Two Weeks in Roma Norte

October 21, 2014

Of course we had a great time in México City. We spent most days on our own, exploring, and most afternoons and evenings with the family… as our son and his wife both work during the day and our granddaughter is in school. We rented an apartment via Air B n B that was located about 10 blocks away from our family.

What did we do? Here’s a brief rundown.

We roamed around Roma Norte. Our son and his family moved to Roma Norte from Condesa a few years ago and while we have visited Condesa enough to know our way around we hadn’t spent as much time in Roma. It is a vibrant, fun neighborhood, full of twenty-something hipsters, great food and drink, and is just transitional enough for me to be comfortable. We love Mazatlán partly for it’s less-than-polished side, you know, and Roma has enough of that to keep us comfortable.

What did we do? Well, for starters, we ate. A lot, too. We had an incredible meal at Maximo Bistrot (Tonalá 133). The food was amazing – my gnocchi were so delicious we ordered another plate… Paul had organic roasted chicken with radishes and peppers that he loved… and the rest of the family was equally thrilled. We took our time, drank a lot of wine, and don’t even get me started on the rhubarb tart we had for dessert. The service was perfect and we held every meal to the standard they set. No other meal this trip really came close to Maximo.

We shopped at the organic market El 100. (Plaza Rio de Janeiro) We arrived when there was only about a half hour left but they had about two dozen booths with all kinds of organic food. Lots of great stuff remained, though. We ate at a delicious vegetarian restaurant, Pan Comido (Tonalá casi esquina Chihuahua) where Paul said with amazement “Wow, I can’t believe I really enjoyed a vegetarian burger!” (By the way, he had the DaVinci, a grilled portobello with cheese and a whole bunch of other stuff.) And, for you Spanish students out there… our son told us that “pan comido” means “It’s Easy“, or “Piece of Cake.” I love learning slang that isn’t rude. 🙂

We shopped at the asian store Mikasa (San Luis Potosí 173), buying kombu and wakame but I could have bought a lot more if I lived there! They had huge daikon radishes, lots of different misos, and great prepared foods for take-out. We had to take a look of course at the new Mercado Roma. We strolled through, mouths agape at all the organic-expensive-alluring food and prepared goods. From fresh pasta to fresh juices and everything in between. While we may have drawn a few stares for being a bit over the average age (snort! like 45 years over!) and under the average bank balance it was a treat to visit. If we lived there I’m sure I’d selectively pop in for pasta or something once in a while.

We had so many wonderful coffees, pastries, and treats. Breakfasts at El Ocho (Plaza Luis Cabrera 16), La Casa de la Yeya (Citlatépetl 25), La Ventanita (Plaza Villa Madrid 13), and Panadería Rosetta (Colima 178A) several times. All had such really good food. We had great breakfasts several times right down the street from our apartment, at Espresso Cafe (Yucatán 12). They had excellent egg dishes and their pastries are brought in from Panadería Rosetta. I am still longing for one of those croissant dough cinnamon rolls.

We took a walk to the Huerto Roma Verde (Jalapa 234) community and educational gardens. Built on the site of one of the largest apartment blocks that collapsed during the 1985 earthquake, this garden is very special. They give classes on composting and gardening and you can even have parties there with environmental games and fresh garden produce. There is a vegan/vegetarian food truck there on Fridays.

We stayed in several evenings, playing lots of dominoes and drinking mezcal. What goes along best with that kind of evening? Tacos! We ordered delivery from El Califa and El Tizoncito. Really good tacos with a million little tubs of salsas and chopped this’s and thats…

We ate downtown at Azul Historico (Isabel la Católica 30) one afternoon. We had a wonderful meal – so very good – in the large covered courtyard. As we started to wind down a huge rainstorm passed through, flooding the streets but thankfully we didn’t get wet. We had another great comida at Casa Virginia (Monterrey 116-A). Casa Virginia is upstairs from Delirio (where we kept intending to go for breakfast but didn’t) and the experience and the food was first class. The Porfirian era building makes a perfect formal backdrop for the excellent food and service.

We didn’t just eat fancy food, though. One afternoon while out walking we grabbed slices of pizza from Pizza Amore (Michoacán 78) and ate delicious posole on Sunday in a small restaurant on the way back to the city from Tepotzlán. And in case you were wondering, we did eat a fabulous meal our daughter in law prepared at home. Everyone was swooning over the fish. I now I wish I’d had a bite. By the way, did you know Mexico City has one of the largest fish markets in the world?

We played tourist, too… taking the Turibus from Roma to Coyoacán. They advertise “hop off hop on” but don’t bet on it as they never came back through and we ended up taking a taxi back home. But Coyoacán is wonderful and we had some nice beer and mezcal (and so-so food) at Corazón de Maguey while watching the action in the plaza.

We made good use of Cabify and Uber, both are private taxi services that are fantastic if you have a smart phone. You just let the GPS check and see what cars are in the vicinity and you click and book one. Then you can watch it in real time as it travels over to you! Much better than flagging down a street taxi and actually might be cheaper, too. Your credit card is in your profile so you don’t even need to carry cash. Loved it.

Downtown, we went to Bellas Artes,(couldn’t see the Tiffany curtain, again!) and the Museo de Memorias y Tolerancia. It was great to see so many school groups observing and taking notes about the holocaust, hopefully these young people will remember and learn. The Armenian genocide section was especially moving for me, as I had expected.

One afternoon we walked over to Chapultepec Park and toured the Museo de Arte Moderno. Another afternoon my daughter in law and I went to Costco (for veggies to pickle) and picked Consuelo up from school. We had a marathon veggie pickling session one night as the guys watched Monday night football.

We spent one weekend in Tepotzlán enjoying the country air and their weekend place. It is so serene there, the perfect getaway from their busy lives in Mexico City. Of course we had some delicious food, too… our fourth visit this time I think to the bookstore/restaurant La Sombra del Sabino, a favorite of the family with delicious food in a garden atmosphere.

Our trip was wonderful, with lots of time to enjoy our granddaughter Consuelo, and with plenty of relaxing hang-out time for all of us. What didn’t we do that we wanted to? The only things I can think of are that I wanted to go to the Basilica de Guadalupe and the Sumaya and Jumex museums. We have to save some things for next time, don’t we?

Pictures from our trip are below, click on the first thumbnail and then you can page through them all.

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More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. Nancy, my mouth is absolutely watering – you have experienced a different DF from the one most tourists visit. I have to get there sometime.

      1. Anne, We truly did eat our way around Roma Norte. Yum.

        Ingrid, You’d love it, I know.

        Judith, You won’t go wrong with any of the restaurants I mention. Hope you get to DF soon.

        Babs, Our kids have lived in DF for almost ten years, I think we went to Xochimilco on one of our first trips to visit them, it was very fun. We usually pick a few museums to see each trip, we know there will always be a list of things to do and see.

    1. The more I see of DF the more I think we should go and visit.

    1. Nancy, your descriptions are better than a guidebook. I will refer to your post when we make our first trip to DF. So glad you had a lovely vacation. Consuelo is growing so fast!

    1. It is such a magnificent city with more to do then anyone can imagine – more museums then any other city in the world. I think 132! Some time, make arrangements to go through the locks and go back into the living area and the champas of Zochiamilco.
      You will feel like you’re thousands of years back in time! It’s magnificent.

      Glad you had a good time. When you have a place to stay, as you did, it gives you
      so much of a better flavor.

      Sorry the double decker didn’t come back when you were waiting. I’ve never had a problem with that…….it certainly is an inexpensive way to get around the city!

    1. Thanks, Nancy! All the links make this the most useful DF blog post of the month…maybe the year!

      1. Thanks, Betsy! And one thing I didn’t mention is a fabulous breakfast with Cristina and Judith! 🙂

    1. What a great post! Now I need to get back to DF but how can I leave leave the Isla and Mazatlan? Just not enough time. Love, love your photos.

      Life is short, we must learn to live each day to the fullest. So happy to see that you and Paul are.

    1. Ah, my stomping grounds when in DF. I love the whole Roma/Condesa/Zona Rosa triangle. So much to see and do. I should hurry up and buy a house in Roma before it becomes too expensive though. Price have been steadily rising there.


      Kim G
      Boston, MA
      Which has its charms, but can’t match DF for excitement.

      1. Contessa, DF might be for another year I think…

        Kim G., Our kids bought in Roma Norte just before things really went up, they’d be priced out of there now… but of course there are always deals here and there, especially if the place really needs someone with vision. I love it there, but if we were buying we might start with Roma Sur for a bit more affordability (but not much…)

    1. Juarez, which is the neighborhood just northeast of the Zona Rosa may be the next area to take off. It’s got good housing stock, and is quite close to Roma too. Prices there are still reasonable.

      So are you gearing up for Hurricane Vance? Looks like it might not hit Mazatlán, but you’ll certainly get a lot of wind, rain, and high surf.

      Buena Suerte!

      Kim G
      Boston, MA
      Where it is 34° and showering mixed snow and rain. Ugh!

      1. Hi Kim, We’ve been invited to spend as much time as we like in the summer at their place in Tepotzlán, I think that’s what we’ll do next summer… sounds pretty nice to us! We don’t expect much from Hurricane Vance, maybe some wind and rain, enough to blow the summer away and usher in the fall. Today we have 86% humidity, though… and it feels pretty good.

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