The Best Of Santa María La Ribera

Off The Beaten Path

Historic Architecture

Close-Knit Neighborhood Feel

Santa María la Ribera, little known to most travelers, is a beautiful, 19th-century neighborhood of cafés and restaurants, plus traditional shops you’re starting to see less of in Mexico City—shoemakers, carpenters, tailors. On this tour, designed by our guide Nico Garcia, a former chef, you’ll visit the best places to eat in the area. And you’ll learn the stories of the vendors and entrepreneurs who are shaping the modern character of this close-knit, artsy neighborhood.

Highlights

Visit a hidden pulquería, where locals toss back an ancestral Mexican beverage made from fermented maguey sap

Visit a community rooftop garden, filled with local herbs and spirulina

Soak up the atmosphere in this interesting, leafy neighborhood that has attracted artists and intellectuals since the 1860s

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Price

Adults: $85
Children (8-13): $35
Young children (0-7) & babies in carriers: free

Looking to go private? Private tour option $40 per adult


Availability & departure time

Monday through Saturday: 10AM and 1PM


Meeting point

Kiosco Morisco in Colonia Santa Maria La Ribera, on the southside in front of the steps


Duration

3 to 4 hours


Group size

Minimum 2 people, maximum 8 people


Included
  • As much food as you can eat (enough food for a large breakfast and lunch combined)
  • One agua fresca and one coffee or tea at the end of the tour
  • Filtered water throughout the tour
  • A generous taste of traditional Mexican pulque
  • One Mexican microbrew or Mezcal
  • Generous tips for all vendors and restaurant staff

Not included
  • Transport to/from the meeting and end points of the tour
  • Souvenirs
  • Tip for your guide
  • Additional personal beverages, outside what’s included on the tour itinerary

What to bring
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • An appetite
  • Water to stay hydrated
  • Tip for your guide if desired (we also offer the option of pre-paying the tip at checkout)
  • An umbrella during the rainy season months (June through October)

Participation requirements

Guests should be able to walk for three to four hours, with breaks in between at all of the stops. Strollers are welcome. This tour is also wheelchair accessible.


Staff on tour

You’ll be accompanied by one of our local, bilingual culinary guides. Each has a degree in gastronomy and/or has worked in local kitchens. They’ll enrich your experience by sharing their knowledge of Mexico City’s food scene, their own personal traditions, and the vendors’ stories. Read more about our guides here.

Santa María la Ribera was founded in the 1860’s, and it still retains its turn-of-the-century character. On this tour, designed by our expert culinary guide Nico Garcia, you’ll visit a range of local places that highlight just how special this neighborhood is.

You’ll stop at a neat local garden, where you’ll make your own herb-infused Mexican salt. You’ll visit a working tamales factory that offers more than 20 varieties daily—a place we think supplies the best tamales in the city. Plus you’ll do a quick stroll through the local market, to see how a traditional city market looks and feels.

You’ll pop into a neighborhood cooking school and restaurant that helps locals who may want to start their own food businesses. And you’ll stop by a hidden pulquería—a place with swinging saloon doors and no sign—that’s drawn neighborhood residents for more than 100 years, each imbibing the fermented Mexican beverage that traces its roots to prehispanic times.

You’ll also see some of the landmarks that make Santa Maria la Ribera what it is, including a century-old geology museum. As a sweet treat, we’ll also try buñuelos, or crunchy, fried dough topped with sugar syrup.

Join us in learning about a historic neighborhood that’s off the tourist strip, and home to some delicious, fresh styles of Mexican cooking!

  • The tour is conducted rain or shine.
  • We like to blend in with the locals. Dress in comfortable clothing, and leave any flashy or expensive clothes and jewelry at home. Note: Mexico City can be chilly in the mornings and warmer in the afternoon, so it’s best to dress in layers.
  • We recommend arriving hungry as you’ll be eating a lot of food on this tour.
  • Vegetarians can be accommodated on this tour, but meat and vegetables will be cooked on the same surface.
  • Feel free to bring your own water bottle. We’ll stop to refill it with purified water.
  • Mexico City sits at nearly 7,300 feet high. This means you’ll feel more tired than normal if you’re not used to the altitude. Don’t do this tour if you haven’t gotten any sleep the night before, or if you’re arriving to the airport on the same morning.
  • If you’d like to make any purchases (see our FAQ on taking cash with you), bring cash a small tote bag. Credit cards are not accepted at most places.
Does the tour end where it starts?

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No. This tour meets at the Kiosco Morisco in Colonia Santa Maria La Ribera, on the southside in front of the steps. It will end at Camino a Comala Café at Dr. Mariano Azuela 27, also in Colonia Santa Maria de la Ribera. If you need help getting back to your hotel at the end of the tour, your guide will help you find the nearest subway station or an Uber.

Will I eat a lot of food?

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Yes! You can eat as much as you want in each of the stops. Our guide will let you know how many stops remain so you can pace yourself. No one knows your appetite better than you!

Do I need to take cash with me?

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You may also want to bring extra cash to purchase food-related souvenirs at one of the local restaurants we visit, which sells some neat packaged food items you can pack in your suitcase to take home, or take back to your hotel. All the food you can eat on the tour, plus at least three drinks and purified water, are covered by us.

Is there an ATM on the route?

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No. Please bring cash if you plan on buying things.

Will my guide speak English?

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Of course! Our guides are culinary experts and speak perfect English.

Is it safe to walk in this neighborhood at night?

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In general, yes. However, please take into consideration Mexico City is an enormous city and pickpocketing is something that happens, as in any other city. We highly recommend trying to blend in with the locals as much as possible—that means wearing pants and comfortable shoes, and leaving any expensive jewelry at home. Wallets and cell phones should be carried in zippered bags or purses. Cell phones should be tucked away when not in use for taking pictures.

Can I do the tour if I am traveling alone?

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We usually require a two-person minimum on our tours. If you’re a solo traveler, you’re welcome to book the date of your choosing—if it has other guests, you’re good to go. If three days prior to the tour date, the tour does not have any other guests, we will reach out to you about choosing a different date or refund your ticket.

Have more questions? Check out our FAQ page!

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