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Yes, being ranked by The New York Times as the world’s top destination is always a good thing, but even before winning the honor in January, Mexico City—or CDMX as the sprawling capital is now branded—was always a darling destination with much better food at much better prices than other global favorites, like Berlin.
For Americans, in particular, the relatively short distance (from New York, it’s quicker to fly there than to San Francisco) makes it ideal for a long weekend. Or several. And although the city is so vast that one would never manage to explore all of it, the gentrified neighborhoods of Condesa and Roma, with their tree-lined streets and stately villas, make for a happy stomping ground.
The restaurant scene is lively, and there is no shortage of good bars, like Romita Comedor, with its appealing roof deck, and the newly opened Blanco Colima, occupying an imposing white mansion on one of the city’s signature tree-lined roads.
But don’t plan too much—CDMX is made for accidental discoveries, such as 123, a rustic coffee shop (named after its street number on Calle Artículo) first spotted on a leisurely bicycle ride, then revisited each morning for splendid cappuccinos and the moody Charlie Parker soundtrack. A magazine rack on the wall offers customers a selection of vintage journals—a nice touch. Make a beeline for The Divine Spouse, by José de Ibarra, a painting of a rhapsodic Jesus lying in a field of psychedelic flowers at Museo Franz Mayer, a peaceful haven on the site of an old monastery. If you prefer your art contemporary, you can't do better than Museo Tamayo.
Guests of the Le Méridien get free entry to the Tamayo as part of the property’s unique Unlock Art program. And don’t miss the hotel’s fantastic Sunday brunch: a cornucopia of Mexican specialties, from cactus salad to fried pork rinds. You can work it off afterward on a bike, available through the city’s excellent share program, or from the hotel concierge.