In Mexico city there are a lot of historically important resteraunts /cafes / cantinas.
The first one that comes to mind is “Casa de Los Azulejos” (House of tiles) a couple of blocks from the Zocalo in the Historic centre. It was built back when the country was still a colony of Spain. Back in the time of the “Gallegos” (** I use the Mexican nickname for Spanairds with affection , not mockery , they were my ancestors on that side) as it was a private house , then sometime in the 19th century it became a fashionable sanborn’s restauraunt which it still is to this day. It has a lot of history because it was a gathering place for the pre-revolutionary elite and then for revolutionaries during the Mexican revolution when Zapata’s forces invaded the city. There are some pretty interesting photo’s taken of these sombrero wearing moustachioed revolutionaries with their bullet vests and rifles eating meals that they would have probably never even contemplated getting the chance to eat pre-revolution. There is also a beautiful mural by the muralist Orozco on one of the walls and the food is excellent , particularly the “Pollo con Mole” , “Sopa Azteca” and “Enchiladas suizas” , plus you get coffee refills on the house so if you buy one coffee you can have about 50 refills without paying a peso more.
Cafe La Habana is another one , it’s not exactly the most beautiful restaurant around but it has a lot of history and is very atmospheric. It’s a restaurant that was opened by Cuban exiles from the dictatorship of Fulencio Batista back in the 1940’s and has a lot of history intimately linked with that of Cuba. Back in the 50’s it was here that Fidel Castro and Che Guevara could be found most afternoons discussing their plans/ strategy for the Cuban revolution. It wasnt just a haunt of revolutionaries though , lots of writers and artists used to hang out here to talk literature including : Juan Rulfo , Rufino Tamayo , Gabriel Garcia Marquez , Jose Clemente Orozco , Octavio Paz , Miguel Asturias , Julio Cortazar, Carlos Fuentes etc.
Cafe Tacuba is another gem , I think it opened in the 1910’s but not too sure. Its a really beautiful place to sit and have a coffee or meal , very atmospheric and with a strong vintage feel. Diego Riviera and Frida used to come here to have a nightcap. The walls are painted with murals showing the history of Mexico , so you can sit and drink a traditional Meso-American style caocao drink or coffee and contemplate a scene of Cortez meeting Moctezuma or the war of independance against Spain etc.