Mexico City

What to do in Polanco, Mexico City

What to see, what to eat, where to shop in this opulent and artistic neighborhood

Polanco, a wealthy residential neighborhood northwest of downtown , was originally built in the 1930s for the ornate single-family homes of the era. Today, the neighborhood is perhaps best known for its , luxury shopping centers, and high-end restaurants; It is home to some of the best restaurants in Latin America and several state-of-the-art cocktail bars. It also enviably has the extensive Chapultepec Park as its southern perimeter.

Although Polanco is not the most central part of the city, many opulent hotels make it an ideal base. And, even if you're staying elsewhere, it's easy to spend an entire afternoon here, walking along the tree-lined shopping street, Avenida Presidente Masaryk, or leisurely savoring a tasting menu.

Here's what to do in Polanco and how to experience our favorite places in this beautiful corner of Mexico's capital.

Between the fashion salon

Antara is a shopping center with a bright and high-class atmosphere. Here you can find several international stores, from major retailers such as Zara and Mango, to designers such as Carolina Herrera and Hugo Boss. Even if you don't need a new suit, come here for a Moyo frozen yogurt and people-watch.


Malix holds two shop windows with the doors open to the street; on one side, a small grocery store for organic produce, tinned and canned foods, and a refrigerator full of hanging meats and sausages, and on the other, a small circular bar with high stools. Although the restaurant uses a Mayan word for stray dog or “chucho,” the young and talented chef Alonso Madrigal has a great pedigree.

Having cooked at Noma, Kaan, and Rosetta, among others, he deftly harnesses Mexican roots and carefully selected ingredients, producing small plates with strong, earthy flavors and delicate plating. Dishes feature premium local ingredients such as traditional beans, wild herbs, and mushrooms from the valleys surrounding central Mexico. He makes a weekly trip to Ozumba, an open-air farmers' market that's open only on Tuesdays and is the holy grail of Mexico City chefs.

Boat Cinema in the Chapultepec Forest

The lake in the middle of Chapultepec Park is filled with pedal boats that become seats for a movie theater. It feels unusual, quite unique and quite fun. The boats are very close together and become a kind of comfortable and cozy theater, perfect for couples or families with children until after 8:00 p.m m. The screen is huge, so there shouldn't be any visibility issues, wherever you end up sitting.


Enrique Olvera, the chef behind 's Cosme and Atla, offers two different dining options at his acclaimed Pujol: a multi-course tasting menu in the formal dining room and a “taco omakase” meal at the low bar that includes several tacos. , snacks and botanicals. Good news: You'll probably be able to try Olvera's famous mole madre dish, no matter which one you choose. But since this is one of the most famous restaurants in the country, you may want to make your reservation before booking your flight.

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Angela Peralta Theater

This theater was built in 1939 with the intention that Mexico City would have something similar to the Hollywood Bowl. Although much smaller (it has a capacity of 5,000 people), it is a lovely setting for outdoor concerts. In addition to musical performances (including jazz and classical music), the venue hosts theater productions aimed at families with children.

Lincoln Park

This small green space in the heart of Polanco features sculptures, an aviary, a pond, a museum, and an open-air theater, all close to neighborhood restaurants and bars. Come here for a nature-themed break from your usual sightseeing tour: stroll around the small pond, then take a stroll to see the sculptures blending into the green surroundings.


While Pujol has long reigned as the quintessential fine dining meal for visitors to Mexico City, Quintonil's Mexican cuisine deserves at least as much celebration for its strong sense of place and cuisine. A nine-course tasting menu features indigenous Mexican ingredients: corn, beans, squash, chiles, and mushrooms, along with some meat dishes. You can also order a la carte if you don't want to commit the time and money needed for the tasting menu. Desserts, like a cheese flan with celeriac ice cream, shine.

Siqueiros Public Art Room

Mexican muralist David Siquieros originally intended this space to be a kind of public hall for art enthusiasts to gather and discuss his craft. It is now a gallery that also offers talks, conferences, and workshops covering various art and design topics. Come here to see contemporary exhibitions, like a recent one featuring four contemporary Mexican muralists.

Limantour Liquor Store

Limantour is considered one of the best cocktail spots in Mexico City, to the point that its mixologists train others throughout the capital. Cocktail connoisseurs flock here to see the art in action, but it's also popular with a generally hip crowd. Bartenders mix up creative Mexican-infused versions of classic cocktails, though the food (a selection of small plates like guacamole and tostadas) is an afterthought.

Jumex Museum

The Jumex Museum houses one of the largest private collections of contemporary art in Latin America, including works by Andy Warhol, Martin Kippenberger, Cy Twombly, and Damien Hirst. Media range from paintings and drawings to light and video installations. The building is as distinctive as the art: British architect David Chipperfield designed the 15,000-square-foot white concrete cube with a sawtooth-shaped top. (Plus, the Soumaya Museum is right across the square, so you can feed two birds with one bun.)

Lake DF

This designer boutique is as aesthetically beautiful as its inventory. Clothing, furniture, textiles and accessories are designed by Mexican and Latin American designers. At the very least, buy a reasonably priced clay mug – every morning coffee will remind you of your time in Mexico.

Chapultepec Forest

New York has Central Park, London has Hyde Park and Mexico City has Chapultepec Park, a more than 1,700-acre space that houses museums, botanical gardens, a large lake and a zoo. There is something for everyone here and it is really worth a visit, if only for the museums. But be sure to check out special offers like evening picnics at the botanical gardens or cinema on the lake, the latter of which lets you watch movies from the comfort of a pedal boat.

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Monclova Projects

Fresh, modern, and now classic, Proyectos Monclova is a small gallery space located in the southeast quadrant of Polanco. It offers an intimate look at Mexico City and a respite from the larger, more crowded museums. They focus on one or two artists at a time and are a vital force within the local Mexican art community while reaching an international audience through prestigious international art fairs. Young and emerging artists based in Mexico, Latin American sociopolitical issues and the work of stalwarts like Helen Escobedo occupy a central place in this dynamic program. Take a look on your way to lunch or before dinner, or when you need a break from shopping. Thirty minutes is plenty of time, but consider this stop essential for any denizen of the art scene.

Niddo Cafe Polanco

On a residential street, Niddo Café is an achingly cute, Instagrammable café from mother-and-son duo Eduardo and Karen Plaschinski. Drenched in pale pink tiles, it has a plant-filled front patio, a handful of tables and chairs outside, and a few inside. Ladies with oversized sunglasses and lap dogs chat over lemonade; and everyone is glued to their phones to sip on their chocolate babkas, oatmeal cookies, and foam heart oat milk lattes. Their pastry case is packed with giant cookies, brownies, cakes laden with flower petals and pristine berries, and cheesecake squares laden with frosting. There are also some savory snacks, such as salads and packaged sandwiches.

What Bo!

Qué Bol specializes in artisanal, handmade chocolates made only with Mexican ingredients. Chocolate was first domesticated in Mesoamerica, so it's only fair that Mexican chocolate tastes so good. Buy one of each truffle so you can try a full selection of what's on offer. There are so many interesting flavors, why limit yourself?

Soumaya Museum

Since its inauguration in 2011, the Soumaya Museum has quickly become one of the most emblematic City. And not only for its art: the gigantic silver building, covered with thousands of silver hexagons, is one of the most striking architectural complexes in the city. The collection inside made up of 66,000 pieces, features works by legendary artists such as Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo. Beyond Mexican artists, expect to find European icons like Matisse and Degas.

Cárcamo de Dolores

Those visiting Mexico City for the second or third time who think they've seen it all will find something new here. This historic but little-visited site was built in 1951 as a hydraulic water system connected to the city's main water lines. Although it no longer acts as a municipal waterworks but rather as a museum and cultural landmark, it underscores the city's complicated relationship with water. In the less traveled section of Chapultepec, it is currently undergoing renovation and closed to the public, although you can still admire Rivera's enormous sculpture of the Aztec water god Tláloc out front.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola Church

A surprisingly quiet stop in a city full of energy, this little-visited modernist church is hidden in plain sight in residential Polanco. Designed by famous architect Juan Sordo, it was completed in 1961 and features a tapered triangular structure covered with hand-made yellow ceramic tiles. Show up during visiting hours and you'll be able to tour the grounds inside and out. Inside, the Jesuit temple is surrounded by multicolored stained glass windows that capture vibrant fractals on sunny days, almost like being trapped in a kaleidoscope. It's a place of worship and quiet contemplation, yes, but also a paradise for architecture nerds.

The Do Not Show

El Turix excels in the cochinita pibil department: pork rubbed with achiote and citrus, buried underground, and slow-roasted with smoke. The meat is topped with pickled red onion and served on panuchos (lightly fried tortillas filled with black beans), tacos, or cakes. (Note that the scarlet-colored annatto seed dyes everything an electric orange, so be careful not to get it on your clothes while you eat.) Consider this the perfect place for a quick lunch in Polanco.


At Ticuchi, Enrique Olvera's casual temple to Mexican snacks and agave-based drinks, an abbreviated menu is dominated by vegetables with an Oaxacan twist. There are lots of little things to eat, including bugs, guacamole, small tostadas, and tamales. Try the tacos al pastor, where pineapple rubbed with axiote replaces the pork, or the “barbacoa,” here made with charred mushrooms. Agave is the focus on the drinks front, and the list is extensive, from tequila to mezcal to lesser-known regional spirits like bacanora and sotol; You can drink rare spirits neat or try them in interesting and balanced homemade cocktails. These are young, hip couples on dates, groups of friends getting together for birthday drinks, and a handful of tourists; After all, we are in exclusive Polanco.

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