New York City and Mexico City both teem with traffic, culture, amazing food, and beautiful architecture. But for the next year, these two metropolises will have more in common. The two cities recently announced their first-ever city-to-city partnership that includes a one-year agreement aimed at boosting tourism in both destinations. The best part? As part of the agreement, Aeromexico is offering $399 round-trip flights between the two cities, including flights on the 787 Dreamliner, through March. (Book by November 22.)
Even if you can’t take advantage of the special fare, you can enjoy some of the cities’ similarities just by visiting one or the other. Here are some related places that we love both in the Big Apple and south of the border…
In Mexico City: Downtown México
Downtown México is one of several Mexico City hotels that pare part of the design-savvy Grupo Habita. This one, in the heart of the city’s historic center, occupies one of the city’s few remaining 17th century palaces, and is just a short stroll from Zócalo, the main square. Habita’s typical contemporary design blends with original features such as high ceilings and a brick faςade. The hotel has two courtyard restaurants, as well as a rooftop bar and pool.
Rates at the 17-room Downtown start at around $130 a night, but if you are on a (very) tight budget, you can sleep in the hotel’s hostel annex instead. Rates at Downtown Beds start at $15 per night in an eight-person dorm, or $42 for a private room ($46 if you want your own bathroom).
In New York: Hôtel Americano
The Hôtel Americano, in Chelsea, is the first, and so far only, north-of-the-border property from Grupo Habita. Here you can replicate Downtown’s rooftop pool-bar experience almost exactly – besides the obvious weather differences. Actually, the Americano’s popular rooftop bar, La Piscine is currently closed for the season but you can still dine at the hotel’s Nordic restaurant, Artico, and have drinks at the Bar Americano and El Privado lounge.
Rates at the Hôtel Americano start at $285 a night.
In Mexico City: Dulce Patria
Polanco’s Dulce Patria (sweet homeland) is run by Martha Ortiz Chapa, one of Mexico’s most successful chefs, who creates Mexican haute cuisine that is influenced by the traditions and legends of the country – the restaurant’s logo is a drawing of a traditionally dressed woman astride a horse with her fist raised. The menu changes monthly, usually according to a theme, but you can be sure of beautifully presented, sensuous dishes and a whimsical post-meal treat of alegrías (sweets) presented on a painted wooden child’s toy.
In New York: Sueños
Chef Sue Torres has studied with Mexican cooking authority Diana Kennedy and apprenticed under Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, one of Mexico’s most well-regarded chefs, in Mexico City. Her Chelsea restaurant, Sueños (dreams) offers what is described as “progressive Mexican, ” with dishes that are inspired by centuries of tradition and that reflect the country’s regional diversity. The restaurant offers a $30 prix fixe menu that features such dishes as Oaxaca cheese tamales, and pork carnitas.
In Mexico City: La Botica Mezcaleria
While in New York tequilerias are popping up everywhere, in Mexico City more and more people are rediscovering mezcal, and La Botica Mezcaleria (the mezcal pharmacy) was at the front of the potent spirit’s resurgence. Since opening in the Condesa neighborhood in 2005, La Botica has opened four more branches in Mexico City. Each bar features walls lined with bottles resembling medicine jars filled with dozens of different varieties.
In New York City: La Biblioteca de Tequila
If you’re looking for mezcal in NYC, you could do worse than to start with the Biblioteca de Tequila. Despite the name, this Murray Hill restaurant has a number of mezcal varieties among its collection of 400 bottles. La Biblioteca offers tasting flights starting at $14, as well as a happy hour from Tuesdays through Fridays, and personal “tequila lockers” where you can store your bottle for future visits. Every Tuesday from 5 p.m. the bar hosts a meet-and-greet with ambassadors from different distilleries ($15 per guest).