Always start in the center. We can go back to Aztec times when they used this space for main ceremonial events or to how the Spaniards came and built their new center on top of theirs and to this day Mexicans gather every Independence Day to “celebrate.” It’s full of history, whether you like it or not, it’s violent, ugly, dirty, repulsive, and all those bad things… but in the end, pretty amazing. Which basically sums up how I feel about the entire city in a nut shell.
We wanted a sit down restaurant where they don’t pay people to hunt you down in the street to get you to eat there. So we ended up at Xoloesquincle. I’m pretty sure the name comes from that type of Mexican breed dog, Xoloitzcuintle. They have no website and they are not on Yelp, yet. They are on the ground floor of Hostal Mundo Joven or by the back of the cathedral. It seems like the kinda of place that caters a younger crowd, guests at the hostel, and it had a pretty laid back vibe. Good food and a centric location.
No matter what, Centro Historico is a place in Mexico City that I always go to during each visit. The only thing I hate is that there is always something set up in the actual Zócalo square. This time there was a pretty decent ice skating rink that I would’ve loved to try out if it wasn’t for the half a block lines people were making to buy tickets. As per usual, going inside the cathedral was the only option left.
Mass was going on so the inside was blocked off to the public. There were still tons of people inside taking photos and looking around. I personally always look up at the massive organ pipes.
Where do you go after the Zócalo? You walk through the pedestrian street Madero towards the Palacio de Bellas Artes. If you ever been to LA or NYC it’s somewhat a version of Santa Monica Promenade or Time Square. Crowded as hell and there is always those people who dress up as movie characters for photo ops.
The only difference is that inevitably you will run into some decent museums. I like the roof corner of Museo del Estanquillo.
The number one reason why I like going to museums is to check out the space inside. Nevermind the art, the inside of museums are always so chic and clean. Museo del Estanquillo is no exception. It has four levels (I think) and eventually leading you to a killer terrace. If the art sucks just go straight to the terrace and enjoy a coffee, the museum entrance is free.
Walking around the area takes you back to when Spaniards were really becoming Mexicans, or for lack of a better term, making Mexico the new Spain. I still enjoy looking at most of the buildings in the area.
When you had enough of the crowd and walking around hit up Dowtown. It’s a new hip hotel right in the middle of Centro Historico that has restaurants, shops, a mezcaleria and it even has a bakery.
I really just wanted to rest my legs but I had to order food. I got two jaiba (crab) tostadas, so good.
There is so much to see in the area. This is what I did in only one afternoon. There are tons of other museums and very cool restaurants that face the Zócalo. The street food is beyond good and friendly to your wallet. There are also some pretty good cantinas where the more you drink the more (good) food they bring out for free. This is a true gem that never gets old as either a local or a visitor.