Viva Mexico City

I recently had the luxury of skipping town with my husband. With the help of both of our parents, who kept our kids, we were able to explore a place I’d never been to, Mexico City. I’ve always associated Mexico with beach towns like Cancun and Puerto Vallarta. When an opportunity presented itself to check it out, I said “Si!”

With a population of about 21 million (including the metropolitan area) I had thoughts of what the city might look like. Much to my surprise Mexico City turned out to be completely different than I had imagined. As Americans, we have a decent amount of exposure to Mexican culture – language, food and some customs.  Growing up as an Indian American, I’ve always drawn parallels between the Mexican culture and Indian culture as both are filled with lots of color, food and deep-rooted customs. Mexico City did not let down in any of those categories.

I wanted to break down the 3 things I would recommend checking out if you make your way over to Mexico City!

The Houseboats in Xochimilco (Pronouced
So-chee-MEEL-ko )

House Boat Tour

This is a one of a kind authentic Mexican experience that can’t be missed!  It takes about an hour to get to from Mexico City, but is totally worth the drive!  Upon arrival it will be suggested to use the restroom, make sure you have some money on you…. they charge 5 pesos to use the facilities. There are dozens of brightly colored house boats waiting for you, if you plan ahead you can even have one of them personalized just for you.  You will have someone on board to do the rowing, it feels like Venice but with a Mexican twist. There are two long tables with chairs to seat 20. Many people pack large picnics and make a day out of the excursion.

While rowing down the river you can see other houseboats with mariachis on them. If summoned they come on board and perform (for a nominal fee). Of course we did this and what a treat it was!  They also have boats with fully equipped kitchens, so you can order hot and ready to eat quesadillas and tacos, so fun!

A Soccer Game at the Aztec Stadium

We scored tickets to see Cruz Azul play Pachuca. This was my first soccer game, ever!  The stadium was clean and for about $50/tickets we had some pretty awesome seats!  Soccer is a huge sport for Mexicans so to see their excitement and loyalty to their team was a treat!  I would recommend a stop in if you have time!

Sporting my new Cruz Azul gear!
Sporting my new Cruz Azul gear!
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The Culinary Scene

I’m not quite sure what I expected from the culinary scene in Mexico City, but I was pleasantly surprised by the number of beautiful restaurants and the delicious food that we had! There were two particular restaurants that stood out to me that I wanted to share.

Azul Restaurantes
Situated right in the middle of the city Square, this location would be an easy one to squeeze into your itinerary. The restaurant is absolutely stunning! As you first walk in you’ll see women making fresh corn tortillas which was a nice first impression!  The service was impeccable as was the food. As a vegetarian I can vouch for their selection. The molè sauce was one of the best I’ve ever had!  Make sure to try one of their delicious Mezcals. Mezcal has more of a smoky flavor than tequila and requires a little bit of getting used to. I found it to be a little too strong for my taste buds, but it is a must try anyway!

Azul Restaurante

Blanco Castelar
This particular restaurant is in Palanco.  Our hotel (Las Alcobas) was in Palanco which is considered one of the posh-ier sides of Mexico City.  Blanco Castelar is stunningly beautiful to the eye, but the food is also fantastic!  Although it was not a full Mexican menu, a lot of their items had a Mexican twist to them.  It wasn’t the most vegetarian friendly place, but I still had enough options. I ordered the risotto de esparragos and it did not disappoint. Stop in for a cocktail and bite, you will be glad you did!

Blanco Castelar

Mexico City is a beautiful culture-rich city!  If you’ve done the beach towns, consider Mexico City on your next trip south of the border!

Your Chick,

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