Mexico City is made up of several amazing neighborhoods, but none are quite like Roma Norte. Home to swanky bars, famous restaurants, cool mezcalerias, and lots of lush green spaces, no trip to Mexico City is complete without properly experiencing Roma Norte. It’s a neighbhorhood that is extremely walkable so don’t be afraid to check out all of these awesome sights on foot. If you don’t plan on it already, you should definitely consider spending at least some of your stay in Mexico City in Roma Norte. It’s probably my favorite neighborhood in Mexico City. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Here are my absolute favorite things to do in Roma Norte!
Fuente de Cibeles
Cibeles is in the heart of Roma Norte. It’s a beautiful, airy plaza with a large, circular fountain in the middle and a handful of restaurants with pleasant outdoor patios surrounding it. Dine and drink in the open air surrounded by lush vegetation and intimate string lights. If you plan to visit Mexico City in the spring, then you have to go to Cibeles to see the blooming jacaranda trees that explode with brilliant purple blooms all around the plaza.
Bazar el Oro
This little market is located on the edge of Cibeles from 9 am-7 pm Saturday and Sunday. It’s worth the 20-30 minutes it takes to stroll through if you’re looking for any last-minute souvenirs. There are even a couple of food vendors if you want to eat something quick for lunch.
You can’t come to Mexico City without having at least one salsa night. Dance to a live band in one of the most popular salsa clubs in the city. The full bar has got you covered so you can cool off and recharge with mojitos and margaritas all night. Want to learn a few moves before your night out? Mama Rumba offers free salsa lessons on Thursdays before the club opens.
BTW: Cash only. Mama Rumba is temporarily closed due to Covid-19, but will be reopening as soon as more locals are vaccinated.
Plaza Luis Cabrera
Take a walk around the fountain that stretches across this cute plaza. You’ll often see dogs splashing around in the water (mine included). One time I even saw two children walking a rooster around on a string. Go figure. There’s a small street art exhibition around the fountain and a charming reference from one of France’s most famous books for you to be on the lookout for. Sit on a bench, rest your tired feet, and let the mist from the fountain cool you off.
You can’t get more touristy than a ride on a double-decker tour bus. Love them or hate them, they are an efficient way to see a lot of a city, easily. They have routes that take you around the Historic Center, Polanco neighborhood, and the south of the city. Cibeles, the Plaza I mentioned first on this list is a connection point for the different routes so you can start your tour there if you’re close by.
Plaza Rio de Janeiro
This plaza may be small, but it’s always lively. In the middle is a large fountain that is ever-popular with the neighborhood dogs. Stop by one morning after grabbing a coffee and pastry from Panederia Rosetta around the corner, have a seat on one of the park benches, and people and dog watch to your heart’s content.
Mezcal is king in Mexico City. Far more popular than its northern cousin, tequila, mezcal has mezcalerias dedicated to serving up the greatest mezcal the country has to offer. Unlike tequila, mezcal can be made from countless different agaves in a variety of Mexican states. You can’t leave Mexico City without sipping a few caballitos at some of the coolest bars in the neighborhood. Check out La Botica, La Clandestina, La Nacional, Mano Santo, El Palanquito, and La Lavanderia for a great mezcaleria experience.
One of the best ways to get a feel for a city is to visit some of the local cafes. I love going to coffee shops whenever I visit a new city because it’s a nice break from the more touristic attractions and a great way to get a feel for the local vibe. Luckily, Roma Norte is not short of cafes. I wrote an entire article going into detail about my favorite cafes in Mexico City here. Many of them are conveniently located in Roma Norte.
If you have a beard or are visiting Mexico City with someone that has a beard, then you might want to add a visit to a barbershop to your list of things to do. I was really blown away when I heard through Jorge what a visit to the barber entailed. For around $20USD you get a beer, haircut, beard wash and cut, cold and hot towel compresses for your face and a shoulder massage. Of course, every barbershop will vary but you can expect at least some of those services if not all. I’ve heard good things about Barberia Capital in Roma Norte, but there are many other good ones in the neighborhood as well.
Museo del Objeto
This quirky museum is a collection of Mexican objects from decades past to give historical insight into Mexico’s society and culture through these objects that date back to the early 19th century. The entry fee is about $2USD. They’re open Wednesday-Sunday, 10 am-6 pm.
If you like crowded clubs where you can dance all night, then Patrick Miller is for you. It’s super popular and usually, you’ll have to stand in line to get inside, but it moves quickly. Once you get inside you have to stand in more lines. First, you’ll need to queue to pay for drink tokens and then queue in another line to trade in your tokens for drinks. Once you make it through all the lines, it’s time to party. Each night has a different theme like the ’80s or High Energy. Check their calendar beforehand to pick a night that’s more your vibe. Anyone and everyone flock to Patrick Miller so get ready for a fun night of dance-off circles with an eclectic crowd.
BTW: Patrick is temporarily closed due to COVID-19.
Casa Guillermo Tovar de Teresa
Located in the heart of Roma Norte, Guillermo Tovar de Teresa’s home is now a museum showcasing Mexico’s rich culture and history through his wide collection of handicrafts, paintings, sculptures, as well as numerous books. A historian by profession, Guillermo Tovar de Teresa’s admiration for Mexican culture is reflected in his home among his impressive collection of works dating between the 16th and 19th centuries. This museum provides invaluable insight into Mexico’s past in an elaborate historic home in a beautiful part of Mexico City. Free to the public, this beautiful home is definitely worth visiting.
If you’re interested in visiting an art gallery, Galeria OMR is a great option. This popular gallery is involved in the community and seems like they are always hosting something exciting. Free and open to the public, this gallery is an artistic haven.
Avenida Álvaro Obregón
There are awesome bars and restaurants sprinkled about Roma Norte, but if you’re looking for one main drag with a lot of options then wander over to Avenida Álvaro Obregón. It’s a lively street to walk, especially during weekend nights, you’ll find some of the best taquerias, bars, and restaurants in Colonia Roma such as Taqueria Álvaro Obregón, Limantour, Maximo Bistrot, and Churrería el Moro just to name a few.
September 3, 2021 at 3:04 pm
I notice that there is Salsa night and Salsa lessons. Salsa does not come from Mexico. Are there places where Mexican music and dance is offered? I love the idea of this city but being of Mexican decent, I’d like to visit somewhere not so catered to tourists. Any advice?
September 3, 2021 at 4:52 pm
Hi, thank you for your comment! Try Salon Los Angeles. They have danzón and chacha. But there aren’t really any places that you’re probaly thinking of like foclorica or concheros. What I would really reccommend if you’re interested in traditional Mexican dance and music is to go to Bellas Artes in the Historic Center and watch the Ballet Folklórico. It’s a dance performace so you won’t be able to dance yourself but you’ll see dance styles from all across Mexico and listen to a variety of Mexican music. It’s incredible.
Salsa is extremely popular with Mexico City locals so don’t let the idea that it’s only for tourists keep you away. Salon San Luis in Roma Sur is very popular with locals. I have a Mexican friend who is a dance aficionado and it’s his favorite place to go. Most Mexicans in the city dance salsa or cumbia. To find more "traditional Mexican" dance you would have to go to smaller towns outside CDMX.
May 9, 2022 at 7:21 am
Thanks so much for sharing all the wonderful information about Roma Norte! My brother was just recently in Mexico City and recommended it as my base when I am there next month. Will use your references as a guide. Muchas Gracisas.
July 7, 2022 at 4:04 pm
Is there place recommended for cumbias or corridos?
July 8, 2022 at 3:13 pm
In Salon San Luis you can dance cumbia, salsa, and rumba. Also, consider visiting Salon Los Angeles!
November 5, 2022 at 2:14 pm
Thank you, this was very helpful. My husband loves salsa so we are definitely going to check out Mama Rumba.