If you are planning to visit the Yucatán capital of Merida during your time in Mexico, you may be interested in experiencing the city by night. Merida’s nightlife scene is a little more understated than the bar scenes in Mexico City and Cancun but there are still plenty of options for when the sun goes down.
You are in good hands here because I’ve been living in Merida for the last 2 1/2 years. I have gotten to know the city pretty well during that time, and I am not someone who has simply passed through just once.
22 Best Bars in Merida in 2024
You will find something for every taste and budget in Merida. That is, whether you like the idea of sipping mezcal cocktails in an elegant, renovated French colonial mansion, sharing drinks with well-heeled locals at a rooftop bar in the northern part of town, or you want all the cheap, ice-cold cervezas that you can drink.
For something chic and sophisticated, I would recommend checking out either the aperitivo bar at Casa T’ho on the Paseo Montejo, SkyCity, or Corojillo “Shaken and Strong” in San Ramón Norte.
For something more casual and laidback, where you can enjoy Mexican and international beers, margaritas, and cocktails at reasonable prices, check out Cantina El Povenir, Cerveceria Chapultepec, or WhiskyLucan.
The Aperitivo bar, Casa T’ho
Where: Paseo Montejo 498
The aperitivo bar at Casa T’ho is a gorgeous place to stop by for a cocktail or a bottle of wine, whatever time of day you happen to pass by. Casa Tho is a bar, restaurant, and concept store set inside two ornate French mansions on the Paseo de Montejo.
It takes its name from the Ancient Mayan city of T’ho which once stood where Merida stands today. At the aperitivo bar, you can order from a selection of classic and innovative cocktails prepared by elegant mixologists dressed in suits.
Complimentary olives soaked in a homemade xcatic chili salsa and other light hors d’oeuvres are served while you drink. Opt to sit at the bar where you can see the bartenders juggle glasses and prepare all manner of interesting concoctions, in the elegant seating or out in the courtyard.
On Saturday nights, live jazz is performed in front of an intimate audience here, although advance reservations come highly recommended.
(If you cannot call, you can pass by the bar earlier in the day or a day before and ask the staff to put your name on the list. The staff here all speak English).
Where: C. 57 429, Parque de la Mejorada
Patio Petanca is a super fun garden bar set down an unsuspecting residential street close to the new Parque a la Plancha. A huge fence encircles the bar, and you have to pass through a nondescript-looking wooden garden gate to enter.
You would not realize that this led to a bar unless you specifically knew that Patio Petanca was here.
All of the seating here is outside in the garden while the bartenders serve drinks and Mexican street food favorites like elotes, tacos, and tortas beneath a thatched palapa hut. There are lawn bowls, giant Jenga, and other board games that you can play in the garden.
The highlight of Patio Petanca is the social vibe here. You can come with a friend or two, join in a game of bowls or Jenga with a group of locals, and leave having made a new group of friends.
Corajillo (Shaken and Strong)
Where: Av. Andrés García Lavín
Corajillo is a gorgeous upscale bar in San Ramon Norte. It takes its name from the Mexican cocktail “carajillo” which is a coffee-flavored drink, somewhat comparable to an espresso martini.
The sleek decor boasts black and gold detailing, walls lined with bottles of liquor 42 (one of the key ingredients of carajillos), and mood lighting, and the bar attracts a well-heeled crowd. The menu specializes in different interpretations of the carajillo cocktail – for example, a moka-themed one infused with cacao, though tequila and mezcal cocktails served in Calavera skull glasses and prepared with artisanal liquors from across Mexico are also available for order.
The resident DJ mostly plays house music, and as the night rolls on, people start to take to the dance floor. Every now and then, the bar hosts “drink & art” events where you can taste different wines as you paint, and meet new friends from across Mexico and the world.
La Negrita Cantina
Where: Calle 62 esquina, Calle 49 415, Centro
If you were to ask about the most famous bar in Merida, La Negrita Cantina would be it. This old-fashioned cantina awaits just a couple of blocks away from Parque Santa Lucia and has been serving up strong drinks to the locals for over 100 years.
Entrance to the bar is made via old saloon-style wooden swing doors and the rustic interiors feature high ceilings, colorful azulejo tile floors, and ornate colonial detailing. Live salsa music is hosted here virtually every night of the week and even if you don’t have the first clue about how to salsa, chances are, a friendly local will take your hands and show you the way.
The space is actually larger than it looks from the outside and you can order a lot of light bites and bar snacks here too, like French fries, chicharron (fried seasoned pork rinds), guacamole, and nachos. Arguably the only downside is how popular La Negrita Cantina has become.
Since the bar is featured in virtually every travel guide to Merida, it is often impossible to get a table here on Friday or Saturday nights unless you arrive super early. People are often turned away at the doors, even outside of the peak season, so have a plan B at the back of your mind if you want to come here.
Bacchus Wine Bar
Where: C. 62 449, Parque Santa Lucia, Centro
Among all of the great bars that we have in Merida, there really aren’t a ton of dedicated wine bars so Bacchus Wine Bar is a stand-out spot. You can come here purely for drinks, or to pair a wine tasting with an indulgent charcuterie board loaded with cold cuts, Mexican cheeses, olives, and homemade condiments.
The menu boasts a large, diverse selection of wines from across Mexico and the world, and they can be ordered by the glass or by the bottle. Enoch, the owner and sommelier of this quaint little spot is super friendly and knowledgeable about the wines he stocks, can make great recommendations of what to try based on your preferences, and is usually happy to chat about the different wine-producing regions in Mexico.
When we arrived, we were treated to a glass of rose on the house (which we later purchased a bottle of), and after telling Enoch that we enjoyed fruit red wines, he prepared us a complimentary tasting of four different red wines from across Mexico and Italy. On Friday and Saturday nights, a Cellist performs live music here. (Reservations are recommended at weekends).
Where: C. 62 461, Parque Santa Lucia, Centro
As far as most Yucatecans are concerned, Pipiripau is one of the best bars in Merida to see and be seen at on the weekends. The bar is set in an old, renovated colonial mansion with seating set out in the various rooms of the house as well as its courtyard.
The menu offers a selection of classic cocktails, beers, micheladas, agua frescas, and non-alcoholic tipples as well as light bite bar snacks. The decor is stunning, and the building that Pipiripau is set in has been restored in a loving way that retains its original charm and seems to transport you back in time.
Sometimes the service can be a little slow at weekends and the servers try their best to keep up with all their drink orders. With that in mind, it pays to be patient if you are sitting out in the courtyard, or maybe order two drinks at a time. (It’s not alcoholism, it’s forward-thinking!)
Cantina El Porvenir
Where: Esq. Calle 52, C. 53 s/n, Centro, 97000
If you want to experience a real authentic Mexican cantina during your time in Merida, head to Cantina El Porvenir. This is a truly “local” place and you will mostly see groups of Yucatecan men hanging out in here, sipping beers and occasionally getting up to choose Luis Miguel and Pedro Infante songs from the old rusting jukebox.
The ambiance is special and the cantina looks like something from a movie set with its bright pink facade, wooden turquoise swing doors, and huge murals that adorn the walls and surfaces inside. You can order a selection of beers, liquors, and cocktails from the bar here.
However, for a truly Mexican experience, order a michelada (or an “ojo rojo” as Yucatecans call them). For 20 pesos (just under $1), you can order a selection of botanas to enjoy with your drink.
These are small plates of things like nachos, guacamole, sikil pak dip, beetroot, or salchipapas.
Mezcaleria La Fundacion
Where: C. 59 509, Parque Santa Lucia, Centro
Like La Negrita, Mezcaleria La Fundacion is another Merida institution. Interestingly, it is owned and managed by the same people that own La Negrita and this fun, bohemian spot attracts locals and travelers of all ages.
Its brightly colored interiors are adorned with vibrant street art murals depicting life in Mexico, and every shelf, nook, and cranny is decorated with obscure little trinkets, artwork pieces, and sculptures from across the country. The DJ blasts out reggaeton and hard house music over the loudspeakers, live bands are often hosted here, and as long as you keep ordering drinks and having a good time, the waiters will keep bringing complimentary botanas (snacks) to your table.
You can even try some chapulines (grasshoppers) with your drinks, and on Wednesday nights, salsa classes are hosted here completely free.
Where: Av. Andrés García Lavín 318, Montebello, 97113
If you are staying near the north of Merida and you just want laidback, non-pretentious vibes in a place where drinks and snacks are cheap but decent, and people are just dancing, listening to good Latin and reggaeton hits, and having fun, check out WhiskyLucan.
This “modern Mexican” cantina became so popular here in Southeastern Mexico that another branch recently opened in Miami too.
The great thing about coming here is that everything on the menu is just 28 pesos – the beers, the cocktails, the light snacks, everything! Sure, the drinks are a little on the small side but they are still delicious and strong and the bar food (tacos, taquitos, cochinita pibil tortas, etc) is great.
The DJ is the biggest hype man and the bar staff give out all sorts of fun props and signs for you to take photos with and use as icebreakers with other people at the bar. If you have ever been to Cerveceria Chapultapec in other parts of Mexico, you will find WhiskyLucan very similar.
Where: C. 57 484-B, entre 54 y 56, Parque Santa Lucia
Flamel is a fantastic “mystical” Merida speakeasy that first opened its doors in early 2023. The decor is gorgeous and set around a theme of witchcraft, with red and black tones, dimly lit mood lighting, and a little black cocktail menu presented like a dusty tome of spells, with obscure sketches and symbols beside the name of each cocktail.
The presentation of the drinks is exquisite and each one comes with a different glass, design, or gimmick. “El Brujo” is a particularly pretty drink that comes served in an old lantern-shaped glass with smoke pouring out of it while “Venus” is a great choice if you like something sweet.
Reservations are highly recommended but fortunately, you can easily make them online via the bar’s website. Do note that the cocktails are a little on the pricier side at around 250 pesos each, but it is worth heading here for at least one drink for the “ambiance”.
Where: Calle 60, #471 por 55 Local 3 Portales de Santa Lucia, Centro Merida
Hidden away from view, down a dark and questionable-looking alleyway that veers off from Parque Santa Lucia, Malahat is arguably the best-loved speakeasy in town. This gloomy, gothic-style bar has an upscale feel to it and is tricky to find but definitely worth the effort to get to.
The craft cocktails are delicious and each one comes styled differently. I recommend trying the Moscow mule, the desperado, or one of the mezcal-infused concoctions but if you cannot decide, just tell the bartender what type of flavors you like and they will rustle up something, especially for you.
(Tip: if you struggle to find the entrance, just ask for Malahat at one of the local businesses. They are definitely accustomed to, and amused by, lost tourists trying to find it!)
Since the space is pretty small (really no bigger than someone’s living room) and popular among those “in the know”, it is best to make reservations if you can.
Where: C. 62 487-por 57 y 59, Parque Santa Lucia
La Bierhaus is a German-inspired pub in the center of Merida that makes for a great change if you are looking for something a little different. (Actually, there are two branches: one on Calle 62 in the center, and one in Mexico Oriente, but the former is much easier to get to assuming that you are staying somewhere fairly central during your Merida itinerary).
The menu boasts classic German fare that makes the perfect accompaniment to drinking your body weight in Weissbeir. For instance, sausage platters and sauerkraut, schnitzel, and a variety of seasoned pretzels.
Fellow Europeans and native Germans may find that some dishes are not quite the same as at home but they are still a very, very good interpretation. The schweinnebraten, currywurst, leberkäse, and kartoffelsalat are delicious and the apple strudel with warm custard for dessert is not to be missed.
If you don’t fancy sampling German food, there are also plenty of hot dogs, hamburgers, and other more American-style bar foods on the menu.
Of course, the highlight of coming to a beerhouse is the bar’s vast selection of beers. You will find literally hundreds of German, European, and American beers on the menu here along with local craft favorites like Patito and Mastache.
Where: C. 60 461, Parque Santa Lucia, Centro
Mercado 60 provides an amazing gastronomical experience a short distance from Parque Santa Lucia in central Merida. This gourmet street market consists of 8 restaurants, 4 bars, a food truck, and a concept store.
The drinks at the various bars are table service, and you can wander between the different venues, ordering food and drinks from each place. “Musica en vive” (live music) is often hosted here after 7.30 pm in the evening when things really start to liven up. You can check their website and Facebook/Instagram pages to see what events are going to be taking place during the dates of your trip.
Hennessy’s Irish pub
Where: Paseo Montejo. C 56-A No. 486A x 41 y 43, Centro
I don’t know about you, but personally, it never ceases to amaze me how you can always find authentic Irish pubs in every corner of the world. Set right on the Paseo de Montejo, Hennessy’s Irish pub is a popular meeting point among the expat crowd in Merida on Friday and Saturday nights.
They often have live musicians performing out at the front of the bar, singing everything from Classic Rock to Blues and Country Music. If you have just moved here and you don’t know anyone, or you are looking for some Western comfort food, it’s a nice place to stop by.
As an English woman, I can’t say that the interiors are exactly like pubs in the UK and Ireland, but I often come here for their shepherd’s pie or fish and chips when I feel homesick, and the food is pretty good. They also have Guinness on tap, as well as a selection of European beers.
Where: Calle 47 463B, Centro
Catrin 47 is a well-loved Merida bar and restaurant that sits on Calle 47, Merida’s new gastronomic corridor. The bar has been designed with Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) decorations and artwork, with Calavera skeletons and skulls scattered throughout the rooms and terrace, and colorful papel picado covering every inch of the ceiling.
A giant, elaborately painted mural of a skeleton man awaits on one of the terrace walls and draws a lot of attention. Every hour, the bar hosts a sound and light show where the skeleton comes to life and dances to various songs. (It is worth coming here for this unique spectacle alone).
The food at Catrin 47 is good too if you want to stay for dinner. If not, some of the best restaurants in Merida can be found just a few paces down this same street.
Where: Plaza Bon Ami, Av. Andrés García Lavín 336A, San Antonio Cucul
Cotorritos is a cheap and cheerful beer hall that exists throughout Mexico and has its Merida branch in the northern part of town. Its offering and style are quite similar to Whiskylucan, although Cotorritos arguably has more options as the bar offers more than 70 different drinks and small meze-style plates of food, all of which come at very reasonable prices.
The only downside is that Cotorritos can sometimes get very full. If you can’t find a table, head to Pamplona Bar & Grill on the opposite side of the parking lot or to Corajillo, also on this list.
Where: Calle 64 x 53, Esquina, No.443, Centro
Dzablay Cantina refers to itself as being Merida’s “home of live music”. It’s a fitting self-appointed title as live jazz and blues musicians perform to intimate crowds here virtually every night of the week.
The bar is owned by a group of international friends who moved to Merida from opposite corners of the world, fell in love with the city, and noticed that the presence of a jazz bar was something that the Yucatan was lacking. Dzalbay’s five owners are French, Spanish, Italian, American, and Yucatecan and a touch of each of their cultures and influences are present in the menu and drinks selection.
Where: Av Jose Diaz Bolio 66, Col. México
Anonima, on the outskirts of charming Itzimna and Circuito Colonia, is more of a restaurant than a bar, but it is worth including on this list because of the vast selection of wines from across Mexico and the world that it offers. This Mediterranean-inspired eatery has not been discovered by tourists for now and is one of my favorite places to go for dinner in Merida.
For 200 pesos, you can do a degustation of four different Mexican wines (one white, one rose, and two red), sampling wines from Baja California Sur and the lesser-known Guanajuato wine region. The establishment has an entire room dedicated to selling wines and liquors from across the world so if there is something specific that you want to drink or take home for later, you can browse through the selection here.
It is fine to come to Anonima just for drinks. If you don’t fancy a full meal but want to nibble on something as you enjoy the wines, you can order a cheese board or a dessert.
Where: Calle 56 #472 por 53 y 55, Santa Lucia
There really aren’t a ton of craft breweries in the Yucatan, largely because hops are very difficult to grow in Mexico so Bacab Cerveceria is the exception. The owner moved here from the United States and is a pretty friendly guy who is always happy to chat about his recommendations, the beer-making process, etc.
You can order a flight of 5 different beers to try for just 150 pesos or choose a pint/half pint from the various stouts, ales, and IPAs on the menu. The food is pretty good (lots of things you would expect from an American brewpub like loaded fries, hamburgers, and steaks, as well as some decent Mexican-inspired dishes.
Cadadia Bar- Cafe
Where: C. 53 435, Parque de la Mejorada, Centro
Cadadia Bar and Cafe is an absolutely stunning and sophisticated spot set in one of the colorful colonial buildings in downtown central Merida. Recommendations are recommended, especially at weekends and during the peak travel season (between December and March).
The food is wonderful, the service is attentive, and Cadadia prides itself specifically in its vast selection of locally sourced organic wines. Live music, tap dancers, and other entertainers often take to the stage here to entertain the patrons.
Sky City Merida
Where: Av. Andrés García Lavín 261, San Ramón Nte
Sky City is a stylish contemporary office building and apartment complex whose entire top floor has been made into a series of classy rooftop bars. You need to take a taxi or an Uber to get here, as it is a little way out of the center of town, but once you arrive, you have tons of variety with the different bars.
Rooftop bars are not really a “thing” in Merida yet and there really aren’t any tall or high-rise buildings in the city, so this is one of the best places to enjoy sunset and nighttime views over the Yucatan capital. Among the bars available, Chill Out Merida and Gin 47 Mixology & Kitchen are two that stand out.
Maria Terraza bar
Where: C. 30 307 Col, San Ramón Nte, 97117
The Merida Maria Terraza bar is a fun club and live music venue that is open from Wednesdays through Saturdays and mostly plays music from the 80s, 90s, and 00s. A DJ usually warms up the crowd out on the terrace before a band comes out to play live.
It is worth checking the bar’s Facebook page to see what kind of bands and events are being hosted here during your time in Merida. Local musicians and tribute acts that perform music of all different categories are hosted here throughout the year.
For instance, recently, the bar hosted some “Norteño” banda music from Northern Mexico, a Queen tribute band, a Backstreet Boys tribute band, etc. The bar is just across the road from Corajillo cocktail bar and Cantarritos, which are both also on this list if you want to “bar hop”.
Final thoughts on the best bars in Merida, Mexico
As you can see, there are lots of different nightlife options available in Merida. I have tried to shortlist the very best here so hopefully you will find a place that you enjoy during your trip.
Merida has gone through a lot of changes and development over the last couple of years as more and more travelers start to venture into this part of the Yucatan, and the Mexican Tourism Board works to promote the area. Just lately, it seems like new bars and restaurants are constantly opening up here so as I discover more great places, I will add them to this list.
As I mentioned, I have been living here in Merida for the last few years. If you have any further questions about planning your Yucatan itinerary, please do feel free to connect on social media, drop me an email, or leave me a comment below.
Safe travels and enjoy Mexico! Buen Viaje!