Culture

This Mexico City Restaurant Just Got Voted The Best Restaurant In All Of North America By The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Mexico has been a foodie destination for years now. From next level puestos serving up some of the world’s best street food to little fonditas with full lunch specials for the equivalent of a few dollars to some of the world’s fanciest fine dining – Mexico City has it all.

And for several years now, the city has been home to a few of the world’s best 50 restaurants. And 2019 is no different.

World’s 50 Best Restaurants awarded Mexico City’s Pujol its number 12 spot in the world.

Credit: @TheWorlds50Best / Twitter

The Mexican restaurant Pujol, by chef Enrique Olvera, is the best in North America, according to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Pujol, located in Mexico City’s Polanco neighborhood, is ranked 12th worldwide thanks to “a menu of refined and elegant dishes built with Indigenous ingredients that pay tribute to the rich culinary history of Mexico.”

In 2018, Pujol had lost the title of top Mexican restaurant to Quintonil, another Mexico City establishment that is run by chef Jorge Vallejo.

And Mexico City’s Quintonil came in at #24.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants named another Mexican restaurant: Quintonil, founded in 2012.

Also located in Polanco, Quintonil is a gastronomic project directed by Alejandra Flores and Jorge Vallejo, whose purpose is to express the flavors and ingredients of the Mexican territory in their menu.

Since 2015, Quintonil has been recognized by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, this time coming in at position 24.

But this wasn’t the only news that excited Twitter.

Credit: @TheWorlds50Best / Twitter

Yup, the best restaurant in North America is in Mexico City and the best restaurant in the US is a Mexican restaurant. #VivaMexico

New York City’s Cosme, which is also owned by Daniella Soto-Innes, made it to number 23 in the Top 50 list. In April, she was named the world’s best female chef, the youngest chef to win that distinction, at just 28.

People from across Mexico and the US took to Twitter to congratulate the chefs!

Credit: @TheWorlds50Best

Many were so excited to see the celebrated Mexican chef reclaim the top spot not only in Mexico but in the entire continent.

Others were excited to see Mexican cuisine leading the charge for fine dining.

Credit: @TheWorlds50Best / Twitter

It’s about time that Mexican cuisine, especially restaurants that incorporate Indigenous ingredients, techniques, and flavors, get the recognition it deserves.

And even though Pujol has a reputation for being a bit pricey, people were totally here for it.

Credit: @TheWorlds50Best / Twitter

Translation: Extraordinary place. Worth every peso invested in a good meal.

So obviously, if you’re a foodie, Mexico City needs to be on your bucket list.

Mexico City Is The Latest City To Fall Victim To Airbnb’s Gentrification

Things That Matter

Mexico City Is The Latest City To Fall Victim To Airbnb’s Gentrification

Instagram / nurifergar

When we think about Airbnb, we usually think about holidays. Who hasn’t used an Airbnb? Or, at least, who hasn’t at least thought about using an Airbnb? After all, there are so many benefits to booking an Airbnb: you can reserve a spot that suits you – all through an app – and you can directly communicate directly with the owner of your temporary home. Heck, you can even opt in to living with said owner, and getting to know the real niche, hidden gems of a new location. The fact that your feedback on the accuracy of their listing hangs over their head means that Airbnb owners generally have to be accountable. But, not all is well when it comes to the world of Airbnb. Or, should we say, Airbnb is what’s not right, in some places of the world.

Mexico City has really been feeling the impact of gentrification at the hands of Airbnb.

Instagram / @2kadin1sohbet

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s talk about gentrification. Because to be honest, it mostly sounds like a fancy word real estate agents use to convince people to buy up property. And, that’s not too far from the truth. Gentrification is the process where an area – most commonly neighborhoods – become more pricey. This can happen through the introduction of local amenities, property refurbishment and development, or even just simply an increase of demand for housing in a particular area. Most of the time, it’s a combination of these things that feed gentrification. And while this is great for people who own property in gentrified neighborhoods, this is less great for the poor, who eventually get pushed out of the place that they call home.

Local tenants are finding that they’re being pushed out of their homes, while property owners make room for vacationers.

Instagram / @kirstiwinnberg

Where Mexico City is concerned, this has meant that those fortunate – or, wealthy – enough to own property and land have seized on the opportunity that is Airbnb. Local tenants are finding that they’re being pushed out of their homes, while property owners make room for vacationers willing to pay multiple times the average rent price. “Here in the historic center, we are aware of dozens of buildings that used to be social housing or middle-class housing that have now been completely converted into Airbnb. The biggest apartment buildings are being converted into hotels, but when it isn’t possible to change the legal land use, they are converted into Airbnb,” a local resident said in a recent interview with Truthout. 

But Mexico City isn’t the only city suffering from the rise of Airbnb.

Instagram / @arisoiko_photo

If you thought that this was a problem just for Mexico City, you’d be wrong. Protest posters in Amsterdam read things such as, “Stop the eviction of Amsterdam!” during a December march against the changes Airbnb had brought to the city. Reports from The Guardian say that in 2018, Barcelona received 32 million tourists – which is approximately 20 times the residential population. The city now boasts graffiti saying, “Tourists go home, refugees welcome.”

What’s frustrating locals a lot goes beyond gentrification, into social and cultural shifts.

Instagram / @nurifergar

Locals are seeing their neighborhoods turn into transitory destinations, rather than a community built on strong relationships. “Before Airbnb, you had neighbors you could depend on. They looked out for you. If you went out of town, they’d get your mail, your paper,” New Orleans resident, Janice Coatney, said in an interview with the Huffington Post. “You just had more of a neighborly neighborhood.” 

However, not all is doom and gloom.

Instagram / @riot_code_23

A few countries have introduced legislation in order to curb the socio-economic changes Airbnb has brought to cities around the world. Barcelona authorities placed a moratorium on new hotels in 2015 – and Airbnb hosts are required to hold a license to operate. It’s now illegal for entire apartments to be rented out for less than 30 days in the city of New York. Amsterdam has a cap on the number of nights that Airbnb hosts can rent out their apartments, having reduced that number from 60 to 30. So, policy-wise, these cities are trying to preserve their sense of community, without completely sacrificing their tourism industry.

Another alternative can be found in the aptly-named Fairbnb.

Instagram / @italianembassyinlondon

It’s essentially Airbnb, but with a twist: 50 percent of the revenue made from hosting a visitor is donated to local community projects. Fairbnb has sought to protect neighborhoods by also establishing a “real homesharing” policy – where hosts may only place a maximum of two houses on the Fairbnb market.

Ultimately, though, while we can see the buds of change beginning to blossom, it may be a while yet before it takes root in these gentrified neighborhoods. Here’s hoping that Mexico City won’t suffer too much from the strain of both migration and tourism.

Mexico Is Home To Two Of The World’s Coolest Neighborhoods And We Can Confirm They’re Incredible

Culture

Mexico Is Home To Two Of The World’s Coolest Neighborhoods And We Can Confirm They’re Incredible

Urbanista

In 2018, TIME magazine and the New York Times both shined the spotlight on Mexico City – saying it was their top destination of the year. And in 2019, Lonely Planet and Time Out both named Oaxaca as one of their top cities in the world. Now, both of those cities are home to some of Time Out’s ‘coolest’ neighborhoods in the world.

The list was put together by local Time Out editors, city experts and more than 27,000 people surveyed around the world. Other spots making the prestigious ranking include Barranco in Lima, Bom Retiró in São Paulo and Historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles. Here’s the lowdown on Mexico’s Top Two…. 

Mexico City: Juárez

There are few places as dynamic, diverse, or downright enormous as the Mexican capital. In a city layered with history, in which change is an essential part of residents’ DNA, where to begin planning a trip? We’d suggest Colonia Juárez.

Yes, it just made Time Out’s annual Top 50 list but it’s been the hub of Mexico City’s cool for at least a year or two already.

Juarez combines beautiful and eclectic architecture with new and exciting bars, restaurants, art galleries, and shops. This neighborhood is also home to Zona Rosa, the heart of the LGBTQ+ party scene and the city’s Koreatown. 

The bustling neighborhood has seen several new bars, restaurants and clubs open in recent months – many already climbing their way up the ranks of the city’s best.

Credit: _niddo / Instagram

In recent months, one of the most exciting openings in Juarez was Niddo, a restaurant that offered incredible comfort food and desserts; their falafel grilled cheese sandwich is next level. The colonia is also home to Hanky Panky, one of the city’ best cocktail hotspots.

Milan 44 and Comedor Lucerna are two immense food halls that play live music and have the perfect mashup of food, cocktails, and fun.

If partying is more your scene, Juárez is also home to Zona Rosa – the hub of the city’s immense LGBTQ+ community.

The hub of the city’s LGBTQ+ neighborhood is centered on the bustling cobblestones Calle Amberes. Here you’ll find no less than two dozen bars and clubs plus shops, social services, and hotels all catering to the LGBTQ+ community.

Colonia Juarez is also super international.

Credit: local.mx / Instagram

It’s the hub of many foreign companies, borders the bustling Paseo Reforma (the city’s main thoroughfare) and houses the city’s Koreatown. Here you’ll find all the best bites of Korean food but in Mexico City.

And if you’re into museums and historical architecture, Juárez is where you’ll need to be.

From shops located in colonial mansions to museums in modern glass and steel structures, the architecture here is truly varied. But you’ll find a greater concentration of colonial mansions and villas here as many of the city’s wealthiest residents in the 19th Century moved here as the Historic Center became more crowded.

Oaxaca: Jalatlaco

Jalatlaco, in Oaxaca, was listed as the 17th coolest neighborhood in the world! This neighborhood is close to the historic city center of Oaxaca (one to its incredible history) and it’s lined with colorful houses and cobblestone streets. In recent years, art galleries, excellent boutiques, and incredible Oaxacan restaurants have opened here.

The neighborhood is quickly becoming the city’s hottest dining hub.

Credit: casa__armadillo_negro / Instagram

Restaurants such as El Armadillo Negro and the bar Los Pilares Hotel are some of the best places to visit in the area. But it’s also the hub of the city’s immense and growing dining scene with no less than 200 eateries in such a small district. From vegetarian and vegan options to some of the city’s best pizza options – it’s a true foodie scene.

And home to its art community.

Credit: cordoba_lab / Instagram

Cities all across Mexico are experiencing an artistic renaissance but few cities have an art scene like Oaxaca. It’s experimental, open, and easily accessible to visitors. In Jalatlaco, galleries pop up on nearly every street and there are open air markets to explore the work of local artists. Meanwhile, major galleries, such as the Córdoba Galleria + Lab are attracting big name international attention.