The Best Mexico Bars in 6 Mexican Cities

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Where can you discover the most effective Mexico bars? For a second 12 months in a row, the judges at North America’s 50 Best Bars are going to try to let you know. Since ingesting and bars are a subjective pastime we are going to go away it as much as you in the event you comply with their recommendation or not, however right here is our abstract of the spots that made it.

best Mexico bars

This 12 months’s second annual North America’s 50 Best Bars awards (dropped at you by the 50 Best Restaurants people) was held in Mexico this 12 months! In what appears to be like like the results of loads of schmoozing and palm greasing, 50 Best landed in San Miguel de Allende, which mockingly is NOT house to any of the bars from Mexico that gained spots on the 2023 record. I might have thought it made far more sense to host it in Mexico City or Guadalajara the place some winners are situated however alas, nobody consults me about this stuff.

Once once more, there have been bars on the record that I believe have one thing extraordinary about them, and others that I don’t perceive why they made it. There are additionally 1,000,000 different nice choices for ingesting in all of the cities featured, so simply use this record as a place to begin. Once once more, right here is my very sincere (and subjective) overview of all of Mexico’s winners for the 50 Best.

#2 Handshake Speakeasy — Mexico City

For the second 12 months in a row, Handshake got here in at #2 on the 50 Best record and I nonetheless assume it’s an incredible alternative. Opened mid-pandemic, this bar has among the greatest cocktails on the town in my humble opinion. It’s simply one of many many speakeasies that Mexico City now claims as a part of its bar scene.

Their Art Deco-inspired area is cozy and unique, however clearly, this wouldn’t be in one of many prime spots if the drink menu wasn’t spectacular. The butter mushroom Old-fashioned is a private favourite, however all their creations (that are restricted in scope so the menu will not be unbearably onerous) are distinctive, artistic, and thoughtfully developed with housemade mixers, bitters, and infusions.

 

best Mexico City bar

Photo by Handshake Bar

Also attempt the menu of mini classics – negronis, martinis, vespers, and boulevardiers – half the scale and half the worth for drinkers who wish to attempt all of them.

#4 – Licoreria Limantour — Mexico City

Limantour moved down one spot to #4 however is clearly nonetheless a crowd favourite. They have deliciously hand-crafted cocktails, a lot of which give attention to Mexico’s two most well-known spirits – tequila and mezcal. That’s one among theirs on the prime of this put up.

They additionally make a lot of their elements in-house together with getting particular ice made only for their cocktail menu (which, in comparison with Handshake’s is huge).

I’m keen on the Al Pastor, which is a mix of a lot of my favourite Mexico City parts – mezcal, cocktails, and road meals – however actually there are such a lot of good choices on the menu it’s laborious to go incorrect. On the flip aspect of all this reward is a normal grumbling not too long ago in regards to the service at their Roma location the place drinks take without end and employees is coolly detached to their prospects. Great cocktails go a good distance, however service is vital.

#11 Zapote Bar — Playa del Carmen

best bar Playa del Carmen

Photo by Rosewood Hotels

Zapote bar held regular at #11 this 12 months, and the town of Playa del Carmen has but to select up one other spot on the record, despite the fact that it has loads of nice bars – it’s mainly an enormous trip social gathering city. One of a number of choices within the Mayakoba Riviera Maya Rosewood lodge, the Zapote bar has a bohemian setting with tender pure lighting, vacation-chic wicker furnishings, and tropical vegetation draping over the partitions.

The meals menu has a noticeable Mediterranean bent, with shakshuka, hummus, and couscous all on supply, however with native elements within the combine the place doable. The drinks menu is tame, with some normal classics, plus their insignia drinks which mirror the Yucatecan roots of the realm: guava leaves, pasilla chile, lima bitters.

Know earlier than swinging by that the costs listed below are eye-popping, even in comparison with many of the different high-end locations on this record, with all cocktails setting you again US$24 (mocktails are a “cheap” $12). This being an unique resort largely frequented by rich Americans, the meals menu can be for individuals who aren’t actually coming to Mexico for the financial savings. Expect to pay New York City costs in your imbibes and bites within the Riviera Maya.

#16 Baltra Bar — Mexico City

Photo by Baltra Bar

One of my favourite bars within the Condesa, Baltra moved right down to #16 this 12 months, however I’m not stunned since there are simply so many nice locations to get craft cocktails within the metropolis these days. They have been one of many early pioneers and have had much less of a highlight with the flood of newcomers. Plus, they have a tendency in the direction of renditions of classics and it appears to me the 50 Best record is leaning in the direction of (no less than in Mexico) bars which might be bringing again conventional Mexican spirits and off-the-wall mixtures of endemic elements.

Named in honor of one among Darwin’s islands on his nice discovery voyage above the SS Beagle, the bar combines nautical motifs with a Hemingway-like ambiance. It is a superb place to cozy up on one among Mexico City’s wet summer season nights. The Old George Sour with tequila, Absinth, basil, cucumber, and cardamom is especially scrumptious, however once more you may’t go incorrect ordering a lot of something on the menu. The area is tiny (though post-pandemic they’ve added extra out of doors seating) and so will be packed on a busy night time, higher to drink with the professionals earlier within the week.

#17 Rayo — Mexico City

Mexico City’s second new entry for 2023, Rayo was one among my favourite ingesting experiences to this point this 12 months. It begins with the preliminary cocktail handed throughout the 45-second ascent in one of many metropolis’s oldest elevators – Rayo is situated in Colonia Roma in an early 20-century gem of a constructing, house to Fónico restaurant on the underside ground.

Then the true ingesting begins. A field of tiny stoppered glass bottles trying like homeopathic tinctures arrive on the desk which might be small samples of every of Rayo’s home cocktail innovations. There’s additionally a spoon. And as you squeeze your self out a style of every drink, it’s laborious to not giggle with childlike pleasure. A mix of unusual elements – like Greek yogurt with peanuts and cacao – are combined with a few of these conventional spirits I discussed – pox, sotol, bacanora – and different extra widespread liquors to create among the most complicated flavors I’ve encountered in my ingesting “research” about city. I liked #2, a fuchsia-filled glass of pox, tequila, candy potato, and palo santo, pictured under.

cocktails at Rayo Mexico City

© Rayo

Rayo is on the dearer finish of this record, however it’s nonetheless not New York or L.A. costs so vacationers shall be glad. And you will note loads of them – vacationers that’s – as the gang is a mixture of upper-class locals and vacationers with money to spend and time to make reservations (which aren’t required however are inspired, particularly since they obtained placed on this record). And whereas I might have performed with out the techno music because the night time wore on, the area, which is a high-ceiled indoor/out of doors patio darkish sufficient to maintain your secrets and techniques intact, is kinda charming.

#20 Hanky Panky – Mexico City

Stylish, nostalgic, and unique, Hanky Panky was one of many first speakeasies to open up in Mexico City and one of many metropolis’s cocktail pioneers, equally to Baltra, which is likely to be one of many causes they slipped from #16 to #22 this 12 months. They actually haven’t misplaced their edge on the subject of crafting drinks.

Entering the bar via a pitch-black hallway, you’ll be surprised by the caramel-colored heat and Nineteen Twenties vibe that awaits you on this tiny bar. Totally reduce off from the surface, it’s tempting to only let the hours wash over you when you get pleasure from their ever-changing cocktail menu that features mixtures like gin with rose water and white chocolate, or mezcal with tomato-infused Italian bitters and vermouth. Once upon a time, you needed to be a member to get in, with non-members solely allowed on a sure day of the week, a state of affairs which was greater than just a little pretentious, however as of late you may make a reservation (upfront) for any day of the week via OpenTable.

The bartenders/house owners (that’s proper every bartender is a co-owner) are a educated and affable group {of professional} mixologists that change nightly and who usually deliver bartenders from different elements of the world for takeovers and different particular occasions.

#21 El Gallo Altanero — Guadalajara

El Gallo Altanero Guadalajara remained at its #21 spot on this 12 months’s record, and I’ve but to search out as enjoyable of a bar as this one to imbibe in that GDL. There are only a few locations to style small-batch, artisanal tequila in Mexico, but when there’s a place it’s Guadalajara, and if there’s a bar it’s El Gallo Altanero. This bar can be highlighting loads of the normal spirits I discussed earlier than, specifically raicilla, an agave distillate (like mezcal and tequila) that’s native to the state of Jalisco, largely produced in its southwestern nook.

Founded by Australians Nick Reid and Alan Mulvihill, (Reid can be the co-founder of Tequila Tromba), El Gallo is making a reputation for itself among the many agave-obsessed in Jalisco. This intimate and laidback bar in Guadalajara’s cool Colonia Americana neighborhood is up the steps and behind the Fitzroy Expresso bar. El Gallo has spectacular cocktails but in addition nice down-to-earth meals menu: attempt the elotes and the huitlacoche quesadillas. The scene is a who’s who of city however with a relaxed vibe that makes even the newbies really feel welcome.

#22 Sabina Sabe — Oaxaca City

Showing up first for the south as soon as once more is Sabina Sabe bar and restaurant in Oaxaca City, which moved from #20 to #22 this 12 months. The meals is sweet, typical Mexican fare, however the cocktails are the star of the present. The bar is small and intimate and the number of mezcal is totally thrilling for aficionados and novices alike (this city is the mezcal mecca in any case).

best Oaxaca bar

Sabina Sabe photograph by Tripadvisor

The wait staffers are very effectively knowledgeable and useful in strolling you thru their choice, together with clueing you in on some manufacturers and bottles that you simply gained’t discover anyplace else and offering a style in case you are uncertain about your alternative. Talk to the bartender first and clarify your likes and dislikes and you’ll be guided by a guru.

I haven’t been in Oaxaca City for a bit, however this bar has each an ordinary menu and a seasonal one so be sure to ask for each to see what’s on if you go.

#23 Arca — Tulum

No longer the beachside backwater of twenty years in the past, the city of Tulum is now the favourite beachside city of the wealthy and well-known. Not stunning then, that Arca—a connoisseur restaurant and cocktail bar—would slowly shifting up the 50 Best Bars in North America record, this 12 months going from #37 to #23 (the restaurant is already listed within the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, no small feat for a younger locale like this one).

I nonetheless haven’t been, I simply can’t appear to muster the vitality to go to super-saturated Tulum, however the menu appears to be like mouth-watering and the restaurant prides itself in working with native producers so you may count on a mirrored image of Mexico’s tropical, coastal abundance within the dishes. The cocktail menu is tame, with no wild spirits or outlandish elements, however their concoctions symbolize the robust taste influences of Mexico with mezcals, tequilas, citrus, and spice all effectively represented.

#25 Cafe de Nadie — Mexico City

Cafe de Nadie slipped from #15 to #25 this 12 months, and this tremendous hip, tremendous loud, and super-packed-on-the-weekends bar is certainly nonetheless drawing in younger drinkers who wish to be out in town, see and be seen, and never have to fret about making any sort of small discuss with their neighbors (since they gained’t be capable to hear one another anyway).

The neon pink rest room mirror and the wall of vinyl information give Cafe de Nadie a sure classic vibe, confirmed by the funk on the DJ’s turntable and the 90s-styled patrons dancing the night time in tube tops and mother denims. Their cocktail menu has some fascinating choices, together with sotol and bacanero, two regional Mexican spirits which might be scorching proper now. Each has a wholesome amount of alcohol, which let’s be sincere, you need when you’re paying 15 {dollars} a drink for half a pitcher of liquid.

Cafe de Nadie bar Mexico City

The employees right here is pleasant and useful and even in the event you go on a busy Friday or Saturday you continue to really feel like you’re receiving attentive service. I’ve solely eaten right here as soon as and was sorely unimpressed, however it was simply as soon as, so take my opinion for what you’ll.

#26 Kaito del Valle — Mexico City

best bars in Mexico City Kaito del Valle

This itemizing nonetheless has me scratching my head, however they’ve moved from #13 to #26 which makes a tad extra sense to me. While the cocktail menu has some fascinating parts thrown in – fortune cookies, wasabi, a sq. of nori for garnish – I don’t assume they’ve the wow issue of a few of these different areas. That, along with the truth that the meals right here could be very underwhelming (the soy sauce has lime in it for Pete’s sake), the displaying is a bit unusual.

The place itself, whereas surprisingly mellow in comparison with some on this record, doesn’t do a lot for me both, only a regular industrial-chic area with some choose pop artwork on the partitions. If you’re going to skip any of the bars on this record in your subsequent journey to Mexico City, this may be my suggestion.

best bars Mexico City

That is, except you’re in search of one thing cute to placed on Instagram. We should admit that this cocktail above is bound to make folks smile if you put up it.

#31 Selva — Oaxaca City

Selva moved right down to #31 this 12 months. A wonderful upscale cocktail bar, Selva is an extension of the Los Danzantes restaurant (in addition they make their very own mezcal) and is the hip place to be in downtown Oaxaca City. In truth, in the event you didn’t know you have been in Oaxaca, you is likely to be in a cool cocktail bar anyplace on the planet.

But you then head out to the balcony and watch the delightfully Oaxacan hustle and bustle under and bear in mind how lucky you’re that such nice cocktails exist in such a spot. Like the opposite Oaxacan bar on this record, Sabina Sabe, the waitstaff at Selva is tremendous pleasant and useful, and presents a full vary of liquor together with shelf after shelf of native mezcal.

The cocktail Selva, with Danzantes mezcal, hoja santa, and chile ancho liquor is the shining star of their present menu, however virtually something you get will allure you. You may even ask for a Taylormade cocktail and they are going to be glad to oblige, now that’s the signal of a proficient individual behind the bar. There is a menu of sunshine fare which is simply okay, the ambiance and mixology being what makes this bar worthy of its spot on the 50 greatest.

#40 Aruba Day Drink – Tijuana

A brand new entry and the very first on this record from Tijuana, this 12 months noticed Aruba Day Drink take the #40 spot, and man have been they enthusiastic about it! This bar appears to veer off in a extra neighborhood and city-specific route than among the different bars on this record and takes itself rather less significantly than among the bougier spots.

A light-weight and ethereal locale on this border city with a heavy popularity, Aruba Day Drink has small plates like fish and chips or tuna tostadas and a protracted record of regionally-inspired cocktails. Tropically coloured and easily served, their creations are named issues like Flamingosis, Tijuana Salvaje and Green Hornet.

#47 Brujas – Mexico City

cocktails 50 best mexico

© Brujas Bar

Another new entry! Las Brujas bar has been round for a number of years now, and I hear inform from long-time shoppers that they’ve modified a lot of issues alongside the way in which (together with the very elaborate menus they used to have), with among the adjustments not wonderful.

But I went for the primary time the opposite night time myself so I might deliver you all my very private overview of Brujas. I liked the vibe there, it feels very neighborhoody, and there’s a good mixture of locals and out-of-towners. The ambar-lit inside contains a lengthy, traditional picket bar and previous books and knick-knacks on the shelf (an homage to the area’s former life as a bookstore). Inside can get just a little packed (particularly late within the night) however the out of doors seating is implausible.

I believed loads of the cocktails we tried have been solidly good however with some it felt like they simply want one factor to make them just a little extra punchy they usually didn’t have it. All the identical, the recipes are ingenious and every drink is impressed by a well-known feminine activist that the waiters (additionally all women, this bar’s employees is 100% feminine) provides you with the shortened Wikipedia of once they deliver the primary spherical. The greatest drink, by far, of your complete night time was the Vesper Dolores – Xila liqueur (an agave spirit made by a woman-owned distillery within the metropolis), pink prickly pear (I’m assuming a mistype on the menu, it mentioned pink prickle in English), purple grape shrub, and bougainvillea soda. It was spicy and barely effervescent, with a likeness of a candy Bloody Mary.

As we mentioned firstly, that is an extremely subjective record and it’s our guess that half the judges haven’t even been to various areas in Mexico and every choose most likely has 100 nice Mexican (and U.S.) bars that have been left unvisited. There have been none on this record from San Miguel de Allende, which incessantly tops shiny journal lists as the most effective metropolis on the planet, and there’s nothing from the rich enterprise hub of Monterrey or the wealthy Californians’ playgrounds of Ensenada, Los Cabos, and Punta de Mita.

That’s okay although, the “best Mexico bars” simply is likely to be those you’re headed to tonight, particularly if there’s an incredible bartender behind the counter and good firm to share cocktails with. Salut!

Article by affiliate editor (and Mexico resident) Lydia Carey, images by Carey besides the place indicated, this put up was up to date June 2023.



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