It’s true, we have a very particular “going-out culture” in Mérida; arriving fashionably late, and bar-hopping are clear examples of this. However, once Yucatecos finally meet up, there’s no way the party is ending any time soon. This month, I have been tasked with touring some of the classic bars and cantinas of Mérida’s Centro and sharing my journey with you. What are you waiting for? Set a date with all your best friends and visit some of these iconic hotspots.


El Cardenal Cantina

El Cardenal Cantina

Located in the very heart of Centro, you will find different special events daily: such as Jazz Mondays, Unplugged Tuesdays, and Jukebox Wednesdays. You will also find a variety of dishes such as shrimp tacos (fried, “a la diabla,” or garlic); guacamole or cheese pizza, nachos, and burgers. Don’t miss out on their promo of 3 Corona “caguamas” for $120 pesos, daily from 1 pm to 5 pm. This is one of the most established – and popular – cantinas in Mérida, where you will always find a really great ambience and friendly servers.

Calle 63 x 70, Centro, Mérida
Tel. (999) 518 1729
FB: El Cardenal Cantina
Open daily 1 pm – 10 pm


Malahat Speakeasy

Malahat Speakeasy & Mixology

For a taste of the speakeasy experience from the 1920s, check out Malahat Speakeasy in Parque de Santa Lucía. When you step inside the secret entry, you will instantly feel transported back in time. The small, dimly lit bar is intimate but full of the happy sounds of the conversation and laughter of its patrons. Its regulars always say that what makes Malahat Speakeasy unique is the feeling of privacy. Combined with its ambience from an era gone by, while maintaining a sophisticated feel because of its delicious, elegant cocktails, there really is no place like it. Malahat has brought the speakeasy back to life.

Access: Apoala Mexican Cuisine
Parque de Santa Lucía
Calle 55 x 60, Centro
Tel. (999) 923 1979
FB: Malahat · Speakeasy & Mixology
Wed. – Sat. 8 pm – 2 am


La Negrita Cantina

La Negrita Cantina

This cantina is a traditional stop for tourists and locals alike; it has a unique feel to it, and is the ideal place if you’re looking to dance, meet lots of people, and find a refuge from the city’s heat. They feature a live band every day so that you can move your body and dance a little. Here you will find traditional Yucatecan eats such as tacos, Relleno Negro, Salbutes, and Panuchos;­­ and lots of drink specials: a liter of Electric Lemonade for $50 pesos; 2×1 margaritas and lots of other promotions. This popular, hip cantina is one you won’t want to skip.

Calle 62 #415 x 49, Centro, Mérida
Tel. (999) 121 0411
FB: La Negrita Cantina
Open daily 12 pm – 10 pm


Hermana República

Hermana República Taproom

Enjoy this bar’s somewhat more mellow vibe which makes it a perfect place to spend an evening catching up with friends. The menu features an international and varied offering with Cuban, Lebanese, Yucatecan and Peruvian dishes. Don’t miss their daily 2×1 deal on beers and select spirits from 1 pm to 8 pm, and their live music which is a staple at this bar on the weekends. This bar is Cervecería Patito’s taproom, so you can be sure that they know how to set the tone for the perfect beer drinking experience.

Calle 64 x 55 y 57, Centro, Mérida
Tel. (999) 968 5139
FB: Hermana República
Mon. – Wed. 1 pm – 11 pm
Thu. – Sat. 1 pm – 1 am
Sun. 1 pm – 6 pm


Pipiripau Dive Bar

Live music daily and beer bucket deals for only $100 pesos (5 pm to 8 pm) are some of the things you can expect from this bar. Head over in the afternoon for a little Cumbia dancing on their patio. The menu features a great variety of snacks and traditional bar food such as wings, nachos, Tortas de Pastor, French fries, and more. This bar is the perfect place to start your evening because it’s close to lots of other bars and restaurants, so you can visit more than one in a night. Pipiripau is open daily, so put it on your to-do list and head over.

Calle 62 #458 x 55 y 53, Centro, Mérida
Tel. (999) 291 6255
FB: Pipiri Mérida
Mon. – Thu. 5 pm – 2:30 am
Fri. – Sun. 1 pm – 2:30 am


Tour Cantinero MID

This is a unique opportunity to tour classic cantinas which are usually only visited by locals; you’ll have a great time learning about cantina culture and meeting new people who will turn into your party buddies by the end of the evening.

With the help of “Loren,” Andrés, and their team, you’ll hear all about the history of Mérida’s cantinas, how they started out, and how they’ve changed with time. You’ll visit traditional cantinas and have the experience of learning about the cultural wealth of these establishments.

The tour costs $300 pesos and includes: a beer at each stop, fascinating stories told by the charming “Loren,” and games and activities you can participate in throughout the outing.

This tour is open to the public once a month, but you can also reserve private tours for bachelor and bachelorette parties, or just for a night out with friends. Get information on all their events and contact them through their Facebook page, they will let you know where the meeting point is and what the route will be. Dare to do something different!

Calle 57 #519 x 64 y 66, Centro
Tel. (999) 315 6622
FB: Tour Cantinero MID


Editorial by Claudia Améndola


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