terrains all-female group trip to go behind-the-scenes with the top designers of Colonia Juaréz like Mariana Villarreal of Sangre de mi Sangre, where you can learn to saw your own metal pendant during an immersive jewelry workshop. Browse her studio’s private collection at General Prim 30, a 20th-century mansion that plays host to myriad photography and contemporary art exhibitions, plus outposts like Planta, a design house dedicated to urban greenery. Venture nearby to Filia, a futuristic shop with pieces by independent Mexican brands like mariachi-inspired belts by Toronero and sustainable handbags made from recycled cans by Alysta.
At concept shop Querencia, browse framed illustrations by artist Mafer López and an array of skincare lines like astrology-inspired black- and green-clay masks by Alximia. Next door is Loose Blues, a Mexican-and-Japanese fusion shop with in-house biker label Softmachine and sleek wallets and laptop sleeves by Robin. At Utilitario Mexicano, stock up on Mexican kitchen staples like matte-finished coral pitchers, enamel pewter bowls, marbled resin plates, and jícaras, drinking gourds perfect for enjoying the shop’s selection of artisanal Mezcal like Ojo de Tigre, produced with maguey espadín from Oaxaca and tobalá from Puebla. Make your last stop at Librerí Jorge Cuesta, where you can get lost in the shelves of hard-to-find vintage literature in both Spanish and English.
Where to Eat
Enlist food expert and guide Anais Martinez for inside access to the neighborhood’s most popular restaurants—she knows you have to arrive early to skirt wait times at convivial Café Nin, an eatery by celebrity chef Elena Reygadas. Go for poached eggs made aromatic with the Mexican epazote leaf but stay for the bread basket featuring Panadería Rosetta’s finest: chocolate-vanilla conchas and guava rolls stuffed with creamy ricotta. Next door is chef Lalo Garcia’s Havre 77, a French brasserie with handmade pastas and delectable pomme frites. New to the neighborhood is Niddo, helmed by mother-son duo Karen Drijanski and Eduardo Plaschinkski. The menu is inspired by their travels and features dishes like hearty eggs shakshuka, and a decadent cheddar and gouda grilled cheese. Capturing the essence of the neighborhood is Lucio, a taqueria by five best friends who host a weekly taco Tuesday; a guest chef creates a one-night-only taco menu best enjoyed with tepache, a made-in-house fermented pineapple drink. Order cold brews, tahini-dressed kale salads, and creamy mamey pies at hip café Cicatriz. Split-level eatery and bar LB Dining offers up a Japanese café with sushi and teriyaki plates. For an elevated evening, opt for dinner at Amaya, a Baja-Mediterranean restaurant by chef Jaír Telléz with the first-ever exclusively natural wine list in Mexico, or Alba Cocina Local, where chef Alejandro Caral serves dishes like fried huauzontles, an herb in the amaranth family made savory with chili marinade and queso cotija. Save room for dessert at Joe Gelato—be sure to ask for the secret menu: maiz gelato topped with smoky pox, a popular corn liquor first used by the Mayans in religious ceremonies.
Where to Drink
Ease into a night out at La Rifa, an open-air café dedicated to artisanal Mexican chocolate from cacao nibs and decadent bars to handmade drinks and specialty desserts like the tamal de nat tocado with chocolate foam and berries. Be sure to ask for the terru?o, the outpost’s secret Mezcal and chocolate pairing menu. To try the best Mexican wines—and rare spirits like Nami, a Mexican sake, and Xila, an agave liqueur—venture beneath Alba Cocina Local to tapas and wine bar Sótano, perfect for a convivial night with friends. Nearby, beyond an unassuming Oaxacan restaurant, sip pisco sours and dry martinis at Hanky Panky, one of the city’s hippest speakeasies (direct message the bar on Instagram to secure a reservation and directions).
Join the borough’s poshest at Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City for a craft cocktail at Fifty Mils; keep it light with the Bugs Bunny, a gin cocktail made with carrot juice and perfumed with Fernet, or go local with the Ant Man, a Mezcal libation with ants, egg white, and bitter hoja santa leaf. Save your late-night revelry for Xaman Bar, a mystical midcentury modern bar dedicated to pre-Hispanic plants used in cocktails like the Mayaj, a whiskey and absinthe drink served in a glass egg and made with sweet vermouth infused with raspberry, cocoa, and honey maple. Stay for the DJ sets, where you can dance until early morning as a server makes rounds with a smoking bowl of copal.