The Best Bars in Puebla, Mexico

If you like mezcal, Puebla is for you
If you like mezcal, Puebla is for you | © M.Sobreira / Alamy

Architectural mishmash, student hotspot, food mecca… There are many reasons to visit Puebla, and not least the lively nightlife, from mezcalerias to jazz clubs and cocktail bars.

With a whopping 40 universities around the state of Puebla, it’s no wonder that both its eponymous capital city and the nearby town of Cholula rock some serious nightspots. And as well as a healthy population of students, this is Mexico, so the locals love a good fiesta, too. Whatever your preference – be it for mezcal or micheladas, craft beers or cocktails – these are our pick of Puebla’s finest bars.

1. La Pasita

Bar, Mexican

Cantina La Puebla Puebla Mexico Pasito
© agefotostock / Alamy

No list of places to drink in Puebla is complete without this legendary hole-in-the-wall bar – famed as the city’s oldest. The original owner invented the drink that gave it its name: a sweet, raisin-based liqueur served in a tequila glass. His son still runs the place, which is a tiny Aladdin’s cave of kitsch decor and curios – mostly souvenirs from his travels. Besides the pasita, there’s a selection of similarly potent shooters to choose from, so take your pick and enjoy.

2. Metro Rock Bar

Bar, Mexican

Just steps from Pueblo’s zocalo (main square), you won’t find a more central drinking spot than this classic rock‘n’roll bar and pool house. Live local and touring bands rock the small stage at weekends, while appreciative customers nod along between bottled and draft national beers. Burgers, tacos and chicken wings top the bar food here, and there are enough pool tables to get a game without too much of a wait.

3. Utopía

Bar, Belgian

If your idea of a perfect evening is relaxing in a cozy bar, comparing notes on craft beers, then this place will be right up your alley. There’s a dizzying collection of brews on offer, sourced from all over the world. Nestle into a low-lit nook and tap your foot to the folk music, all while contemplating which of the hundreds of ales you’ll try next.

4. Mezcalería Miel de Agave

Bar, Mexican

A veritable shrine to the smoky spirit, this well-stocked, super-central mezcalería has dozens of mezcals to sample, and knowledgeable bar staff to guide you through their beguiling collection. There’s milky, agave-based pulque here too, if you want to stick to traditional Mexican drinks, plus loads of craft beers and a smattering of cocktails. Feeling peckish? Dip into a bar snack of guacamole with grasshoppers.

5. El Ciego

Bar, Contemporary

The set-up is a prohibition-era speakeasy. Call in advance for your pass code, arrive through a fake barbershop, and enter through a fridge door. It’s all a lot of fun, with the genuine feeling of a secret club. As you’d expect, cocktails are their forte, but there’s a decent range of craft beers, and sometimes even stand-up comedy, if your Spanish is up to it. In general, the volume is kept to reasonable levels, meaning you can, well, speak easily.

6. Jazzatlan

Bar, Contemporary

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© Jazzatlán

This much-loved jazz club is found in Puebla’s neighboring town of Cholula, and its proximity to the University of the Americas makes it a popular haunt among students and locals. The best of Mexico’s jazz, blues, funk and soul bands join a steady stream of international musicians who’ve passed through since its opening over a decade ago. It’s a real must for music lovers, as well as offering a surprisingly good menu and self-brewed craft beers.

7. Licorería San Pedrito

Bar, Mexican

Another Cholula favorite, this trendy and charming bar is open from breakfast until late, serving top-notch cocktails, a great selection of mezcals, and tasty regional bites. Expect lively dancing downstairs as the evening draws on, while the foosball table is always in demand. For a breather and some fresh air, take your drink up to the rooftop terrace and enjoy great views of Cholula’s church-topped skyline.

8. Hormiga Negra

Bar, Mexican

On a mission to show you Mexico through the medium of drink, this place is among the best for expertly mixed, innovative cocktails. The bar occupies the top floor of a small, historic building with a hip, industrial vibe, bang in the center of town. Expect a young, trendy crowd of in-the-know locals and top DJs playing late into the night.

This is an updated version of an article originally by Lydia Carey.

Looking for more? There are plenty of reasons why you should visit Puebla, including for its best restaurants. You’ll be less than two hours’ drive from the Mexican capital, so why not extend your stay with one of the best hotels in Mexico City? You could even treat yourself to a luxurious stay at a boutique hotel in the capital, bookable on Culture Trip. And while you’re here, don’t miss the must-visit attractions in Mexico City.

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