I grew up in the city that never sleeps, and Mexico City––with its incredible restaurants, great nightlife, wonderful museums, delicious street food, eclectic markets and chaotic traffic––doesn’t feel all that different. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of coffee shops where you can stop in for a morning pick-me-up or relax after a long day of exploring.
This list centers on coffee shops in La Roma, which is a central neighborhood full of restaurants, clothing stores, bars and beautiful architecture. There are plenty more coffee shops to discover in Mexico City’s other neighborhoods, but these should keep you busy for a while.
1. Cardinal Casa del Café
I discovered Cardinal during my most recent trip to Mexico City, and I couldn’t stop going back. In addition to serving delicious drinks, including seasonal items like cardamom-infused iced coffee, they play great music. Its large doors are always open, making it perfect for watching the vibrant street life of Mexico City’s Roma Norte neighborhood.
2. Buna 42
Buna 42 is a cute coffee shop right off Roma Norte’s plaza Rio de Janéiro. If you walk to the north side of the plaza, you won’t be able to miss Buna’s bright turquoise-topped chairs lined up on the sidewalk. Try the cappuccino or an iced Rooibos tea.
3. Café Toscano
Right next to Buna is Café Toscano, which has big soft couches and long communal tables. They serve a variety of desserts and sandwiches, and there’s a bar if you’re in the mood for a drink. I prefer the smaller Café Toscano on Plaza Luis Cabrera, where I often order chilaquiles and hot chocolate for breakfast.
Here’s a secret not many people know about: Leave the main part of the café, whose entrance faces the corner of the plaza, and go in through the door that looks out onto Orizaba. Walk up the big, white wooden stairs and you’ll find a bright space decorated with big couches, colorful pillows and chairs where you can sit and relax.
Calle Orizaba 42 and Orizaba 145
4. Panedería Rosetta
Many consider Panedería Rosetta the best bakery in the city. There are two locations; the one in La Roma is small and always packed with people, so go early. The bar, which seats about ten people, is covered in pastries, and loaves of bread line the wall just behind it. Anything you order here will be delicious, but they are famous for their chocolatín (chocolate croissant) and el ocho, a pastry with sweet, flakey bread and a delicious double cream center.
There’s also another, larger location in La Juarez.
Dosis is a large café on one of the main streets in La Roma. With Edison lights, reclaimed wood, white brick walls, comfy black seating and communal tables, it feels a lot like the coffee shops you’ll find in Seattle or Brooklyn. In addition to coffee and tea, they also serve beer and mezcal.
Álvaro Obregón 24
Cucurucho is a favorite among people living in La Roma. There’s no seating inside, but you can grab a spot on one of the benches in front of the coffee shop and take in the street life. All of the coffee they serve comes from Mexico; my Americano was a blend from Oaxaca and Chiapas.
Set on a quiet street in Coyoacán, not far from the Frida Kahlo museum, Raffaela is the only café on this list that’s not in Roma Norte. But it’s black-and-white tile floors, gigantic windows that open onto the street and delicious baked goods make it well worth a visit. According to the manager, it’s chocolatín (chocolate croissant) is one of the top five in the city. One bite and you’ll see he’s not exaggerating. For coffee, I recommend the latte.