Once home to palatial, French-style mansions and some of the city’s wealthiest residents, Mexico City’s Juárez neighborhood is enjoying a renaissance some 113 years after its founding. Despite damage from battles fought during the Mexican Revolution and a 1985 earthquake, much of the stunning late 19th-century architecture remains, making it an attractive spot to explore.
Over the last few years, this centrally located neighborhood has seen a revival, becoming one of the capital’s most en vogue areas with new bars, galleries, restaurants and cultural offerings appearing every week.
Follow our guide to make the most of your visit to Colonia Juárez.
Grab a bite
No matter what you’re craving, you’re bound to find it here. For Mexican pub fare, head to Lucio, where Taco Tuesdays pack out this low-key eatery run by a group of chef friends.
For one of the best Italian-style pies in town, stop by Dr Pizza. Housed in a refurbished cinema, this trendy joint offers plenty of options — pizzas made with vegan cheese ensure that everyone can enjoy a perfect slice. Health-conscious visitors can also head next door to Akarma for a plant-based lunch. Delicious dishes range from wings made from zucchini flowers to a variety of meatless burgers.
Japanese fare with a twist can be found at Loose Blues. Make your way through the design boutique and up the stairs to find a sleekly styled spot crafting tasty donburi rice bowls and Japanese curries.
For an upmarket treat, reserve a table at Amaya for fresh, high-quality plates (like ceviche tostada) from chef Jair Téllez paired with natural wines. The sweet-toothed should also make time to stop by Joe Gelato to try inventive and delicious ice cream flavors.
Coffee and Cake
Owned by renowned local chef Elena Reygadas, Café Nin is a chic French bistro housed in a 1920s-style mansion. Order a rich coffee and the house specialty: rol de guayaba (guava roll).
A similar vibe can be found at Farmacia Internacionál. This former pharmacy is now a stylish spot to nosh on housemade cake and great coffee.
For an after-hours hangout, pop by Cicatriz. The open-front space spills out onto the tree-filled Plaza Washington at night when this popular place becomes more cocktail bar than café.
Drinks and Music
Juárez has a number of “secret” bars, but the most notable might be Hanky Panky. Be sure to make a reservation before venturing out to this spot. When you get here, head in via the unassuming restaurant, continue through a secret entrance and into a low-lit lounge with large red leather chairs that you can sink into as you enjoy cocktails shaken up by some of the city’s top mixologists. If you aren’t drinking, simply ask the staff to whip you up some creative mocktails.
To sample a tipple or two with great live music, you’ll want to visit Parker and Lennox. Recline on one of the comfortable leather sofas while listening to some of the best jazz in the city.
For more entertainment, head to Yu Yu on Friday or Saturday nights to catch DJ-spun tunes or stop by during the day to check out the downstairs record store.
Shop Till You Drop
Your first stop to shop in Juárez should be Bazar Fusión, a beautiful old mansion full of Mexican design boutiques. You’ll find everything from artfully woven ponchos and shoes calling on indigenous designs to mezcal, tea and handmade jewelry. Every weekend, the bazar plays host to pop-up stalls that vary in theme, inviting different local designers to sell their wares.
Just half a block from those aisles is Querencia, a store straight out of an Instagram shoot — think macramé plant hangers, intricate jewelry, quirky pottery and succulents galore.
Another recent addition to the neighborhood is the flagship store of one of Mexico’s most sought-after contemporary designers, Carla Fernández. Her locally inspired statement pieces will have you trying to find more space in your luggage.
See the Sights
Juárez is a neighborhood teeming with culture. Theater buffs should check out what’s playing at Teatro Milan or Teatro el Milagro, or see the stars at the Wax Museum, which is worth a visit if only to see the stunning mansion in which it is housed.
Museum lovers and chocolate fanatics alike will want to make time to visit MUCHO, a cocoa-themed institution that offers a sensory exploration of the sweet (and spicy) treat.
Where to Stay
Rest up at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City. The hotel is a destination unto itself with its excellent Fifty Mils bar that shakes up customized cocktails, a lush courtyard garden that invites you to linger, a rooftop pool that basks in the sun and spacious, contemporary rooms that will be a welcome respite after traversing Colonia Juárez.