Pro Tip / The Mexico City Guide

Architect Luis Barragán’s Casa Pedregal

Architect Luis Barragán’s Casa Pedregal

Last month we took an inspiring trip to Mexico City, which in recent years has become a top food and design destination! After five days of leisurely exploration, we distilled our trip down to our favorite stops for design-minded travelers. The best part? The flight from SFO to CDMX is only 4.5 hours!

TETETLAN + CASA PEDREGAL

Founded by art collector César Cervantes, Tetetlán is a modern cultural center housing a restaurant, café, local store, library, wellness center, and cheese cellar. It began as an effort to preserve and restore Luis Barragán’s Casa Pedregal, located in a suburb built on volcanic rock on the southern outskirts of Mexico City. The new architecture of Tetetlán is just as impressive, so visit for both the restaurant and the guided tour of Casa Pedregal. Make sure to reserve your tour spot in advance via email.

The restaurant at Tetetlån - built on volcanic rock   (image source)

The restaurant at Tetetlån - built on volcanic rock (image source)

BLANCO COLIMA

Located in the hip, historic neighborhood of Roma, Blanco Colima is a perfect lounge spot for food, drinks, and good music. Housed in a restored mansion, the space holds three restaurants as well as traveling exhibitions, movie screenings, and workshops. Reservations are a must for tables, otherwise you can take food at the bar!

Blanco Colima’s beautiful setting   (image source)

Blanco Colima’s beautiful setting (image source)

KURIMANZUTTO

La Condesa is one of the best neighborhoods for a stroll with its beautiful small streets and modernist architectural gems such as Kurimanzutto. Check out the contemporary art exhibitions and the stunning gallery spaces.

Contemporary art gallery Kurimanzutto

Contemporary art gallery Kurimanzutto

TAMALES MADRE

While in Mexico City, we caught up with our friend Regina at her minimalist, jewel box of a tamales shop, Tamales Madre. With a simple menu of gourmet tamales and sides such as cactus salad, this was hands-down my favorite meal of the trip. Save room for the dessert tamales - they are not to be missed!

Hand-made tamales are at Tamales Madre

Hand-made tamales are at Tamales Madre

BIBLIOTECA VASCONCELOS

Built in 2007, Biblioteca Vasconcelos is a massive library that feels both futuristic and magical at the same time with its endless, cantilevered shelves of books. It’s a sight to see in person.

Biblioteca Vasconcelos

Biblioteca Vasconcelos

NIDDO

Both restaurant and cafe, Niddo is a beautiful and delicious spot to take a break from sightseeing. The attention to detail that went into the design of the cafe is an absolute delight, and we’re only showing you the exterior! Try the locally bottled Tamarind kombucha for a refreshing drink.

Niddo Café

Niddo Café

STUDIO DAVIDPOMPA

For a functional souvenir, stop by Studio davidpompa and pick up a light fixture designed and fabricated in Mexico City! The lighting and objects are displayed alongside the raw material from which they’re created, elevating the showroom experience.

Studio davidpompa

Studio davidpompa

CASA GILARDI

Last on our list is another Luis Barragán work: Casa Gilardi. What makes Casa Gilardi and Casa Pedregal interesting to visit is that people still live there! The tour for Casa Gilardi is run by the sons of the man who commissioned Luis Barragán. While a small house and Barragán’s last work, the use of color is brilliant and a sight to behold. You can book the tour directly through Facebook Messenger.

Casa Gilardi

Casa Gilardi

There’s still many more places on our list that we didn’t get a chance to visit this time around. Tell us your must-see Mexico City destinations in the comments below!

Pro Tip / Paris for Design Lovers

Hot on the heels of our Thanksgiving trip to Paris, we bring you our guide to Paris for design lovers! Here we feature some of our favorite places in Paris - some more well-known, others lesser known - but all places full of inspiration.

Exhibit at the Palais de Tokyo

Exhibit at the Palais de Tokyo

PALAIS DE TOKYO

If you’re someone who doesn’t “get” contemporary art, this is THE contemporary art museum for you. Palais de Tokyo hosts some of the most interesting and beautiful contemporary art exhibits that at times cross disciplines into nature, science, and social commentary. Case in point - currently on view is “ON AIR” by the Argentinian artist Tomås Saraceno which explores human and non-human ecosystems and interdepencies in haunting, poetic ways. The exhibit begins with a large dark room with spot-lit intricate spider webs that make you stop and wonder, goes into space and particles, and ends with an interactive audio and physical installation that encourages play.

Monsieur Bleu

Monsieur Bleu

MONSIEUR BLEU

While you’re at Palais de Tokyo, you might as well stop by the delicious and stunningly luxurious yet understated Monsieur Bleu. Designed by the French architect and interior designer Joseph Dirand (one of our favorites), the restaurant is a beautiful experience from the service to the food to the interiors. You won’t find many tourists here either. Reservations are recommended.

Le Corbusier’s Studio-Apartment

Le Corbusier’s Studio-Apartment

LE CORBUSIER’S STUDIO-APARTMENT

For any architecture enthusiast, Le Corbusier’s Studio-Apartment is a must-see and located just west of central Paris near Bois De Boulogne. While Le Corbusier is a major figure in modern architecture, he actually started out as a painter and continued to paint throughout his life. His studio-apartment, where he lived for over 30 years, is fascinating as a work in progress where he experimented with painting, furniture, and architecture. Reservations required.

Merci

Merci

MERCI

While Colette, the original retail concept store, is no longer with us, there is still Merci, located in the Marais neighborhood of Paris. This charming lifestyle shop is approachable and unpretentious, selling everything from charcoal soap to Marni to used books. The best part? 100 percent of the profits go to a charitable foundation dedicated to helping women and children in Madagascar, but you’d never know it because they keep it on the down low.

The modern & contemporary wing at Musée des Arts Décoratifs

The modern & contemporary wing at Musée des Arts Décoratifs

MUSÉE DES ARTS DÉCORATIFS

An often overlooked museum whose primary location is right next to the Tuileries Garden and Louvre Museum, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs is dedicated to beautiful, useful things throughout history. We love their exhibits on furniture and fashion design, and currently on view is an exhaustive retrospective of the influential 20th century architect and designer Gio Ponti - the first held in France.

These are just five of our current favorite spots in Paris. We’d love to hear where you go for inspiration - share with us in the comments below!