Digital Nomads in Mexico City: The Best Neighborhoods To Live
By Claire Summers
Mexico City is one of my favourite cities in the world. Every time I return, I scratch the surface a little more and fall a little bit more in love with it. It’s a city that I don’t think I can ever really tire of.
As a digital nomad, Mexico City is one of the top destinations to visit, not just in Mexico, but in the world. Why, I hear you ask? Well, for starters, Mexico gives anyone visiting a six month tourist visa. This means you can set up shop here for six whole months before you need to move on. In my experience most digital nomads split this six months between the beaches of the Riviera Maya and Mexico City. Along with some shorter trips to other more popular states like Oaxaca, Chiapas, Yucatán, Jalisco, and Nayarit.
So, what is so appealing about visiting Mexico City as a digital nomad? Here are just a few things:
- WiFi (strong and steady)
- Coffee (the coffee culture here is strong)
- Food (eating my way around Mexico City is my favourite pastime)
- Nightlife (whatever you are looking for, you can find it here)
- Culture (museums, art galleries, theatre, I could go on…)
The biggest problem I face each time I visit Mexico City is deciding where to stay. With so many cool neighborhoods to choose from, each with its own unique charm, it’s impossible to choose just one. For me there are three neighborhoods that stand out and check all of my nomad needs. In this article I’m going to break down my three favorite areas to stay in Mexico City with a few top recommendations for nomad friendly coffee shops and must visit restaurants.
I feel like Roma Norte is the place that most nomads new to Mexico City gravitate towards. It’s the most popular and recognized area, and it’s also very affordable. You will find everything you need in Roma Norte. From cafes, restaurants, shops, bars, cool street art, parks, and of course plenty of accommodation.
Roma Norte is also the self-appointed hipster capital of Mexico. Coffee shops and mezcalerías can be found on every corner. There is an abundance of cool places to eat, drink, and sit to pass away the day people-watching. There may not be as much green space in Roma Norte as there is in other parts of the city. But what it lacks in parks and trees, it makes up for with things to do. There is always something going on in this neighborhood to keep you entertained.
What I love about Roma Norte is that here I can stay in a secure boutique apartment but still find street tacos two minutes walk from my door. I get to enjoy staying in a nice place, while not feeling totally removed from Mexican culture.
My Top Picks of Coffee Shops to Work From in Roma Norte:
- Forte: This hole-in-the-wall coffee shop in Roma Norte captures the attention of passer-byers with its smooth grey concrete coffee bar and mini La Marzocco GS3 sitting atop. The long, narrow walls are peeling and red brick is exposed, but it’s the smell of strong coffee and freshly baked pastries that reel people in. Set up office on their tables outside, but come with plenty of laptop charge. Alternatively, you’ll find some connection points inside. On Fridays and Saturdays, it’s worth visiting Forte for pizza night, which are as delicious as the espressos.
- Dosis: Dosis is a Roma staple, serving up arguably the best cold brews and carajillos in the city. The floor-to-ceiling windows allow for plenty of natural light and a cool vibe that is perfect for cozying up with your laptop and getting some work done. Dosis also offers a small cultural space for community arts and events.
- Cardinal Casa de Café: This cozy neighborhood café serves up a delicious cup of coffee. At Cardinal, coffee is an art form. Beginning with the tasteful curation of their coffee beans to the detailed preparation that goes into each cup, this is a great place for true coffee lovers.
My Top Picks of Restaurants in Roma Norte:
- Maximo Bistrot: A farm-to-table concept restaurant from one of Mexico City’s top chefs, Maximo Bistrot serves up a wonderful blend of French and Mexican styles from locally sourced ingredients and produce. Head Chef Eduardo Garcia’s CV includes time at Pujol, and Le Bernardin in New York, and his innovative, daily-changing menu offers fascinating combinations and intense flavours. A real highlight of the city’s culinary scene.
- Huset: Fresh, original and completely seasonal, there’s always something new to try at Huset. With a daily changing menu inspired by early morning market discoveries, chef Maycoll Calderon brings a new and exciting twist to traditional Mexican country flavour. Housed in a once-abandoned Roma mansion, Huset’s outside/indoors vibe is a delight, especially when night falls and the fairy lights come on.
- Cucina: The main focus of the team at Cucina is sharing their joy of food with clients through private dinners and cooking workshops with renowned chefs. It’s a place for learning but also sharing extraordinary culinary experiences with friends or work colleagues. So far workshops have included how to make gnocchi and sourdough bread to even flower styling. Cucina also hosts dinner events (which you can reserve via their website) with phenomenal chefs who have lived in Mexico City for a while but whose roots create nostalgic flavors, carrying you to distant lands.
The Condesa neighborhood in Mexico City can be found just to the side of Roma. I like to think of Condesa as Roma’s slightly more chilled out cousin. It was the first neighborhood I stayed in when I first arrived in Mexico City and it helped ease me into city life.
You will still find everything you need here and it’s just that bit more relaxed than its neighbor. You will be forgiven for thinking that you are in a European city while walking the tree lined streets of Condesa, which can feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of Roma Norte.
While the hipsters may have claimed Roma, in Condesa, all things bohemian rule. It’s an eclectic mix of artists, vegan brunch spots, and vintage shops and markets. Condesa is the perfect place for enjoying brunch before idly wandering around on a weekday afternoon.
My Top Picks of Coffee Shops to Work From in Condesa:
- Blend Station: Blend station is a digital nomad’s paradise. Upon entering this cafe, you’ll notice a sea of laptops and millennials sipping coffee while enjoying a healthy snack. Blend station is equipped with tons of outlets and working spaces but get there early because it fills up quickly.
- Tout Chocolat: Tout Chocolat is a great place to grab a coffee and get some work done while watching the trendy Condesa locals walk down Amsterdam Street. Their chocolate éclair is one of the best desserts in Condesa.
- Ojo de Agua: Ojo de Agua’s location in Condesa is situated on a picturesque roundabout on the tree-lined Amsterdam street. Sit on the patio and people-watch while enjoying some of the tastiest avocado toast and fresh juices in town.
My Top Picks of Restaurants in Condesa:
- Koku: Enjoy some Japanese-Mexican fusion food on Kuku’s tranquil indoor terrace. The menu at Koku is known for its originality and beautiful presentation. Some menu items worth mentioning are the coconut curry and the spicy salmon roll!
- Casa d’Italia: Casa D’Italia is a cozy spot for a traditional Italian lunch. Tucked away on a quiet Condesa street, you’ll find this romantic gem with an effortlessly casual European vibe. Enjoy some mouth-watering traditional meat plates and pasta dishes.
- Balboa Pizzeria: For deliciously authentic pizza dough and some of the freshest topping selections, check out Balboa Pizzeria. By night, the outdoor patio is usually bumping—perfect for a date night or a catch-up with a group of friends. This is a great spot to come and share a pizza, enjoy a glass of wine, and enjoy a warm Mexican night on a patio.
If only the best will do, then Polanco is the place for you. Still close to the centre, Polanco feels very different from both Roma and Condesa. This is where you are going to find the most upscale luxurious accommodation, side by side with some of the best restaurants and upscale bars in the city. Condesa is where you want to be if you want to rub shoulders with Mexico’s elite.
You will find plenty of shopping here, but I’m talking about Gucci and Prada rather than H&M and Bershka. That said, you can still find some great accommodation here that won’t completely blow the budget.
The best thing about staying in Polanco is its location. You are in the heart of some of the most iconic museums and galleries in Mexico City. You are also surrounded by world renowned restaurants, and don’t even get me started on the fancy cocktails you can find in the bars here. If you are all about food and culture, it’s worth spending a little extra and staying in Polanco.
My Top Picks of Coffee Shops to Work From in Polanco:
- Cafe Toscano: Cafe Toscano is a superbly stylish Italian concept coffee bar. From a restorative breakfast to a late-night pick-me-up, there’s always something for everyone. It’s the perfect place to get some work done from their large tables or cozy sofas.
- Peltre: With a bright, fresh vibe and a great menu offering a wide selection of Mexican classics and international faves, Peltre is a superb choice for breakfast and brunch. Peltre consistently serves up delicious, hearty dishes in a relaxed, casual atmosphere – the perfect way to start your day. Their colorful tiles create an inspirational and positive place to work from.
- Eno: Brought to you by the same chef behind award-winning restaurant Pujol, Eno delivers a more casual and laid back dining experience, perfect for setting up camp with your laptop and enjoying a delicious lunch prepared with local and fresh seasonal ingredients. There is plenty of seating here so you rarely need to worry about waiting for a spot.
My Top Picks of Restaurants in Polanco:
- Cuerno: Meat and seafood lovers look no further! Excellently located on Polanco’s Avenida Presidente Masaryk, this modern Mexican restaurant serves a selection of classic grill items from fresh fish to juicy steaks. This is a great option for date night!
- Ivoire: This french restaurant calls itself, “the boho spirit of Paris meets the savoir-faire of Polanco,” and it couldn’t be more accurate. Dine on the main floor for brunch, and then later, head upstairs and enjoy a sunset cocktail on the new rooftop patio, Dirty Dandy. This really is a little slice of Paris in Mexico City.
- Pujol: Enrique Olvera — the chef behind the aforementioned Eno, among many others — offers two different dining experiences at his highly acclaimed Pujol. Choose between a multi-course tasting menu in the formal dining room. Or a “taco omakase” meal at the low-slung bar featuring various tacos, antojitos, and botanas. It’s most likely you’ll get to taste Olvera’s famous mole madre dish no matter what decision you make.
First time in Mexico City and can’t decide where to base yourself? Then why not take advantage of our apartment hopping promotion?