Polanco neighborhood at night: Great Nightlife
After doing the Zona Rosa one night you might want to check out the hip and trendy upscale neighborhood of Polanco at night. The Beverly Hills of Mexico City has it all. Booming with endless nightclubs, and trendy bars this is where the pretty and well of to do Mexico City residents come to unwind. Restaurants the area are suitted for just about everyone needs, from small and cheap to grand and expensive. The crowds of are big on weekends and so are the thieves, so be carefully of your surroundings, stick to the main street and you should be OK !!!!
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El Hijo del Cuervo: A popular place in Coyoacan
This is a popular place in Coyoacan since many years ago. It was shut down for a while but it's working again now and a lot of people continue to go there to have a few drinks with friends.
The place is not too big but big enough, it has a terrace for smokers and/or if you like to watch people pass by while having your drink. It gets crowded quickly on weekends so the earlier you can get there, the better. The environment is pretty simplistic but cozy, there is no live music but they play mostly music of the 80's and 90's. The prices are pretty reasonable and there's no cover fee; there's a good choice of alcohol (liquors & beers), snacks and a few dishes if you want something to eat. I've never eaten there so I can't recommend anything in particular.
Be careful when paying the bill, though, because sometimes they will charge you "by mistake" stuff that you never asked for or consumed. At least this is what happened on our last visit there, so we had to get the bill corrected in order to pay only what we had ordered as they had put a few extra beers in our bill -- luckily we didn't drink much so we had kept good track of what we had drunk and couldn't be fooled. This doesn't only happen in this place, mind you, so always be careful when paying the bill at any bar or restaurant just in case there are any "mistakes".
Dress Code: No dress code, this place is attended by young people mostly so you can be as informally dressed as you want (of course I'm not talking about shorts & sandals but jeans and sneakers are not looked down on, they're ok).
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La Embajada Jarocha: A gathering place for "jarochos"
I was brought here by an elderly man whom I used to work with - and his partner who is a few years younger - since he's sooo very fond of anything having to do with the state of Veracruz (on our east coast, next to the Gulf of Mexico), and even though he thought I wouldn't find the place pleasant, I did like the experience and would even probably go back.
This is a VERY simple place but it may be attractive for a foreigner because the real culture from Veracruz can be experienced here. It's owned by a former box fighter and it's a place that people who were born in Veracruz -- called "jarochos" -- and now live in Mexico City love to visit because it reminds them of their homeland. The walls are painted with images from Veracruz, the food that is served (and even the beers that can be drunk) is 100% from Veracruz too and there are bands playing live music which ranges from danzon to cha-cha-cha, salsa, rumba.... mostly latin rhythms with a slight preference for Cuban music. They start playing early (6-7 PM or so) and there are different bands alternating every hour. People do love to eat here but I guess they come here mostly attracted by the music & the dancing.
We went there on a Thursday night but still it wasn't crowded, so there was enough space to dance and also many empty tables. Drinks are reasonably priced as well as food. We had already had a heavy meal so the only thing I ate was some fried plantains with condensed milk which were very tasty. It's a nice place if you want to watch people dance and enjoy latin music and want to share their enthusiasm as well. Even my man who isn't a dancer joined us on the dance floor and shared the joy with us!
Dress Code: You can come in dressed in jeans and a nice shirt and you won't be kicked out, but most of the people we saw here were wearing nice clothes. Some men were wearing suits (maybe they were coming directly from their work places??) and women were wearing dresses and skirts in general. Almost no one wearing jeans or informal clothing. I was told that this was a tradition brought from the state of Veracruz, where people dress in their best clothes only to go to downtown and dance in the open air. So since the attendees are usually middle aged and elderly people, they tend to follow this tradition and dress nicely when they come here.
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XIVA: Noisy, cheap but with tricky promotions.....
I attended this spot only because a friend of mine celebrated her birthday here. She likes places where they play electronic and dance music and this is one of those places, so it's mostly attended by youngsters (we were all over 30).
This place looks like a discotheque, with nice lights and stuff. However, we were given a table right below one of the woofers and the noise was absolutely intolerable and caused me a temporary deafness (my man suffered from this too) and a BIG headache. The music was a mix of electronic, contemporary pop, raeggeton, etc. The price of the drinks & bottles is pretty decent but they charge a cover fee (it's not expensive though and it gets reduced if you make a reservation for a group; women pay less than men). And they have a promotion for people who celebrate their birthdays -- they give them a bottle of liquor for free. However, on their website they NEVER advertise that such "gift" is only given to you AFTER 2 A.M. and you don't get to choose which bottle you will get...... they give you whatever they want. So much for a promotion........ the service is ok, we didn't have to wait too long to go inside, but in general I didn't enjoy my time at this place so I wouldn't recommend it.
Dress Code: None really.... people were dressing jeans, tops, shirts, the environment is relaxed and informal.
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whiskey bar, w bar: we are the beautiful people!
It seems that hardly anyone writes reviews or tips for more upmarket places so here goes.....
Definitely the IN place in Mexico City, if you're looking for a trendy place with pulsating music and lots of beautiful people !
lots of eye candy for boys and girls and lots of nice clothes, good cocktails and even better snacks.
No one says anything bad about the Whiskey Bar, formerly called W Bar in the W hotel in Polanco. the decor is great and the sofas are so nice to lounge in! the hotel and the bar are first class.
so why not give yourself an excuse to get dressed up and have a few cocktails here!
Dress Code: smart
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Various Bars/Restaurants: Guide to popular Mexico City night spots
NIGHT LIFE IN DF
Mexico City's night life is like is just like everything else, its huge. There is an enormous selection of places to choose from including, clubs, bars, restaurants, cafes, and variations and combinations thereof to choose from. There is incredible variation, from ultramodern lounges and sushi houses to cantinas and pubs located in the various districts.
Depending on the day of the week, and the date of the month will indicate how full the venues will be and how long ques will be etc. In the more wealthy areas of the city there is generally movement in the bars and restuarants but as salaries are usually paid twice per month in mexico,being on the 30th/31st-1st, and the 14th-15th you will usually find the venues at there fullest on or around these dates.
It is common to go out thursday to Sunday in mexico so thats when you will find the most lively bars in the city on a weekly basis. Most bars and clubs stay open until very late/early morning hours, as a general rule, expect to wait a while at the door on busy evenings although the bigger places usually dont have a que. There is a culture of charging to get into some high end bars and most nightclubs in the city although you should expect to see some signs saying LADIES NO COVER.
Some of the more popular venues in the "downtown" part of the city are:
Hookah Lounge (condesa)
Big Red (polanco,many throughout the city, popular and cheap)
Cronic Garden (Polanco)
W Bar at the W Hotel
Don Quintin (polanco and other locations, great live band)
Rexo (condesa, small bar set over two levels, great place to eat)
In more upscale places it will depend on who you know or how often you frequent the venue as to the table you get .. the further to the front of the bar near the stage or dance floor etc.
Look in a guide book, or ask a local that you may know or be doing business with as to which places you should try. Polanco and Condesa along with Santa Fe can be very expenisve places to eat although spending alittle more will most likely get you that feeling of luxury that you dont always find back home.
Dress Code: SMART CASUAL is generally the rule in mexico city
Don Quintin: Party Hard!
this place is great because they serve food, good drinks and the live music which starts very late on is fantastic... theres a band line up of 8 or so people, various singers, spanish and english songs and they have really great voices.... this is not kareokee!!
guys will pay to get in but its nothing much, 10 USD or so.... the drinks are not too expensive either... you can order a round or a bottle and mixers to keep you topped up, but each table has a dedicated waiter that will attend you all night.
This place gets very busy and stays open until the early hours.. give it a try if you want to dance!
Dress Code: Smart casual
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Plaza Garibaldi: Mariachis and more Mariachis
The guide book said to be careful of this place that there are alot of thieves and blah blah blah. Yes, you need to be careful at night and while drinking and partying but just use your brain. This was a fun place with alot going on. There are tons of mariachis, people hanging around listening to music, some people dancing, alot of people drinking.
Toward the back of the Plaza Garibaldi where a bunch of Rasta/goth type of people that where hanging around. I stayed away from them because they smelled REALLY bad. Other than that we had the time of our lives. We danced, drank, took pictures, hung out at the little bar next to the Plaza called Tenapa, or something like that.
This place was a great way to spend a night out. After a while though you start noticing that there are alot of very drunk people. There are police around to watch over things to make sure everything stays calm. So that was good. People watching here was alot of fun too.
There are alot of people here so watch your purse/wallet/belongings.
Plaza Garibaldi is a very fun place to hang out at.
Dress Code: There isnt a dress code here to speak of but you might want to dress warm because it can get chilly at night. Also watch your belongings especially if you are drinking.
Plaza Garibaldi is named for Giuseppe Garibaldi Jr., who was a lieutenant colonel (teniente coronel) in the army of Pancho Villa during the initial victories of the 1910 Mexican Revolution.
Tenampa: Located at the Garibaldi Plaza
This place is a landmark here at Plaza Garibaldi with alot of history. It has been around since the 1920's, Salón Tenampa, on the north side of the square, is still going strong every day of the week until 3 a.m. (till 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday). This is the more popular bar here. There are pictures painted on the wall of the famous people that would sing, play or come hang out at the Plaza Garibaldi. Among them Pedro Infante,
plaza garibaldi.: the most romantic square in the world.
plaza garibaldi is the place to go in this world for mariachi music.
on this square you have dozens of bands hanging out, ready to play a song for your sweetheart for a couple of dollars.
it´s not just a tourist place, but also very popular among working class mexicans who will go there with their girlfriends and buy them a song or two.
the square has several cafes and restaurants where you can eat and drink while watching the spectacle.
plaza garibaldi is really uniqe and a must see thing in mexico city.
especially in the evening.
Dress Code: everything goes there.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Numerous: Is it safe to visit a "local" pub in DF?
The definition of "local" might be difficult to apply in this large city. There areas like around Condesa, Roma, Plaza Garibaldi and the Zona Rosa where there are concentrations of clubs, bars and restaurants, but they do not really offer a community pub feel. If by "local" you mean places with a strong Mexican flavor they are not uncommon because of the Mexican tourism to the big city, but paradoxically, as you might expect, lots of most popular clubs for Mexicans offer foreign music and decor. I have been in many places full of Mexican patrons where the entertainment or background music was not at all Mexican As in lots of cities, the action may pick up late at night (after 11PM) and go into the early morning. People often arrive and almost always leave by car. You should be aware that dark empty street areas just beyond tourist areas or outside drinking clubs and bars can be particularly dangerous late at night.
If you are traveling alone the risks are even greater. Although I think hiring a driver wait might be a little extreme, the idea of making sure that you have a safe way back to your hotel is important. Most, if not all, respectable bars-restaurants-clubs will get you a safe taxi for return to your hotel. If you want go to a sleazy, clip joint type of place, you are alone, like to drink a lot, or are looking for riskier activities, then having your own driver probably would not be a bad idea.
Mexicans are generally friendly, but alcohol + weapons + machismo can cause things to get violent. You would probably have to be pretty aggressive to have any of this violence directed at you, but there is no glory in being the innocent injured bystander. This is more of risk at a grittier place of hard drinkers then your more common and attractive places in Mexico City.
Many tourists to Mexico City never really fully experience the nightlife of the city because they do not understand the timing of the activity.
Dress Code: Generally casual will be just fine.
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Zona Rosa: Some modern, some hip and a little real Mexico
The Zona Rosa is a famous area for nightlife in Mexico City. It is not really a bad place to stay, but there is tackiness, noise and nightlife. Still many of the bars, restaurants and clubs are upscale international quality appealing to Mexican and foreign tourists. Periodically over the years, there have been generally successful projects to improve the street appeal of the area --Apparently there is one on going at this time (March 08)-- but during the day there continues to be a little hangover feel. This disappears by nightfall.
On one of my recent visits:
Myself and several buddies were walking along one nice street in the Zona Rosa when we were approached by a couple good looking prostitutes who invited us to enjoy some of real Mexico. When we declined explaining that we had no money for sex, they countered stating that they did accept Visa.
I guess that I should not have been surprised, this is the same place where cell phones have replaced pistolas in the holsters of mariachi band members.
When I think of the Zona Rosa, I think of this mix of some modern, some hip and a little bit of real Mexico.
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El Ansia: Gay bar, straight-friendly
For gay people who want to have fun in Mexico City, you don't have to go to the Zona Rosa to find gay-oriented bars and nightclubs.
I visited this place twice and liked it very much even though I'm straight. It's been on business for 11 years now and it's very well known and popular among gays. I was warmly welcomed -- no one is discriminated here -- and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the environment is even better and more fun than it is at many straight bars & clubs. They have a live show every night (Thu - Fri - Sat) with Drag Queens imitating the most popular female singers (both national / international) which is quite attractive and popular. They also play a wide variety of music so you can dance all night long and not get bored. Waiters are very kind and friendly -- some of the best service I've received at ANY nightclub.
There's a small cover fee (about USD $5 a few years ago) and the drinks are decently priced. Of course most people here are gay & lesbian but if you're straight they will accept you just fine, and I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun. Gays are very respectful and no one will mess with you if they notice you're not one of them.
Also, be aware of this: since it's very popular it's usually CROWDED! Get there early (they open at 9 PM)... the night show starts around midnight, though.
Dress Code: Pretty relaxed, although gays are usually very classy and fashion to dress. But again, no matter how you're dressed or how you look you'll be welcome!
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Feira (note: now called PINK): A place *NOT* to go to!!!!
This is gonna be like my only "anti-tip"... which means I'm just posting it in order to advice people to AVOID going to this place, instead of encouraging them to visit it as the rest of my tips intend to do.
I had never heard about this dump and would probably never had if I hadn't been invited to join a friend of mine & her co workers there. They picked this place (lousy choice!) and got there early, I was supposed to reach them later... but when I tried to join them at barely 8 PM, I was NOT allowed in the place... Why?? "Cause I had no reservation" and they needed the space for a "private event" (the universal line they give you when they want to keep you from entering a place, especially nightclubs). Well, my friends were ALREADY IN, they had been occupying a table for 6 for a while and were drinking (so they certainly weren't there for free), so I don't think an extra person would have been a problem... But the guy almost pushed me out even though my friend in person came downstairs to tell him I was coming with them and that they already had a table, regardless of their "event" (whether it existed or not).... Still, they asked me to leave as if I were some beggar trying to enter a fancy restaurant and get something to eat and drink for free.... so all the guys that were with my friend supported me and they WERE ALL KICKED OUT of the place cause they would just not let me in, so if we wanted to be together, they had to leave! And so we did... we all headed for La Jima (see my other nightlife tips) and had a good dinner and some drinks there...
Now, what kind of lousy dump KICKS ITS CUSTOMERS OUT OF THE DOOR??? What kind of a$$holes are those who, instead of trying to keep their clients happy, just ask them to leave cause "you're occupying their precious space, which is destined to something better than hosting YOU"??? (continued below, no space left!)
Dress Code: ....We just couldn't understand that a "nice-fancy-place-in-Polanco" would be run by such dickheads, because not even the manager moved a finger to try to keep my acquaintances inside their dump... on the opposite, it looked like they were happy to see us leave! What a bunch of LOSERS! And this is one of those "classy" night spots in Polanco where the "nice wealthy people" go every weekend... maybe we didn't look nice enough to be allowed in? Our clothes were not Armani or Versace and therefore we did not deserve to be admitted into such a "wonderful night spot"??? Well, F--CK 'em! I personally have no intention whatsoever to even get close to this place ever again. And I advice you to do the same!! I wouldn't like you to be mistreated by some bunch of jerks which might make you think that all of us Mexicans are so stupid... So, keep away from "Feira"!!!!!
DRESS CODE???? Whatever!!!!!! You're not going inside anyway! :-P
Please mind that this place was renamed as PINK later on, but now it seems they've closed it down and the local is being offered for lease to some new business. Stay away anyway until I can update you about a DECENT business being run here! ;-)
Meneo: Latino dancing with live music
Meneo is a dancing spot where they play LIVE latin music (salsa, merengue) and where you may dance disco music as well (when the band is not playing). It's a big place and it's fun!
Beware, you have to get there early because it gets really crowded. The dancing starts later, but I do think you have to get there no later than 10 PM if you want to be able to go in. Because of the many people that come here, it's rather difficult to have enough space to dance, but the environment is joyful and you can have a quite good time.
Dress Code: Just casual
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