Throughout the last 5 years, life has taken me to Mexico City on multiple occasions, and on most of those occasions, I was lucky enough to stay with one of my best friends living in the heart of Mexico City’s trendiest neighborhood: La Roma.
La Roma neighborhood in Mexico City is known for its beautiful and tranquil streets—which resemble those of a European capital— it is also the city’s hotspot for up-and-coming trendy restaurants, specialty coffee shops full of personality, and innovative cocktail bars.
I know, it sounds like a foodies paradise, and it is, but it can also get pricey, and sometimes all you need is just a quick cheap bite to get some energy to keep exploring, luckily this lively neighborhood offers something for every budget.
Having lived there while being quite broke myself, I perfected the art of finding cheap eats in this area that is inundated with fine dining, so today I am going to share with you some of my favorite places to eat in La Roma neighborhood on a budget, from a top-located brunch spot to a unique coffee shop, great tacos, and even a healthy option for when you can’t even look at a taco anymore.
So without further ado, here is my budget-friendly food guide to La Roma neighborhood:
Where to eat on a budget in Mexico City’s neighborhood of La Roma
Save this food guide for later!
It will come in handy when you are planning your trip.
Brunch on a budget at Peltre
First things first; brunch!
It became a tradition that whenever I was in town visiting my friend the first morning we would always go to Peltre, and considering we were both broke AF students, this used to be considered our monthly treat, but if you are not a broke student this will just be a nice affordable brunch option.
Every time without fail we would order huevos divorciados (sunny side up eggs bathed in both, red and green salsa) for me, huevos revueltos (good ol’ scrambled eggs) for my friend, and chilaquiles on the side, orange juice and a cappuccino. (My mouth is watering as I write this)
The breakfast is always delicious and reasonably priced, with a great location to see life unfold in this chic neighborhood.
Coffeeshop inside an iconic bookshop in La Roma neighborhood: Cafebrería el Péndulo
After breakfast, you can take 5 steps across the street and go right into the magical Cafebrería El Péndulo, which—as the name suggests—its main purpose is to serve as a coffee shop and bookstore, but it also offers a restaurant on the first floor, a bar and a cultural center on its third floor, and a cozy second floor with walls covered in books from floor to ceiling.
You can browse through its little alleys stacked with all sorts of books, or sit down on the terrace and enjoy some lunch.
My favorite floor of the 3 stories high structure is the 2nd one, it has the feeling of a cozy open living room with different sofas and small coffee tables where you can sit down with a book while you enjoy something sweet.
PS: The chocolate cake is amazing!
Affordable great tacos in La Roma neighborhood: Alvaro Obregón
Why else would anyone come to Mexico if is not to eat their own body weight in tacos?
However, I completely understand that is hard to let go of caution and dive headfirst into actual street food in Mexico—no one wants to spend the rest of their trip hugging the hotel room toilet—but if you really want to have some tacos, but you would rather not have them served on the side of the road, this is a great taco option for you!
Tacos Alvaro Obregón is a clean sit-down establishment, located on the avenue with the same name, they are always busy (which means they are good), well located, a bit on the pricier side for locals but still very cheap for foreigners, (and honestly there are still plenty of locals that eat here).
Their specialty is tacos al pastor, which go down great with agua de horchata or a michelada.
It’s the perfect quick lunch or late-night dinner after a night out since they close at 5am.
Healthy meal on a budget in La Roma neighborhood: Frutos Prohibidos
If you are feeling a bit heavy from all the tacos, tostadas, flautas, and whatnot, or are just craving a healthier lunch alternative for once, my favorite budget-friendly and healthy lunch in La Roma is the Mona Lisa salad at Frutos Prohibidos.
The Mona Lisa salad consists of crunchy caramelized walnuts, cubed sweet apples, and punchy goat cheese. It’s so simple but so freaking good! It’s light, fresh but also very filling.
They also have other kinds of salads, wraps, fresh juices, and smoothie bowls, and they are all very affordable. It is really a great place for a healthy lunch or snack, to sit down or on the go.
Perfect croissants at Panaderia Rosetta
On the sweeter side of things, Panaderia Rosetta got recommended to me time and time again, and after going once for a pain au chocolat I was hooked!
If you walk past this place in the morning you will very quickly realize that this is a spot worth trying. The people line up here, every single morning, in the hopes of getting a fresh-out-of-the-oven piece of flaky heavenly dough.
I have heard great things about all of their pastries but I am a creature of habit, so I always get a pain au chocolat and a cappuccino whenever I’m there, simple yet so delicious it keeps me coming back for more.
Famous churros in La Roma neighborhood: Churrería el Moro
Another place that is well known for having a whole fandom of people that will line up for however long it takes, is Churreria el Moro.
People go crazy for these churros con chocolate, and for good reason.
These decadent sugary treats come accompanied by the hot chocolate of your choice, and they offer a few varieties of it, all of them unique in their thickness and sweetness, but don’t worry, the menu explains it all very well.
Of course, my favorite is the Mexican hot chocolate, which is much lighter and fluffier in consistency than the typical Spanish one, which makes it perfect to drink straight from the cup as well as sweet enough to dip your churro in it.
Whatever you choose you will not be disappointed!
Specialty coffee shop in La Roma Neighborhood: Dosis Cafe
As I mentioned earlier, I am a creature of habit, so after having tried this coffee shop, I committed to it.
Whenever I’m in the city I would go there in the morning for a cappuccino on the go if I had somewhere to be, or I would stop by in the afternoons to enjoy a coffee on their outdoor tables with my book while I people-watch.
The staff was always incredibly friendly and helpful, willing to suggest unique more adventurous drinks, but also not judging you for your basic B coffee choices.
Oh, and the brownies are to die for!
I hope you found this food guide to La Roma on a budget, helpful for your next trip to Mexico City. I am aware this is not even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to La Roma, but these are some places that became my regular spots whenever I was in the area. They are all very casual and affordable and perfect for when you just want to have something quick to eat, or grab a coffee or a pastry and keep exploring.
If you are still planning the rest of your Mexico City trip check my post on what to do in Mexico City’s historic center, or my post on everything you need to know to visit the Pyramids of Teotihuacan.