In recent years, Guadalajara’s Chapultepec Avenue has established itself as one of the trendiest streets in Mexico.
With its impressive range of cafés and restaurants, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place to eat and drink in the Mexico. But the Chapultepec area truly comes to life when the sun sets, the lights turn on and the bars open. With that in mind, here’s our rundown of the best drinking establishments the legendary street has to offer.
This tiny bar has friendly staff, classic indie music and an impressive drinks 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.
Courtesy of Bar Americas | Courtesy of Bar Americas
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.
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 9pm.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This stylish haunt is a great place to start a night out with a group of friends. The bar offers inexpensive cocktails, draft beer and great special deals – including a free bottle of tequila on your birthday. Botanero’s menu focuses on tasty and inexpensive “finger food” options – such as marlin fish tostadas and shrimp hamburgers.
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.
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 skilfully 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.
This spacious terrace bar is a great place to drink on a budget. El Rey Gallo has welcoming staff and a relaxed atmosphere, not to mention great snacks (if you’re hungry, we recommend the chicharrón – fried pork belly or pork rind – tacos). The bar also offers a selection of inexpensive mezcals.