The Best Spots for Nightlife in Mérida, Mexico

Bar drinks
Bar drinks | Photo by Stanislav Ivanitskiy on Unsplash
Stephen Woodman

Boasting beautiful colonial buildings and elegant streets, the city of Mérida is known as one of Mexico’s most impressive cities. However, it’s not just the architecture that brings in the tourists but the vibrant nightlife as well. Here’s a rundown of the best nightlife spots to drink and party in Mérida.

El Cardenal Cantina

Mezcal has been grabbing the international spotlight for the past five years or so, so it’s no wonder that tequila’s smoky cousin features prominently on the drinks list at El Cardenal Cantina. This centrally-located establishment combines a trendy vibe with genuine history – at 103 years old it is one of the oldest cantinas in the city. We would highly recommend the Verde Cardenal cocktail, a mouth-watering blend of mezcal, pineapple and coriander.

La Hora Loca

Northeast of the central plaza, La Hora Loca is a neon-lit venue next door to the Governor’s Palace. The bar fills quickly on weekends, attracting the crowds with its 2-for-1 offers on drinks. However, tables can be reserved in advance and efficient, speedy service is almost guaranteed at any time of the day or night. La Hora Loca is also a great place to watch (and dance to) live music. Regular visitors include the Cuban salsa group RR Y Sabor Cubano.

La Perdida Cantina

Located in the northern corner of the city, La Perdida is a traditional-style cantina that offers a broad range of food, beer and cocktails. The menu changes regularly but you will be offered some tasty “botanas” (snacks) to enjoy as you drink. The venue is also known for inviting live music acts most nights of the week.

Pipiripau Bar

Step inside to find a cantina decorated exactly as foreigners would expect in Mexico, with bright yellow walls, bottles lining every shelf and a Virgin of Guadalupe painting behind the bar. Pipiripau has a laid-back rustic feel and attracts a diverse crowd of all different ages, from hipster students and tourists to retired couples. Since opening in 2015, the cantina has also established a reputation for offering some of the most unique cocktails in town. We would highly recommend the “Sargento de chocolate” (Chocolate Sergeant) – a delicious blend of rum, chocolate and coconut.

Mambo Café

Widely regarded as the best nightclub in the city for live music, Mambo Café hosts DJs and performers covering a wide range of Latin genres, from reggaeton to salsa. Popular with large groups, you will usually be assigned a table and a waiter who will take your orders. Buying a bottle together is usually the cheapest option. If you love dancing and live acts, Mambo Café is definitely the place for you.

McCarthy’s Irish Pub

If you’re longing to savor the taste of Guinness, McCarthy’s Irish Pub is the place to head. There are two branches of the chain pub in Mérida, with the venue on the iconic Paseo de Montejo by far the most popular. McCarthy’s offers a broad range of national and imported beer, including its own brand of blonde ale house beer. The menu also boasts a wide variety of steak and hamburgers, as well as fish and chips.

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