The Best Bars in Cancún, Mexico

Señor Frogs is a well-trodden watering hole on the Cancún bar circuit
Señor Frog's is a well-trodden watering hole on the Cancún bar circuit | © Cris Haigh / Alamy Stock Photo
Sarah Holt

As a spring break destination, Cancún knows how to ply travelers with drinks. The city is full of party bars that serve beers by the bucket, cocktails by the yard and shots by the tray. It’s not all go hard or go home, though. Cancún also has its fair share of sophisticated drinking places, where you can sample artisan beer, sip gin and enjoy mixologist-made cocktails. Here are a few of the best all around.

1. The Library

Resort, Hotel

The Library
Courtesy of the Grand at Moon Palace – Cancun / Expedia

Inside the Grand at Moon Palace hotel, this Prohibition-style bar is the yin to the Señor Frog’s yang. In classic speakeasy style, it’s hidden behind a door that looks like a bookcase. Inside, it’s all dark wood, Art Deco furniture and black-and-white photos of Hollywood stars like Marlon Brando and Laurel and Hardy. Try the Al Capone cocktail – it’s a chocolate martini with hints of hazelnut and cinnamon.

2. Hunter Bar

Bar, Mexican

A wall-sized angel-wing mural welcomes you to this bar in downtown Cancún. Beyond it, there’s an open-air courtyard that’s filled with bench and bucket seating. In addition to the usual suspect drinks, this bar offers a range of blond, dark and amber craft beers. Plus, there’s a cocktail menu – try the electric lemonade. Made from blue curaçao, it’s essentially a grown-up slush puppie.

3. The Surfin Burrito

Bar, Mexican

This tiki-style bar is a two-minute walk from the pearl-white sands of Chac Mool Beach in the Hotel Zone. The bar serves buckets of beers, micheladas – the Mexican take on a bloody mary made with beer, tomato juice and chili peppers – and liter-sized margaritas. The highlight of the menu here, however, has to be the Coco Loco – it’s a mixture of coconut water and rum served in a real coconut shell and topped with a straw.

4. Puerto Juárez Brewery

Bar, Mexican

A 10-minute drive from Puerto Cancún, this artisan brewery makes beers like Boat, a pale ale with peachy flavours, and Kiosk, a brown ale with notes of xcatic chile. You can try the full range, including ciders, in the brewery’s courtyard beer garden with its rustic wooden tables and potted plants. The owners often hold beer talks, tastings and food-pairing events in this space.

5. Casa Tequila

Bar, Restaurant, Mexican, Vegetarian

Small figures on top of a tequila bar, Cancun, Mexico
© Arcaid Images / Alamy Stock Photo
There are more than 50 tequilas and mezcals on the menu at this ranch-style bar restaurant in the hotel district. If the firewater is too much for you, there’s a list of margaritas – the one made with ancho and poblano chile liqueur will make your eyes water – and a good selection of craft beers. If you do feel like lining your stomach, the food menu features familiar Tex Mex dishes like nachos, tacos and fajitas.

6. Nebrina Gin & Cocina

Bar, Restaurant, Mexican

Pick a spot on the lantern-lit terrace of this downtown bar and you can start making your way through a collection of more than 20 gins. There are almost 20 gin cocktails on the menu, too, like the Gin Colada that’s made with pineapple, honey and coconut liqueur. While the drinks on offer aren’t traditionally Mexican, the food is – the ribeye tacos and the sweetcorn cake topped with ice cream are always big hits.

7. Señor Frog's

Nightclub, Beer, Cocktails, Wine

Senor Frog?s bar and restaurant in Playa del Carmen Mexico South of the restaurant tourist resort Playacar begins
© Johan Furusjö / Alamy Stock Photo
You can’t talk about Cancún bars without name-dropping Señor Frog’s. Right in the middle of the Hotel Zone, it’s a key stop on the tourist party circuit. The words “Party Hard” are set in bright lights above the bar; the barstools have undies and thongs painted onto the back of them; cocktails are served in yard-long glasses. Plus, there’s regular entertainment, like fire shows and DJ sets, throughout the day and night.

8. Amarula Con Acento Tropical

Bar, Mexican

Strings of fairy lights crisscross the open-air courtyard at this downtown bar, so the whole place glows hearth-like at night. The bar does a good line of cocktails – some are served in earthenware pots and jam jars. It also offers regular all-you-can-drink promotions, where you pay a set fee and can drink as many gins or whiskeys as you want. Opening hours are 6pm to 1am, Wednesday to Saturday.

Enjoy a well-deserved holiday to Cancún with a stay in a beautiful spa hotel or a family-friendly hotel if you’re bringing the kids, all bookable through Culture Trip. Delve into divine local dishes and be sure to hit the markets for the ultimate fresh produce.

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