Updated February 2nd, 2019
The Condesa neighborhood combines some of the best features of Roma Norte and Polanco. Like Polanco, Condesa is beautiful to look at with its tree-lined streets and parks, art-deco architecture, high-end bars, designer stores and boutique hotels. But, Condesa definitely shares a cool vibe with Roma Norte – its cafes, bookstores, galleries and shops attract the young professionals, students and artists who live and play in Condesa. This split personality can be linked to the fact that after decades of decline the area has been gentrified since the late 90s. Many foreigners who come to Mexico City first deside to stay in Condesa as it’s a good balance of everything.
There is a lot to see and do in this trendy area. At the heart of Condesa is Parque Mexico, a beautiful tree-filled park complete with pathways, ponds and fountains. The park is always busy, especially on the weekends, as local residents stroll among venders, or take part in the various fitness boot-camps and city-run events that are held in the park’s Foro Lindberg (an open air theatre). The entire neighborhood is very dog friendly, and the Parque is a popular destination for dog-walkers and training schools. Although the park is not officially designated as an off-leash area, it is very common to see dogs running free – this is a reflection of the laid-back attitude that characterizes Condesa.
If you look at a map (see below), you can see that the major streets in Condesa lead to Parque Mexico, and many popular restaurants and shops are on two streets that completely encircle the park – Av. Mexico and Av. Amsterdam. There is a smaller park, Parque España, located a few blocks to the west with a large play area for kids.
Although Condesa is a heavily residential neighborhood, it is a very popular night-time destination for the city’s trendy crowd. It is known for its night clubs, bars and restaurants as much as for the park, cafes and bookshops.
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Here is what Condesa looks like:
Where is Condesa?
Condesa is made up of three different colonias, Colonia Hipódromo, Colonia Condesa and Colonia Hipódromo Condesa. The western limit of Condesa is Insurgentes. To the south, it is bordered by Benjamin Franklin, while the western limit is the Circuito José Vasconcelos. To the north, Condesa is bordered by Veracruz, Parque España and Alvaro Obregón. It is very close to the Chapultepec Park on the west, and is south west of Roma Norte. In walking terms, you can walk to Roma Norte from Parque Mexico in under 10 minutes, to the Angel and Zona Rosa in about 15 minutes, and to the center of Polanco in about 40 minutes.
Transportation in Condesa
Condesa is very well-located near some of the major north-south and east-west transportation routes in Mexico City. Although these routes can be very busy at rush hour, there are many options to get in and out of the area by car.
Public transit: One of the advantages of Condesa’s central location near major transportation lines is that it is very well served by public transportation. There are four Metro Stations in the area – Patriotismo (Line 9), Chilpancingo (Line 9), Chapultepec (Line 1), and Juanacatlán (Line 1). Condesa is also easily accessed by the Insurgentes line of the Metrobus rapid transit system.
Uber: It is very easy to use Uber in Condesa, with wait times rarely more than a few minutes. After some controversy in the early days, the use of Uber in Mexico City has become very popular. Using Uber in Mexico City is easy, safe and affordable. In fact, if you have never tried Uber, go here and sign up and your first ride is on me! https://www.uber.com/invite/jeremya15, or just use the code “jeremya15” when signing up. Take an Uber from the Mexico City Airport to Condesa for the most convenient and comfortable option.
Bike and Scooter: Shared transportation options are easily available in Condesa. Electric scooters can be borrowed through one of the three Econduce stations located in Condesa. There are also multiple bike share Ecobici stations in Condesa which make getting around the area very convenient.
Best Restaurants in Condesa
La Bodega: Mexican – Popocatepetl 25 – Traditional Mexican cuisine – if you are a fan of mole (pronounced, mole-a, a thick traditional sauce), try the chicken with poblano mole sauce (made with cacao, i.e. chocolate)! Cuban music on the weekends adds to the funky vibe of this restaurant – sit on the terrace if the weather allows!
Ojo de Agua: Citlaltepetl 23 – Light dining – A great place to go for sandwiches, salads and breakfast options. Huge selection of juices made from fruits you’ve never heard of! On Sundays, the special is cochinita pibil with piña – delicious
Jamil: Lebanese – Amsterdam 306 – Delicious shawarma! Lots of options for sharing with very knowledgeable servers who can help you sort out what to have. Great service, great food.
Fonda Mayora – Bistro – Campeche 322 – Down-home cooking, Mexico-style, by the chef from Nicos. Great breakfast options in a cool space.
Rojo Bistro: French Bistro – Amsterdam 71 – This bistro is located on one the streets circling Parque Mexico. It doesn’t have a large menu, but you will have no trouble finding something delicious.
Azul: Mexican – Nuevo Leon 68 – Reasonably priced seasonal menu with regional dishes from across Mexico.
Lardo: Mediterranean – Agustin Melgar 6 – You will need reservations to get a table at this busy restaurant, or even to sit at the bar. The casual atmosphere and open kitchen are part of the appeal – but the food is the real draw, with salads, pizzas, and Mediterranean staples like grilled octopus on offer.
The Best Tacos in Condesa
Best Cafes/Coffee Shops in Condesa
Blend Station – Av. Tamaulipas 60 – The defacto digital nomad coffee shop in Condesa. It’s hard to find a place to sit mid-week, but if you snag one, the Wi-Fi is strong, the coffee good, and it’s a good place to meet foreigners and locals alike working in millenial-type remote jobs.
Cafe Toscano – Michoacan 30 – A funky little space with great coffee and tea options, and a light menu with salads, crepes, pizzas and paninis. They also have organic hot chocolate – try the Pakal, made with chili!
Enhorabuena – Atlixco 13 – Amazing coffee, baked goods and other small plates. The interior is very inviting and bright and they have outside tables on a quiet tree-lined street. Internet is strong as well.
Cafe B – Polocatepetl 30 – Dog friendly café serving deli items, and a selection of Mexican and vegetarian options.
Boulangerie 41 – Popocatepetl 41 – Pan dulces (try the brioche!), salads and sandwiches – you can´t go wrong. Home delivery and catering are available.
Gateria – Tabasco 337 – Enjoy a coffee or tea with some snacks and play with the resident cats. The caprese sandwich is super, and the cat-themed cookies are great to take away. Be prepared for a wait to get a table in this tiny space. Don’t wear black!
Best Nightlife in Condesa
La Xampaneria (Known as La Xampa as well) – Nuevo Leon, 66 – One of my favorite places to go. The crowd is usually in the early 30’s, and they offer great Spanish, tapa-style food, amazing cocktails, reasonably priced champagne, and it’s open every night until 3 AM. They have a DJ every night too that places loungey/house music but if the crowd is engaged, they will mix it up with more party-style music. (say Jeremy sent you!)
Wallace Whiskey Bar: Bar – Tamaulipas 45 – This stylish bar is the perfect place to wind down after work to wind up for the weekend. Great music, cool vibe. And whiskey!
Don Quentin: Bar/club – Tamaulipas 37 – Enjoy live music at this popular Condesa night spot. Private events can be booked, and you should make sure that you can get a table with a reservation in advance.
Pata Negra: Bar/club – Tamaulipas 30 – Live music, lively crowd and a fun atmosphere. Check their website to find out about special events.
The American Legion: Dive Bar – Cellaya 25 – A self-described dive, this casual bar has good beer, good snacks, and themed music curated by local DJs. Housed in the old American Legion lodge with all the original decor! *Bonus Tip – Upstairs is one of the best English bookstores you’ll find in the whole city, it’s called Under The Volcano Books.
Condesa DF – Bar/lounge – Veracruz 102 – located in the Hotel Condesa, this roofop bar features lounge chairs and cozy blankets to keep you warm on cool nights. The vibe is definitely chill – this is a great place to have snacks and drinks with friends.
Of course, there are many other great places to have a bite, sip a latte or dance the night away – let me know your favorites!