Mexico City isn’t high on a lot of travelers’ lists, and part of me prefers it this way—I wouldn’t mind if the city’s vibrancy and beauty stayed a well-kept secret. But it’s such a lovely place to spend time, especially when US winter is in full swing and temperatures in Mexico’s capital still reach mid-70s each day.
If you’re a freelancer looking to spend some time exploring and working remotely in Mexico City, there are countless great spots to work outside the home. Here are three of my favorite cafes where you can set up camp, get some work done, and soak in some intellectual and cultural vibes.
Av. Tamaulipas 60, Hipódromo, Condesa
I discovered Blend Station from wandering down the street and thinking the entrance looked intriguing. A tiny storefront opens into a long, narrow space where the coffee bar is. They have a small menu of coffee, tea, and snack options, which you order at the bar and they then bring to you.
Make your way to the main room and you’ll see why this place is awesome: there’s a large, circular room with ultra-high ceilings, giving the space an open and airy feel that I find great for both focusing and relaxing. Seating options include armchairs and couches, two-person small tables, the long table in the center of the room (which has a tree growing right through its center!), or the bleacher-style space along one wall.
They have fast, reliable wifi and play nice music at a reasonable volume.
Cafebreria El Pendulo
Alejandro Dumas 81, Polanco
El Pendulo is a local chain, and there are a handful of them scattered around different MC neighborhoods, but the Polanco branch is my favorite. A friend recommended I check it out, and I instantly fell in love with the place when I stepped in the door.
It has a large, open main space and a serene second-floor terrace great for working (though beware of the occasional chain-smoker), as well as a large front patio for socializing.
Besides being a cafe, El Pendulo is a bookstore, so you can browse lots of different sections with all kinds of books, including books in English
(though, due to the strange Mexican custom of wrapping new books in plastic, you can’t actually page through them).
They have a huge menu with pretty much any kind of food or drink you could want. This place seems to attract a pretty international crowd, which is typical for the Polanco neighborhood.
Museo Mexicano Del Diseño
Av Francisco I. Madero 74, Centro Histórico
The cafe inside the Mexican Museum of Design is a good option if you want to be close to the bustle of downtown—at less than a block from the Zócalo, it’s lively at almost any time of day. The cafe occupies a long, narrow space at the front of the museum, but the high ceilings make it feel open and light. There’s cool art on the walls and they have a full food menu at reasonable prices.
You can people-watch from the cafe’s front section, whose doors open onto the street, or for more quiet and privacy, sit at the back. On weekends this may not be an ideal spot to hole up and work for several hours at a time, as Centro Historico gets even more crowded and noisy, but it’s fine for working during the week or taking a break in between weekend sight-seeing.