Karla Martinez de Salas’ Mexico City

Fashion editor Karla Martinez de Salas shares her picks for where to shop, dine out, and spend an afternoon in her hometown of Mexico City. For even more from Karla, see her shopping picks from our September issue. 

What neighborhood do you live in, and how long have you lived there? I live in Lomas de Reforma—a residential neighborhood where a lot of the embassies are—but we are trying to move to Polanco!

Where would you put up friends visiting town? I would say Las Alcobas (Avenida Presidente Masaryk 390; 52-55/3300-3900; lasalcobas.comin Polanco—a friend recently was in town and stayed there and loved it.

Where is the best place to find your hometown’s signature dish? When I think of Mexico City, I think of tlacoyos; they’re similar to sopes and one of the things I ate on my first to the city. One of our favorite places to get them is Los Panchos (Calle Tolstoi 9; 52-55/5254-5390; lospanchos.mx), where you can get great local, street-style food.

What is your favorite restaurant to take visitors? I love taking visitors to Contramar (Calle Durango 200; 52-55/5514-3169)—it’s the best seafood and ambiance in town.

Where can you find the best cocktails? Beer list? Wine list? I love the cocktails at the new Cipriani in Masaryk (Presidente Masaryk 311; 52-55/8526-1595; cipriani.com) and Artemesia in Colonia Roma (Tonala 23; 52-55/6303-2471; maisonartemisia.com). For wine, I like Il Becco at the Four Seasons. For beer, nothing beats going to Butcher and Sons and getting a burger and a beer; I have a friend making a local beer called Chaneque, which I love.

Where would you choose to splurge on a night out? I think a great night out would be at Pujol—it’s one of the best restaurants in Mexico and also a long meal (Francisco Petrarca 254; 52-55/5545-4111; pujol.com.mx). For great Italian food and the best wine list in the city, I would splurge at Il Becco at The Four Seasons Hotel (Paseo de la Reforma 500; 52-55/5256-3042; fourseasons.com).

What is your go-to after-hours bar? Bosforo Mezcaleria (Luis Moya 31; 52-55/5512-1991), Artemesia in Colonia Roma, or Lineo in La Condesa (Av. Michoacán 121; 52-55/6553-3582; linneo.mx) for a great nightcap.

What’s the best way to spend a Saturday afternoon in town? My favorite way to spend a Saturday is discovering a new museum (there are hundreds in Mexico!) and then sitting down for a long lunch in Colonia Roma or Polanco. 

What is your Sunday morning routine in your neighborhood? We typically take our dog to Lago de Chapultepec and then have a nice breakfast at Café Eno (Calle Petrarca 258; 52-55-5531-8300; eno.com.mx) or Kleins in Polanco (where you can take dogs) (Presidente Masaryk 360; 52-55/5280-9184).

Where is the best brunch? Mexicans generally either go for breakfast or lunch—not so much brunch. But I would recommend Mercado Roma (225 Queretaro; 52-55/5564-1396; mercadoroma.com), where you can eat lots of different types of Mexican food. For an American-style brunch, I’d check out the St. Regis—it’s the most classic American brunch in the city (Paseo de la Reforma 439; 52-55/5228-1818; starwoodhotels.com).

Pujol, Mexico city

Where do you go for the perfect cup of coffee? Cielito Lindo is a great chain coffee shop, but I also love Maque (Av. Ozuluama 4; 52-55/2454-4662; maque.com.mx) for a great cappuccino and a concha!

What’s your favorite view in town (that tourists might not know about)? My terrace! Seriously, though, I love the views from the JW Marriott—you can see the entire city if you request one of the higher floors (Andrés Bello 29; 52-55/5999-0000; marriott.com). The terrace at Downtown is great, too (Isabel la Católica 30; 52-55/5521-2098; downtownmexico.com). 

What’s your favorite path or trail to follow on a walk? On Sundays Reforma is closed and you can walk towards the Angel of Independence. 

What are your favorite offbeat cultural attractions? I love the contemporary art museum at UNAM—both the university itself and the different pieces inside the University, such as the murals by Siqueiros and Rivera (Insurgentes Sur 3000; 52-55/5622-6972; muac.unam.mx). Another favorite is the Dolores Olmedo Foundation; it has beautiful grounds and pieces by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo that you will never see anywhere else (Av. México 5843; 52-55/5555-0891; museodoloresolmedo.org.mx). 

What’s your favorite shop or boutique? I love Onora (Lope de Vega 330; 52-55/5203-0938; onoracasa.com) in Polanco and the recently opened multistore mansion in Colonia Roma, Roma Quince.

What’s the ultimate souvenir from your town—something you can only get there? You can find some really special things at Onora—I recently sent my mom a beautiful tortilla holder that she uses all the time. There’s also no place like Liverpool department store (multiple locations; liverpool.com.mx). And you can’t go wrong with Mexican candy—you can't get chile-covered pineapples that taste as good as the ones in Mexico anywhere else! 

What’s the best-kept local secret? The word has been slow to get out about all the great home design and architecture here. We have some really cool designers: Pirwi in Polanco (Alejandro Dumas 124; 52-55/1579-6514; pirwi.com); Nouvel glassware (Palmas 520; 52-55/5282-4963; nouvelstudio.com); Peca Studio (52-33/3834-6053; peca.com.mx). We also have some great pop-up markets; one of my favorites, which is going to New York soon, is La Lonja—they curate the best in Mexican design, food, and fashion and set up in different areas around the city. You can pick up great jewelry from people like Amandina but also homemade organic peanut butter or pecans from Villa de Patos (lonjamercantil.com).

In our Hometown Guides series, we're seeking the best restaurants, bars, vistas, and things to do in a given place from the people who know best—the artists, designers, chefs, and store-owners who live there. See more Hometown Guides »

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Contramar; Courtesy of Pujol; Ana Hop