The Best Rock Bars and Clubs in Mexico

Cafe Iguana
Cafe Iguana | © Brianda Zuñiga / Flickr

Whether it’s punk, garage, alternative, or metal, rock music is just as popular in Mexico as some of the more traditional music like cumbia or norteña. Here are eight spots across the country where you can hear some of the country’s best new rock and rollers, or simply sit back and listen to some classic covers.

1. Nirvana Rock Joint

Nightclub, Mexican

The city of Monterrey is known for its love of rock and live bands. At Nirvana Rock Joint, you’ll find live music every week, along with buckets of beer, fancy cocktails, and bar snacks like guac with roasted crickets and tacos. This is one of the city’s best rock venues, though you can also sit back and enjoy some classic tunes in the background. Don’t miss ladies’ night, where beers are two for the price of one for the female clientele.

2. Café Iguana

Nightclub, Mexican

Cafe Iguana
© Brianda Zuñiga / Flickr

Café Iguana is a place with a lot of history in Monterrey. Even during the tough years when historic downtown was a ghost town due to violence, this bar held on and stayed afloat. They have a multi-room space that features various music genres throughout the week, from jazz or funk to metal and everything in between. Now that the Centro is back in the spotlight, this is a fantastic spot to see some live music… and drink a forty from a paper bag—that’s right, it’s that cool.

3. Abel's Bar

Nightclub, Mexican

Abel’s is a part of Ensenada’s growing bar scene that hosts rock bands from across the peninsula and the country—don’t miss it if you’re in Baja. It has a classic your-buddy’s-garage kind of ambiance, and a full bar with some delicious Ensenada craft beers, along with nachos and other classic bar snacks.

5. La Palapa del Rock

Nightclub, Mexican

This eclectic venue hosts art and film events, sports viewings on flatscreen TVs, and of course live music. At La Palapa, you’ll find classic rock, cover bands, and metal groups every Friday. They have a bar area, a private VIP space on the second level, and a main stage area. They’re open during the day and serve food like nachos and tacos. There are always special promotions.

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