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Roma Neighborhood, the Bohemian Side of Mexico City

  • Joel CZ 
  • 13 min read
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The Roma neighborhood in Mexico City is popularly known for the beautiful architecture of its houses and buildings, with styles that vary between art nouveau, eclectic or French, and many gourmet cafes decorated with great elegance and the best flavors.

As if that were not enough, in the Roma neighborhood, you can find all kinds of restaurants, bars, parks, plazas, stores, and many of the most charming streets in Mexico City.

Join me on this journey, where you will get to know everything you need to have an incredible experience in “Colonia Roma.”

What makes Roma in Mexico City so important?

roma mexico city
Fountains at the Plaza Luis Cabrera – Source: Omar Barcena / flickr.com

Historically speaking, the Roma neighborhood had the honor of being one of the first in the city to implement the necessary urban services.

In addition, it has been designed with wide curbed streets, such as the famous Orizaba street, and beautiful tree-lined avenues, such as Veracruz and Jalisco, which have a touch similar to Paris.

As you walk through its streets, you will notice that they are named after the states and cities of the Mexican Republic.

It has two cozy squares to complement it: Plaza Rio de Janeiro and Plaza Luis Cabrera.

The architectural relevance of the buildings you can find here is also remarkable, preserving more than 1,500 houses and buildings transformed into monumental works of art.

Don’t forget to bring a camera or take some pictures with your phone to remember the incredible experience in “La Roma.”

Roma Mexico City’s main attractions

roma mexico city
Pushkin Park – Source: francerobert2001 / flickr.com

If you want to get an idea of what Colonia Roma was like initially, you should start by visiting the old site, La Romita, located near the Eje Vial Cuauhtémoc.

This area resembles a town square, where you can admire the Templo de Santa María de la Natividad, built in the 17th century.

You may want to read: What is Mexico City Best Known for? 45 Top Places to Visit

Continuing the route, you can walk through Pushkin Park and arrive at Alvaro Obregon Avenue, which is beautiful and naturally decorated by trees in the central avenue, besides having some beautiful stone quarry fountains.

Alvaro Obregon Avenue

I recommend that you slowly explore Álvaro Obregón Avenue, allowing you to visit some of the old stores on its sidewalks.

For instance, the popular cafe Los Bísquets Obregón, buildings of historical importance such as the house of the poet Ramón López Velarde, the Parián Market, the Francia building, and some beautiful homes that show the elegance and good taste of the Roma neighborhood in Mexico City.

In addition to the above, don’t forget to explore the surrounding streets a little more, as there are some art nouveau buildings that you can’t miss.

Orizaba Street

roma mexico city
Rio de Janeiro building and the House of Witches – Source: Steve Minor / flickr.com

The next stop is Orizaba Street, which has excellent opportunities to appreciate sites and buildings.

Its main attractions start with Plaza Ajusco, then passing by the Renaissance Institute, which is a beautiful school built with partition walls simulating a castle, the traditional ice cream store Bella Italia, the sophisticated Balmori building, the Casa Lamm, which is an essential point of culture and art, and the Plaza Rio de Janeiro.

You may want to read: 30 Best Mexico City Museums and World-Class Art Galleries

Also, the Casa de las Brujas (witches’ house), famous for the conical structure of the apartment building, for which it earned this nickname; the Parish of the Holy Family and the beautiful neocolonial construction that serves as the headquarters of the Casa Universitaria del Libro of the National University of Mexico.

Colima and Tonala Streets

Finally, I recommend you walk along the streets of Colima and Tonalá, where you will find several French-style residences that symbolize the Roma neighborhood’s atmosphere in its time of splendor.

Roma Mexico City: Restaurants & Cafes

roma mexico city
Healthy food at Pan Comido restaurant

In Colonia Roma, you can find a great variety of restaurants, cafes, pastry shops, bars, breweries, and places to enjoy excellent gastronomy, drinks with friends, a morning coffee, or delicious desserts in pleasant company.

I will begin by mentioning the main restaurants, which vary in their menus, satisfying all tastes and budgets.

Pan Comido restautant

Starting with a favorite of many in this neighborhood, the Pan Comido restaurant on Tonala street offers a wide variety of healthy, organic, and natural food dishes.

Their menu includes hamburgers, hot dogs, falafel, salads, curries, soups, and other delicacies served or made, for the most part, so as not to use cutlery and thus promote water saving.

This place is trendy because several of its products are purchased from neighboring stores to promote trade in the area.

For example, they get their organic coffee from small local vendors, the chai from Chai Bar, the biodegradable plates and cups from La Huella Verde, and the vegan and granola bread from a girl who comes every day.

Patisserie Dominique

Another excellent option I recommend you visit in the Roma neighborhood is the famous Patisserie Dominique, which is considered a little piece of Paris in Mexico City.

It offers the most delicious breakfasts with its croissants, pain au chocolate, and the main attraction: the oeufs cocotte.

These are casseroled eggs with dehydrated tomato and goat cheese, accompanied by freshly baked bread, which makes the place an extraordinary bakery proposal.

If you prefer to eat in a restaurant with more of a homemade cooking touch or in a more intimate atmosphere, you will find excellent menus at Salamanca 69, Las Nazarenas, La Buenavida Fonda, and La Perla de la Roma.

Salamanca 69 restaurant

At Salamanca 69, they offer healthy dishes of Argentinean origin, such as steamed vegetables with house dressing, spinach quiche with corn, or an order of exquisite Jalapa ribs.

Also highly recommended are the rice with coconut, sweet or savory empanadas, and very popular the one with meat, choripán and dulce de leche.

Las Nazarenas restaurant

Go to Las Nazarenas to enjoy the richest and most traditional Peruvian food, with its star dish: ceviche, and other daily specials.

La Buena Vida Fonda

La Buenavida Fonda is an excellent, moderately priced option without losing the gourmet style offered in the Roma neighborhood.

They offer delicious dishes such as chicken breast stuffed with cheese accompanied with corn or the popular cemitas poblanas with flank steak and chorizo.

For drinks, the place has refreshing combinations of agua fresca (flavored waters), such as cucumber with lemon, watermelon with grape, or guava with mint.

La Perla de la Roma Seafood

If you prefer seafood, the perfect option is to go to La Perla de la Roma, a place with simple decoration but fast and efficient service.

The menu is worthy of some of the best seafood restaurants, where you can order all kinds of fresh seafood and fish prepared in different ways: with butter, steamed, garlic sauce, fried, breaded, battered, etc.

Restaurant-Bars

In addition to these places, there are other alternatives to enjoy a delicious meal accompanied by exquisite drinks and cocktails that transform your outing into a night party.

You may want to read: Mexico City: Lake Xochimilco, Downtown, and La Condesa

Among these, I recommend you visit Felix hamburger restaurant, Balmori Roofbar restaurant-bar, Salón Covadonga, Linares bar, El Palenquito bar, Broka Bistrot restaurant, Puebla 109 restaurant-bar, all excellent options to spend an incredible evening in Colonia Roma.

Roma Mexico City: Shopping

naked boutique

The popularity of the Roma neighborhood in Mexico City has made it home to many brand-name stores, some not so well known and others offering rare and unique items.

I’ll start by talking about the most contemporary and visited stores, such as Naked Boutique, where you can find all kinds of basic garments, such as t-shirts, tops, sweatshirts, and dresses.

Each of these pieces shows a print with a symbol of modern culture produced 100% in Mexico, making custom orders a perfect option.

At the Lucky Bastard store, you’ll find all kinds of hip-hop and rap-related apparel, such as baggy t-shirts, button-downs, snapback caps, beanies, vintage eyewear, throw pillows, hoodies, and jackets. Brands include some of the favorites of rap MCs and DJs.

Other very unique stores that you can find are:

  • Carla Fernandez, with clothes designed by her
  • Robin Archives, where you can find all kinds of bags and briefcases and custom-made orders
  • Kamikaze specializes in fun and artistic toys
  • Store 180 °, with all sorts of items and limited edition clothing

7 Best Hotels in Roma Mexico City

Here are some of the most popular hotels if you need a place to stay within the Roma neighborhood. Take note:

1. Brick Hotel – Roma Mexico City

roma mexico city hotel brick

The vintage decoration of this hotel combines very well with the modern architecture of this characteristic neighborhood of Mexico City.

Its furniture is a classic style, with crystal chandeliers, works of art, and antiques that decorate this place located at 204 Monterrey Avenue, very close to Mexico Park, BlackBerry Auditorium, and Plaza Condesa.

Rooms have private bathrooms (with shower or bathtub and complimentary toiletries), closets, desks, big screen TV, iron and ironing board, and most have garden views.

Check for the best rates and availability

There is a 24-hour front desk agent, airport transfer, activities such as city tours (either on foot or by bicycle rental), and an outdoor dining area with garden furniture and sunbeds, should you wish to sunbathe.

2. La Valise Mexico City

roma mexico city

This finely decorated boutique hotel offers delightful accommodations in the Roma neighborhood.

Its wooden floors and soft colors make the place very cozy; it has a 24-hour front desk service, a coffee maker in all suites, and pets are allowed.

All rooms are decorated differently and have air conditioning, a big screen TV, and a bathroom with a bathtub or shower, and from the balcony, you can admire the view this city district offers.

Check for the best rates and availability

As if that were not enough, it houses the “Rosetta,” listed among the best restaurants in the world, and offers service from 7 am to 10 pm.

3. Hotel Mx Roma Mexico City

roma mexico city hotel mx

It is located at 81 Mérida Street, with a very original design and a strategic location to visit the most representative sites of the area, such as the Angel of Independence, Paseo de la Reforma, and Glorieta de Los Insurgentes, just a few blocks away.

Its décor is contemporary and minimalist; the comfort of its beds and pillows stand out.

The rooms have closets, satellite TV, free Internet access, 24-hour front desk service, a buffet restaurant, and offers tickets to various shows.

Check for the best rates and availability

It also has a gym and squash court to keep you in shape.

4. Block Suites Hotel

A building of contemporary architecture houses this hotel in the emblematic Roma neighborhood.

Very close to this hotel is the historic center of the city -with all its attractions- just 10 minutes away by car and 5 minutes from Paseo de la Reforma.

There are cafes, bars, and restaurants nearby.

It has spacious rooms decorated in a modern style with air conditioning, big screens, Wi-Fi, soundproof windows to repel outside noise, Jacuzzi, a living room, and a coffee maker.

Check for the best rates and availability

You can appreciate a beautiful panoramic city view from all the suites.

It also has a 24-hour front desk and tourist information service.

5. Stanza Hotel

stanza hotel

This modern building is located in the Roma-Condesa area on Alvaro Obregón Avenue at number 13, close to the historical center, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and Chapultepec Castle.

All rooms have air conditioning, big-screen cable TV, free Wi-Fi, a safe, hair dryer, coffee maker, and a telephone, among others.

Check for the best rates and availability

It also has smoke-free spaces, private parking, gym, business center, restaurant-bar, and bicycle rental.

6. Hotel Benidorm

hotel benidorm

This hotel is located at 217 Frontera Street, close to shopping centers such as Parque Delta and Pabellón Cuauhtémoc, as well as tourist sites such as the Zona Rosa, Plaza de la Ciudadela, the Independence Monument, and Chapultepec Castle.

It has a piano bar in the lobby, where you can enjoy an aperitif or delight yourself with delicious Mexican and American dishes served in the restaurant “El Mesón del Monje.”

The rooms are spacious, comfortable, and equipped with soundproof windows to avoid traffic noise, cable TV, air conditioning, hair dryer, amenities, and free Internet.

Check for the best rates and availability

It also has a business center, meeting room, smoke-free spaces, and free parking with security, and it is adapted for people with reduced mobility.

7. Hotel Marbella

hotel marbella mexico

This traditional hotel, with easy access to the metro stations, will allow you to easily move around the city.

It is located at 205 Frontera Street, a few blocks from the Medical Center, the Arena Mexico, the Zona Rosa, and the historic center is only 15 minutes away by car.

It offers warmly decorated rooms for a pleasant rest. They are equipped with air conditioning, cable TV, free Wi-Fi, a bathroom with a hairdryer, and a terrace overlooking the city.

Check for the best rates and availability

It also has a gym, business center, 24-hour front desk service, parking, and a restaurant.

Conclusion

Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood has transcended among the inhabitants and foreign visitors due to its great diversity, beauty, and its ability to provide the best in entertainment, food, and places of interest.

I hope this guide has been helpful to you, and I look forward to your comments. Let me know if you have further questions. Vamonos!

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