The Best Bars in Chapultepec, Guadalajara

Tequila shots and lemon slices
Tequila shots and lemon slices | © Wavebreak Media ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Stephen Woodman
24 April 2020
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With its impressive range of cafes and restaurants, Guadalajara’s Chapultepec Avenue has established itself as one of the trendiest streets in Mexico. But the zone truly comes to life when the sun goes down and the bars open. Here’s our rundown of the best watering holes this street has to offer.

El Grillo

Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, $$$

This tiny bar has friendly staff, classic indie music and an impressive drink selection. Dimly lit and atmospheric, El Grillo has a real countercultural vibe. The bar offers an extensive range of local and US craft beers, as well as top quality mezcals. Owing to its popularity, the downstairs section often fills early, but claustrophobes can always head to the terrace upstairs.

Bar Americas

Cocktail Bar, Nightclub, Pub Grub, $$$

This legendary nightlife institution has hosted some of the biggest names in dance and electronic music – including Paul Oakenfold, Charlotte de Witte and Flying Lotus. The bar opened in 2002 on Avenida Americas but relocated to trendier Chapultepec five years ago. The new venue boasts two dancefloors, and sleek, minimal decor. You will always find something unique at Bar Americas. The owners are determined not to accommodate expectations but to offer innovative presentations that cement Guadalajara’s place on the global electronic music map.

El Callejón de los Rumberos

Bar, Mexican, $$$

This salsa hotspot is not hard to find – just look for the two taxis painted in the colors of the Cuban flag sitting on raised platforms outside the building. With its vivid decor and live sets by cumbia and salsa bands, El Callejón de los Rumberos has a vibrant carnival atmosphere. The bar also offers dance classes every Wednesday to Saturday, from 7 to 9 pm.

El Depósito World Beer Store

Bar, Mexican, Beer, $$$

Interest in craft beers has soared in Mexico in recent years, and El Depósito is one of the best places for cerveza connoisseurs in Guadalajara. A neat, unpretentious beer garden sits outside the venue, while you’ll find an extraordinary range of craft beers once you step inside. The imported bottles are plentiful but pricey. The local range is inexpensive but mostly limited to Minerva. The Guadalajara company has become one of Mexico’s major craft beer enterprises, offering a variety of first-rate beverages.

PaloSanto

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, $$$

One of Chapultepec’s liveliest bars, PaloSanto offers regular drinks deals and a never-ending stream of soccer or NFL on its multiple TV screens. Essentially, this a commercial sports bar given a mystical makeover. The wooden shelves behind the long wooden bar are painted in the vibrant shades you might expect to find on a Day of the Dead altar. The name PaloSanto refers to the wild tree used in shamanic healing rituals across the Americas.

Escutia

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, Mexican, $$$

This chic but unpretentious venue has become a major hub for after-work drinks. With its exposed brick walls and rough-hewn wooden tables, the bar has a trendy, hipster aesthetic. But Escutia comes with a patriotic twist. The range of tequilas is impressive, while the bar takes its name from a teenage military cadet who died defending Mexico City from invading US forces.

La Insurgente

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, Mexican, $$$

This venue may operate under the slogan “cantina from yesteryear” but it only opened in 2013 and bears little resemblance to any of Guadalajara’s historic cantinas. Instead, expect a sports bar meets cocktail lounge vibe. We would highly recommend the micheladas – spicy cocktails made with ice-cold beer, lime juice, Maggi seasoning and hot sauce.

Cantina Mexicaltzingo

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Mexican, $$$

This bar is another “neo cantina” with a laid-back vibe and a lengthy menu. Cantina Mexicaltzingo looks like a traditional Mexican diner, with wooden stalls and blue-tiled walls. It lacks the history of the traditional cantinas dotted around Guadalajara’s center, but it does offer delicious Mexican cuisine. We recommend the tortilla soup, a tomato broth containing fried corn tortilla strips, avocado and panela cheese.

Cervecería Chapultepec

Bar, Mexican, Beer

Branches of this cheap and cheerful chain have sprung up across the city since 2015. In fact, there are currently more than 130 Cervecería Chapultepecs dotted around the world – in Spain, Central and South America. You’ll find three branches on Chapultepec Avenue alone, with the original venue located on the corner with Mexicaltzingo. The central concept is “one price for everything.” That means anything you buy – from a rum mojito to a shrimp taco – will cost you the same amount.

Garden Chapultepec

Bar, Mexican

Since opening in 2017, Garden Chapultepec has established itself as a local favorite. This laid-back gastropub offers a range of casual food options, cocktails and craft beer. The hamburgers and shrimp tacos are particularly tasty. However, we recommend sampling some of the more unusual starters first. The watermelon guacamole is particularly refreshing, while the Mexican corn salad, or esquites, is delicious, especially when combined with grilled shrimp. Stop in for live music every Friday and Saturday night.

El Perdón Cantina

Bar, Mexican

International interest in agave spirits is currently at an all-time high, and El Perdón Cantina is one of the best places to savor a tequila or its smoky cousin mezcal. The atmospheric venue offers an extensive range of cocktails, with helpful staff on hand to offer advice to patrons. We recommend ordering a clay cantaritos pot filled with an exciting blend of tequila, lime juice and fizzy grapefruit soda.

Hudson Bar

Bar, Mexican, $$$

You’ll find this welcoming venue on Calle Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, a stone’s throw from Chapultepec Avenue. It boasts a casual but truly first-rate menu, with mouthwatering hamburgers and beautifully-crafted pizzas. Hudson Bar stocks a broad range of national and imported beers, and even offers caguamas, bottles containing up to 1.2 liters of drink. You’ll find live music every weekend but if it all gets a bit loud you can head upstairs to the roof garden.

El Rey Gallo

Bar, Mexican

This spacious terrace bar is a great place to drink on a budget. El Rey Gallo has welcoming staff and a relaxed atmosphere. If you’re hungry we recommend the chicharrón (fried pork belly or pork rind) tacos. The bar also offers pechuga mezcal—a unique variety distilled with chicken or turkey breast.

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