Top-Rated Specialty Cafes in Mexico City
Mexico City is also home to third wave coffee culture, and has recently seen the rise of a whole slew of specialty coffee shops. In exploring Mexico City’s wide range of cafes, we learned a bunch about Mexican coffee and which parts of the country it comes from!
We had a blast visiting lots of cafes in the Condesa and Roma Norte neighborhoods, and also in the Centro Historico, where we spent the other half of our time. We enjoy spending time in cafes, whether it’s with friends or doing work while hooked up to some Wifi, so our favorite cafes are ones that have unique ambiance. We’ve detailed their offerings below, as well as what they do best, in terms of coffee and atmosphere.
We wrote this guide in the style of something you’d receive from a friend either before or while on your trip. For any place we have not eaten or visited, we will say so, in order to be totally transparent.
Best Cafes in Mexico City
Quentin Cafe is fairly new to the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, and has won an excellent reputation for its drink menu, cool ambiance and great location.
Located on Avenida Alvaro Obregon, Quentin is close to lots of restaurants and bars in the area. It’s easy to stop by quickly, but why would you want to dash out when you could stay longer and try more items from their unique menu?
Among the specialty drinks at Quentin are the ‘espressonic,’ a mix of espresso and tonic (are you intrigued yet?), the ‘cascara,’ made from the casings of coffee beans, the ‘cascara funky,’ the hotter cousin of the cascara original, flavored with ginger and the carajillo, a famous Mexican coffee drink made with fresh espresso and Licor 34 (this is to die for, and we had it for breakfast).
Quentin’s owners opened up the place after being inspired by visiting coffee farms first-hand in Chiapas state, Mexico, Colombia and Peru. After executing their plan for a coffee shop in Roma, they’re now working on plans for a bakery that will serve their Mexico City locations and they’ve just opened up shop in Tulum.
Buna was where we tried Mexican coffee for both of our first times, and you could say this was a great thing for us. BUNA is located within a restaurant that shares its address. Both are thoughtfully-designed, in a modern yet retro type of simplistic way.
BUNA is where you can try locally-sourced Mexican coffees from a few different regions that surround Mexico City. The cafe staff takes great pride in talking about where the coffees come from and how your coffee got its start.
Additionally, you can dine or brunch at BUNA’s neighbor restaurant, which serves BUNA coffee. Want to pair delicious and beautiful food with awesome coffee? This is the right place.
You can also buy coffee by the bag at BUNA. They bag all the roasts that come from the BUNA roasting plant, located about a mile away in Mexico City. Bags have modern designs based on the Nahuatl names given to the roasts, bringing the whole experience together.
Look closely, and you’ll find Almanegra Cafe on a quiet street in Roma. There’s a small sign on the wall of an old building above a cactus, and it says Almanegra Cafe.
Enter, and you’ll see a minimalist coffee shop with lots of devoted regulars. Almanegra is big on black and white, square edges, basic tables and edgy music. They are also big on serious coffee-crafting.
Almanegra’s fans are those who adore coffee, and adore Almanegra for being a serious cafe - serious about its beans, its ways of creating drinks, its vibes and its clientel.
We were lucky to meet one of the Almanegra partners, Octavio, who told us a bit about the story of the cafe. It started from a smaller cafe a few neighborhoods away.
In order to expand into a neighborhood where they’d get more foot traffic, they opened the location on Tonala as a new location where its devotees can get their craft coffee kick.
We tried some lovely drinks, such as the nitro brew, the coffee tonic and the Chemex brew.
Efimero Cafe is an adorable specialty cafe located in the Condesa neighborhood. When you pass Efimero, you’ll see some wicker chairs outside and a cozy inside with a coffee counter in the back.
The owners and creators of Efimero are a couple from Mexico who dreamed of opening up a cafe that felt like home. Both were working corporate jobs, and left their positions in order to pursue this dream.
Down-to-earth Efimero opened early in 2018 and soon became part of the fabric of the Condesa neighborhood. This is a welcoming cafe where you can get a standard coffee or a more special drink, like the ones we tried.
Of the drinks we tried at Efimero, the most memorable was the Vietnamese pressed coffee, iced, and mixed with sweet coconut milk. This is the kind of coffee drink that left you wanting another! We also tried espresso and a pour-over coffee. Efimero uses coffees both international and local.
Cafebrería El Péndulo
It’s a good thing El Péndulo has several locations, because we’ve been to three so far, and would go to three more. El Péndulo is a bookstore-cafe, and as far as we’ve seen, all of their bookstores are located in old houses and all have interesting interiors with natural light, outdoor spaces or terraces, creative ways of displaying books and wonderful atmosphere.
WiFi is free, too! Even if you’re not into books, relaxing at El Péndulo for a coffee or their brunch (or even better, dinner and drinks! Yes!) is a great thing to do.
If you do love books, you’ll be happy to know that their stock of books serves both English and Spanish-speaking audiences. They have some non-book items for purchase as well, like cool gifts and funny things to have in the house.
Drip Specialty Coffee
Drip Specialty Coffee (Drip Café Especial) began as a window where you could order coffee, and now it has expanded into a full cafe on Calle Guadalajara. Stop by to learn about the Mexican coffee used in all their drinks and to sit outside on this lovely street.
Drip has a range of drinks from Mexican coffees brewed in a few ways to espresso, to matcha to chai lattes. It’s hard to choose! We tried some roasts from Oaxaca and sat outside reading the coffee (table) books they have in the bookshelf inside, and tried a croissant.
Drip has a theme of sharing coffee and making friends. Their original location was shaken by one of Mexico City’s larger earthquakes in recent history, so they were forced into moving to Calle Guadalajara near Avenida Sonora. This was a good thing, though, because now they’ve made friends with neighbors in this location, and the neighborhood has been welcoming!
Drip is all about consciousness in its products. You can buy coffee in a brown paper bag to bring home (branded with a cute slogan in Spanish) or you can buy their other fair-trade product… honey! Yummy.
Ojo de Agua
Ojo de Agua is an earthy yet trendy idea where you can have a coffee, eat brunch and then buy groceries. It’s all in one, for a healthy and comfortable experience.
While their WiFi may not work at all locations and we don’t suggest specifically going there to do work or do things online, you can always sit outside at Ojo de Agua and people-watch. Then, you can peruse their crop of produce, ranging from fruit (zapotes!) to vegetables (mini eggplants!). They also have cold drinks and some less-perishable food products like granola and the like.
How could you not like Blend Station? Blend Station is immediately special with its cool and unique design that features pastel colors, eyes and funky art. It turns out that the cafe was designed professionally by a design team, and as you peruse the art on the walls and postcards, it all matches the same cool ‘mysterious eyes’ theme.
Then you’ll notice the tree in the middle of the cafe, which is a huge and open space, especially when they open the awning of the ceiling. This is an indoor-outdoor experience!
Blend Station’s baristas are self-described as coffee geeks, and they’ll make you a mean espresso, cold brew or perfect latte (with art).
People come to Blend Station to escape the hustle of the street. Inside, you can keep your mind on your work (laptops are welcome here) or your coffee, or your food. You can sit with a fleece blanket on the steps in the back, at a high table at a stool or at one of the tables that line the back wall.
There’s food, too! Blend Station makes their bread in-house, which is a great thing to know, when you order any food (menu includes toasts, salads, a few types of bowls and English muffins in a few styles). We’ll be back for lunch!
Chiquitito Cafe is a neighborhood cafe that packs a bunch. Just like its name, Chiquitito is a little tiny place, where a few baristas are crammed behind a coffee counter, but still seem to have room while they craft your drink. Everyone’s friendly. It’s hard to leave.
Chiquitito is a neighborhood place, so it’s fun to watch locals roll in ordering their usual, in a friendly manner. You can sit inside at several tables that line the wall, or outside, at high-top tables or on a bench.
The theme of Chiquitito is coffee, and they do it well. In terms of products for sale, there are gooseneck kettles, tools for brewing coffee at home (V60, anyone?) and of course, bags of coffee for sale. Coffees are roasted by Jiribilla Tostador in Mexico City, and beans originate from farms in Oaxaca and Veracruz states, also in central regions of Mexico.
Our locally-originating drinks came in the form of espresso, a seasonal special, a cold brew and an americano. All coffees had roots in nearby local Mexican coffee plantations.
Tomás - Casa Editora de Té
No coffee here, but the staff at Tomás really know their teas. You can take a few wafts and get an idea of what you want to try. For working, there are some couches, tables and standard chairs. You can also sit outside!
This is a favorite for digital nomads, and is nearly always quoted as a favorite for places where you can sit down with steady internet. The location is ideal, on a beautiful leafy street. Our tip: their opening hours are 8 am on weekdays and 9 am on Saturdays, but they usually don’t open right on time.
Finca Don Porfirio, Sears (Zocalo)
This is your secret to getting a million-peso view of the Palacio de Bellas Artes, an art museum in the center of the city with a multi-colored roof. If you come at a busy time, you may have to wait on a little line, and that’s because they don’t let anyone stand around - all guests get seated at tables or at the bar stools that line the wall where you can look out at the view.
The menu consists of coffee drinks and small beverages like the San Pellegrino sparkling water in a can that Becca had here. To get to the cafe, take the elevator straight back when you walk into Sears, and go to the top floor! There, you’ll find the cafe near the home goods section.
Yes, their preferred casing of the cafe’s name is “eNHORAbUENa CAFÉ.” This cafe is perfect for hanging out or working, and is a neighborhood favorite. It has a laptop-friendly vibe and a big open window to get some nice airflow.
The food is really good, yet limited to what they can make in their tiny kitchen area. There are plenty of power outlets, so it’s helpful if your laptop is low on battery.
Cassava Roots claims to be the ‘best bubble tea in Mexico.’ The store, now with locations all over Mexico City, were the first to bring Taiwanese bubble tea to Mexico, and that’s a pretty cool thing!
They divide their bubble teas into five types, and have a menu for samurai ancient tea, revitalizing teas, geisha coffee supreme and sensei healthy infusions. You can’t get bored with this menu!
Rococó Café Espresso
Rococo looks crazy from the outside, and after passing it for lots of weeks, we finally went there with some friends. The place is super eclectic, and on weekend nights, locals populate the outdoor tables and benches. The design is like a rager of decorations, vintage chairs, couches and old-timey designs.
If you ever wanted to experience being absolutely overwhelmed by a coffee menu, you can experience this at Rococo. Entirely unexpectedly, their menu is like a giant book, with coffee prepared in ways we had never heard of, and we’ve heard of lots of ways to prepare coffee.
The drinks in the menu are separated by hot, cold, pressing, dripping, ones that contain alcohol and ones that aren’t coffee at all. There’s a small food menu as well. The WiFi works great, and the crowd is cool.
Café El Cordobés
Café El Cordobés was a gem that we found while walking in Mexico City’s Historic Center. Café El Cordobés has all its coffee beans out for you to see, and super friendly staff that insisted on asking where we were from.
The location near Chinatown (Barrio Chino) makes it a good stop while you’re doing your exploring. The place is bustling! They do take-away if you ask. Make sure to notice the staircase that leads up to the second floor. There’s a balcony terrace! We missed this, so now we have to go back.
If you are downtown and find yourself in the peaceful pedestrian street of Calle Regina, stop for a cafecito or americano at Cafe Regina. This place is old-school and has kept its vintage charm.
Sit at wooden benches, or outside under umbrellas, and after you order your coffee, you’ll wish you ordered food when you see it come out to the other tables. So, save your appetite for breakfast and sit down at Cafe Regina for some eggs, bread and coffee. Also, despite the old-fashioned decor and location in the Centro Historico, this cafe has WiFi!