Zacatecas 173, Colonia Roma
This cool, graffiti-covered casual breakfast and lunch spot comes from Enrique "Lalo" García, the chef behind the beloved Maximo Bistrot. Here, he serves fluffy French toasts and Croque Monsieurs for breakfast, and delicious pizzas and pastas for lunch at a long communal table that runs through the lively space. And though the vibe is much more chill, the food is no less extraordinary than at its big sister restaurant across the street. Whatever you do, don't miss the bread basket at breakfast.
Alvaro Obregon 126, Colonial Roma
Skip through the dimly-lit and often over-crowded cocktail bar and head straight through the secret door into the open air patio, where gin cocktails are the mainstay pretty much all day long. There's often live jazz in the patio, and light Italian fare is served from morning till late at night, when the bar becomes a scene that spills onto the street. Primetime here are the afternoons when you can skip away for a quiet cocktail with friends—and live background music if you're lucky.
Tonala 23, Colonia Roma
While the restaurant at this restored, turn of the century "maison" serves perfectly good French food and wine, the real draw here is the bar upstairs, where aside from making a number of pretty distinctive cocktails—including the Velloncino de Oro, a refreshing and enormous rosemary infused gin cocktail—the focus really is on absinthe and all its paraphernalia. Fittingly, at 7pm, a green light turns on at the entrance, meaning it's time to head up to the Belle Epoque-themed living room with its velvet covered couches, stuffy old fashioned furnishings, and suspender-clad bartenders. Get there early for a chance to get upstairs, as there are often long lines.
Puebla 121, Colonia Roma
By day, the Covadonga's denizens are generally old Spanish guys playing dominoes and eating traditional Asturian delicacies like tortilla espanola, but by night it's a whole different demographic that flocks here. Young local hipsters arrive around 7pm to begin their night out with a few beers—and shots—among friends. It's an old cantina—a traditional drinking den—and the futbol is always on TV, the aging waiters wear prim black vests over starchy white shirts, and the interiors haven't had a makeover in what feels like 50 years. It's comforting to know, though, that even in the Roma, one of the hippest parts of town, some places never change.
Oaxaca 87, Colonia Roma
Mexico City is going through something of a gin renaissance and this airy, garden oasis of a bar in the heart of Colonia Roma seems to be at the epicenter of the trend. They craft various delicious botanical concoctions around the main ingredient—among them, the Velloncino de Oro, a rosemary infused gin cocktail, and the Mexican Pimms, made with fresh fruit and home-made ginger ale. It's been such a hit in the Roma that they've also just opened up in Polanco.
Alvaro Obregon 109, Colonia Roma
In the past few years, more and more mixology bars have popped up in the city's most upscale neighborhoods from Polanco to Condesa, and the bar on the forefront of the trend is the Licoreria Limantour. Here, the bar staff are seriously skilled mixologists, and the menu is pages long, with a number of seasonal options that changes often. Whether at the Polanco or the Roma space, Mr. Pink is the cocktail to go for, made with gin, fresh grapefruit juice, and basil.
Romita Comedor (Closed)
Avenida Alvaro Obregon, Colonia Roma
While the Romita is really a restaurant more than a bar, dishing out excellent coastal dishes like langostine tacos and ceviches, its open-air terrace makes it an ideal drinking spot. Here, surrounded by hanging plants and vines, in a striking, airy dining room, guests are suspended above the hustle and bustle of the Roma neighborhood below. Excellent cocktails, made with fresh ingredients, make it worth having a long sobremesa—basically, a long hang-out after the meal is over.
Colima 180, Colonia Roma
While 180° has all your hipster basics covered with Fjällräven backpacks, special edition New Balances, and Penny skateboards, this shop's real allure comes from its mix of up-and-coming local clothing and design brands. You'll find Julia y Renata and Alejandra Quesada dresses, printed jumpsuits, capes and jackets from Carolina K, bikes by Saintvelo, designer chocolate bars from Casa Bosques, and magazines, books, and zines from local publishers.
Córdoba 25, Colonia Roma
Housed in a whitewashed, renovated home in the Roma and decorated with sleek bookshelves, casually placed Jean Prouvé chairs, succulents, and ferns, Casa Bosques offers a curated selection of indie magazines, journals, and books from small publishers. Their selection goes way beyond what you'll find in any of the city's more established bookshops and is a godsend for anyone interested in fashion, art, and design, as independent titles like The Gentlewoman, Apartamento, AnOther, Purple are hard to come by. Visitors are invited to leaf through the titles and make themselves comfortable in the homey space (they also make small batch chocolate bars). This summer, they opened up a new shop in Polanco's new mini boutique complex, Anatole 13.
Medellín 67, Colonia Roma
When it comes to home decór, this newly opened concept store in an old restored mansion in the Roma is doing a lot of things right: They've gathered a handful of supremely tasteful, local textile and accessories brands—all previously basically unknown in the city—like Bindilou, Namuh, and San Miguel Allende's Casa Acanto, and brought them under one roof. In addition there's also our favorite, Trinitate, which makes gorgeous white-glazed tableware a la Astier de Villatte, and an endless variety of garden ornaments. Basically, you can come here and decorate an entire home in purely hand-crafted goods, without it looking folksy or tired. Plus, they've also brought a handful of clothing brands with a similar ethos, and beloved brunch spot Carlota & Emilia, in too—perfect one-stop shopping.
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