Climb those stairs

Every tourist guide to Mexico City suggests a visit to the Casa de los Azulejos (the House of Tiles) on the corner of Madero and Callejón de la Condesa in the centro histórico. Constructed in the late 18th century, the facade is covered with blue and white tile from Puebla. It was a private house until the early 20th century, when the Sanborn brothers bought it and renovated it into one of their chain store/pharmacy/cafeterias.

Many tourists, frightened of what mysterious bugs they might pick up from eating at markets or at taco stands on the street, haunt the lunch counter and the restaurant, where the fare is allegedly safer. Middle-class Mexicans also congregate here. You can check out one of Orozco’s earliest murals inside.

Almost no one, however, climbs the stairs to the bar on the upper floor. I don’t know why — it’s a pleasant, old-school setting to have a drink.

From the bar there are balconies where you can step out for views of the surrounding streets of the centro.

And even these street “performers” putting on their cartoon-character costumes.

They make a hell of a Bloody Mary, too. The Sanborn’s chain is owned by Carlos Slim. The bar is one of  the few unimpeachable parts of his empire.

8 thoughts on “Climb those stairs

  1. Barry Carr - October 8, 2013

    In all my years visiting and living in the DF I never realised there was a bar upstairs at that particular Sanborns. Thanks for the tip, David

  2. Randy Bolander - October 8, 2013

    The windy, serpentine lunch counter in the back is also cool. I’ve never seen one any longer.

  3. ana manwaring - October 8, 2013

    I’ve never had a drink in the bar, but upstairs in a building on the same block, but once after lunch and a session of reading the magazines in English, I found an artesania shop not listed in the guidebooks that carried wonderful goods, fairly priced. I wonder if it’s still there?

  4. Claire Ramsey - October 8, 2013

    Those Bloody Marys look delicious! I guess I’ll have to head for that bar next month when I head away from Seattle and toward the DF.

  5. s - October 8, 2013

    For ana –

    is this the shop:

    Me encanto mucho esta tienda!

  6. Anne Geyer - October 8, 2013

    I had no idea this bar was up there! Great piece. Love the photos and the comment about Carlos Slim — the man everyone loves to hate!

  7. Kim G - October 12, 2013

    Who knew? I’ve been in that Sanborns at least a dozen times, and I didn’t think there was anything upstairs besides the sanitarios.

    I’ll have to have a drink there one of these days.


    Kim G
    Boston, Ma
    Where it amuses us how much of the obvious we miss.

  8. Dominique - October 21, 2013

    Beautiful building– lovely tiles!

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