Roma Norte, Mexico City: The Heart Of Mexican Cuisine And Art

Roma Norte, Mexico City: The Heart Of Mexican Cuisine And Art

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Foodies and art lovers in search of suitable neighborhoods to stay in Mexico are bound to come across Roma Norte, Mexico City. It’s the larger part of the Colonia Roma district. The magic of this neighborhood is only accentuated by all the delicious food you can try in the area.

Even if you’ve never been to Mexico City, you’ve probably heard of this neighborhood from the award-winning Indie movie by Netflix, Roma. The vibrancy of the area is palpable even through the black and white filming of the movie. 

Organically produced goods at the market on Plaza Río de Janeiro, Roma Norte, Mexico City.
Photo by Carl Campbell on Unsplash

Roma Norte is a destination for many expats, as well as digital nomads just passing through for a few weeks or months. The neighborhood was not always hip and lively, but over time it has grown to become a trendy location for restaurants and cafes to open up.

If you’re looking to tantalize your taste buds with a variety of Mexican foods, Roma Norte in Mexico City is the ideal neighborhood to explore. 

Colonia Roma Splits Into Roma Sur and Roma Norte, Mexico City

Where did Roma Norte Originate? In truth, it used to be part of a larger neighborhood called Colonia Roma, or La Roma. Like Zona Rosa, which we covered last week, Roma began as an affluent neighborhood that attracted wealthy foreigners and locals who wanted to live large but stay close to the city.

As the center of Mexico City fell into decline towards the end of the 19th century, various Colonia (you guessed right, colonies) were developed around the center for wealthier residents. The aristocratic nature of Colonia Roma gave rise to the European styled houses and mansions.

La casa de las brujas, La Colonia

Up until the ’40s, Colonia Roma remained an upper-class enclave. Newer buildings and projects only began construction in the mid-60s, after many of the wealthy residents left for better neighborhoods that hadn’t deteriorated as much. Soon, the neighborhood expanded to include two distinct areas, the North (Roma Norte) and the South (Roma Sur). 

Coahuila Avenue

Between the Norte and Sur sides of the Colonia Roma, you can find Coahuila Avenue. It divides the district into the lively side (Norte) and the quiet side (Sur). The avenue is lined with places to eat, and it’s great for a walk between the trees after grabbing a bite.

Eat Your Way Around Roma Norte

As we’ve just mentioned, Roma Norte has some of the best food in the city. Here are our favorite places to eat around the neighborhood—but there are many more places that we’ve yet to explore! 

Contramar

It wouldn’t be fair to eat anywhere in Mexico City without stopping for tacos several times, which is why we start with Contramar. This seafood restaurant has been praised for its fish tacos and tuna tostadas. 

Bonus: Try the soft shell crabs when they’re in season.

roma norte mexico city Contramar

Helado Obscura

After taking a walk in the warm Mexico weather, you’re going to want to cool down. There’s probably no better way to do that than by grabbing an alcoholic ice cream from Helado Obscura.

Combining quirky vibes with boozy ice cream, this place is a gem. Make sure to sample the flavors first! We liked the mandarin and the mango, but there are so many options to choose from. 

roma norte, mexico city helado obscura

Fonda Fina

For the serious foodie wanting to try more regional Mexican cuisine. At Fonda Fina, you’ll find traditional Mexican food in a fine dining experience and exceptional service. Try the bean soup (Sopa de frijol) with green noodles, and the grilled octopus. Then, finish it all off with a Cheesecake de Elote Dulce.

Don’t forget to try the prickly pear cocktail!

roma norte mexico city Fonda Fina

Street Food

You know that the best way to sample any cuisine is to try eating where the locals eat—that’s street food. All around Roma Norte, you’ll find stands selling tacos and quesadillas. We highly recommend you try blue corn quesadillas.

They may look strange (or interesting) if you’re unfamiliar, but you won’t regret it!

Also, take a walk around Mercado Roma to taste-test a variety of street food at once. 

Other Things To Do

So the food’s delicious. But unless you’re a chef or your entire life centers around food, you’re going to want more things to do. No worries, because there are plenty of activities in Roma Norte. Here are a few you may want to consider:

  • Visit The Museum Of The Objective Of The Object: Also known as the Museo del Objeto del Objeto or MODO, this unique museum is dedicated to preserving and studying design in communication. You’ll find over two centuries worth of collected items. 
  • Have A Salsa Dance Night At Mama Rumba: This is the best way to spend the night partying in the city. This nightclub is a casual way to enjoy good Latin music and get moving. Did we mention the full bar?
  • Explore The Local Architecture: There are many varying architectural design structures you can explore and appreciate around Roma Norte including:
    • The Archdiocese of Mexico (Cathedral)
    • Parroquia de la Sagrada Familia
    • La Casa de las Brujas
  • Visit Plaza Rio de Janeiro: This park is most famous for the replica of Michael Angelo’s David, but even there is so much more to see there. There is a spectacular fountain in the park, and it is surrounded by beautiful buildings.
  • Take A Look At Fuente de Cibeles: A symbol of Mexico’s connection to Spain, this is a replica of the same structure in Madrid. The fountain is a statue of Cybele (Goddess of Fertility) riding a carriage pulled by lions. 
Fuente de Cibeles

Exploring Roma Norte, Mexico City As An Expat

By now you’re probably excited to explore Roma Norte, Mexico City. However, as an expat, we feel that you should take the usual precautionary measures to ensure you’re safe. This is not to say that the area isn’t safe, just use the same cautions you would wherever you’re living now.

In any case, Roma Norte is a great area to stay in as an expat or digital nomad. If you’re still on the fence about where to live in Mexico City, check out our blog on the Best Neighborhoods in Mexico City for Expats and Digital Nomads.


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