One of Mexico City’s most upper-class neighborhoods, Polanco is replete with high-end hotels and shopping malls as well as important theaters, art galleries, and museums. It is also home to some of Latin America’s best restaurants and a number of cutting-edge bars. Our guide offers you a list of a few of our favorite places to help you plan your time in this beautiful neighborhood in Mexico’s capital. Read on for our list of what to do in Polanco.
What to see, what to eat, where to go in this central neighborhood.
Antara Fashion Hall
Antara is a small shopping mall with a high-class shiny feel. You can find a number of international stores here, from high-street retailers like Zara and Mango to designers like Carolina Herrera and Hugo Boss. Even if you don't need a new outfit, come here for a Moyo frozen yogurt and people-watching.
Boat Cinema at Bosque de Chapultepec
The lake in the middle of Chapultepec Park is filled with pedalo boats that become seating for the cinema. It feels unusual, rather unique, and quite fun. The boats are pushed close together and made into comfortable and cozy seating that's perfect for couples or families with kids up past 8 P.M. The screen is huge, so there aren't any problems with visibility.
Enrique Olvera—the chef behind New York's Cosme and Atla—offers two different dining options at his highly acclaimed Pujol: a multi-course tasting menu in the formal dining room and a "taco omakase" meal at the low-slung bar featuring various tacos, antojitos, and botanas. Good news: You'll likely get to taste Olvera's famed mole madre dish no matter which you choose. But as this is one of the best renowned restaurants in the country, you may want to book your reservation before you book your flight.
There are the Pujol fans and then there are the Quintonil acolytes. Representing a new wave Mexican cooking, the kitchen here serves a long, 10-course tasting menu that showcases indigenous Mexican ingredients: corn, beans, squash, chiles, and mushrooms. There are a few meat dishes, and you can also order à la carte if you don't want to commit the time and money to the tasting menu. Desserts, like a burnt corn ice cream, shine as well.
Right next to the Soumaya Museum, this theater puts on Broadway shows in Spanish—think The Lion King and Les Misérables. Comfortable seating and great acoustics make it a great place to see a show, and though every seat has a view of the stage, the best are in the middle. It's packed with families with children, and of course, musical lovers of all ages.
Siqueiros Public Art Room
Mexican muralist David Siquieros originally intended for this space to be a sort of public hall for art enthusiasts to gather and discuss their craft. It's now a gallery that also holds talks, conferences, and workshops covering various art and design topics. Come here for contemporary exhibitions, like a recent one dedicated to film and video installations.
Limantour is considered the ideal for cocktails in Mexico City, so much so that its mixologists train others across the capital. Tons of cocktail connoisseurs flock here to see the art in action, but it's also popular with a generally trendy crowd. Bartenders mix up creative Mexican-infused takes on classic cocktails, and the food—a varied selection of small plates like seafood tostadas and Spanish-style potatoes—is delicious.
One of two Lago DF stores in the city, this design boutique is as aesthetically beautiful as its inventory. The clothes, furniture, textiles, and accessories are all designed by Mexican and Latin American designers. If anything, buy a reasonably priced clay mug—every coffee in the morning will remind you of your time in Mexico.
Museo Jumex houses one of Latin America's largest private contemporary art collections, which includes works by Andy Warhol, Martin Kippenberger, Cy Twombly, and Damien Hirst. Mediums range from paintings and drawings to light and video installations.
The building is as distinctive as the art. British architect David Chipperfield designed the 15,000 square-foot white-concrete cube with a sawtooth top. (Plus the [Soumaya Museum] is just across the square, so you can kill two birds with one stone.)
Angel Peralta Theatre
This theater was built in 1939 with the intention that Mexico City should have something similar to the Hollywood Bowl. Although much smaller (it has a capacity of 5,000), it's a lovely setting for outdoor concerts. Aside from music performances (including jazz and classical music), the venue hosts theater productions aimed at families with children.
Bosque de Chapultepec
New York has Central Park, London has Hyde Park, and Mexico City has Chapultepec Park, a 1,700-acre plus space home to museums, botanical gardens, a large lake, and a zoo. There is something for everyone here and it really is worth a visit, even if just for the museums. If you happen to have a squirrel phobia, stay clear as there are hundreds of them in Chapultepec. Read more
This small green space in the heart of Polanco features scultupres, an aviary, pond, museum, and an open-air theater—all close to the neighborhood restaurants and bars. Come here for a nature-themed break in your regular sightseeing—wander around the small pond then take a walk to see the scultpures that blend in with the green environment.
Since it opened in 2011, the Soumaya Museum has quickly become one of the most iconic museums in Mexico City. And not only because of its art: The giant silver building, tiled with thousands of silver hexagons, is one of the showiest pieces of architecture in the city.
The collection, made up of 66,000 pieces, features works by legendary artists like Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo. Beyond Mexican artists, the collection is dominated by many European icons like Matisse and Degas.
Qué Bol specializes in artisanal, handmade chocolates made with only Mexican ingredients. Chocolate was first domesticated in Mesoamerica so it's only right that Mexican chocolate should taste this good. Purchase one of every truffle so you can taste a full selection of what's on offer. There are so many interesting flavors, why limit yourself?
Tours and Information
For more information, please contact us. Make sure to ask for hours, prices and guide at Front Desk.
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Phone: +52 (55) 6844 0300
Whatsapp: +52 (55) 3432 2464
By Susannah Rigg and Scarlet Lindeman, Condé Nast Traveler