I'm getting to know the layout of Mexico City a lot better now. I've walked around the city...a lot, and I've gotten lost...a lot. It's a good idea to tackle Mexico City in sections and learn the main avenues.
My first trip here I accidentally walked from Coyoacan to Roma; my calves ached for weeks and I had blisters on each toe: which is equivalent to one blister per km I walked.
Walking around cities and getting lost and exploring is actually pretty fun and let's you stumble upon lots of hidden gems. It's probably one of my favourite things to do in a foreign place.
Today, on my way to yoga I walked along a colourful area with lots of action. Here are 5 things to do on Avenue Alvaro Obregon - from Avenue de Los Insurgentes Sur (the longest avenue in Mexico City, and also said to be the second longest in the world) all the way to Avenue Cuauhtemoc. It's a short stretch but there's so much to see and do it can take up to an afternoon to walk it.
1. Thrift Store!
I was wondering if thrift stores existed in Mexico City, and I'm happy to find out that they do! Goodwill is a cute little place, selling clothes, tote bags!, kitchenware, electronics, books, records and much more. If you prefer to buy things second hand, even while travelling, then this is a store where I'm sure you'll be able to find a treasure or two. I bought a glass bottle that I can use to fill up with water or juice while on the go. Everything is decently priced, maybe just a little more expensive than thrift stores in Canada or the US.
Address: Goodwill, Alvaro Obregón 178 Colonia Roma
2. Bulk Snacks
I'll admit it, I have a bit of a sweet tooth and the craving for chocolate set in as soon as I saw this bulk snack cart. It was run by two friendly guys and everyone was crowding around to buy different treats.
They had chocolate, gummies, different flavoured potato chips, cheese, nuts. There are a lot of these around Mexico City, so it's a good idea to carry around extra reusable bulk bags. You never know when you might get to fill them up. I'm not sure if this cart is here all the time but they were parked on Alvaro Obregon & Tonala at around 1:30pm on a Monday.
3. Book & Record Stores
This area has lots of neat new and used book stores as well as shops selling used records. The shops have this ancient smell about them that will make any book lovers' heart melt. The area is pretty hipster and artsy; it's the perfect place if you like going in and out of interesting stores.
There's a spot called Pendulo, it's what's known as a "Cafebrería" ... a hybrid between a coffee shop and a library. It's mostly bookstore and cafe. It's a bit ridiculous because every single thing is wrapped in plastic but they do have a wide selections of books (English & Spanish), movies, records and other artistic items.
The coolest thing about this place is they host a wide array of creative workshops, bands, film screenings and other cultural activities. It's a good spot to grab a bite to eat...make sure to check out all the floors and the schedule to see if anything interesting is going on.
Address: Av. Alvaro Obregon 86, Cuauhtemoc, Roma Norte, D.F.
4. Coffee Shops
There are plenty of coffee shops in the area; I stopped in at Dosis for a coffee and to write. It feels like a coffee shop in San Francisco or Vancouver, with high ceilings, indie music, large wood tables and air plants. It's the perfect atmosphere to get work done. There's an area at the back of the cafe that hosts yoga, art exhibits, meditation and other cultural activities.
The coffee was decent and I treated myself to an afternoon shot of Oaxacan mezcal...it was delicious. I heard a lot of English being spoken. I think a lot of freelancers go here to get work done, I even met my first foreign friend here, who's from the U.S.
The only bad thing about this coffee shop is they won't fill up your own reusable mug, due to "rules" I've never experienced this in a coffee shop before. They do offer ceramic mugs so you can sit and drink in the shop and avoid disposable cups.
Address: Av. Álvaro Obregón 24, Roma Norte., D.F.
Besides all the delicious street food you can get, there are also great restaurants in the area. I tried MOG, a trendy Asian fusion spot. It's cool because you share tables so it's likely you'll be meeting the person eating next to you. There was about a 20 minute wait but it was worth it.
The food was delicious and it was fairly priced. Another exciting thing to note, MOG uses paper straws as opposed to plastic! It's great to see a restaurant in Mexico take this initiative, hopefully more restaurants will follow suit.
Address: Av. Álvaro Obregón 40, Roma Norte., D.F.
Overall, Roma Norte is a funky, happening neighbourhood and you'll always find something to do, so have fun and go explore!