being a poetic type, i love seeking out literary cafes when i'm travelling. and Mexico City didn't disappoint. two vied for my top vote...my favourite historic coffeehouse was the Cafe Habana, opened in 1954; the decor doesn't seem to have changed at all since then, and the coffee seems to have only gotten stronger with age.
the big diner-style cafe is conveniently located near the newspaper district, so it has always been popular with journalist types, editors, and poets, as well as musicians, dropping by for late-night rocket-fuel. the story goes that even Che Guevara dropped in here. these days, the serving staff also has to contend with tourists who can't speak Spanish...like me. they're very patient about our charades. the pictured tart is a very solid flan, which goes beautifully with their incredibly-strong cafe con leche.
my second nominee of perfect cafe in Mexico City is the Cafebreria in Polanco...the name says it all: a multi-storey coffeehouse that's also a bookshop, with a bit of cinema thrown in. yes, it's one of those trendy places that is trying very very hard, kind of the opposite of the Habana, but it works--the lighting & space is lovely, there are people curled up in armchairs & leaning across tables arguing with each other & madly typing on laptops, and everywhere, there are piles of wonderful-looking books & magazines. i didn't have my camera, so you'll just have to imagine it. or better yet, drop in...
for a more on the literati of Mexico city, and the great Habana coffeehouse, click here.