Juarez, Mexico City Guide: Food, Shops & More

juarez area mexico city

The unassuming neighborhood of Colonia Juarez (part of Cuauhtémoc) located between Reforma, Centro, and Roma Norte is one of my favorite areas of Mexico City. 

It doesn’t feel as gentrified and hipster as Roma Norte or as fancy as Condesa. It’s pleasant and relaxed with wide, leafy streets and impressive colonial architecture. Local businesses open early, street trompos fire up to cook pastor, and taquerias grind into action pressing corn patties flat.

In this guide, I’ll cover things to do, places to visit, the best restaurants, cafes, speakeasy bars, and shopping opportunities.

frida mural colonia juarez cdmx
Welcome to Juarez, Mexico City (mural by Sach Crew)

Like most neighborhoods in central Mexico City, it’s becoming cool. There are fantastic places to eat in Juarez from stylish brunch cafes to quirky bars. In fact, all the best speakeasy bars in Mexico City can be found in the neighborhood of Juarez!

While the neighborhood has a chilled vibe, the exception is Zona Rosa, the LGBT area known for its vibrant nightlife. Near here, Pequeño Seúl (‘Little Seoul’ AKA Koreatown) also has a distinct vibe, peppered with grocery stores and BBQ restaurants. 

Milan street
Milan Street is one of the best places to visit in Juarez

More Mexico City neighborhood guides:

How to get to Juarez 

The area loosely stretches from Juarez metro station (beside Centro) to the corner of Chapultepec Park. However, walking from these two points would take you 40 minutes so do your research as to exactly where you want to go. Insurgentes and Cuauhtémoc metro stations may be better. 

From Centro and Roma Norte, you can easily arrive on foot, or hire an EcoBici (just use the mobile app to unlock a bike).

Juarez, Mexico City map

map of juarez mexico city neighborhood
Click to open in Google Maps (all the top Juarez attractions & restaurants pinned)

History of Juarez

In the early 1900s, this was one of the capital’s most upscale boroughs, frequented by wealthy types escaping the urban sprawl of Centro in favor of leafy Chapultepec Park.

This boujee era didn’t last long and, by the 1950s, Juarez had become a rundown borough. But the 1960s saw artists and intellectuals return, attracted to the lower rents.

These days, prices are still lower than Roma and Condesa but they’re increasing with gentrification and remote working opportunities. 

Things to do in Juarez, Mexico City

There aren’t endless tourist sights but that’s fine: there’s more than enough in nearby Centro! The appeal, for me, is the charming nature and lovely cafes.

Places to visit in Juarez include… 

Chocolate Museum – in an old mansion, this small museum dedicated to the history of chocolate has sensory rooms to appreciate the bitter pre-Hispanic beverage that’s gone global. Entry is just 90 pesos.

Don’t miss the chocolate cafe onsite! In a cute space with pretty murals, you can sample gourmet chocolates in different shapes, and sip drinking chocolate and other Mexican beverages like horchata flavored with cacao.

Browse art at Casa Milan – beside the Chocolate Museum is an impressive fine art gallery with a spacious restaurant inside.

Museo de Cera (Wax Museum) – for a fun thing to do in Colonia Juarez with kids, head to this colorful 100-year-old house filled with more than 200 waxwork figures.

Reforma – running through the center of CDMX, Paseo de la Reforma is a spacious thoroughfare surrounded by important historical and cultural monuments. On Sundays, it’s a car-free zone for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy. 

Shopping around Plaza Washington – there are plenty of places to shop in Juarez as I’ll discuss below…

Catch a show – both Teatro Milan and Teatro El Milagro have regular live performances. If you’re a Spanish speaker, this is a sophisticated thing to do in Juarez at night, before or after dinner and a cocktail at one of the neighborhood’s cool speakeasy bars.

Where to eat in Juarez

I fear that food in Juarez may make up the bulk of this blog post largely because of who I am as a person (greedy)! There’s a fantastic range of Mexican and international food, plus prices aren’t as inflated as the cafes in La Condesa

Mexican restaurants in Juarez, Mexico City

El huequito Gral. Prim – specializing in pastor (pork meat cooked on a trompo), this is a local taqueria for a quick lunch or late-night bite. Bistec, chicharrón, and other meats are on the menu, served in tacos, quesadillas, or tortas.

Taqueria Orinoco – you can’t mention this famed establishment without the age-old ‘Is it overrated?’ debate. I’m a fan: it’s fast, meaty, and always delivers. 

Tacos orinico where to eat juarez cdmx

I recommend ordering one of each of the three signature tacos: trompo, res, and chicharron because you get a free serving of crispy potatoes. There are several Orinicos in CDMX but this branch is located in Zona Rosa, perfect for post-bar feasting. 

Comedor Lucerna – somewhere between local and international, this lively food court is a fun place to check out. Outside is a colorful mural of Frida Kahlo, and the inside is decked out with hanging rainbow umbrellas. There are lots of different food stands serving everything from tacos to pizza and burgers.

International restaurants in Colonia Juarez, CDMX

Wokando – this small, ambient restaurant near Reforma serves delicious Mexican-Asian fusion dishes such as Thai enchiladas and birria ramen. However, I don’t think you can beat the yummy pad Thai. Although it’s not a Mexico City vegan restaurant, there are plenty of meat-free options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Masala y Maiz in stylish settings, this unique restaurant serves fusion Mexican-Indian-East African cuisine. Expect suadero samosas and uttapam gorditas. Small plates start from 150 pesos and, combined with the drink pairings, it’s pricey but unique and well worth a try.

El 123 – on the edge of Juarez near Centro, this is another Asian restaurant with a beautiful interior comprising tiled floors, artwork, abundant plants, and high ceilings. They serve delicious Thai food and drinks like Thai tea. For breakfast, there are fusion dishes like teriyaki chilaquiles and Thai green enchiladas.

NA CHA – beside El 123, this is your one-stop for bubble tea and dumplings.

Cancino – as one of Mexico City’s top pizza restaurants, branches of Cancino can be found from Roma to Coyoacan and here in Juarez. 

Dr Pizza having tried both several times, I slightly prefer Dr Pizza to Cancino but there’s not much in it. Dr Pizza is closer to Reforma while Cancino is near Glorieta de los Insurgentes on the border of Roma Norte, so head to whichever is nearest when you’re craving pizza!

deigo ramen
This ramen hits

Deigo Ramen Zona Rosa – this is the best ramen restaurant in Juarez if not Mexico City! Over 100k Instagram followers seem to agree. In authentic Japanese style, you order at the machine outside and perch at the ramen bar where matcha comes out of the taps.

Maza Bistrot – this Indian-French restaurant run by a married couple (one from India, one from France) brings spectacular new flavors to Mexico City. Everything is delicious from the chat snacky dishes to the mains like thali, biriyani, and Goan seafood. Prices are fairly high but fair for such quality food. The lassis and chai are spot on!

 Brunch in Juarez 

Cafe Nin – one of my all-time favorite places for brunch in Mexico City can be found in Juarez CDMX. With baked goods from the legendary Elena Reygadas voted the world’s top female chef, you may just want to enjoy pastries and coffee, or you can enjoy delicious brunch dishes like burrata chilaquiles.

Read next: the best places for breakfast in Mexico City

cafe nin chilaquiles
Buratta chilaquiles at Cafe Nin

Niddo – another of the most famous breakfast restaurants in Juarez is known for its upmarket pancake and egg dishes. Order the breakfast sandwich with eggs, bacon, cheddar, and caramelized onion.

Clara y Ema – this simple cafe in Juarez (with branches in other parts of the city) has been around for years, exclusively serving cheesy egg brioche buns. For 150 pesos, you’ll get a bun, coffee, and juice.

Farmacia Internacional – this elegant, old-school cafe is a hidden gem near La Ciudadela Market. Enjoy simple, inexpensive brunch dishes like French toast with homemade guava jam. Service is slow but the quality coffee makes up for it. 

BAD! (Breakfast All Day) – if you’re craving eggs, avo, pancakes, and all the other brunch staples, this colorful Juarez restaurant with funky murals is open ’til 3pm. 

Coffee in Juarez 

Qūentin Café Juarez – one of four branches, this is a sleek concrete cafe with amazing coffee and a short menu of high-quality food items like brunch and pastries. 

1401 cafe – a cute, open-plan cafe with excellent coffee and tasty baked goods, plus simple brunch dishes.

1401 cafe

Pulso – this hole-in-the-wall doesn’t look much but it serves quality coffee. Grab a cup of joe as you wander around this pretty ‘hood.

ELLA Por Manuka – for a quaint coffee shop in Juarez with lovely baked goods, head to this idyllic spot beside Clara y Ema.

Distrito Fijo Club de Ciclismo – if you needed more proof that bicycle shops serve the best coffee, this is it. This bike shop and cafe on Calle Liverpool serve Buna coffee alongside luxe products like honey and chocolate, plus all your bike gear, of course.

Distrito Fijo Club de Ciclismo

For many, many options, read my complete coffee shop guide to Mexico City

Lunch restaurants in Juarez CDMX

Cicatriz – this open-front cafe beside Plaza Washington serves simple but excellent dishes with quality ingredients like avocado toast, salads with gooey soft eggs, and small plates like baba ganoush. At night, burgers and cocktails join the menu, making it one of the nicest places to eat in Juarez any time of day.

Bagels Lepu – with raving reviews from New Yorkers, the smoked salmon and Rueben bagels at Lepu are expensive at 250 pesos but delicious (there are a range of cheaper fillings around 130 each). With a shaded outside seating area, it’s a pleasant place to eat… And try to resist the temptation of mimosas and cinnamon rolls!

bagels lepu
Bagels Lepu

Petit Roquefort – delicious lunch dishes (I love the grilled cheese sourdough sandwich with tomato soup) located inside a pretty hidden courtyard beside Bazar Fusion market. For brunch, there are highly-rated chilaquiles, chicken & waffles, Belgium waffles, and topped toast dishes. 

Dessert in Juarez

Here’s where to satisfy sweet cravings without leaving the neighborhood…

chocolateria rifa places to visit juarez cdmx
Living my best life with a BOWL of chocolate

Chocolatería La Rifa beside Plaza Washington with outdoor seating, this highly-rated cafe serves drinking chocolate. Choose your percentage strength, flavor (chili, honey, or cardamon), and whether you want it hot or cold, with milk or water. 

Joe Gelato – one of the best gelato cafes in the city can be found in Juarez. Enjoy classic flavors like lemon and pistachio as well as more unusual offerings like pan de muerto and olive oil.

Heladería Casa Morgana – across from the Chocolate Museum on Calle Milan, this is another quality ice cream shop.

El Morro – this churro cafe chain can be found all over Mexico City. If you find yourself with a craving, head to Zona Rosa.

Baking Storylocated in Koreatown, this may be the location of the best bingsu in Mexico City (although, let’s face it, competition probably isn’t sky-high). This delish Korean shaved ice dessert topped with fresh fruit was a favorite from my Asia travels so I was thrilled to find it here.

Speakeasy bars in Juarez 

Hanky Panky was voted number 20 on North America’s top 50 best bar list and, in terms of the quality cocktails (with an around-the-world theme and passport menu) and the secretive entrance, I’m inclined to agree!

Inside, it feels more like a standard bar than an underground speakeasy so my absolute favorite speakeasy in the Juarez neighborhood of Mexico City is…

Handshake – boasting quality cocktails (the majority clear in secretive, prohibition style) and an intimate drinking area that more resembles a stylish 1920s living room than a standard bar, you can’t beat this place. The judges at 50 best bars agree and rated it number 2 in North America!

Read next: the best bars in Mexico City including cocktails, craft beer & more

handshake speakeasy

Note – although I’ve included the Google pins above, you’ll still struggle to find these bars. But that’s half the fun! Be sure to book ahead as they’re very popular. 

Xaman – this speakeasy in Juarez, towards the Zona Rosa side, has less of a hidden entrance than the other two, but the dark underground bar with shamanism-themed drinks makes up for it.

Parker & Lenox – another upscale cocktail bar known for its live jazz and blues music in the hidden back room.

Brooklyn Rippers – I didn’t know whether to list this place as a Juarez restaurant or bar because it’s great for both. There’s a wood-fired pizza oven and a stylish speakeasy. You have to enter the pizza restaurant and ask for the bar; they’ll radio someone to lead you to the hidden cocktail lounge!

Other bars in Juarez, Mexico City

If you didn’t book the speakeasies ahead of time, don’t panic. Here are some more drinking holes…

Jardin Juarez – a spacious beer garden with comfort food and a large range of drinks. There are regular events like pub quizzes and spoken word spooky stories. It’s a good warm-up spot if you’re headed to watch the Lucha Libre wrestling nearby at Arena Mexico.

The Beer Company Juárez – despite its small size, this is a quality place to sip all the craft beers imaginable. It’s open from 3-9pm daily; closed Sundays. 

Fifty Mills – way over towards Chapultepec Park near Polanco is this fancy bar inside the Four Seasons Hotel. It’s one of the more expensive places for cocktails in Mexico City but may suit those who like grand, fancy settings.

Shopping in Juarez, Mexico City

Shopping is one of the best things to do in the Juarez area of Mexico City. It’s not a cheap activity thanks to the fancy boutiques, but you can be assured you’re getting quality, handcrafted items.

Mercado de Artesanías La Ciudadela

Mercado de Artesanías La Ciudadela
La Ciudadela Market

On the border of Centro is one of my favorite markets in Mexico City. It’s a great place to include in your Juarez sightseeing plans while picking up souvenirs.

La Ciudadela is packed with colorful arts and crafts from crockery to decorations, textiles, jewelry, homeware, leather bags, clothing, and much, much more. It’s an enormous market with endless alleyways and open plazas, plus a couple of restaurants and coffee shops inside. 

Although it’s touristy, there’s more of a local than boutique vibe so it’s much cheaper than most other places for shopping in Juarez.

Bazar Fusion

Bazaar fusion shopping

This 3-floor house of design in an old colonial mansion is another of my favorite places to visit in Colonia Juarez, Mexico City. As well as a courtyard with colorful hanging flags and murals, Bazar Fusion is full of beautiful shops selling everything from artisanal teas to vintage items, sustainable body products, and essential oils.

Prices are inflated but it’s worth visiting this charming building even if you don’t buy. With tiled floors and ornate balconies, the property is full of character. If you get hungry, eat in the courtyard of Petit Roquefort or the rooftop terrace of Groove Casa Fusión.

Small independent shops

Cute shops in Juarez
  • Querenciathis adorable plant shop in Juarez is every hipster/plant mom’s dream! There are all types of hanging and planted pots in Mexican-style clay pots, plus pretty jewelry.
  • Loose Blues – beside Querencia is this boujee boutique. It’s expensive but has wonderful clothes and jewelry. Upstairs is a beautiful terrace restaurant serving fusion Japanese-Mexican food.
  • Utilitario Mexicano – a hipster industrial-style homeware store with cool and quirky items from crockery to artwork. 
  • Librería Jorge Cuesta – unlike the boutique shops in Juarez, this old-school library is overflowing with genuine retro clutter like broken TVs and crockery amongst the bookshelves. My friend and I spent ages leafing through donated items like postcards and family photos. It’s a wonderland!
  • KOE Artesanos – with beautiful artisanal items from Oaxaca, this is another expensive but high-quality boutique. I love the items stitched with agave plants: very Oaxaca!
  • Apotheca Botánica – design heaven with colorful Mexican candles on one side, potted plants on the other, and simple but lovely vases and candle/diffuser holders in the middle.

Zona Rosa

Zona Rosa is a part of Mexico City’s Juarez neighborhood (translating as pink zone) known for its vibrant LGBT nightlife. Visit after 10pm, especially at weekends, for the best LGBT bars in Zona Rosa, alongside clubs and karaoke.

Exploring Korea town 

I decided this needed its own section because a) it’s a unique part of Mexico City and b) I LOVE Korean food (anyone who spoke to me in lockdown will know about my OTT kimchi-making era).

For Korean restaurants in Juarez, Arirang do a mean BBQ and other Korean dishes. It’s one of a few places that offer vegetarian options. Other restaurants with good reviews are Harimgak, Orange Bunsik, and Goguinara.

Baking Story is THE place for Korean desserts like bingsu. To stock up on Korean groceries and pickled goodies to eat at home, try Song’s Recipe

Eating out in Koreatown is definitely priced towards international wallets and you can spend a pretty penny on a Korean BBQ meal. But it’s worth it!

Co-working in Juarez 

Finally, those who work online may be interested to know where to hot desk. If you’re wondering how I’ve tried quite so many of the above Juarez restaurants, it’s because I used to co-work around here and go for lunch or dinner after.

OpenHub – with branches here and in Condesa, this co-working cafe near Reforma requires no membership; you simply need to buy a drink.

Alternatively, the 900-peso paquette includes unlimited co-working and cafe americano and espressos for the month (upgrade to the 1,290 peso package for milk-based drinks and teas). The chairs aren’t the most ergonomically pleasing but, with these prices, you can hardly quibble. 

U-Co Juarez Co-living – as I don’t need living facilities, I’ve not been to this place myself but I’ve heard good things. Capsule bunks start from 450 pesos a night with access to the co-working space, kitchen, and lounge included.

Is Juarez, Mexico City safe?

If you’re worrying about Juarez Mexico City crime, then I’d stop. This is one of the safest boroughs of Mexico City to stay with low crime rates.

Like anywhere in the capital, I’d suggest catching an Uber (or Didi/InDrive) rather than walking at night: around 9pm would be my cut-off as a woman. Aside from this, act as you would anywhere in the world. Obviously don’t flash around your valuables, but there’s really nothing to worry about. Enjoy, amigos!

Thanks for reading!

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