Bufi: A Local’s Guide to Mexico City’s Best Bars

This month The DJ Cookbook talked with Mateo Gonzales Bufi, simply known as Bufi, and asked for his recommendations on where to drink, gather and be marry in the land of libations served with lime. Check out his selections below and go get his latest album, Revelación, which dropped this past fall on Discotexas.

 

Páramo & Parnita (Yucatán 84, Col. Roma)

This semi-hidden place, which opened last year, is one of my favorites spots in Mexico City. When you arrive you need to go through a shady door, which happens to be just next to another of my favorite restaurants, Parnita (partially owned by the same people). Páramo is a Cantina (a traditional Mexican type bar where you can play board games and drink) that opens from 7 pm to 2 am. Parnita is a restaurant that closes at 7 pm, so you can easily spend the whole day and part of the night in between these two places. In Páramo there is a wide selection of mezcal and tequila including some unknown underground brands. Food is great -specially the taco de suadero. The menu is mostly amazing homemade recipes that were inherited by some of the owner’s families. Music is good, mainly 50’s and 60’s classics along with some indie additions. Photo by Alejandra Carvajal.

 

Bósforo (Luis Moya 31, Centro)

Started as a clandestine bar located in the neighborhood of Centro, the  heart of downtown. Bósforo is a small, low-light cozy place and one of the best places for mezcal connoisseurs. They have a huge selection of agave distilled drinks, specially from Oaxaca, from where the Espadín is the most popular one. Here you can have a drink, a quesadilla and enjoy good music at a decent level. Photo by Carlos Álvarez Montero.

 

 

Departamento (Álvaro Obregón 154, Roma Norte)

Mainly a live venue, Departamento doesn’t have the biggest selection of Agave distilled drinks, but they do have Sotol (another special spirit typical of northern Mexico), which is rare to find in Mexico City. Here, music is one of the strongest appeals; you can find live bands improvising, sometimes with big surprise guests such as Kevin Parker, or house and disco DJs spinning some obscure records. Another highlight is the beautiful decoration and architecture (looks like a fancy Brooklyn loft), where the stage / DJ booth is also a recording studio that actually works during the week.

 

Mezcalero Coyoacán (Caballo Calco 14, Coyoacán)

Contrary to popular belief  the action in Mexico City doesn’t only take place in neighborhoods like La Roma and La Condesa. There is also plenty happening south side where neighborhoods like Coyoacán have been infiltrated with great bars. This particular one has a huge selection of mezcal from Oaxaca and Guerrero including some small-batches of really unique craft mezcal. In addition to homemade cocktails,  you can also  find a DJ spinning  fine funk and disco tunes during the weekends. Food is also good, you should definitely try the sopa de piedra (a seafood soup with a burning rock!). This joint is also next to another bar named La Celestina, which is kind of it’s older brother and already an established gem of Coyoacán.

 

La Botica (Orizaba 161, Col. Roma)

La Botica is a very popular and well known bar in town for mezcal drinkers. It has expanded and now there are about 2 or 3 of them throughout the city. They have one of the widest selections of mezcal with a strong emphasis and support for fair trade spirits and local market producers. Music is usually good at these places, so if you don’t have time to dig too deep into the agave world, but you want something good this is always a safe bet.

 

 

Xaman (Copenhague 6, Juárez)

Xaman, which alludes to its literal meaning of underground, is a discretly magical and mysterious bar in the heart of the centers’ hottest spot La Juárez. I’ve been here several times to have a drink and play some records. Their main strength is their creative cocktail menu, that includes non common items like a agave syrup based Old Fashioned, or a xoconostle (like a prickly pear) and a gin drink called Piedra del Mar. I highly recommend it.