Overflowing with vibrancy, color, and quirk, Roma Norte, Mexico City is one of the city’s best neighborhoods.
With charming green parks, fun speakeasy-style bars, and some of the city’s best food, you never run out of things to do in Roma Norte, but you also never end up feeling rushed.
In a way, this area of Mexico City feels like a tranquil oasis in the midst of the continent’s largest metropolis.
I have visited Mexico City five times now, and I almost always choose to stay in or close by Roma Norte. The slowness, natural beauty, and Art Deco charm of the neighborhood always gets me!
As someone who has lived in Mexico and traveled from coast to coast, I can say that Roma Norte, Mexico City is definitely worth a visit. If you have an upcoming trip to CDMX (Ciudad de Mexico—Mexico City in Spanish), I highly recommend booking a hotel in Roma Norte, or at least dedicating some time to explore.
In this Roma Norte travel guide, I’ll introduce you to the very best places to stay, things to do, and places to eat (and drink) in Colonia Roma. As a frequent visitor to Roma Norte, I will continue to update this guide with the most accurate details so you can make the most of your time in this charming area of CDMX.
If you have any questions about Roma Norte, Mexico City, or Mexico travel in general, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on this article—I’ll get back to you!
Bookmark for later: The Ultimate Mexico City Packing List
Plantasia in Roma Norte gave me major throwbacks to cafes in Tulum
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A Quick History of Colonia Roma
Roma Norte (Roma Nte.) and its neighbor, Roma Sur, used to be one large neighborhood. The area first began to develop in the 19th century when wealthy locals were looking for areas to relocate outside of the Centro Historico city center.
Businessmen and governmental leaders alike saw the potential in what would become the Roma neighborhood, and began investing in it. The area was bought and named by Eduardo Orrin, a wealthy European who ran the successful Orrin Circus in Centro Historico.
The name ‘Roma’ comes from Circo Romano (Roman Circus) and many of the neighborhoods streets are named directly after cities where the circus had toured.
Mexico president Porfirio Diaz also invested heavily in the new neighborhood, adding running water lines and the city’s first sewers. Both Porfirio Diaz and Eduardo Orrin drew inspiration from European cities like Paris, which can be seen in the neighborhood’s tree-lined streets, art nouveau architecture, art deco mansions, and vibrant parks.
For many decades, Roma was a wealthy neighborhood until it began to decline in the 1950s. However, in the past several years, Roma has transformed into a trendy hipster neighborhood, attracting visitors and digital nomads from around the globe.
Roma was also introduced to the world through Alfonso Cuarón’s Oscar winning film, Roma, which takes place in 1970s, following an indigenous housekeeper working for a wealthy family in Roma.
In 2011, Roma was classified as a barrio mágico (magical neighborhood) due to its historical significance and undeniable charm.
Wandering through the parks of Roma Norte during my most recent Mexico City trip
Roma Norte Mexico City Travel Guide
Where is Roma Norte, Mexico City?
Roma Norte is located in North America’s largest city, Mexico City.
The charming neighborhood is located south of Av Chapultepec, west of highway 1, north of Roma Sur, and east of La Condesa.
Roma Norte is in close proximity to Mexico City’s Centro Historico neighborhood, a short walk from the iconic Parque Mexico, and nearby Chapultepec Park.
The neighborhood’s central location makes it the perfect place to stay in Mexico City (keep reading for my hotel recommendation). It’s a safe neighborhood where you can base yourself and easily explore all that CMDX has to offer.
The Best Boutique Hotels in Roma Norte
La Valise: My Top Choice for a Unique and Luxurious Stay in Roma Norte
La Valise is my favorite hotel in Roma Norte and if you’re like me, you’ll want to snag a spot ASAP in one of their three gorgeous suites.
Each thoughtfully-designed suite feels exudes luxury and instantly feels like a home away from home. One room features a bed on a private balcony, where you can read or relax in the open air (don’t worry, there is also a bed inside!)
Though each suite is completely unique, they all feature stunning clawfoot bathtubs, incredibly comfortable beds, air conditioning, and a kitchenette or kitchen.
NaNa Vida Boutique: Affordable Highly-Rated Boutique Hotel in Roma Norte
With 9.7/10 stars from over 100 verified customers on Booking.com, NaNa Vida is one of the highest rated hotels in Roma Norte.
Each room in this charming boutique hotel is unique and light-filled, with beautiful local art, comfortable furnishings, and air conditioning.
Guests have access to the hotel’s private rooftop area, with a stunning view of the Mexico City skyline.
Hotel Durango 219: Roma Norte Hotel in the Heart of the Action
Just a block from the famed Fuente de Cibeles, Boutique Hotel Durango 219 is a highly-rated boutique hotel in the perfect location. Nestled in one of the trendiest areas of Mexico City. If you prefer to be in the heart of the action, this is the place to go!
Each of Hotel Durango 219’s twelve spacious rooms feature private balconies with city views, air conditioning, and super comfy beds.
Unlike most boutique hotels in Mexico City, Hotel Durango 219 has an elevator, making it more accessible and of course easier if you are lugging around heavy suitcases.
DIB Collection: Affordable Luxury Apartments in Roma Norte
If you’re traveling to Mexico City with your family or a group of friends, DIB Collection might be the perfect place to stay. It’s another one of the most highly rated places to stay in Roma Norte, but with a full kitchen and several rooms in most units.
The apartments range from 500-1000 square feet, with high end design and incredible customer service. You get a lot more bang for your buck with these spacious apartments compared to small hotel rooms without compromising on quality.
Since DIB Collection can be booked via Booking.com, you get the same experience as if you were booking a hotel, but with a spacious apartment. Whether you’re staying for a few days or a few weeks, this might be the perfect spot for your group!
Some other Roma Norte accommodations to check out include Nima Local House Hotel and Ignacia Guest House
Top Things to See & Do in Roma Norte, Mexico City
Plaza Río de Janeiro
Roam Through Historical Sites and Plazas
Plaza Río de Janeiro
The replica of Michelangelo’s David statue in Plaza Río de Janeiro is one of the most iconic sights in Roma Norte. The statue is surrounded by fountains, and the plaza hosts vibrant greenery, making it a tranquil place to sit or wander for a bit.
The story of why and how Plaza Rio de Janeiro came to host David is a bit convoluted. Even Mexico City’s official tourism website states that not much is known about the statue.
Like with all plazas and parks in Roma Norte, Plaza Río de Janeiro is a lovely spot for both people watching and dog watching. Personally, I love to grab some delicious vegan food from Paxil, a street vendor right outside the park.
The Witch’s House
From Plaza Rio de Janerio you can see one of Roma’s most famous buildings, La Casa de las Brujas, which means the Witch’s House in English.
The pointed roof resembles a witch’s hat, and the building itself is reminiscent of a face. The building was originally designed to be a luxury hotel, but it is an apartment building today.
Fuente de Cibeles
Situated in the center of a roundabout, Fuente de Cibeles is a replica of the original Madrid sculpture with the same name.
Unlike the David statue at Plaza Río de Janeiro, we do know a bit about why this replica exists in Mexico City. It was offered as a gift from Spanish residents of Mexico City to symbolize the friendly relationship between Mexico and Spain.
After taking a look at the fountain, be sure to explore the many trendy cafes and restaurants that line the surrounding streets.
Plaza Luis Cabrera
Plaza Luis Cabrera is another historical plaza worth exploring. Teeming with lush greenery and a refreshing mist from the fountain, Plaza Luis Cabrera is a wonderful place to catch your breath on a hot Mexico day.
The plaza often features an open air exhibition of political art. It’s also within walking distance of many restaurants, bars, and shops, such as the popular Madre Cafe, which is just across the street.
Apparently, this plaza was a favorite spot of Jack Kerouac’s when he lived in Roma during the 1950s.
Parroquia de la Sagrada Familia
This beautifully adorned Gothic church is another stunning site in Roma Norte. It was the first church built in the Roma neighborhood and was erected in 1925.
Delicious breakfast at Forever in Roma Norte
Eat (and Drink) Your Way Through Roma Norte
Join a Roma Food Tour
One of the best ways to experience the best food that Roma has to offer is by joining this Roma food tour. In just a few hours, you’ll get the opportunity to taste a diversity of Roma’s best food while learning about the neighborhood’s history.
You’ll discover a mix of hidden gems and iconic eateries throughout Roma, with a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine, taste smoky mezcal, local coffee and so much more.
This highly-rated food tour can accomodate both vegans and vegetarians, just be sure to let the guide know about your preferences ahead of time.
Pulque is an ancient alcoholic beverage that was once considered “‘the drink of the gods”. A fermented drink derived from agave, pulque has been compared to kombucha, but as someone who loves both of these delicious drinks, I can say that they are very different.
Pulque is thick and viscous, with a texture that puts off some people. But if you can get past the unique mouthfeel, pulque is a healthy, delicious drink to be enjoyed.
Pulque’s alcoholic content is similar to beer, but without any alcohol taste. In most pulqueria in Mexico, you can choose from an unflavored batch of pulque and several flavors made with fresh fruit. My favorites tend to be strawberry and mango pulque.
Another thing to know about pulque is that it must be made and consumed, making it impossible to export. Also, each batch tastes unique and the flavor changes every day as it continues to ferment.
The pulquerias of Mexico City are some of the only places in the world where you can taste pulque, so make sure you don’t miss it on your trip to CDMX! Thankfully, Roma Norte has a wonderful pulqueria called Pulqueria los Insurgentes.
In addition to several pulques, Pulqueria los Insurgentes serves other mezcal and other drinks as well as a whole food menu.
Indulge in Fresh Churros at Churrería El Moro
Another thing you must taste in Roma Norte are Churreria el Moro’s famous churros.
Although El Moro is the most popular churreria in Mexico City, very few visitors know that the original El Moro churro cart very well have been Mexico’s first churros. Today, these delicious cinnamon sugar covered pastries are a Mexican staple, and Churreria El Moro has Mexico City’s favorite churro.
Churreria El Moro began in 1933 when Spanish immigrant Francisco Iriarte realized that he couldn’t find his favorite treat in Mexico City. Soon after emigrating, he started selling fresh churros in Mexico City’s Zócalo. Just two years later, Francisco opened up the first brick and mortar Churreria El Moro.
Francisco’s family has continued his legacy, and today there are fourteen locations across CDMX, each with the same aesthetic white and blue decor and satisfying sweets.
Be sure to visited the Roma Norte Churrería El Moro while exploring Roma Norte for a sweet treat!
PS: El Moro’s churros are vegan, but the sauces are not.
Wander Through Mercado Roma & Mercado Medellín
I once heard a local guide in Mexico say that markets are the heart of the city. If you really want a ‘local’ experience, head to the closest market.
Roma is home to two interesting markets. Mercado Medellín resembles a typical Mexican market with crowded stalls featuring everything from raw meat to housewares. I’ll be honest, as a vegan, I typically avoid these traditional markets because there usually isn’t much for me to eat, and I don’t like walking past the butcher stalls. However, I know that many tourists love visiting these markets, so I had to include it on this list of things to do in Roma Norte.
Just a few blocks away from Mercado Medellín you’ll find Mercado Roma, which is a modern up-scale market. It looks more like a place you’d find in Brooklyn than Mexico City, which explains why locals protested before it was built. This market is just one example of gentrification in this part of CMDX.
I love these wide, green walkways that you find throughout Roma Norte
Check Out Roma Norte’s Top Museums and Galleries
Museo del Objeto del Objeto (MODO)
The MODO is easily the most popular museum in Roma Norte. The exhibitions feature ordinary objects and the stories they tell.
Recently, the MODO hosted a Broken Relationships exhibit, featuring personal stories of breakups and relationship challenges. Real life stories are accompanied by donated objects, such as a wedding dress and house keys.
The MODO’s unusual exhibits are moving and intimate, and give a peek into ordinary life in Mexico City.
Casa Museo Guillermo Tovar de Teresa
The former home of Mexican art collector Guillermo Tovar de Teresa, you could visit this museum for the grandeur architecture and design alone. Of course, the home also features an extensive art collection.
Though very different than the MODO, this museum also gives you an intimate look into someones life, in this case, Guillermo Tovar de Teresa.
Art lovers cannot miss Galería OMR, which has been an influential leader in Mexico City’s arts scene since its founding in 1983.
This art gallery features contemporary art from both budding and leading artists from across Mexico and the world.
Also Read: Mexico City Fashion & What to Wear in CDMX
A cute market on Calle Colima
Other Things to do in Roma Norte, Mexico City
Stroll Down Roma Norte’s Most Lively Streets
One of the best things to do in Roma Norte is simply wander and see what you discover. Perhaps you’ll discover vintage stores or a cute cafe or a local designer.
If you need a good starting point, consider Avenida Álvaro Obregón, Calle Colima, and Coahuila Street . These two bright and lively streets are full of hidden gems just waiting to be uncovered!
Explore Roma by Bike
With many wide, quiet streets, Roma Norte is a delightful area to explore via bike.
Ecobici is Mexico City’s amazing bike sharing system. Similar to LimeBikes in the US, Ecobici allows you to seamlessly rent a bike for an affordable rate via the Ecobici app.
As of 2023, Mexico City has over nine thousand Ecobici bikes at 687 stations throughout the city. You can search for Ecobici stations on Google Maps to find the nearest spot to grab a bike. Before you leave your house, be sure to sign up for Ecobici online and get the app.
Ecobici bike usage is charged by the day, not by ride time. You can expect to pay about $118 MXN (6.75 USD) for a single day, or $391 MXN ($23 USD) for a week. Remarkably, an annual plan only costs $521 MXN ($30 USD) for unlimited usage. If you plan to spend more than a week in CDMX, the annual plan is an incredible deal!
Important PSA: You need mobile data (phone service) to be able to unlock Ecobici bikes. I highly recommend getting a temporary phone plan through Airalo during your trip to Mexico. You can activate your service easily online via an eSIM and still keep your regular phone plan.
Crack Open a Book at Roma’s Bookshop Cafe
Cafe Cafebrería El Péndulo Roma is an enchanting bookshop and cafe. The shop’s extensive collection features books in both Spanish and English.
Cafe Cafebrería El Péndulo Roma hosts live music throughout the week, making it a delightful place to visit, whether you’re looking for a book, want a good cup of coffee, are hoping to catch live music, or all of the above!
Go to an Event at Huerto Roma Verde
Technically just a block south of Roma Norte in the Roma Sur neighborhood, Huerto Roma Verde is a hidden gem I could not leave off this list!
The space is a community garden, events space, market, and ecotourism destination all in one! Just over a decade ago, it was an abandoned lot, but today it is a thriving community hub that brings vibrancy and life to the neighborhood.
The charming and innovative Huerto Roma Verde space features sustainable housing models created from recycled materials, gardens rooted in indigenous permaculture, and so much more.
The organization supports the local community with a diversity of sustainable projects and frequently welcomes in visitors with events and markets. If there is a market or event happening during your visit to Mexico City, be sure to check out Huerto Roma Verde.
Most events and markets feature unique locally made goods, and its the perfect spot to buy art and gifts to bring home.
Enchiladas at Forever, one of the best restaurants in Colonia Roma Norte
The Best Restaurants in Roma Norte
Roma Norte is known for its upscale restaurants, innovative cuisine, and international flavors. Some of the most popular spots and hidden gems include the following.
If you’re looking for elevated yet delicious Mexican cuisine with a great atmosphere, Páramo is the place to go. This trendy spot was rated as one of the top 25 restaurants in Mexico City by Time Out, and if you visit, you’ll understand why. Páramo has some of Roma Norte’s best tacos and best vibes.
The expansive menu features a diversity of delicious tacos and incredible drinks. As a vegan, I was impressed with the diversity of vegan tacos and how tasty they are! And one thing that I especially love about Páramo is that despite its popularity, the prices are decent.
Restaurante Rosetta $$$$
Ranked as one of the top 50 restaurants in the world, Restaurante Rosetta is one of the trendiest restaurants in Roma Norte. The restaurant’s menu features Italian and Mexican-inspired elevated fare made from seasonal locally-sourced ingredients, such as pink mole made from beets and shiso.
The restaurant space is located in a gorgeous historic mansion adorned with high ceilings and lush greenery. Given the restaurant’s popularity, reservations are highly recommended. Dress to the occasion and expect to spend quite a bit more than you would at typical restaurant in Mexico City.
Madre Cafe $$$
Another trendy spot in Roma Norte, Madre Cafe is a brunch place that feels more European than Mexican. However, given Roma Norte’s history, European-style cafes don’t feel out of place.
Madre Cafe is located in a gorgeous courtyard just across the street from Plaza Luis Caberra. The service is some of the best I’ve experienced in Mexico City, but honestly, I don’t love the food. I’m vegan, so I’ve only tried a small selection of the menu, but nothing stands out as exceptional. Still, the cafe offers an unbeatable atmosphere and great service, so I understand why its so popular.
DoppioZero Pizza Romana $
DoppioZero is one of my favorite spots to grab food in Roma Norte. This Italian-style pizza spot serves some of the best pizza I’ve had outside of Italy, and for unbeatable prices.
Reminiscent of pizzerias in Italy, DoppioZero features a few pizzas by the slice (always one vegan option) that you can grab for just $40 pesos each. Or, you can sit down and order a full pizza from their menu. If you get a craving for pizza, or just want an easy and affordable lunch, don’t go anywhere else!
Plantasia is an Asian-inspired restaurant in Roma Norte that instantly reminded of Tulum, with a jungle-like atmosphere and fully vegan menu.
During my most recent trip to Mexico City, my husband and I dined at Plantasia three or four times because it was close to our hotel and featured such a diversity of flavorful food. Vegan or not, I’d recommend Plantasia for brunch or dinner.
Forever is another vegan restaurant in Roma Norte that I love. The menu features delicious plant-forward fare, ranging from Mexican classics like Tacos Baja made with cauliflower to flavorful salads, bowls, and burgers.
Also Read: The 39 Best Vegan Restaurants in Mexico City
Brunch at Madre Cafe, a trendy cafe in Roma Norte Mexico City
The Best Bars in Roma Norte
Roma and the surrounding neighborhoods are known for their vibrant nightlife scene. Whether you’re looking for a place to try mezcal, grab a margarita, or dance the night away, you won’t be disappointed with what Roma Norte has to offer. Here are some of the top bars (and clubs) in Roma Norte and the surrounding area.
Consistently ranked as one of the top 50 bars in the world Licoreria Limantour is an unmissable spot in Roma Norte. Be prepared for one-of-a-kind drinks, such as the Margarita al Pastor, crowds every night of the week, and an incredible atmosphere.
Hanky Panky Cocktail Bar (Speakeasy)
Less than a twenty minute walk away from Licoreria Limantour, you’ll find another Mexico City bar on the top 50 bars in the world list. Although its technically outside of the Roma Norte neighborhood by a few blocks, its certainly worth checking out if you’re staying in Roma Norte. It’s a speakeasy with a hidden entrance, so just be aware that you’ll need to find the entrance (part of the fun!) Oh, and be sure to make a reservation ahead of time.
If you’re looking for somewhere to get your boogie on, check out Patrick Miller, a Roma Norte dance club featuring disco and other retro music. Expect a wait to get inside and expect crowds inside as well.
Consider stopping by a mezcaleria (or mezcal bar) in Roma Norte to taste smoky local mezcal. Mezcalerias tend to be relaxed spots where you can both taste and learn directly from producers. Some of the most popular spots in Roma Norte for mezcal include El Palenquito and Mano Santa.
Other Places to Visit in Mexico City
Roma Norte is an incredible home base to explore all that Mexico City has to offer, but there is still so much to explore outside the confines of this charming neighborhood. A few things I recommend doing in Mexico City include:
★ Searching for the Best View in Mexico City
★ Visiting the Frida Khalo Museum and Anahuacalli Museum in Coyoacán
★ Explore the Teotihuacán Ancient Ruins from a Hot Air Balloon
★ Taking a Cable Car Over Mexico City (hidden gem)
★ Floating Through the Ancient Canals of Xochimilco
★ Wandering Through Chapultepec Park
Essential Mexico Travel Resources
Have a Mexico trip coming up soon? There are a lot of travel companies out there, but some are better than others. After traveling to dozens of countries and living abroad on several continents, here are some of my favorite websites and resources for planning unforgettable trips.