My first time impressions as well as some tips and tricks for your future journeys there.
In addition to the baby shower, maternity photos, and other things to celebrate a pregnancy, one should not forget the babymoon. As the name suggests, a babymoon is like a honeymoon, but done during pregnancy. We had our babymoon on a cruise headed to Bermuda for Felicity, we went to Naples, Italy for Asher, and we went to Japan for Naomi. We felt another international trip was needed. Mexico came up a few times and I decided that it would be a cool place. I’d have incentive to brush up on my Spanish and immerse myself into a new culture. Below, I’ve listed everything we did. After my itinerary, I have a few tips, tricks, and finals thoughts.
Friday July 29, 2022
Taquería Los Abuelos (Rating 4/5)
We stopped here on the walk to the Lucha Libre match. There was one type of meat (pork)and you can choose if you want it with cheese or avocado. You can also choose if want a taco, burrito, torta, and other preparations. The staff was mostly Spanish speaking, but there was someone who knew some English. I learned about recycling there. Any drink ,served in glass, does not leave the establishment. They transferred the rest of my drink into a plastic baggie. I got a taco with cheese and one with avocado. Arlinton had the burrito. The meat was delicious and juicy.
Ayuntamiento 104, Colonia Centro, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06070 Ciudad de México, CDMX, 55 1604 0866 https://g.co/kgs/vUE99o
Tacos El Tehuacan (Rating 4/5)
This place was awesome because they had a variety of meats. The also had taco deals if you bought 5 tacos instead of an individual. The tacos were on the smaller size, so five was perfect for a meal. I had the 5 suadero tacos deal and Arlinton had the bistec taco. This place highlighted the importance of salsa. Their chipotle salsa was amazing. You could feel the booming environment of a taquería there.
Dr. Lavista 105, Doctores, Cuauhtémoc, 06720 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
+52 55 4678 7668 https://g.co/kgs/6ymgqA
Taquería La Especial (Rating 4/5)
This place was round the corner from the CMLL match. I got the gringa (Al pastor, flour tortilla, cheese, pineapple) and an Al pastor taco. Arlinton got the pechuga (chest). I would return and this would likely be my go to if I needed a bite before the match.
Calle Dr. Carmona y Valle 8, Doctores, Cuauhtémoc, 06720 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico https://g.co/kgs/PhKC7v
Lucha Libre Match
I would recommend buying tickets online in advance. We ended up buying tickets from a guy outside. We took the chance and luckily his seats were better than what the box office had available. Prior to the match, there were tons of vendors. We bought 3 masks for the kids before the show. I actually recommend getting a mask because they are well made and many people wear them. I’d ask the vendor which masks correspond to the fighters for that night. The show was extra cheesy, but iconic wrestling. The matches became more interesting as the show progressed. We also bought a stuffed animal of one of the fighter’s sidekick. All in all, it’s good to experience at least once.
Sonora Prime (Rating 4/5)
This is one of the restaurants that are on site at the Hilton Reforma. They start you off with a complimentary bean and cheese dip with salsas. I had a passion fruit and kiwi mocktail. Arlinton had the beef broth with a shot of Absolut vodka. I had the beef broth without the shot and it was ok. I felt the taste improved after I loaded it with onions, cilantro, and green pepper. The ribeye was served on heated salt slab. This was cool, but it’s best you take it off the slab because your steak will be well done before you know it. I also had the caramel, chocolate crunch dessert to go. It was fine, but a little sweet for me. Our server, Edwin, was great and attentive. I gave this place a 4/5 factoring in the ambiance, location, food, and service.
Hotel Hilton, Av. Juárez #70-Local 1, Colonia Centro, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06010 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
+52 55 2127 8595 https://g.co/kgs/UDrWkQ
Saturday July 30, 2022
Breakfast at Hilton Mexico City Reforma executive lounge (Rating 5/5)
The breakfast included complimentary tea, coffee, juices, made to order omelettes, and a buffet with eggs, sauces, crema, toppings, yogurt, breads, and pancakes. I spiced up my omelette with the sauces, chilaquiles, and beans provided in the buffet. Everything was delicious and the service was great.
Spa at the Hilton Mexico City Reforma
I got the Hilton Mommy maternity massage and Arlinton got the hot stone massage. I needed some tension relieved and Marlen was perfect for the job. I would recommend her if you want a deep tissue massage. We also got massages two days later. My massage therapist that day was Abril. She had the perfect balance of soft, medium, and firm pressures throughout the massage. It was very relaxing and much needed. I was impressed with the massages because they included aroma therapy and stretching. There’s a small hot tub at the end of the dressing room. It was nice and the view was cool, but I did notice some ants. I also noticed that the towels around the shower were a little stale. I’d get fresh towels from the front and examine if there are ants near the hot tub. Otherwise, I still give this place a 5/5 because I thought those flaws were minor compared to the other attributes.
El Pescadito de Señora (Rating 5/5)
This is the place to get seafood tacos. I got the taco de pescado, taco de camarón, and the que-sotote. Arlinton got the taco de pescado, taco marlinton, and the taco tachochango. Don’t forget to fully load your tacos there. My favorites were the shrimp tacos. They were very flavorful.
C. Atlixco 38, Colonia Condesa, Cuauhtémoc, 06140 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico https://g.co/kgs/w4jYhx
Quintonil (Rating 5/5)
This place is recognized as one of the best restaurants in Mexico City. They have a tasting menu, so you know I needed to try it. Like most of the tasting menus in Mexico City, insects will appear on the menu. Our selection included tacos with ants, grasshoppers, and escamoles. FYI, you’ll see escamoles on a lot of menus in Mexico and they are ant larvae. Honestly, if I didn’t know they were bugs, I would have been surprised because the tacos were delicious. Everything was delicious. There was only one course I wasn’t crazy about, but that was tasty when eaten the way the chef recommended. I highly recommend checking this place out. I also bought their cookbook because the pictures were beautiful and reflective of the meals we had that night. Interestingly, the highlight was the tea. Their tea selections were wrapped herbs that you steeped for 3 minutes. The chamomile and oregano was very calming and delicious. Aside from the outstanding food, the service was great and the 90s music playlist was greatly appreciated.
Av. Isaac Newton 55, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
+52 55 5280 2680 https://g.co/kgs/DBJRsG
Sunday July 31, 2022
We had originally planned to do a tour, but I cancelled because I wasn’t sure how I’d be feeling once I got closer to the vacation date. I assumed that a tour would include climbing the pyramids and I wouldn’t want to be a burden on my tour group if I didn’t feel up to it. Ironically, there wasn’t any climbing for anyone and it has been prohibited since COVID.
We ultimately decided to go on a day we had planned to go on a taco tour. We took an Uber to the Autobuses del Norte metro station. The gate for Teotihuacán was Puerta 8- Pirámides. It’s about an hour ride and the buses were in ok condition. There are no bathrooms on the bus.
Once there, we got an English-speaking tour guide. I believe it would have been a wasted visit without a guide of some sort. Luis was very knowledgeable and proud of his ancestry. He also suggested a great place to eat and where to catch the bus after 5pm. The gate near the Pyramid of the Moon is open until 9pm and comes every 20 minute. The gate where you arrived closes at 5pm.
The pyramids were beautiful and the fact that some of the original structure and paintings were intact was amazing. Preservation is very important there and was the reason we were given that walking on the pyramids will likely be a thing of the past. We were also told that it’s a good idea to go to the Museum of Anthropology before going to the pyramids to get some background.
Meztli (Rating 4/5)
Our guide recommended this restaurant and it was near the Pyramid of the Moon. You can see the pyramid on the Moon from your table. They were low on cooking staff, so my dish came out a little late. I got the stuffed shrimp and Arlinton got the steak. Overall, the food was tasty and the view was cool.
Elote at a food cart outside of the hotel (Rating 3.5/5)
We didn’t get the memo, but the scene is booming on a Sunday around the Alameda Central. The elote was ok… not my favorite. However, the dish highlighted how different the corn is in Mexico compared to in the United States. The corn in Mexico has huge cornels and is less sweet. Corn tortillas never made sense to me until having an elote and seeing the Mexican corn.
Monday August 1, 2022
Burger King (Rating 4/5)
Yes… We both think it’s important to go to at least one American franchise while in a different country. It’s interesting to see if there’s consistency and what additions that country brings to the restaurant chain. We shared the Guacamole Crunch Whopper, Chicken Whopper, fries with cheese, and an ICEE. The chicken Whopper came with cheese and it made a huge difference. I was also convinced that the chicken patty was different and more moist. They also provided jalapeños on the side. Arlinton was convinced that the ICEE was also better in Mexico. The only thing that wasn’t better than in the United States was the Whopper patty. There was no signature char. They had most of the popular chain restaurants. I encourage you to do a taste test at least once. It’s fun.
This cathedral is famous for it’s two large organs and crypts underneath the cathedral. We attended mass. The mass are only in Español. I was sort of able to follow because the format was similar to American Catholic mass in structure. The experience would have been a more fruitful if we had a Catholic Missal. They said they didn’t have any, but it might have gotten lost in translation. Libro de misa is likely not the same.
Los Especiales (Rating 4/5)
This is a canasta ( basket) taco spot that is close to the Metropolitan Cathedral. Canasta tacos are made with a stew in advance and are placed in a basket. Liquid is poured in the basket before it’s wrapped to keep the tacos hot. This tacos are usually enjoyed for breakfast. We sampled their tacos and my favorite was the chicharrón con verde. This place also had great salsas and veggies to make the tacos perfect.
Av Francisco I. Madero 71, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico https://g.co/kgs/eGquv4
El Muro Churros (Rating 5/5)
Now this is what you call satisfying a craving. We called it a night, but I needed some Churros before I left CDMX. Out of desperation, I figured out how to use their equivalent to GrubHub, Rappi. I had to do some nifty stuff like use the Puerto Rico code to input my number for confirmation. It was cool because you can do things old school and pay when the delivery person arrives. The churros and hot chocolate were amazing and hit the spot. I can’t wait to return and have everything fresh.
Tuesday, August 2, 2022
El Cardenal (Rating 5/5)
This restaurant was also at the hotel. We decided to go because they had long lines daily. I started off with a sweet bread and their signature hot chocolate. Arlinton had coffee and a savory bread with cheese. I then had a steak meal with guava juice and Arlinton had a chilaquiles dish with celery juice. Everything was delicious and we fully understood why the lines were long.
Tacos are how I expected, good but not sooooo good. However, it’s still nice to get a quick meal that’s freshly cooked. Know yourself. If you like fancy food in your hometown, you’ll like it wherever you go, Mexico City included. My palate preferred the tacos that were in the more affluent areas and fine establishments. That’s not to say that all “fancy” places are great. Research is important no matter where you go, but my favorite meals weren’t on the street.
Stick to bottled drinks and drinks without ice. You should be fine at chain hotels and upscale restaurants.
Bring a small water bottle- They don’t play about the glass bottle deposit. They’ll give you a plastic baggie if you don’t finish your drink.
Bring your own roll of toilet paper around with you and invest in some travel size wet ones… probably a good tip for most places
Stay hydrated- It’s drier at higher elevations. I could feel it in my skin, on my lips, and in my nose. I relied on saline spray washes and getting water whenever I could. Try to drink twice as much as you do regularly.
I learned how useful a hat could be. I’ve never been a hat person, but they saved me at the pyramids. Sooooo much space and nooooo shade
Learn some Spanish. Even a little is greatly appreciated. Using my translation app to meet them halfway was unbelievably helpful as well. I spoke a lot of Spanglish, but I believe it was more fruitful than not knowing anything. Important things to learn are basic sentence structures, how to ask questions, and how to order/get things while at a restaurant.
Pace yourself with the food. I didn’t get hit by Montezuma’s Revenge, but I over-ate and still got sick.
Act like you’ve never seen a dollar before. Don’t exchange cash for cash. Use the ATM at your hotel or bank. Get it broken down to 20 and 50 peso bills. Get 3 thousand or more pesos and use your credit card when you can. Look up the conversion rate because some credit cards are better than others. Some credit cards don’t charge fees to use internationally.
Get or bring some meds. The meds are cheaper in Mexico. If you want to get them in Mexico, know a few medicine names:
- Antidiarrheal- Loperamida
- Stomach upset- Pepto Bismol
- Antacid- Antiácido
- Fever/ pain reliever- Tylenol or paracetamol
Traveling while Black
I think we may have seen about 5 other black people our entire time there. Nevertheless, I didn’t feel uncomfortable. We didn’t experience any weird stares or intrusiveness. Overall, our race didn’t seem to play a part in our travel experience.
Traveling while Pregnant
I will say that I was adventurous to go there while pregnant. I could have gotten sick and it would could have been a huge issue. Nevertheless, there were many positives to being there pregnant. People were so friendly and respectful because of my pregnancy. No one hesitated to make sure I was comfortable or feeling well. People seemed genuinely excited about my pregnancy. Moreover, this was the first time I was encouraged to board first because I was pregnant.
I enjoyed Mexico City and intend on visiting again. Mexico City is about the culture and people. Next time, we will prioritize museums, the art scene, parks, markets, and upscale dining. You can’t be bougie everywhere, but you can be in Mexico City. I would also be interested in coming during Christmas time (avg temp 73° / 42°) and Dia de Los Muertos (avg temp 75° / 49°).