The Top Bars in Zapopan, Guadalajara

Zapopan is one of the best places to enjoy nightlife in the Guadalajara area
Zapopan is one of the best places to enjoy nightlife in the Guadalajara area | © Maurese / iStock
Photo of Pablo Mares
13 October 2020

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.

Carmen Cantina

Bar, Cocktails, $$$
Map View
Grilled oysters on plate, Miyajima Island.
© Olga Khomyakova / Alamy Stock Photo

Sitting in an old house, Carmen Cantina is a great place to start your night in the very heart of Zapopan. The terrace has botanical decor and fairy lights, making it the perfect place to enjoy sundowners, whether it be Corona beer or spectacular cocktails made with tequila or mezcal. All the drinks are named after relatives and friends of the owner, and the oysters and skewers come highly recommended.

Café Candela

Cafe, Bar, Mexican, $$$
Map View
Chef placing sausage onto Pinsa Romana base, a Roman style pizza blend reducing sugar and saturated fat, containing rice and soy with less gluten, close up of hands
© Monty Rakusen / Getty Images
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.

Mayas Bar

Bar, Pub Grub, Mexican, $$$
Map View
Making a Paloma cocktail
© MarynaVoronova / Getty Images
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.

Las Isabeles

Restaurant, Mexican
Map View
Tequila and lime margaritas
© Fudio / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

Rooster Bar

Bar, Mexican, $$$
Map View
Drinking beer in Amsterdam is a pure delight
© Sunshine Pics / Alamy Stock Photo
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

Bar, Pub Grub, Mexican, $$$
Map View
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.

Botanas and Beer Bar

Snack Bar, Bar, American, Snacks, Mexican
Map View
The perfect blend of traditional Mexican cantina and American bar, Botanas and Beer serves beer brands from both sides of the border. It’s a fun place with a really relaxed ambience that gets lively in the evenings and is uniquely decorated. Order the tacos and tequila.

McCarthy’s Pub

Pub, Irish, $$$
Map View
Cornbread encrusted fried catfish served with french fries and tartar sauce on rustic background
© Tatiana Isaeva / Alamy Stock Photo

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.


Bar, Cocktails, $$$
Map View
Summer cocktail decorated with fruit and herbs
© Maxim Fesenko / Getty Images

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.


Bar, Cocktails, $$$
Map View

This bar describes itself as a bartina, a unique combination of modern bar and traditional cantina. This is the place to go in Zapopan for great nightlife, amazing tequila and a solid dance vibe. With neon lights and a somewhat tropical theme, Abolengo is a fun, vibrant place full of friendly people out for a good time.

33 Piano Bar

Bar, Cocktails, $$$
Map View

If you want to relive the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s, this it the spot. With music playing throughout the night and a constant parade of local performers, 33 Piano Bar makes for an unforgettable evening. With hundreds of lightbulbs suspended above the stage and monochrome decor, it’s a sophisticated yet fun place to get a little nostalgic.

Célebre Music Bar

Bar, Cocktails
Map View

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.

El Ring VR Bar

Bar, Cocktails
Map View

El Ring was the first bar in Mexico to focus solely on virtual reality, allowing you to eat, drink and play in a whole new world, literally. The decor is minimalist yet vibrant, and the VR stations are set up almost like mini wrestling rings, with multicolored ropes to keep you safe. The burgers here are delicious, and the milkshakes even more so. If you’re up for a big night, get stuck in to the range of excellent tequilas.

Mayu Cocina Bar

Bar, Mexican
Map View
Manhattan or other whiskey cocktail, with cherries submerged
© jefftakespics2 / Alamy Stock Photo

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

Bar, Cocktails
Map View

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.

Additional reporting by Vanessa Gainford.

These recommendations were updated on October 13, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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