The Greatest Mexico Bars in 5 Mexican Cities

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The place can you discover one of the best Mexico bars? One which’s near you all the time wins out over fame, in fact, however now we’ve got an opinion from some specialists to information us on our subsequent city Mexican ingesting journey.

best Mexico bars

The information that so many Mexican bars have been listed within the new 50 Greatest Bars in North America record (dropped at you by the 50 Greatest Eating places people) was no shock to these of us which have watched an unbelievable cocktail frenzy take over the nation within the final 5 years. In spite of everything, Mexico is house to among the world’s most distinctive spirits and it grows a wealth of elements to mix with these. However like all issues which can be ridiculously subjective, nobody will ever agree on which bars are deserving of a slot and which aren’t.

Whereas I freely admit that these are only a small sampling of the nice bars in Mexico, they don’t seem to be with out their worth (and typically disappointment). So here’s a very sincere (and subjective) evaluation of all of Mexico’s winners for the 50 Greatest.

#2 Handshake Speakeasy – Mexico Metropolis

Whereas I’ll not all the time agree with the 50 Greatest record, I’ve to confess that this yr I believed they made a superb alternative placing Handshake within the No.2 slot for high bars in North America. Opened mid-pandemic, this bar has among the greatest cocktails I’ve had to date this yr. It’s a member of the speakeasy pattern in Mexico Metropolis – intimate areas, unmarked entrances, and reservations solely.

Their Artwork Deco-inspired house is cozy and unique, however clearly this wouldn’t be in one of many high spots if the drink menu wasn’t spectacular. The butter mushroom Old style 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

Picture by Handshake Bar

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

#3 – Licoreria Limantour – Mexico Metropolis

Limantour has positively made itself a everlasting member of this record and for good motive, they’ve 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 high of this publish.

In addition they make a lot of their elements in-house together with getting particular ice made only for them and their drink menu (which, in comparison with Handshake’s is very large).

I’m a fan of the Al Pastor, which is a mix of a lot of my favourite Mexico Metropolis parts – mezcal, cocktails, and road meals – however actually there are such a lot of good choices on the menu it’s arduous to go incorrect. On the flip aspect of all this reward is a basic current grumbling in regards to the service at their Roma location the place drinks take without end and employees is coolly detached to their prospects. Nice cocktails go a good distance, however service is vital for my part.

#7 Baltra Bar – Mexico Metropolis

Picture by Baltra Bar

One in every of my favourite bars within the Condesa, Baltra got here in at #7 this yr, however I’m not stunned since among the similar homeowners of Limantour are additionally invested on this tiny little drinker’s oasis. 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’s a excellent spot to cozy up on one among Mexico Metropolis’s wet summer season nights.

The Previous George Bitter with tequila, Absinth, basil, cucumber, and cardamom is especially scrumptious, however once more you possibly can’t go incorrect order a lot of something on the menu and the employees is effectively knowledgeable when you give them an outline of what you want or don’t like in a cocktail. The house is tiny and so might be packed on a busy evening, higher to drink with the professionals earlier within the week.

#11 Zapote Bar – Playa del Carmen

best bar Playa del Carmen

Picture by Rosewood Resorts

Playa del Carmen has loads of nice bars because it’s principally an enormous trip occasion city, however the record’s judges went for a closed-off resort contained in the bigger Mayakoba gated neighborhood for his or her choose.

One in every of a number of choices within the Mayakoba Riviera Maya Rosewood lodge, the Zapote bar has a bohemian setting with gentle pure lighting, comfy wood furnishings, and tropical vegetation draping over its edges.

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

Know earlier than swinging by that the costs listed here 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 “low-cost” $12). This being an unique resort largely frequented by rich People, the meals menu can be for individuals who aren’t actually coming to Mexico for the financial savings. Count on to pay New York Metropolis costs on your imbibes and bites within the Riviera Maya.

#13 Kaito del Valle – Mexico Metropolis

best bars in Mexico City Kaito del Valle

This itemizing has me scratching my head slightly. Whereas the cocktail menu has some attention-grabbing 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 may be very underwhelming (the soy sauce has lime in it for Pete’s sake), the exhibiting 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 house 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 Metropolis, this may be my suggestion.

best bars Mexico City

That’s, except you’re searching for one thing cute to placed on Instagram. Now we have to confess that this cocktail above is certain to make individuals smile once you publish it.

#15 Cafe de Nadie – Mexico Metropolis

Be suggested that this entry is tremendous hip, tremendous loud, and tremendous packed on the weekends. The newish Cafe de Nadie has an attraction for a sure form of younger drinker who desires to be out in town, see and be seen, and never have to fret about making any form of small discuss along with her neighbor (since he received’t be capable to hear her anyway).

The neon pink lavatory mirror and the wall of vinyl information give Cafe de Nadie a sure classic vibe, confirmed by the funk music on the DJ’s turntable and the 90s-styled patrons dancing the evening away. Their cocktail menu had some attention-grabbing choices, issues like sotol and bacanero, two regional Mexican spirits that aren’t but widespread in craft cocktails in every single place. They’re additionally made with a wholesome amount of alcohol, which let’s be sincere, you need if you end up paying 12 {dollars} a drink (in Mexico thoughts you) for half a pitcher of liquid.

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

#16 Hanky Panky – Mexico Metropolis

Fashionable, nostalgic, and unique, Hanky Panky was one of many first speakeasies to open up in Mexico Metropolis and it’s nonetheless successful accolades the world over. Coming into by way of a pitch-black hallway, you may be surprised by the caramel-colored heat and Nineteen Twenties vibe that awaits you on this tiny bar.

Completely lower off from the surface, it’s tempting to simply let the hours wash over you when you take pleasure in 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. As soon as 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 scenario which I discovered slightly pretentious, however lately you may make a reservation (upfront although) for any day of the week by way of OpenTable.

The bartenders/homeowners (that’s proper every bartender is a co-owner) are a educated and affable group {of professional} mixologists that change every evening and who typically convey bartenders from different components of the world for bar takeovers and different occasions.

#20 Sabina Sabe Oaxaca

best Oaxaca bar

Sabina Sabe picture by Tripadvisor consumer

Displaying up first for the south within the record of greatest Mexico bars is the Sabina Sabe bar and restaurant in Oaxaca Metropolis, an more and more well-liked house base for expats from world wide. The meals is nice, typical Mexican fare, however the cocktails are the star of the present. The bar is small and intimate and the number of mezcal is completely thrilling for aficionados and novices alike (this city is the mezcal mecca in spite of everything).

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 received’t discover wherever else and offering a style if you’re uncertain about your alternative. Speak to the bartender first and clarify your likes and dislikes and you may be guided by a guru.

The bar has each a regular menu and a seasonal one and a current go to had me ingesting a seasonal preparation of black tea easy syrup with peach essence, Aperol, and Brandy that was anonymous and scrumptious.

#21 El Gallo Altanero Guadalajara

There are only a few locations to style small batch, artisanal tequila in Mexico, the market being so dominated by the large business manufacturers. But when there’s a place it’s in Guadalajara and if there’s a bar it’s El Gallo Altanero.

Based 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 impresses with their assortment of agave spirits and its down-to-earth meals menu: attempt the elotes and the huitlacoche quesadillas. The scene is a who’s who of the business however with a relaxed vibe that makes even the newbies really feel welcome.

#22 Selva – Oaxaca

A phenomenal upscale cocktail bar, Selva is an extension of the Los Danzantes restaurant (additionally they make their very own mezcal) and is the hip place to be in downtown Oaxaca Metropolis. In reality, when you didn’t know you have been in Oaxaca, you is likely to be in a cool cocktail bar wherever on the planet.

However then you definately head out to the balcony and watch the delightfully Oaxacan hustle and bustle beneath and keep in mind how lucky you might be 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 gives 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 nearly something you get will appeal you. You possibly can even ask for a Taylormade cocktail and they are going to be joyful to oblige, now that’s the signal of a proficient individual behind the bar. There’s 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.

#37 Arca Tulum

Not the beachside backwater of twenty years in the past, the city of Tulum is now the getaway of the wealthy and the playground of the well-known. Not shocking then, that Arca—a gourmand restaurant and cocktail bar—can be on this inaugural record of North America’s 50 greatest bars in North America (it’s already listed within the World’s 50 Greatest Eating places, no small feat for a younger restaurant like this one).

Full disclosure, I’ve not been, however the seafood-heavy menu appears mouth-watering and the restaurant prides itself in working with native producers so you possibly can anticipate 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 signify the sturdy taste influences of Mexico with mezcals, tequilas, citrus, and spice all effectively represented.

As we mentioned at the start, that is an extremely subjective record and it’s our guess that half the judges haven’t even been to quite a lot of areas in Mexico and every decide in all probability 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 continuously tops shiny journal lists as one of the best 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 “greatest Mexico bars” simply is likely to be those you’re headed to tonight, particularly if there’s an ideal bartender behind the counter and good firm to share cocktails with. Salut!

Article by affiliate editor (and Mexico resident) Lydia Carey, photographs by Carey besides the place indicated. 



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