STREET ART + FOOD: Mexico City Edition
Mexico City allowed me to view a new side of Mexico not often portrayed in the media and in our American studies. Living everyday in the U.S- you would think that we would know more accurate history about our neighbor. Outside of the drug war and cartels, the history we've learned about Mexico has been distorted. Sensational stories have become the norm and we've been missing the gems of a country so diverse and rich in history.
I had the honor to visit Mexico City and see for myself what Mexico was about.
El Museo de Antropologia covered the many worlds, kingdoms, practices, and traditions that expand the extensive history of the land we call Mexico today.
We began with the Stone of the Sun pictured above, which is often mistaken as an Aztec calendar. In reality the stone signifies a sacrificial altar used during fighting rituals to evoke the attention of the gods.
While visiting, make sure to set aside 2-3 hours as the museum really is captivating and requires time to absorb. I am so thankful for this experience because it was a reminder that humans have been here, we've failed, and we've stood up once again. Let's learn our history, and honor it as to not make the same mistakes of the past.
We visited Aleli for brunch, and it was so good! I had the flautas, pictured below, in a frijol sauce and scrambled eggs.
The service and staff were top notch and the prices very reasonable for the portion sizes.
flautas = a Mexican standard, flautas come rolled in wheat tortillas and filled with either savory pork, chicken or beef. In our case at Aleli, my flautas were filled with scrambled eggs and cheese. Yum!
Aleli is perfect for breakfast and brunch as it has an airy setting and decor. Along with my breakfast flautas, I had a coconut milk latte. Very creamy and smooth and everything I needed to set off my day of adventure in the city!
For this edition, we will continue to focus on historic structures as I truly believe ART is in the ordinary. With this theme, I present Castillo Chapultepec which serves as Mexico City's historical center and museum.
Before arriving to the castle, you must spend some time en el Bosque de Chapultepec- the Central Park of Mexico City.
What I admired the most about my visit to the Castillo was the wide display of history which followed all the many eras of Mexican politics, culture, and revolutions. As always, I believe its important to dive deep when visiting a new place and Mexico City allows you to do that in a way I haven't seen before. All their centers were full of history, and the options were accessible at no cost, or very cheap to enter. We can all learn from their approach, as it allowed the maximum number of people to partake in the experience, both local and those like me who were visiting for the first time.
A major bucket list item! I could hardly contain my excitement when visiting Mexico City knowing that I would have the opportunity to come in contact with the closest living remnants of the iconic Latinx artist Frida Kahlo.
Visiting the Museo de Frida Kahlo brought into full image the artist's life and struggles as she lived with her disability and suffered major heartbreak through her complicated relationship with the artist Diego Rivera.
The museum is the former home of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera who had an on-off marriage spanning over 25 years. The museum holds on display personal photographs of both artists, with a main focus on Frida Kahlo who has surpassed her husband's fame. The artist was the embodiment of strength, femininity but also vulnerability all in one. It is a must visit!
Brunch at Lalo's is a MUST!!! The spot is synonymous with Mex City's growing hipster crowd- and it delivers to perfection. Lalo's food is fresh, organic, the coffee is pure and strong- and the service impeccable! Be prepared to wait- lines over the weekend start early. The seating is family style with long, communal tables perfect for large groups like ours.
The chilaquiles pictured above had fresh eggs, tortillas, and a mildly spicy green tomato sauce.
The food is served fresh and made to order. The patrons were kind enough to allow us to see them in action as they prepared for the upcoming dinner menu and we caught shots of their pasta-making. The hospitality of their staff, their impeccable service and food provided a total package for this new, up and coming restaurant. I highly recommend!
Back in el Bosque de Chapultepec, we found a gorgeous botanical garden. The display was full of exotic flowers, and different specimens of cactus.
If you are a fan of Netflix's docu-series Chef's Table, you will recognize this gem: Pujol. Owned by renowned Mexican chef Enrique Olvera, and coined as the 17th Best Restaurant in the world- Pujol was a dining experience like I had never had before. We set reservations almost 6 months in advance to get into the coveted restaurant, and were blessed to find an opening for lunch. We arrived to Pujol with our group and were greeted with a tasting menu which immediately challenged all of our expectations + delighted our palate. The menu introduced us to indigenous traditions along with Mexican cult favorites like la gordita and a 4-years old mole. The experience is one I will never forget & one that redefined my views on high-end dining. Mexican Chef Enrique Olvera has found a way to not only honor his culture, but also introduce the world to high-end Mexican cuisine without tainting flavor or compromising his identity. Bravo! All accolades for Pujol are truly deserved.
Overall, my trip was a testament to the wide array of offerings that Mexico City has. I was truly blown away by the amount of history, culture + endless flavors found in every corner of the city. I recommend the city to anyone looking to challenge their thinking about Mexico. I promise that you will walk away with a brand new understanding of life. Most importantly, I am grateful for the beautiful memories created with people I truly love + care for. Cheers to life!
Photography Credits: Annelies Martinez, Cashmere Boulevard
Have you checked out my past editions of the Street Art + Food series? See the links below!
Beya J. is an urban enthusiast. Through her travels, she ensures to engage in local culture, customs + food while exploring concepts that build community and highlight themes around urban living. She is Dominican-born, raised in Lawrence, MA. IG/TWITTER: plump_lips