Not many cities can boast a department store housed in a historic national monument.
A few blocks from Mexico City’s massive Zocalo is the House of Tiles or Casa de los Azulejos, the most elegant location for Mexico’s ubiquitous department store chain Sanborns owned by the richest man in the world Carlos Slim.
The exterior of 16th century former palace of the counts of Orizaba is covered in blue and white Talavera tile from the nearby state of Puebla. During the revolution the Zapatista Army occupied the building.
Sanborns took over the property around 1919 and opened a soda fountain, the first of what is now a national chain. Like all Sanborns it features typical department store items as well as a pharmacy and café. Inside the period architecture has been preserved. Take a walk up its grand staircase and you can view a mural painted by Jose Clemente Orozoco in 1925.
The café is a great place to make a pit stop if you are spending the day in the historic center. While the surrounds are far superior to the food you’ll do well to order a decadent pastry and a limonada.