A Day in Mexico City

A Day in Mexico City

A guide for the new visitor or the well traveled.

By: Zac Chambers
Photography: Zac Chambers


“A day in… La Ciudad de México (Mexico City)”

Introducing the 'A Day in...' series – your guide to our absolute must-visits if we were only visiting destinations for a day.
Stay tuned for deeper dives into each category as we uncover local gems and cultural experiences.

Bueno…You've probably encountered the same handful of recommendations plastered across TikTok, Instagram Reels, and travel blogs (I won’t mention them by name). While those spots aren't lacking in charm, they often come with lengthy queues of tourists. However, Mexico City boasts numerous equally breathtaking – if not superior – locales, where a table is always at the ready. In this guide, we'll steer you clear of the overhyped paths and introduce you to our favorite hidden gems around the vibrant streets of "DF". While much of the buzz tends to concentrate in Condesa, Roma, or Polanco, don’t overlook the wealth of experiences waiting in other neighborhoods. Don’t get me wrong, these are some of my favorite colonias (neighborhoods) with many spectacular spots. But exploring beyond them promises a richer, more authentic taste of local life.

If you don’t know me, I’m Zac. Photographer, painter, traveler, husband to a spicy Mexicana, and a contributor here at the Digest. I had the great privilege of living in Mexico City for the last two years and from my experiences and endless tacos y mezcales, I compiled a list of my favorite spots and a few guidelines to note along the way.

Let's start with the ground rules. Respect the culture. This is someone else’s home and you’re a visitor. Be kind. Be aware. Learn about the history, the traditions, and people. Like any major city in the world there are places you should hangout and places you should avoid. Do a little research before your feet hit the ground. Despite narratives painted by the media about México, it's worth noting that I tend to feel safer in Mexico City than in most major US cities.

Homework. I would encourage you to learn a few language basics before your trip (greetings, how to order, saying thank you, asking directions, etc.). The locals are super kind and many go out of their way to speak in your native tongue. But any effort you put in will enhance your cultural experience and make your interactions with your neighbors more meaningful.

While one should never visit Mexico City for only a day, if I had only 24 hours, you’d find me making an appearance at at least a few of the following…

Breakfast / Brunch

Comal Oculto
My favorite casual restaurant in Mexico City. Outdoor community style table tucked away in the quiet art oriented neighborhood of San Miguel Chapultepec. Order at least a couple of the tacos de Chamorro and whichever “Agua del Día” is on the menu (Fruit infused waters that alternate based on what’s in season). If you have to wait a few minutes for seats I can assure you it’s “vale la pena” (Worth it)!


Raku Cafe
Refined Japanese coffee bar. The coffee, pastries, and mains are all top notch. I recommend the Cafe Vietnamita and (if available) the Nutella filled donut.


Lago Algo
Sustainable and delicious food at an architectural masterpiece on Lago Mayor in section 2 of Bosque de Chapultepec. Attached to the space is also an alternating art exhibition. I suggest lunch because you’ll want to make time to see the exhibit and stroll the park after.

Shops / Design

Concept Racer - Denim, outerwear, accessories, and everything cafe racers.

Originario - A pristine design / local maker collective developed by creative icon Andres Gutierrez.

Casa Bosques - Art, fashion, and design oriented bookstore.

Experience / Museum

Anthropology Museum
Immaculate architecture and over 600,000 artifacts from indigenous México.

Puestos / Streetfood

How you know you’re in the right spot is by seeing that there’s a line…and it’s only locals. Grab Breakfast or Lunch Tacos de Canasta in front of Superrette (also grab some wine / cider there after).


Killer vibes, natural wines, and fried chicken in an unsuspecting alley. They also make their own vermouth which makes for a spectacular Negroni.

Hidden in a beautiful alley in Roma Norte, Polpo boasts innovative global dishes and a damn good cocktails.

Izakaya Champloo
A Mexican Japanese couple who have dialed in Japanese street food and sake in their humble 6 seat space. Prepare to wait a few minutes and be really glad you did.


Brutal - An extensive collection of Mexican wine. Try the house Mexican orange wine.

Caiman - Natural wine, meticulous cocktails, and fresh seafood.

Latenight / Music

Parker & Lenox for Jazz.

Club San Luis for late night Salsa Music.

Uncommon Man founder Kyle Shiels has also had the privilege of visiting CDMX. As a bonus here are three of his must visit spots.

Em Restaurant - Food

Namuh - Design

Caracol De Mar - Food

This “A day in La Ciudad de México” guide is meant to be a starting point to wet your appetite for your next trip. Keep an eye out for our upcoming pieces where we'll delve deeper into etiquette, language, and insider pro tips. Have questions or want to share your own favorite spots? Leave a comment below! ¡Hasta pronto!