No one in Mexico City would be surprised if you were to call Colonia Condesa the hipster capital of the city. It can be as expensive as its cousin Polanco, but casual and effortless in its style, like a real hipster of the world. Nightlife, culture, and gastronomy are the driving forces in this part of the city. The historic neighborhood is lined with cafés and bistros in every one of its streets, avenues, and boulevards; dogs are practically citizens in “La Condesa” and are allowed everywhere. Even people-watching is an activity worth considering in this haven of eccentrics and interesting people, you can purchase a quality brew from one of the many coffee shops around, like Passport Condesa (on Baja California street) and take in the personalities and the scenery at one of the benches of either Parque España or Parque México.
The neighborhood of La Condesa, or The Countess, has its origins in colonial Mexico, where, in 1704 several plots of land (roughly the neighborhoods of Condesa, Hipódromo Condesa, and part of Roma Norte) were purchased by Doña María Magdalena Dávalos de Bracamonte y Orozco, Third Countess of Miravalle. There is no portrait of the Countess and the legends surrounding her legacy have been numerous over the decades: that she was exceptionally beautiful, that she was horrendous, that she was mean to her hundreds of slaves and treated them like animals, that she had to work the lands herself with her own hands, that she held bacchanals that lasted weeks and hosted the royalty of the city. Some things will never be known.
But in today’s modern nightlife, Avenida Tamaulipas, in the heart of the neighborhood is a hot-spot for some of the trendiest bars and clubs (called “antros”) in the city, for example, the Bubba Club Condesa is a second-floor “terrace club” that boasts a pool as part of its amenities, or Phoenix Condesa, a speakeasy located one floor above the Peralta bar, where after a certain hour late in the night, patrons move up to the second floor to keep the party going. The target market for these kinds of clubs is on the younger side, 19 to 23, and bottle service can start at $1,300 per bottle, but there are several other options for, say, older patrons who still enjoy quality mixology, like Baltra on Calle Iztaccihuátl, which boasts drinks from the creators of Limantour, a bar in nearby Colonia Roma, that is renowned for its mixology, plus the tab can average out to a very moderate $350 pesos per person.
Foodies will be in heaven as La Condesa offers a wide array of gastronomic offers for its eclectic local populace; like Tandoor, an Indian food restaurant with delicious dishes to offer; or Rojo Bistrot, a french cuisine locale that was inspired by a similar restaurant in New York City. Both places are located on local street Amsterdam, and if you’re one day walking through the neighborhood and swear you had just passed Amsterdam street a couple of blocks ago, that’s because the street goes in a circular manner around the neighborhood, mimicking the borders of an old racehorse track that was in operation until 1920.
There’s so much to see and taste and experience in La Condesa that this article, and no other one, for that matter, could really do it justice. The best recommendation is to muster up your most adventurous spirit and visit it yourself.
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