Establishment neighborhood
Presidente Masaryk 407, Polanco
The team of chefs at this long-standing, Basque-influenced favorite on upscale Masaryk are so serious about the fusion cuisine they've created between their Basque roots and the Mexican ingredients on offer, that they've come up with their own name for it: Cocina Gachupa. It consists of some truly modern, almost sculptural dishes, along with traditional favorites like tortilla and stuffed peppers. Plus, the food here is meant to be savored with a good glass of wine, and the selection here is on point, with everything from the best of Mexican wines from the Baja Peninsula, to a few great French bottles, and of course an excellent list of unusual Spanish finds.
Jules Basement
Julio Verne 93, Polanco
Inspired by the trend for speakeasy bars in NYC, Jules Basement jumped on the bandwagon and brought the concept to Mexico in 2012. And like its NYC predecessors, there are rules here: You must make a reservation in advance, you must enter through an industrial refrigerator door at the back of a taqueria, and once inside the striking, leather-clad, subterranean bar there are no Jägermeisters, bad beers, or Red Bull-based drinks allowed. All of this makes for a pretty civilized evening enjoying both classic cocktails like Manhattans and Martinis and some pretty amazing riffs on these, like the mezcal laced Campari cocktail. Tuesdays are the best night to make a reservation as there's always live jazz.
The Comrade
Emilio Castelar 149, Polanco
The highlight at this trendy, upscale mixology bar/restaurant is the terrace bar, where groups of dressed up friends, and suited up colleagues wind down the work day late into the night. While the restaurant does serve up a solid panini or croque monsieur, people come here for the drinks. As in a lot of city bars of the moment, gin is in, and their Tuka's Flamingo, made with watermelon juice, is the one to try. It's located in upscale Polanco, with its own valet parking, a bouncer at the door, and several trendy, dimly-lit eating and drinking lounges inside.
Common People
Emilio Castelar 149, Polanco
Located in a beautiful 1940's mansion in Polanco, this three story concept store—undoubtedly inspired by Colette in Paris—stocks books, music, vintage furniture, and hard-to-find international brands. They're basically out there to outfit the classic hipster with jewelry by Venessa Arizaga, Herschel backpacks, New Balance sneakers, and clothing from the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Comme des Garcons. In addition to all the foreign lines, the owners, husband and wife Max and Monica Feldman, are great at discovering local designers and mixing them in with the other big names. They've also recently opened a men's shop at Caballería in the up-and-coming Colonia Juarez.
Sandra Weil
Emilio Castelar 185-B1, Polanco
Long silk dresses, draped trousers and culottes, and delicate blouses are the kind of feminine pieces you'll find at Peruvian designer Sandra Weil's flagship store. Located in Polanco, in a new complex of cool clothing and design boutiques, you can also find her elegant line of wedding dresses here, hanging in a beautiful system of vertical plywood racks designed by the up-and-coming architects Zeller y Moye. If you can't find what you're looking for, you can enlist her couture service to tweak any of her designs just for you. Photo: Moritz Bernoully, Courtesy Zeller y Moye
Anatole 13 (Closed)
Anatole France 13, Polanco
Savvy Studio is the design and branding studio that came up with the concept for this boutique shopping experience, bringing fashion, food, tea, and design into one locale in Polanco. Of course, they've designed most of the space, too. Here you can shop for ultra pared down clothing and accessories by the likes of Gabriela Artigas and Trista at Avery, leaf through hard-to-find art and design titles at Casa Bosques, check out the latest design trends at Galeria Mexicana de Diseño and finish up with a gourmet tea at Tomás and snacks from Villa de Patos.
Lonja Mercantil
Tabasco 119 Col. Roma Norte, Polanco
This nomadic design market has been going since 2010, with 15 editions to date, where participating artists, fashion and product designers, and food and drink purveyors sell their wares. They're massive shopping events, where you can walk away with some pretty great finds from some of the best names in design, including clothing from Carla Fernández and Carolina K, mezcal from Mezcal Amores, furniture by Oscar Hagerman and Pirwi, and beautiful chocolates from unelefante. Watch their site for the announcement about their next edition.
Emilio Castelar 215B, Polanco
Francisco Cancino's line of sleek, pared down women's clothing is a big hit among Mexico's magazine editors, and we can see why. First there are the elegant, season-less silhouettes that make his clothing a wardrobe perennial, and then there's the fact that it's all handmade by artisans across the country. Fittingly, his first shop in Polanco, designed by Emiliano Godoy and Tuux, is built with the same local, sustainable principles as his clothing. Check out Yakampot's sister brand, Arroz con Leche, for adorable kids clothes.
Lope de Vega 330, Polanco
The brainchild of Maggie Galton, a NYC transplant who spent years working with artisans across the country, and business brain Maria Eladia Hagerman, Onora sells beautiful handicrafts designed for contemporary homes. Banish visions of multicolored fiestas from your head, though, their palette is restrained to black, white, grey, beige, and the occasional pop of color, and the products themselves are exquisite. They carry black clay candleholders from Oaxaca, table runners from Chiapas, serving dishes from Puebla, and much more—this shop makes us want to start over and redecorate.
Rodrigo Rivero Lake
Campos Elíseos 105, Polanco
Rodrigo Rivero Lake's office in a penthouse apartment in Polanco and his warehouse in Naucalpan are kind of insane, packed to the brim with museum quality antiques from Mexico, India, and beyond, along with paintings and sculptures by major modern Mexican artists. An incurable collector, he's spent a lifetime on the hunt both in Mexican flea markets, at European auction houses, and on the road in India. On the weekends, he heads to the Lagunilla Antiques Market in Mexico city, where all the vendors know him by name, and always have a thing or two to show him. He's also written the book on the influence of Japanese artisanry on Mexican Viceregal antiquities: It's heady stuff and might seem intimidating, but Rodrigo is a totally charming, welcoming host to anyone who visits his gallery. Ask enough questions and he'll give you a special tour of the space—he once showed us a trove of paintings by his old friend and fellow antiquarian Chucho Reyes, one of the most influential Mexican painters of the 20th Century. It's by appointment only and so worth it.
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