Graphic Nostalgia in {Cielito Querido}

The story of how I ended up working on this post is pretty peculiar.

I was paying the bill after having lunch with a friend, emptying my wallet of useless receipts I usually just dump in there. I saw one that grabbed my attention because it wasn’t mine. How it ended up there, I have absolutely no idea, but I took my phone and Googled the name of the place just in case I was somehow confused. No, in fact, I had never been to that “Cielito Querido Café”, but I thought the design of the website and how it portrayed the place were so cool that I told my friend, “We’re going for coffee there – now.”

Cielito Querido Café has several locations, including one I had actually already seen but hadn’t really paid much attention to, in Parque Duraznos. We went to one with a lot more character -definitely because of its location – in the Colonia Condesa, a popular hipster/bohemian area in Mexico City, home to great bars and restaurants.

Cielito Querido Café is inspired in Mexican “history and the symbolism and the graphic design of the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th” in a playful, colorful, poetic way. The creators of Cielito Querido Café, Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena considered every single element in the Cafe – tiled floors, decals on the glass walls, graphic material including cups, menus, packaging and the products sold such as notebooks, cups and bags – to generate a retro modern space with a warm Latin feel. The beautiful typography and graphics in a brown-white-pink-baby blue color palette create a timeless, somewhat nostalgic space.

You can find a wide variety of references to pop culture at the Cielito Querido Cafe. The place itself is a reference to the traditional, popular Mexican song “Cielito Lindo.” Hot beverages are sold in cups reading (these are translations): “here we say small, not tall”, “it’s not grande, it’s medium” and “you don’t call it venti, you call it large” mocking their competitor, Starbucks. Plates are sold with phrases such as {pan nuestro de cada dia}, “our daily bread” and {pan comido}, a Mexican expression used to say something is “very easy”.

The place offers a wide variety of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, fruit smoothies and {aguas frescas} with a strong Mexican influence. Among the favorites are the {horchata} and the hot chocolate with {chile}. You will also find {pan dulce} and a variety of sweets and pastries – all of them with a Latin flavor.

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