El Pony Pisador
A local favorite for dancing
El Pony Pisador is a fixed point in the nightlife of the Uruguayan people and of tourists. It is located in the old town and is all in one bar, restaurant and disco. You will find there live music as well as pop, Latin music and cumbia for dancing. It is the perfect place to have a pleasant after work beer with colleagues, or a tasty dinner with friends, and to party afterwards and meet new and open-minded people.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 5pm-7am; Sat-Sun 8pm-7am
Watch out for: the cumbia and Latin American music is perfect for dancing
Bar and restaurant with its own brewery and live music events
Barba Roja is situated very close to the World Trade Center Montevideo. It offers traditional and very delicious South American dishes, but also Mexican, Italian and American food. The very special thing about this bar is that it has its own beer brewery, where about 12 types of beers are produced. But it is not just beer lovers who will get their money’s worth, so will music lovers. Live bands from the region will regularly sweeten evenings and the fun factor is present at the karaoke nights. Don’t miss this special entertaining experience.
Opening hours: Wed-Sun 8pm-1am
Watch out for: try one of the 12 in-house brewed beers
Avenida Dr. Luis Alberto de Herrera 1144, Montevideo, Uruguay, +598 2623 3027
Tango Bar El Hacha
Historic tango bar dating from 1794
1794 was the year when the Galician Juan Vázquez and the sailor Bernardo Paniagua met. It was also the year that Tango Bar El Hacha opened. The stone walls inside are already over 200 years old, and provide this bar with a very special charm. This charm is combined with excellent international cuisine and the best tango in the region around Río de la Plata. That is also the reason why a lot of famous football players, boxers and poets are still passing through its doors.
Price: fine dining
Opening hours: Mon-Tue 8pm-1am; Thu-Sun 8pm-1am
Watch out for: this bar breathes history, and is older than modern state of Uruguay
Buenos Aires 202, Esquina Maciel, Montevideo, Uruguay, +598 2915 2823
Café Bar Tabaré
One of the oldest and best bars in South America
In 1919 the Café Bar Tabaré was founded by Alfredo Gonzalez as a little grocery, which expanded and became a restaurant for neighbors and locals and a bar for fishermen. After the Second World War came a lot of changes. In 1993 it reopened as a pub and restaurant, but kept with a lot of original furniture. They offer weekly stand up comedy evenings and varied music concerts. In 2009 Tabaré celebrated its 90th birthday, and was honored as one of the 10 best bars in the entire world.
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 7.30pm-late; Sun from 12pm-late
Watch out for: the comedy and music nights
José Luis Zorrilla de San Martín 154, Montevideo, Uruguay, +598 2712 3242
Famous local bar with local DJs and bands
Legend relates that Bar Andorra was founded in honor of a boxer of the district Barrio Sur, whose name was Miguelito Triunfo. He lived his life with the principle to unite with neighbours of the region and of other places, and this philosophy is still adhered to by Bar Andorra. It is a place of get-togethers, with excellent DJs and bands and lots of locals. If you want to get involved into the true Uruguayan nightlife, this is the place to be.
Opening hours: Tue-Thu 7pm-1am; Fri 7pm-3am; Sat 8pm-3am
Watch out for: the friendly cosmopolitan atmosphere and the array of local musical talent
Cellar bar and cultural centre showcasing Uruguayan music theatre and art
A very special location, a cellar vault made of stone, is the location of Intramuros Underbar. Its magical atmosphere comes from a space itself, which is more than 150 years old and situated close to the Plaza Independencia in the city center. This bar is one of those rare places where you can enjoy creative theatre productions whilst you enjoy a drink. A welcome change are the regularly held concerts of every genre of music – their spectrum reaches from jazz and blues to reggae, electronic and rock. Another hot tip: come to see the art exhibitions at this bar.
Watch out for: the art exhibits by local artists
Convención 1241 Esquina Soriano, Montevideo, Uruguay, +598 2908 2285
Bar and Uruguayan-fusion restaurant in a peaceful side street
La Giraldita is located in a calm street, and is ideal for sitting outside and enjoying the South American sun. It is an old fashioned bar with dark wooden furniture and a lot of posters on the wall. These fittings create a very special atmosphere, as do the heightened interior and the garden. Additionally, there is the possibility to eat substantial meals of typical Uruguayan dishes mixed with Asian and Mediterranean accents. For sure, this is a place to stay and enjoy time with family and friends.
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 12pm-1am; Fri-Sat 12pm-1.30am; Sun 12-4pm
Watch out for: the fusion of Asian and Mediterranean cooking with Uruguayan cuisine
Benito Lamas 2745 y Enrique Muñoz, Montevideo, Uruguay, +598 2709 9997
A hidden local gem popular with young Uruguayans
This bar is a real insider tip. La Hacienda is located in the district of Pocitos, in an environment where bars and restaurants are treated like hot spots, and beach lovers have their chance to relax.The bar’s rustic furnishing of a mixture of wood and tiles invites you to chill out for a long time. La Hacienda is a place visited especially by young Uruguayans, for get-togethers, exchanges of ideas, cultural exchange or just pleasant stays, all while having a tasty drink.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11am-2am
Watch out for: the young and trendy crowd
Artistic bar with a huge international spirit selection
It is one of those places you will not miss. The bar’s entrance is incredibly creatively painted, so you cannot pass Living without getting curious and taking a step into it. This bar is ideal for relaxed evenings with friends, to calm down after an exciting day, and listen to local live musicians. Guests can sample different types of vodkas, whiskeys and rums, or drink beer and wine. Here, old and young are moving together and just living every moment.
Opening hours: Wed-Sat 9pm-5am; Sun 9pm-12am
Watch out for: the local gigs and concerts
Juan Paullier 1050, Montevideo, Uruguay, +598 2402 3795
Himalayan-inspired cocktail bar
Tibet Bar is one of those real unique places. Every room looks different, and each is full of colored lamps hanging down from the ceiling. Responsible for its authentic Asian appearance are also the paintings and pictures on the walls and the several sculptures placed everywhere. Visiting this bar truly feels like being in another city and is intensified while drinking one of the best cocktails in Montevideo.
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 7pm-2am
Watch out for: the Tibetan décor is an oddity in Montevideo
By Ricarda Reininger