Zapopan is a municipality in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, the richest and one of the biggest cities in the state of Jalisco, with a long history dating back to before the Spanish conquest. Zapopan is known for its vast landscapes, contemporary art and its Virgin of Zapopan figure, the focus of a popular pilgrimage. Zapopan is also one of the best places to enjoy nightlife; for a small city, it has plenty of bars to choose from. Below is a roundup of the best spots to put on your list for your next visit to this eclectic city.
Café Candela is a cute as they come. It’s a super relaxed place to have a drink or two while listening to jazz and deep house music, and an ideal place for a conversation with friends or meeting new people. The pizzas are the house specialty, yet the tostadas and oysters come in at a close second, all served on mismatched dishes with mismatched cutlery. It’s low lit, but the lights are colorful, giving it a relaxed and friendly ambience.
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This bar serves Mexican pub grub – think shrimp, peinecillo and Mexican chicken – but the drinks are the reason most make a visit here. You’ll find the the best martinis in town, as well as some of the finest digestives, whiskey, cognac, tequila and rum. The terrace is thoroughly atmospheric, and inside, the walls are adorned with Aztec art. Mayas Bar is a great place to stop for a quick drink and bite to eat while exploring Zapopan.
Inspired by Mexican cantinas, Las Isabeles is the perfect place to experience the authentic ambience of traditional Mexican bar. The service here is impeccable, and the atmosphere is truly peaceful, as cantinas are the kind of place you can spend hours talking and drinking. Las Isabeles is the place to go to meet new people or sit solo and people-watch.
Just a few minutes’ walk from the center of Zapopan, Rooster’s Bar is a good option if you want to try a range of craft beers. Although this is more of a sports bar, the food is well presented; burgers and pizzas aren’t greasy and are much better than you might expect. The bar has a friendly atmosphere and an indie vibe thanks to its rustic interior.
Rhino Sports Bar
If you are looking for a bar to watch a football match or some basketball finals, this is the place. The chicken wings here are the best in Zapopan, and the bar is perfect for snacks and sharing plates. When the NFL and Champions games are on, the bar opens earlier, and the atmosphere gets super lively.
No matter where you go in the world, you’re sure to fall upon an Irish pub, and McCarthy’s Pub is the Zapopan incarnation. It’s a great place to start the night or celebrate St Patrick’s Day, and there’s amazing live music, too. Order the fish and chips or chicken wings, along with a good old pint of Guinness.
If you’re looking for something fancier, trendier and more sophisticated, then Vincent should be your go-to. Inside the exclusive Andares fashion mall, this place is a great option for a cocktail or a slap-up dinner. However, the bar truly comes to life with the help of DJs and live music, making it an unforgettable destination.
Célebre Music Bar
With dark, rustic decor, Célebre is the ideal place for a chilled evening. With impeccable service and attentive staff, the ambience is pleasant and peaceful. When the live music begins it gets a little louder; nonetheless, it’s still perfect for talking long into the early hours and enjoying tasty bar food and amazing cocktails as you do so.
Mayu Cocina Bar
Classic and sophisticated, Mayu Cocina is a wonderful place to spend an evening. The food is delicious and well presented, making reservations a must, and the enfrijoladas – chicken-stuffed tortillas dipped in bean sauce – is the dish of choice here. The drinks are of high quality and artistically presented, and there is a beautiful ambience thanks to the white tablecloths and candlelight.
La Cantada Bar
Would a list of bars be complete without a karaoke bar? The answer is no, and La Cantada is Zapopan’s answer to that. Dimly lit, with supportive audiences, even the most bashful singers will feel comfortable here – but don’t worry, partaking isn’t compulsory, and you can leave it to the professionals – who are there nightly – if you prefer. With a huge selection of drinks and delicious bar food, this really is a fun place to spend an evening.
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Additional reporting by Vanessa Gainford.
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