Mexico City Getaway

Mexico City's chic Polanco district offers perfect destination for art-filled food and shopping experience

Mexico City's chic Polanco district offers art-filled food getaway

Polanco in Mexico City
As chic as LA's Rodeo Drive, the Polanco neighborhood in Mexico City offers food, art and shopping. Photo by Leslie Sharp
Bellinis at Cipriani in Mexico CIty
Toast with Bellinis at the new hot spot Cipriani. Photo by Leslie Sharp
News, Shelby, Polanco in Mexico City, July 2015. Ivoire
Ivoire offers traditional brasserie food in a verdant setting overlooking Lincoln Park. Photo by Leslie Sharp
News, Shelby, Polanco in Mexico City, July 2015, Cafe in Common People store
The second-floor coffee shop in the Common People store offers a quiet retreat for weary shoppers. Photo by Leslie Sharp
Museo Jumex
The Jumex Museum is said to have the largest contemporary art collection in Latin America.  Photo by Adriana Zehbrauskas
News, Shelby, Polanco in Mexico City, July 2015, Nobu and Sylvestre
One location, two eateries — Nobu on the first level and Sylvestre, serving Argentine food, on the second. Photo by Leslie Sharp
News, Shelby, Polanco in Mexico City, July 2015, Cipriani
Grilled langoustine at Cipriani, where the social swells congregate. Photo by Leslie Sharp
Tori Tori in Mexico City
Tori Tori is a local favorite for sushi, noted for its amazing architecture. Photo courtesy of Tori Tori
Garden view of Tori Tori
A garden view of Tori Tori. Photo courtesy of Tori Tori
News, Shelby, Polanco in Mexico City, July 2015, Malamen Restaurant
Quaint Malamen Restaurant has a unique history. Photo by Jaime Navarro
News, Shelby, Polanco in Mexico City, July 2015, scrambloed eggs con mole at Las Alcobas
A breakfast of scrambled eggs with mole at Las Alcobas hotel. Photo by Leslie Sharp
Polanco in Mexico City
Bellinis at Cipriani in Mexico CIty
News, Shelby, Polanco in Mexico City, July 2015. Ivoire
News, Shelby, Polanco in Mexico City, July 2015, Cafe in Common People store
Museo Jumex
News, Shelby, Polanco in Mexico City, July 2015, Nobu and Sylvestre
News, Shelby, Polanco in Mexico City, July 2015, Cipriani
Tori Tori in Mexico City
Garden view of Tori Tori
News, Shelby, Polanco in Mexico City, July 2015, Malamen Restaurant
News, Shelby, Polanco in Mexico City, July 2015, scrambloed eggs con mole at Las Alcobas

MEXICO CITY — Only a two-hour flight from Houston is an elegant and pedestrian-friendly haven for foodies, shopaholics and culture enthusiasts. The chic Polanco neighborhood of Mexico City is a gem inside the greater metropolis of the world’s fifth largest city and a safe retreat for American tourists.

Polanco's avenues have the charm and walkability factor of a European city with neatly tended sidewalk patios for dining alfresco in the 70 degree summer temperatures.

Polanco's avenues have the charm and walkability factor of a European city where neatly tended sidewalk patios for dining alfresco in the 70 degree summer temperatures take center stage. In the evenings, these same outdoor tables are illuminated by candlelight as restaurants, filled with smartly dressed clientele, stay open well past midnight.

An ideal itinerary begins with a stay at the refined and optimally located luxury boutique hotel, Las Alcobas. Situated on Avenida Presidente Masaryk, the avenue known as the “Mexican Rodeo Drive,” this modern boutique hotel offers an upscale experience with a distinctly warm and local flavor. The hotelier, Samuel Leizorek, through his passionate vision and creativity has provided the neighborhood with a truly welcoming and unique sanctuary.

Following is a curated list of restaurants and sites to see in the neighborhood that are within either walking distance or a quick Uber ride away from any Polanco area hotel. 

Restaurants

Lunch in Mexico City begins at 4 pm and dinner at 10 pm. To truly enjoy the lively social scene and to get the best service, it is better to dine at local meal times.

Pujol – Perhaps Polanco’s most famous award-winning restaurant, offering farm-to-table modern Mexican fine dining. Reservations required.

Quintonil – Recognized on San Pelegrino’s The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Quintonil offers an upscale Mexican food experience and a favorite of local foodies.

Anatol – This culinary gem is located in the Las Alcobas Hotel and features a menu that is an inventive combination of contemporary Mexican and American comfort food favorites like mac & cheese with a polished elegant presentation.

Sylvestre — Located above Nobu in a beautifully, built-out space, this sleek eatery offers Argentine food in an awesome atmosphere. Ask to be seated in view of the beautiful vertical garden.

Ivoire — For a lovely atmosphere and traditional brasserie food, this is a great spot located near Lincoln Park. Visitors clamor for the beautiful seating near the balconies upstairs with views of the park.

Malamén — This adorable restaurant has the most fascinating story behind it that starts with a girl who took solace in her cooking as she lived through the Mexican Revolution. Her discarded cookbook was found and now, long after her death, her recipes are being used daily at the quaint Malamén.

Tori Tori — Definitely a local favorite sushi spot, this place is super chic and the sushi is excellent quality. The award winning interiors are a work of art as well. Save room for “mochi” for dessert. 

Mythos Estiatorio — Located on a corner near Lincoln Park, this restaurant offers fresh delicious Greek food with a casual atmosphere that is great for lunch.

Cipriani —The luxury chain recently opened its Mexico City outpost and is booked solid for dinner weeks in advance. For the ultimate people-watching experience in the evening and rich Italian food, this is a fun spot to visit.

Central Central – A short ride away in the Santa Fe neighborhood is the recently opened Central Central offering amazing Spanish food in a stunning location with beautiful views on the terrace.

Bars

Jules Basement – This speakeasy-style bar has entry through a fridge door into a chic modern space. There is an extensive menu of champagnes, whiskeys, mezcales and tequilas and, for the hungry, food can be ordered from the taco place on the ground floor.

Catamundi —This charming casual wine bar is great for a quick bite offering a large variety of artisanal cheeses and wines.

Scotch Bar — Recommended by the Las Alcobas hotelier, Scotch Bar creates well prepared cocktails and bar snacks in a beautiful atmosphere. 

Dinsmoor — An upscale and energetic nightclub with quality cocktails.

Shopping

Common People — This multi-level trendy concept store is a must-see if only to check out the architecture and interiors of the building itself. The second floor has a tiny adorable coffee shop and the perfect spot for a break from shopping.

Lemon Chic — Right above Cipriani Restaurant is this women’s clothing boutique carrying an assortment of contemporary brands such as Red Valentino, Joie, Rebecca Taylor, Wildfox and Current Elliott. 

Avenida Presidente Masaryk — This avenue runs for 3 kilometers but the main shopping area is from Taine and ends in Moliere. This is where to find all of the big luxury brands.

Things to do in and nearby Polanco

Museo Soumaya

This iconic museum has over 66,000 pieces of art with an emphasis on, but not limited to, many of the most well-known European artists from the 15th to 20th centuries. It is noted for having the largest collection of sculptures by Auguste Rodin outside of France and the world’s largest collection of his art.

Jumex Museum

Across from Museo Soumaya is the Jumex Museum which is said to have the largest private contemporary art collection in Latin America including works by Jeff Koons, Andreas Gursky and Gabriel Orozco.

Chapultepec Castle

Located in the middle of Chapultepec Park on one of the highest points of the city, the historic castle affords not only amazing panoramic views of Mexico City but lessons in a fascinating period of Mexican history.

Lincoln Park

Enjoy a walk through the park with its fountains and manicured green spaces that are bustling with dog walkers, bikers and joggers. If you find yourself there on a Saturday morning, there is a street market selling fresh fruits, vegetables and snacks such as tacos and quesadillas. Also in view are the neighborhood’s many lovely mid-century mansions built in the “Colonial Californiano” style and protected by beautifully trimmed hedges and gates.