More quiet and provincial that other neighborhoods in Mexico City, Coyoacan was once on the city’s outskirts, and traces of that small-town atmosphere can still be seen in the main plaza, low-slung houses, and residential streets. This means lots of neighborhood bars with mellow vibes, good music, and traditional food and drink. Here are a few of the places to include on your bar crawl.
El Hijo del Cuervo
Bar, Mexican, $$$
El Hijo del Cuervo is located right on Coyoacan’s main plaza and hosts live bands across many genres: rock, metal, indie, electro-pop, and jazz. There is seating both inside and out, and they serve a menu of international and Mexican dishes. This is a rocking bar that is made for getting out and getting rowdy with a bunch of friends. Close to La Celestina, Mezcalero, and others on this list, El Hijo del Cuervo is a great spot to start, or end, your Coyoacan bar crawl.
If old-school cantina style is what you’re looking for, welcome to the Bar San Francisco. With a jukebox in the corner and a pole in the middle of the room (what you use it for is up to you), this place has a quirky, weird, and totally local vibe that you won’t find on other bars listed here. You might find a live band playing if you come on the right night, but generally it’s a make-your-own-entertainment kind of place, and the patrons of San Francisco usually do, by dancing, singing, and drinking until all hours of the night.
Recently remodeled, La Celestina is still a local hangout and cantina-style bar that will quench your thirst for a back-in-the-day night out. The music ranges from rock to funk to Mexican pop hits, and the menu is a simple list of Latin favorites such as aguachiles and octopus tortas. This bar is a great spot for an afternoon beer, gearing you up for the night ahead. Locals, tourists, students, families, and pets are all on the scene here, and the vibe is relaxed and fun.
La Coyoacana has a large dining room and an even larger patio space that is always filled. This bar delights guests with its musical trios and mariachis that weave among the tables. The menu is a long list of traditional Mexican snacks such as tortas (sandwiches), tacos, and molcajetes. It may not be the very best bar in Coyoacan, but it is definitely an experience you won’t want to miss.
The Centenario is a classic spot in Coyoacan for pizza and beer. They have all the regular drinks, and a long list of artisanal Mexican beers as well. With outdoor seating and a modern, cozy vibe, this restaurant/bar has live music every Wednesday and a shop that will sell you a growler of your favorite brew. In the daytime there is an inexpensive set menu that includes a soup, main dish, and dessert and is great for grabbing a quick, cheap bite.
Originally conceptualized and opened by Mexican actor Diego Luna, Juan Sanchez, his sister and some friends, La Bipo considers itself a neocantina; it has a traditional cantina vibe, with just enough cool, urban touches to be attractive to hipsters, punks, hippies, rastas, and everyone in between. One of our favorite features is the bar’s long, family-style picnic tables that force you to get to know your neighbors. The food is good, cheap, and old-school cantina style: tacos, tostados, burritos, and snacks.
Unlike La Chicha’s Roma location, La Chicha in the Cinateca (Mexico’s National theater) is a laid-back bar/restaurant with a diverse menu to choose from. It makes a great place to hang out before or after a movie and get a drink or a bite to eat.
Coyoacan’s La Cerveceria del Barrio is right on its main square and therefore makes a perfect people-watching lookout on the packed weekends. La Cerveceria del Barrio has locations all over the city, and so you pretty much know what you are going to get: a wide variety of big-name national beer brands, decent seafood and snacks, and a friendly, hometown vibe. They also have a quirky list of margaritas that includes chamoy, peach, and coconut flavors.
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Bar, Mexican, $$$
La Botica is another bar with several locations around the city. They have a huge list of mezcals from all over the country and a reputation for buying from artisanal producers. This bar keeps it simple, with cardboard menus and basic metal tables and chairs. They serve mini-beers to chase your mezcal and a list of classic Mexican snacks: a hunk of Oaxacan cheese, spicy fava beans, and slices of orange with chile and sal de gusano. If you have never tried mezcal, this bar will give you a good introduction to the various styles.
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Just off the main Coyoacan plaza, tucked behind the Parroquia San Juan Bautista, you will find the Mezcalero, a neighborhood bar and restaurant with a lot of heart. If you are hungry or thirsty, you will find something that satisfies among the list of incredible mezcal cocktails, beers, and wines, or their traditional Mexican snacks and dishes, including tacos, roasted bugs, and full Mexican breakfasts. It gets busy on the weekends and evenings, so come early to get a seat.