MID City Favorite Cantinas for a Cold Beer on a Hot Day

Cantinas, bars and drinks that may seem a bit strange or let’s say unique to this country are a big part of Merida and Mexico’s nightlife.


A cantina in Mexico traditionally is a kind of bar frequented by males for drinking alcohol and eating free botanas (appetizers), and sometimes singing the blues and passing out on the curb as they leave the premises! They open at 12pm and close at 10pm. There are some cantinas that are still like that, mostly in the deep Centro, where, as a woman, I would not go in by myself or with a group of friends. However, a new concept of cantinas has been the trend for a long time, the hours, vibe and look in general casual with plastic or simple tables are the same, but they are places frequented by all sorts of people. You go there to listen to music, drink inexpensive drinks and laugh with friends. Lots of groups do cantina tours and go from cantina to cantina to eat free food and drink beer, tequila or mezcal!

A good group for this is Tour Cantinero MID

Drinks you may have never tried until you came to Mexico

Now, here in Mexico there are many ways you can drink a beer. You can get it with sweet and sour with gummies, hot sauces and candied with salt or chamoy to give it that special touch. 

  • The Michelada is a drink made with beer, lime juice, assorted sauces Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce (often chili-based), spices, chili peppers and many times accompanied with a stick of gummied spice chamoy. It’s not for the faint at heart, but most definitely a favorite. 
  • The Chelada is what I call beer lemonade. It’s actually quite good on the hot 110 degree days in Merida, They serve you a beer and a glass with ice and a good amount of pure lemon juice in the bottom, no sugar. The glass rim is salted and you pour the beer over the ice. It’s a beer lemonade! Or a chelada and it is super refreshing. 
  • Ojo Rojo this one is similar to a bloody mary but with beer and also similar to a michelada. It is very popular for those who have had a long night out and need a refresher in the morning. It’s the hangover beer. It has lime, salt, hot spices, clamato, pepper, worcestershire sauce (and if in Yucatan many times they will add in chamoy). As is with the bloody mary, the bartenders get creative.

What free snacks do they give you at the cantinas?

In many cantinas in Mérida you can enjoy more than 20 types of traditional Yucatecan snacks. In the best cantinas, such as Lucero del Alba (known for the great botanas) they may bring to your table small plates of papadzules (an egg enchilada with pumpkin sauce), kibis, tacos, spaghetti, and even main dishes in mini size such as relleno negro and poc chuc. You get all this for free with your drink.  Other cantinas like the famous La Negrita, give you just some popcorn with hot sauce and fried pig skin, so it depends on where you go. But either way it’s a good way to drink, but have something in your stomach too. 

We are going to start the tour with one “cantina” that was popularized by their traditional “chivos,” or jumbo glasses with the secret michelada recipe that has been passed through generations.

La Casita de Paja

A traditional house with a thatched roof that has quenched the thirst of thousands of Yucatecans for generations, a few years ago it became popular offering legendary micheladas accompanied by snacks, music and a safe environment for everyone.


Rodrigo V: Excellent historic cantina in the city, one of the few that are still truly canteens, 5 stars

La Cantina El Porvenir

After drinking one “chivo” or maybe 2 and a delicious snack, our next stop is La Cantina El Porvenir where the waiters are the hosts and vodka with natural grapefruit juice is one of the stellar drinks. 

“Very nice atmosphere, beautiful old “cantina” with minimalist touches, good prices, I loved it” Enrique. 

Alejandro j: Good and comfortable place, especially if you are looking for a good price and a place to be among friends. 5 stars


El Cardenal

Cantina el Cardenal is an excellent option if you like good food and live music and a variety of snacks to share with friends. We recommend the garden area, a cool place with excellent acoustics.

Jorge M: It is my favorite cantina, the beer is very cold, they have a great choice of cocktails, the food is delicious, you can talk, there is a place available to be comfortable, the atmosphere and decoration are excellent, 5 Stars.


Another spectacular option to close the night is Salón Gallos, a restaurant bar, with a Lebanese-Yucatecan gastronomic fusion, cinema and wine bar.

The place has a particular charm that will transport you in an atmosphere with good music that will make you forget the outside world.

Lucero del Alba

Both restaurant and cantina they are a great place to start a cantina tour because they bring you real food with your booze! 

Evee G. I like the place, you eat very well! the atmosphere is delicious, they have live music, it seems super appropriate and it is so much better if you get a place on the terrace, 5 stars.


La Negrita

Old and renovated bar in the Historic Center. This is a great place for live Cuban music every day and a packed ambiance where many gather to enjoy the afternoon. They offer draft beer, a full bar, snacks, homemade lunch and dinner, a place where you can enjoy with friends and dance all day. 

Sharon H: You may have to wait in line to get in but it’s worth it! 5 stars.


Cantina Estado Seco

A Canteen where people can come to relax having a beer or a LINCE of their choice

Jhonny G: Excellent place to drink some beers and taste some snacks, that is if the snacks have potential to improve but in general terms you have a good time with your companions, ideal for lunch on a Saturday.


Bar El Patio Cantina Contemporánea

Cantina with great atmosphere, delicious food, variety of drinks, live music and also has dishes to taste.
It is a few meters from the great Parque de la Plancha

Yian OA pleasant atmosphere, the staff listens to you and are very friendly. I didn’t expect the snack, very delicious and goes great with the beer. It has a food menu in case you are hungry, prices consistent and good.
Vegetarian dishes: They served my daughter with a dish that was not on the menu.
Suitable for children: It is a family atmosphere,


La Monumental

Traditional Yucatecan Cantina with a variety of beers, snacks and a variety of dishes from the region to try

Freddy P: Excellent service, prices and taste. The atmosphere is cozy and fun. Great Friday music


El Gallito

Entering the El Gallito cantina is like going back in time twenty years and placing your elbows on a bar so spacious that it accommodates about twenty customers, in addition to those who, cheerfully, chat at the tables in the two large spaces.

Chinthya R: We loved the place, one of the iconic cantinas in the center of Mérida, the attention they gave us was very good. We were celebrating a birthday and they sang the mañanitas to the birthday boy and gave him a tequila, the moment was fun.
Rich snack,
It is a place to return to.


Leoncitos Bar

It is easy to find Leoncitos thanks to its great location. The laing here is perfectly prepared.

Many guests think that the staff is competent. As a lot of reviewers say, the service is terrific. Here you will pay reasonable prices. It’s always interesting to try new things, so enjoy the inviting atmosphere. The overall rating of this place on Google is 4.5.

Diana L: The central location, excellent snack, very rich seasoning, after the third round they give you the dish of the day. The micheladas and red eye are very delicious. Widely recommended.


El PICO De Orizaba

Just steps from the Museum of the City of Mérida, the Cantina Pico de Orizaba awaits you.
The menu will pleasantly surprise you. With reasonable prices and attentive service from the staff, Cantina Pico de Orizaba becomes an ideal option for an informal lunch or dinner.

Its pleasant atmosphere and traditional decoration will transport you to another era, while you enjoy a good beer and delicious food.

Maria G: Just steps from the Museum of the City of Mérida, the Cantina Pico de Orizaba awaits you, a place where beer reigns. Don’t miss their wide selection of beers, perfect to enjoy in a relaxed and cozy atmosphere.


What was your favorite place? Tag us on social media and share your adventure! Thanks for reading us, do not forget to share the online magazine with your friends.

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