Mexico City Stories and Tips

Nightlife in Mexico City

Bar Fly, downstairs from the Valentina in Polanco, can be a riot if you're in the mood for some Latin dancing with an older crowd. El Estribo, inside the Hacienda de los Morales, literally, "The Stirrup" bar has one of the largest selections of tequilas anywhere (over 300). In Polanco, for a younger crowd, there is La Martinera (5281-7238), which is chic and fun, with a good martini menu. This bar is closed for the time being, though it should re-open within a few weeks. If you're looking more for the New York black-and-white look, there's the Rexo (5553-1300, 5553-5337), also in the Condesa. A very chic new lounge bar right next door to the Plaza Condesa cinema at the junction of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, is the Cinna Bar (5553-0438) which offers a very cool, Manhattan-ish atmosphere, with music played at a very manageable pitch, and some decent food, though it's always crowded. Also in the Condesa is the ever-popular Barracuda (5211-9346) offering live music on weekends, some nice food, and a hip crowd. Further uptown, the Cosmo (5281-4631) is a minimalist bar/club on Masaryk that offers acid jazz and house music. If you prefer jazz bars, there's Jazz Upstairs (5592-6114) in the Historical Center, and also New Orleans (5550-1908) in San Angel.

If you're looking for an authentic Irish pub, The Dubliner is a pub/restaurant that has just opened in Anzures/Polanco, on Mariano Escobedo 434 (5250 8105). They serve Guinness beer on tap and also have pretty good pub food. El Mitote (5211 9150), what's so charming about this small Tapas bar in La Condesa is the extremly friendly vibe that it generates. Owners Alejandro and Walter make a concerted effort to greet customers with a fraternal manner, and by your second visit you literally become a regular. The music is an excellent combination of acid jazz, soul and samba however the volume never gets intrusive and the lights are kept low. El Mitote's success is really one simple formula: long night drinking and discourse away from the dredge of a noisy nightclub. Amsterdam 53, corner with Sonora, Colonia Condesa. La Pata Negra - In it's original incarnation, La Pata Negra was a very small tapas bar tucked away from Parque Mexico in La Condesa. Then came along the might of the local government, and as with so many restaurants and bars in La Condesa, they closed the place down; obviously they were lacking the 300-something documents plus greasing someone's palm to stay open. Finally, after almost a year of bureaucratic haggling, La Pata Negra once again has opened it's doors (to the relief of some very thirsty old clientele) but this time they've changed addresses and set themselves on the corner of Plaza Condesa - the recently closed down arts cinema. Part of the new bar craze that's hit the la Condesa area in the past year (there are at least three other bars in staggering distance) La Pata Negra stands out as the best of the bunch. Corner of Juan Escutia and Taumalipas, Col. Condesa. Tel: 5211-5563/4678. Celtics pub here The onus is pure shamrock. Irish Guiness is served up (on draught) while the generous menu offers the like of stews, pies and some days pudding. Although the owners are Argentine, the feel of the place is very much an Irish pub - so much so they have those exact words emblazoned on a wall lest you forget what the aim of the place is. Plus, during the week you can enjoy some great blues bands with your pint. Tamaulipas 36, Condesa. Tel: 5211-9081. Tuesday to Saturday from 7pm. Capicua is Perched on the corner of Nuevo Leon and Laredo, and next to the delicious Ligaya restaurant, this Spanish-influenced tapas bar offers tasty snacks to accompany your beer and/or tequila. Aiming for the upmarket crowd who like to drink themselves to oblivion, the Capicua has become a hangout for yuppie types who although well-dressed tend to become quite rowdy by the end of the night. Bottom line: minimalist-design, smokey cantina, but oh, so very chic! Nuevo Leon 66, corner with Laredo. Tel: 5211-5280 or 5286-3697. T Gallery - welcome to The Mad Hatter's party, a bedouin tent, a parlour lounge from the turn of 20th Century Britain, or better still a place where all inhibitons get left at the door. T Gallery named after its equally delightful owner Tina Hacking is an ensemble piece of various styles and colors, cushions and sofas, armchairs and stools, drink and food that in all its designed madness is actually the perfect riposte to the perfunctory minimalist bars that have been in fashion for so long. During the afternoon, while away the hours with a book, a coffee and the tempting cakes on offer, by night be prepared for live jazz bands, belly-dancing french women and mystics who will promise you treasures and more! Saltillo 39, Hipodromo-Condesa, Tels: 5211-7942/1222. Odessa - Here’s one way to ensure exclusivity; just open once a week and the people will flock. Whether there’s some legal shenanigans going on behind closed doors which means the Odessa can only ply its trade on a Thursday night or the management are quietly drumming up a buzzword by keeping their doors shut for the remaining six days of the week, frankly who knows? One thing is for certain though, this large, comfortable, beautifully lit bar is definitely the hotspot in La Condesa on a night where the real "partygoers" come out to play. Chilpancingo 16, Condesa. Only open on Thursdays from 9pm. Cafeina - With counterparts in Miami and Milan, this chic bar is the perfect spot for idle chatter and slinking a few frozen martinis before charging into Mexico City’s club scene. Co-owned by Mexican actor Diego Luna (Y Tu Mama Tambien, Nicotina) Cafeina ia all about comfortable chairs, low-lit lighting and feeling as relaxed as possible. Girls simply love it. Impress a date by buying her their special mango ice-cream dessert, and watch her eyes roll back literally in ecstasy. Nuevo Leon 73, Condesa. Tel: 5212-0090. Monday to Sunday from 12pm to 2am.

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