Mexico City, a place of contradictions; we love its variety, its culture, its surrealism; we hate its traffic, and maybe a few other things. too. Nowadays, in many parts of the city, we can easily find a cafe, an ice cream parlor, an ATM, a convenience store. But this wasn’t always the case. So the goal here is to get our readers out to enjoy a good ice cream, because as Borges said in the last poem attributed to him, “I would go to more places where I have never been, I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans, I would have more real problems and fewer imaginary ones”. As the saying goes, let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start – with the oldest. Here you will enjoy an ice cream loaded with tradition, since the recipes have remained the same and the place itself is a journey into the past.
La Especial de París
La Especial de París, founded by Grandfather Lozano in 1921, who began to create vanilla and lemon ice creams from recipes learned from the Italians themselves who operated wooden ice cream carts on wheels. It is located at Insurgentes Centro 117, San Rafael. Open every day from 12pm – 8:30pm.
La Bella Italia
Next, we have La Bella Italia, which opened in 1922 and sadly just closed its original doors in the Roma neighborhood. Thanks gentrification, thanks pandemic. The closure was a real shock to many, however there is a bright spot on the horizon as they have announced they will reopen in a new location soon.
Number three was founded by the Italian boxer Pietro Chiandoni, who arrived in Mexico at the age of 14. Nicknamed ‘El Señor de las Nieves’ (Sorbet Master) he opened this mythical Chiandoni ice cream parlor in 1957 at Pensilvania 255 in the Napoles neighborhood. It is worth noting that he was also the founder of La Bella Italia, which he would later leave in the hands of another ice cream lover. Open every day from 11am – 9pm. Go and enjoy the retro atmosphere, but we should warn that their ice creams are very addictive.
Our number four is Nevería Roxy, opened in 1946 by Don Carlo Gallardo, who wanted to find the white (not green!) lemon ice cream that he remembered from in his childhood in Jalisco. This inspiration led him to continue searching for new recipes for his delicious ice creams and sorbets. These recipes remain the same today and are all made entirely by hand. Not just an ice cream parlor, it also operates as a soda fountain. Located at Fernando Montes de Oca 89 on the corner of Mazatlan, Condesa. Open from 12:30pm to 8:30pm.
Finally, we arrive at the famous La Michoacana. With mysterious origins, it is rumored to have been founded in 1932, or maybe 1942, but possibly even 1960, and it was only in 1990 that the brand became recognized (hehe). What we can say is that it comes out of Tocumbo, Michoacán and you can’t go wrong with one of their famous popsicles. Multiple locations throughout the city and beyond.
You won’t be sorry whichever of these ice cream parlors you decide to visit, but may we suggest eventually finding your way to all of them? Like Borges suggests (in our interpretation, anyway), better to go to more places and eat more ice cream.