Born and raised in Mexico City, Suzzan Atala is a CDMX expert. She’s probably best known for Tuza, her hand-crafted sterling silver art deco jewelry line, which features celebratory vagina charm necklaces seen in the likes of British Vogue and i-D.
Adwoa Aboah and Chelsea Leyland are fans, as are the XX (who recently stumbled upon her wares and invited her to a show). Atala runs a concept store, also named Tuza, in Roma Norte, an artsy enclave southwest of the city center. She showcases local designers, like Wolf Hunt Clothing and Arkatha, alongside her own pieces. It’s an inviting, light-filled space in the heart of a district filled with mid-century modern architecture and chic galleries. The designer, who splits her time between D.F.’s La Juarez and New York City’s Chinatown, tells Here about her favorite Mexico City haunts.
A view of downtown Mexico City. Photo by @soynatito
What's your favorite place to relax in the middle of the day?
I love walking, so I try and go for a walk when I need to relax and get some head space.
An assortment of mezcals available at El Palenquito. Photo by @lapdogofficial
Do you have a go-to local bar? What about a favorite drink?
I love a place called Palenquito in Roma Norte. They make their own mezcal and the people that work there are lovely. It’s really small and they also have super yummy food.
A view of the iconic doors of Papelería Casa Moreno in Cuauhtémoc. Photo by @culturesnap
Where do you go to get inspired?
It’s a funny question, as I can find inspiration from music to house doors or art shows. I think Mexico is so full of amazing colors and shapes—it is really easy to get inspired constantly.
The colorful neon draws crowds at Café Paraíso. Photo by @fannyelizabetha
Do you like to dance? When the sun goes down in Mexico City, what do you do that makes it feel unlike any other place?
There’s a new place called Café Paraíso and it’s so much fun. It’s got great music. My ideal night out is my friends picking me up from work then heading to Palenquito, having a bite and some mezcal, then maybe go to Felix for a Chia Fresca, and then heading to Salon San Luis or Cafe Paraíso.
Street art in the La Roma neighborhood. Photo by @estefaniafabelas
What would you consider the best neighborhood to walk around in and why?
I think La Roma is a great neighborhood, as well as La Juárez, and Centro Histórico. They are all full of special places that you wouldn’t imagine still exist in such a big city. It’s so surreal, and there are so many amazing treasures to be discovered.
One of Tuza's first pieces in the Mexico City shop. Photo by @tuzajewelry
Where do you feel most at home in the city?
In my store.
An exhibition about the rapid urbanization of Mexico City at El Cuarto de Maquinas. Photo by @elcuartodemaquinas
If you had time to visit one gallery, which would you choose? Which local artists do you think best represent the city?
Artist Bree Zucker works on various projects around the city including exhibitions at Galería La Esperanza and Sonora 128, which is a billboard exhibition space. Each one of her shows has a different feel and is so magically curated, and her proposals are so fun and exciting. I’m always looking forward to see what she comes up with. There’s also a new gallery called El Cuarto de Máquinas that has different curators every show.
Xochimilico is a vibrant borough located on the shores of a lake. For a date, people often picnic on paddle boats as they cruise along the water. Photo by @androotf
Where would you take a date? Or where would you want a date to take you?
Chilaquiles are for breakfast at Lardo. Photo by @daisysfashiongarden
What’s your ideal food day? Where would you go for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Or where would you shop if you were cooking?
For breakfast, Lardo is really nice. I like Café de Tacuba for lunch. I love Las Tostadas de Coyoacan inside the market.
Dancing at Mama Rumba, a nightclub in La Roma. Photo by @fisheli
What’s your favorite spot for live music?
I really enjoy going to Mama Rumba.
Located on Lake Avándaro, Valle de Bravo is a popular spot for CDMXers looking for a quick getaway. Photo by @mexico_amazing
Where do you go to escape for a weekend and why?
I love Valle de Bravo. I’ve been going there since I was a child. It’s in the mountains and there’s a lake where I wakeboard. The air is so clean and that helps me charge energy so I can come back to work more focused and inspired on Monday. My mum also lives outside the city in Cuernava.
Camerones enchilados at Campobaja. Photo by @campobaja
Where do you take someone for a business meeting?
Probably to Campobaja as it’s in front of my store. It has nice food and margaritas and a lovely open space.
Interesting architecture outside the famously quirky Kurimanzutto gallery in the San Miguel Chapultapec neighborhood. Photo by @pfdezbitar
Where would you go for a staycation in the city?
What’s staycation? [laughs]