My girlfriend and I will be heading to Mexico City for two weeks from Dec. 21 - Jan 5. We are staying in an apartment in the Chapultepec - Lomas district of the city. I have been searching on chowhound for several hours (lazy Sunday afternoon + sick = chow research) and have seen mainly posts about fine-dining establishments. I am convinced that Aguila y Sol is the way to go for a fine dining experience. However, I did not see a lot about other places. I have several questions and would appreciate any advice that you have:
1. I am most interested in advice about inexpensive to moderately priced, non-touristy destinations. Anything from street food at markets to your local tucked-away gem of a restaurant. Any thoughts?
2. Any suggestions about destinations with a side of chow? I'm thinking here of fun activities to do for first time visitors to the DF such as the floating gardens of Xochimilco, cool neighborhoods to walk around, good day trips, etc. We consider ourselves adventurous and would love off-the-beaten path ideas. We have Jim Johnson's Opinionated Guide to Mexico City which has many wonderful ideas but would love to hear others.
3. We would like to take a short cooking class (1-2 days) in English. I've heard good things about the Mexican Home Cooking School in Tlaxcala but it is a full week class. Anyone tried it? Any other ideas?
4. Any great events that happen in or around Mexico City for the holidays? I've read about the Christmas celebration in Oaxaca but haven't seen much about the DF and Xmas. Any great events, shows, activities, festivals, etc?
Thanks for any ideas that you have. We are really excited about our trip and are both first time visitors to Mexico. If you have any other ideas for great chow or activities that don't fit the questions I've asked, please share. Thank you!