Roma is a collection of delightful outdoor cafes, tree-lined plazas, wide streets, and charming architecture. Built in the early 1900s, the neighborhood was one of Mexico City’s first “country suburbs.” It’s hard to imagine today in this hyper-urban enclave, but that early planning has resulted in an extremely walkable neighborhood, with a vibrant sidewalk life, towering trees, and well-loved public spaces like the Plaza Luis Cabrera and Plaza Rio de Janeiro.
The peak of construction in this neighborhood was between the 1920s and 1950s so you can expect to find fine examples of Art Deco and Art Nouveau architecture, including the Gaudí-inspired building on the corner of Guanajuato and Merida streets. The neighborhood was also one of the first landing places of Mexico City's Jewish community when they moved from the Centro Historico in the 1920s and you can find some of the city’s oldest and most beautiful synagogues here.
Roma Sur (the area of the neighborhood south of Coahuila street) is definitely less expensive and more residential than the Roma Norte which bubbles over with visitors every day of the week. Several good coworking spaces draw digital nomads to Roma including Privat.mx and Cubic Idea, but you may find it hard to think of paying for a workspace when there are endless options for good working cafes, such as Boicot, Cardinal, Tierra Garat, Constela, and others. Public transportation sits at either end of Roma, but if you plan to live and work in the neighborhood, you’ll find that walking or riding a bike is the most efficient and pleasant way to get around.
Dining options here are endless and growing each day as the neighborhood becomes known for its foodie culture and innovative eateries. Roma was the birthplace of great restaurants like the chef-driven Maximo Bistro, the Italian-Mexican phenom Rosetta, and new culinary superstar Mi Compa Chava. Unlike the more gentrified Condesa and Polanco, Roma still retains much of its street food culture and mom and pop restaurants like 60-year strong Doña Emi’s tamales and Tacos Los Parados on Monterrey Avenue which used to be a late-night taxi driver hangout. Be sure to stop for a pescadilla (a fish quesadilla) on Puebla street and wander the aisles of the Mercado Medellin for fresh-squeezed juice and Cuban ice cream.
The author of Mexico City Streets: La Roma, this Mexico City based writer has been published on National Geographic and Mexico News Daily...
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