So Hot Right Now: Mexico City

It's still hard to believe that in many ways our neighbor to the south, Mexico leads the United State in LGBT rights, freedoms and overall quality of life. The largest city on earth, Mexico City, has transformed its reputation in recent years on the back of this quiet revolution, from danger zone to travel destination. Now LGBT world travelers, young professionals, and foodies alike are flocking to the Mexican capital to see what all the much-deserved fuss is about. 
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Distrito Condesa

Cholula 62 | Colonia Condesa, Mexico City 06140, Mexico

Distrito Condesa's three neighborhoods, Colonia Condesa, Colonia Hipódromo and Colonia Hipódromo Condesa take me right back home to New Orleans each time I stroll through them. The blend of commercial corners on mostly residential blocks is exactly what Mexico City's young professionals seek out as they transition from weekend party animals into married couples and families. Condesa's bars and restaurants provide plenty of walkable options, without the noise and shenanigans of a nightlife district. Think Park Slope, but South of the Border.

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Camellón del Paseo de la Reforma

Paseo de la Reforma y Gandhi, 1RA Secc del Bosque de Chapultepec, DIF 11100 Mexico

Ferdinand von Rosenzweig designed this sweeping boulevard in the 1860's to invoke the classic European counterparts, and all of the regality and high society they entail. Here in the present, Mexico City's largest avenue becomes a working man's oasis each week on Sunday mornings when cars are prevented from driving on the strip. Locals and tourists alike can rent bicycles or put some mileage on their walking shoes, taking their time as they take in the sights on Sunday mornings.

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Hotel Downtown Mexico

Isabel la Catolica 30, Mexico City 06010, Mexico

The Downtown Mexico's Carlos Couturier transformed not only a historic colonial palace, but an entire neighborhood when Grupo Habita cast their boutique hotel takeover spell on this property. The Downtown's innards bring to mind Greek city-state's like Athens or Sparta in their heyday, walled garden towns made up of greenways and artisans peddling their wares. Like many Mexican historic properties, the strong masculine exterior of the building gives way to lush & luxe accommodations within. You'd never guess from the sidewalk that a pool and bar are perched upon the rooftop, but once you check in, you'll find it impossible to step away.

Museo Rufino Tamayo

Paseo de la Reforma y Gandhi, Bosques de Chapultepec, DIF 11580 Mexico

You wouldn't expect something as storied as an art museum to effectively ride the trends, but the Museo Rufino Tamayo opened at the peak of Mexico City's global repositioning as a trendy, young tourist destination. Mexico City's contemporary art museum quickly won over tourists and locals alike, and has earned its reputation as a must-see afternoon escape from the sultry endless summer sun. Even if the walls were empty, I could get lost for hours just walking through the gorgeous concrete corridors of this incredible piece of architecture.

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Castillo de Chapultepec

Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, 11100 Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico

I perfected my free admission game during my broke-as-a-joke formative years in Seattle, most notably at First Hill's Frey Art Museum. And while I'm thankfully no longer subsisting on ramen and sweet potatoes 6 nights a week, I still love a free day at the museum or a private plaza. Enter Castillo de Chapultepec! Sundays are cover-free at this imperial-era garden. Pack your binoculars, or at least your iPhone, because the view from the summit of this park is not to be missed.

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Serendipia

Av Noche de Paz 57, Granjas Navidad, 01000 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico

Chef Daniel Ovadia's take on the one-stop artisanal grocery shop features, fresh baked bread, pastries, marmalades, chocolates, tequilas and mezcals. Most of the products, with the exception of the boozier items, are made in house daily. Forget about hitting up knick knack shops for souvenirs, your bff/mama/spouse would much rather you brought home some chili chocolate!

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Hunting down this food truck is going to take a bit of Spanish-speaking and access to Twitter (https://twitter.com/nhamfoodtruck), but the payoff is so, so worth the work. Nham Nham is accessible sandwich royalty; the banh mi executed in the land of the torta, prepared in the oh-so-Austin food truck. International mash-ups are exactly the types of restaurants I seek out on the road, and this piece of sandwich paradise does not disappoint!

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TAQUERIA EL TURIX

Emilio Castelar 212, Miguel Hidalgo, Polanco Reforma, Mexico City, Federal District, Mexico

One of the best dishes we've ever served at my street food restaurant in New Orleans, Booty's, is cochinita de puerco pibil. Roast pork slow-cooked in tequila and orange juice for days, before making its way onto a housemade tortilla underneath a pile of pickled onions. It's perfection, and we trace our recipe back to a prep cook's street food sabbatical down to Mexico City earlier this year. Puerco pibil tacos at El Turix are a life-changing event. Warning, these addictive tacos will have you flying down to Mexico every other week if you're not careful!

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Nicos Mexico

Av. Cuitlahuac #3102 Col. Claveria | Esq. con Av. Claveria, Mexico City 76140, Mexico

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. And as the saying goes, when in Mexico City, eat your weight in Huevos Azcapotzalco at Nicos Mexico! The egg specialty here at Nicos is comparable to huevos rancheros, but with the addition of the much more authentic cotija cheese. American Mexican restaurants are beginning to catch on to the cotija movement, but the salty cheese here at Nicos is precisely what you need in the morning to set off some of that boozing from the night prior.

Kevin Farrell Skyscanner

Bazaar Del Sabado

San Jacinto 11, San Ángel, Álvaro Obregón, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico

This artists and artisans marketplace has been continuously open and operating since 1960. Clothing, jewelry, artwork, religious iconography, and more skeletons than you can shake a stick at are on display from dozens and dozens of Mexico City's creative class makers. El Bazaar Sabado is a Saturday affair only, to allow the artists the other six days of the week to actually dream up and produce their goods. Chances are, you'll be in town through the weekend, so make a pit stop here at the market.

Kevin Farrell Skyscanner

Plaza de la Constitución

Mexico City, Mexico

Trekking through Mexico City and not taking the time out to visit the Plaza de la Constitución is like flying to Philadelphia and "Ehh, nahhh"-ing a visit to the Liberty Bell. It just makes no sense, people! The Plaza has been many things throughout the centuries; an aztec town square, the heart of colonial Spanish rule, and now the center of the tourism circuit. But whatever you flock here for, be mindful that Mexico City locals simply call it the Zocalo.

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Bósforo

Luis Moya, Centro, Mexico City, Federal District, Mexico

Our impossibly attractive Gogobot travel overlords don't list Mezcalería as a bar option here (*hint hint*), but this is precisely the reigning type of bar in Mexico City these days. For those of you unfamiliar with the liquor, mezcal is like tequila's smokey, woodier cousin. The two are derived from the same plant, but are distilled in a different manner. And while tequila shots are kicked back quickly, mezcal is a slow sipper. Bósforo is ground zero for the new mezcal movement, and should be visited as such.

Last updated at Jan 05, 2016