Many people new to Mexico City will gravitate toward the neighborhoods that have well-deserved reputations as being very desirable when they decide to buy or rent a property, whether it be their new home or an investment opportunity.

Polanco (with the vibrant Polanquito neighborhood at its core) , Lomas, Condesa, Roma, Coyoacán and San Ángel are some of the most popular colonias in CDMX, especially among foreigners. However, precisely because they are in high demand, those areas are also the most expensive in the city.

Luckily, there are other great neighborhoods that are centrally located, close to some of the main avenues and offering a residential flavor, wonderful restaurants and cafes. Among these are areas like Juarez, San Rafael, Anzures and Colonia Cuauhtémoc (not to be confused with the larger delegation with the same name).

In this edition of our ongoing review of the best neighborhoods in Mexico City, we’ll concentrate on the “tongue twister” colonia, Colonia Cuauhtémoc, named after the last Aztec Emperor. This is one of the most traditional residential areas in the city. It is a neighborhood with a very interesting architectural mix of houses and apartment buildings, many of which are older, “character” spaces with historical, legally protected “fachadas” or outside facing walls, while others are new or completely renovated and restructured. Its community is diverse with a great mix of locals and foreigners.

This iconic area of the city is also the site of many of its landmarks, including the famous Independence Angel, the Diana Fountain, beautiful historic houses that have withstood the test of time and modernity and the main entrance to Chapultepec Park. 

In recent years, Colonia Cuauhtémoc has been further developed as it hosts one of the most important areas of the so called “Corredor Reforma” (Reforma Corridor) which features the financial district, including the Stock Exchange building and the headquarters of banks and financial institutions, the American and British Embassies, luxurious hotels like the Saint Regis, Sofitel, Marquis, María Isabel Sheraton and the recently opened Ritz-Carlton, as well as nicely appointed boutique hotels and short and long term suites. 

This area, which borders Reforma Avenue with its beautiful boulevard, is home to many of the newest, more modern and tallest skyscrapers that have transformed the skyline of the city in the last decade and are the headquarters of many corporations both international and domestic. 

Reforma is the heart of this neighbouhood. However, notwithstanding its proximity to this major avenue, Colonia Cuauhtémoc is still in some of its areas a very quiet, walkable, tree-lined residential zone with a “small neighborhood” vibe. 

Along a couple of its main streets you can also find commercial areas that include supermarkets, a traditional market, gyms, movie theatres, organic produce stores, Korean markets, or laundromats. 

The vast array of restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops in the area feature cuisines that include Mexican (from different regions), Japanese, French, Italian, Argentinian, Uruguayan, Korean, Spanish, Chinese and Lebanese among others. 

You can also find small businesses like: butchers, tailors, shoe repair shops, and workshops of plumbers, locksmiths, carpenters, car repair specialists, and many other speciality workshops and stores that give Colonia Cuauhtémoc its unique character and make daily tasks and errands easy to accomplish without the need for a car or taxi.

On Sundays, Reforma is closed to traffic from early morning to early afternoon and is transformed into a gigantic bike path where families enjoy bike riding, roller blading or a pleasant walk.  Giant yoga or zoomba classes are a regular feature of the Sunday fun, usually centered around the Angel.

Additionally, not only are you very close to major public transportation and avenues, but in less than 20 minutes you can walk to areas like Polanco, Roma or Condesa as well as Chapultepec Park with all its attractions (Chapultepec Castle, the Anthropology, Modern Art and Tamayo Museums, its man-made lake and its Zoo). 

So, as a visitor or a newcomer to the city why not explore this fascinating neighborhood where you’ll be surprised at every step by this “jewel hidden in plain sight”? 

With real estate prices considerably more affordable than other residential areas in the city, this charming area is sure to tempt anyone looking for a new home or a wonderful investment opportunity – like this well-located apartment to remodel, just blocks from the Angel with an incredible view, or this this incredible loft-style penthouse, complete with a private, covered roof garden.