The traditional drinking houses of México are called “cantinas,” where each round of beer comes with a round of snacks. About a decade ago, Mérida began to welcome global versions of the cantina, like the Irish pub and the German beer garden. Today, the city is home to a number of gastropubs – drinking houses which also serve gourmet dishes. Our list contains both the legendary and the innovative, all of which are unique in their own way.
Cavernous and authentic, La Bierhaus was founded by Jürgen Eggers, a German man who fell in love with a Yucatecan woman. They settled down in Mérida, and although he loves it here, Jürgen missed German culture and food. This yearning inspired him to bring a piece of Germany to Mérida. Jürgen meticulously renovated an abandoned home in Colonia México and created La Bierhaus. Today there is a Centro location as well.
The menu features about 100 different beers and a generous selection of German food. Try the mixed “salchichas” (great for sharing) or the mouthwatering “haxe” (shank), served on a bed of sauerkraut. Wash it down with the clean, refreshing München lager, “Spaten,” and enjoy homemade apple strudel for dessert.
Bela Chela Gastro Pub
The brand-new hotspot Bela Chela balances international influences with local roots. Mixologist Manuel authored several stunning drinks for the restaurant’s world-class mixology menu. Sit at the bar with him and try my favorite, which is the restaurant’s namesake, the Bela Chela. A mezcal-based cocktail so smooth it’ll give you goose bumps. The drink layers subtle notes of lime, hibiscus, cilantro, rosemary, and honey into complete perfection.
The cozy dining room is decorated with elegant black and gold details. Try one of the eight different beers made by the local microbrewery “Patito” on draft, and order a dish designed by Alex Mendez: the avocado hummus or a simple pizza with sophisticated flavor prepared over the wood-burning oven.
Hennessy’s Irish Pub
Walking into Hennessy’s Irish Pub is like swimming through a pint of Guinness in the city of Dublin. The door frames are painted the dark brown of the body of the beer and the walls froth like the foamy head of a fresh pint. The restaurant’s founder, Sean Hennessy, married the classic Irish pub experience to one of Mérida’s historic “casonas” on Paseo de Montejo, creating a completely unique restaurant experience.
Sean is a visionary, which is made clear by the care he took in finding original Irish artwork. The photographs depict real moments in some of Dublin’s most legendary pubs, and the recipes reinvent loyalty to the Irish heritage. Everything – from shepherd’s pie to shrimp salad – is made from scratch, and the ingredients are all quality-checked. Please, try the tuna tartare: it’s everything you’ve ever dreamed of.
Monday – Sunday, 12 pm – 2 am
Paseo de Montejo x 41 y 43
FB: Hennessy’s Irish Pub
Catch live music Friday and Saturday nights
This restaurant celebrates Yucatán unapologetically, and the name establishes our state as its own sovereign country. The ambience and menu culminate in what’s Yucatán today: a place both grounded in tradition while opening up to global influences. The original location in Xcanatún is home to the Patito brewery, one of the peninsula’s first and most established microbreweries.
In their location in Centro, indigenous plants and trees grow in the garden of the sprawling colonial building. Chef Alex Mendez serves dishes with global flair, but rooted in the ingredients that you can find in Mérida’s markets. Try the ravioli stuffed with “queso de bola,” served on a bed of mashed squash, topped with parmesan and toasted almonds.
Monday – Wednesday, 1 pm – 11 pm
Thursday – Saturday, 10 pm -1 am and Sunday 1 pm – 6pm
– Calle 64 x 55 y 57, Centro
– Mérida-Progreso Highway, km 12, Xcanatún
FB: Hermana República
Catch live music Thursday through Saturday nights
Photos of La Bierhaus, Bela Chela and Hennessy’s Irish Pub by Amanda Strickland
Photos of Hermana República by Hermana República
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