Split into two colonias (or neighborhoods)—Roma Norte and Roma Sur—Colonia Roma in CDMX bursts with places to stay, eat and drink, but there’s also myriad small galleries, boutiques and stores to enjoy. Among the historical buildings and leafy streets, visitors do well when just wandering and exploring. Whether you’re looking to gaze upon dynamic contemporary art or dig through vintage T-shirts, here are six spots that work as jumping-off points when visiting the vibrant neighborhood.
With a fairly nondescript entrance, Galería OMR opens up into a massive, light-filled, two-story gallery. The neighborhood stalwart has existed since 1983 as a place to shine a light on Mexican artists as well as international talent. Currently on view, Gabriel Rico’s I May Use an Electric Drill, But I Also Use a Hammer comprises multimedia pieces, including sculpture and yarn works known as Nierika—which allow Huichol people to communicate with those in the spirit world. Open every day except Mondays, walk-ins are possible but appointments can be made online.
Lulu by X Museum
Only open Friday and Saturday, Lulu by X Museum (founded and helmed by artist Martin Soto Climent and curator Chris Sharp) has expanded since its 2013 inception and now boasts a second gallery, but the aim to spotlight artists who deserve more attention—both in Mexico and abroad—remains. A multi-use space, Lulu is also home to performances and events, and even hosted The Lulennial—their own “micro-perennial” exhibitions.
Over several levels, organized pragmatically, Goodbye Folk (open every day) offers up everything from vintage band T-shirts and kimonos, as well as a handful of new items including hair accessories and hats. With some items tucked into antique display cases and others neatly hanging on racks, each room in this treasure trove is somewhat themed (a bonus when shopping second-hand), be it military-style jackets, jeans or floral shirts. For another multi-room vintage shopping experience, check out Void where you can find everything from ’80s sportswear to old-school designer handbags.
House of Gaga
With a sister space in LA, House of Gaga in Colonia Condesa (beside Colonia Roma) is a small but mighty gallery (a converted garage) dedicated to contemporary art. Co-founder Fernando Mesta, an artist and gallerist, previously worked at Kurimanzutto (another gallery worth visiting, in neighboring San Miguel Chapultepec) before opening House of Gaga with José Rojas in 2008. From visual art to performances and poetry readings, the genres of art on show here know no bounds. Open Wednesday through Saturday (12-6PM) or by appointment.
Founded in 2009 by Deya Tarno, Naked Boutique remains forward-thinking; never focusing on consumption, but rather on hand-selecting beautiful pieces made by brands that design and manufacture locally in their own countries through more eco-friendly processes. Whether you’re looking for jewelry by independent designers or a vintage Valentino coat, Naked Boutique has a vast range of products.
The bright, airy Casa Bosques (located right next to Naked Boutique) is an art and design bookstore that will have visitors mentally repacking their suitcases in order to fit a bunch of purchases. Their sophisticated (but not intimidatingly so) collection of books, magazines and journals span architecture, fashion, typography, photography and beyond. Pre-pandemic, they would host events, book signings, workshops and more—and plan to do so again in the future. There’s also a limited amount of merchandise available, so you can represent the store wherever you go.
Hero image courtesy of Casa Bosques