Mexico City is a gastronomical destination—alongside the city’s amazing food and decadent booze, its specialty-coffee scene has grown to be one of the hottest around.
BY TANYA NANETTI
SENIOR ONLINE CORRESPONDENT
Photos by Tanya Nanetti
Mexico City (Ciudad de México, or, CDMX) can leave the first-time visitor simply speechless.
It’s huge, with a population that, counting the entire area of Greater Mexico City, exceeds 21 million. CDMX is a marvel with its eternal traffic jams, delicious street tacos, and mariachi, not to mention its ancient Aztec ruins, a scary Island of the Dolls, and majestic colonial buildings.
What’s more, in recent years the city has become a true heaven for food and drink lovers, thanks to a small gastronomic revolution that began in the hip neighborhoods of Roma and La Condesa. Nowadays, traditional guacamole and mezcal go hand in hand with innovative recipes for tacos al pastor and margaritas. Freshly baked guava-ricotta pastries are the perfect way to start the day along with a cup of perfectly brewed specialty-coffee, sipped in one of the many cool cafés in town. Last year, 44 specialty shops came together to create a special specialty-coffee passport to help tourists and locals discover coffee in the city.
If you want to get a sense of the great coffee you’ll find in town, start with this short list of five of the coolest cafés you’ll find in CDMX.
Café Q’Pedro Pablo: skater vibe and beautiful people
One looks for more than a delicious brewed coffee in a café (which is quite easy to find here, thanks to the many different coffees on the menu). Here you’ll also find an experienced and extremely friendly barista who can share everything about coffee without being snobby.
If you’re having one of those days, Café Q’Pedro Pablo is exactly the place you’re looking for: three great baristas behind the bar, delicious coffee, freshly prepared food, and funky craft beers. All are served in a tiny “alternative” shop, not too hip, with a pleasant, laid-back skater vibe that will make everyone feel at home.
Cumbé: light roast with an Australian soul
With so many delicious specialty-coffee shops and roasters all around the trendy Roma and La Condesa neighborhoods, there’s sure to be a perfect place for everyone. Here, there are brunch-oriented cafés, roasters that focus on bold and delicious single-origins, and spaces created to house an ever-growing digital nomad community.
If you’re looking for a café that serves light-roasted coffees, with baristas brewing a perfect V60 in an amazing location right in the center of Roma, Cumbé is your place. Modeled after an Australian coffee experience, Cumbé brings the amazing specialty-coffee world of Down Under to CDMX. They have tasty coffees, great hospitality, and a perfect location.
Memorias de un Barista: perfect for a hot summer day
A cold drink that mixes coffee with juices, soft drinks, or homemade syrups is probably not the first choice for many specialty-coffee lovers, myself included. But sometimes when it’s really hot (and your caffeine level is already way over the top), it’s time to find a nice café, with a shady patio and a relaxing mood, pick your “unusual” treat, and just enjoy the laziness of the moment. Memorias de un Barista, a tiny specialty roaster in a secluded area of Roma Norte, is the perfect place to do it.
In addition to offering lovely roasted coffee, the café has on its menu a short list of tasty iced coffee drinks. One unusual but really tasty mix: fresh pineapple juice and double espresso served over ice. We can assure you, you won’t forget this delicious combination easily.
Curva Café: the new kid on the block
Until recently, CDMX’s specialty-coffee scene was almost entirely confined to the neighboring areas of Roma and La Condesa, with new coffee places opening weekly.
Luckily that’s changing; now new places are popping up in other neighborhoods as well. That’s the case with Curva, which is located on a side street not far from the historic center.
Opened just a couple of months ago, Curva is an amazing space, minimal and trendy. It’s both a coffee roaster and café, with the roasting operations taking place in one corner, behind a glass wall.
The next time you venture out after a traditional lunch of street tacos, take a short detour and stop at Curva. Nothing’s better than their tasty iced latte to beat the heat of the day.
Fuzz and Brew: for those who venture off the beaten track
If you explore further afield, light years from hipster Roma and the bustling historic center, you will be rewarded with a nice stroll along the shady streets of the San Rafael neighborhood.
Once known as “the Broadway of Mexico,” it still has a dozen old theaters, various art galleries, and a lovely arts scene. No wonder Fuzz and Brew finds its perfect location in the area! This coffee roaster and vinyl shop often hosts DJ sets and music nights.
The roasted (and brewed) coffee is just delicious, and a couple of tables outside are the perfect place to enjoy a decadent V60 while relaxing away from the madding crowd.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tanya Nanetti (she/her) is a specialty-coffee barista, a traveler, and a dreamer. When she’s not behind the coffee machine (or visiting some hidden corner of the world), she’s busy writing for Coffee Insurrection, a website about specialty coffee that she’s creating along with her boyfriend.