Nightlife In Mexico City: Where To Party In CDMX

 

I can't believe I haven't done a post on nightlife in Mexico City.

Disgraceful.

Luckily, a friend and fellow blogger was kind enough to point out that this may be something worth covering.

Considering that I've spent nearly two years of my life in the Mexican capital - not an insignificant portion of which was spent partying - I had to agree.

Unfortunately, with the recent closures of Bull Dog Cafe, Mono, Rhodesia and Rioma, this list will be a bit shorter than I would have liked.

That being said, after reading, you should have a pretty good idea of where to get a drink in one of the world's largest metropolises.

So, without further ado, for your information and for my own nostalgic pleasure, here is your comprehensive, insightful and, most importantly, entertaining guide to the bars and nightclubs of Mexico City.

 

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Condesa and Roma

  • El Departamento - True to its name, this spot on Alvaro Obregon in Colonia Roma Norte is set up to look like an apartment. A relaxed vibe, cool decor and tasteful music make this place worth checking out. Usually a mixed bag of foreigners and locals. The doormen can me a bit moody - don't go with more than a crowd of about five unless you know someone who knows someone, as you may have to wait longer to get in.

Chance of getting in: Easy/Moderate

 

  • Patrick Miller - You can't truly say that you've experienced Mexico City nightlife if you haven't been to Patrick Miller. Seriously, this bar is a riot. Cheap beers, massive venue, classic music spontaneous dance circles (which you'll get kicked out of if you're not good enough, by the way). It has cult-like status in Mexico. I'd never be a regular here, and I'm guessing you wouldn't want to be either, but it is undeniably worth a visit.

Chance of getting in: Easy

 

  • AM Local-  Perhaps my favourite after hours club (it was about a five minute walk from home, after all). Techno beats, interesting people, some of which who may-or-may-not-be high on ecstasy and/or cocaine, good layout with enough seating, sizable dance floor and a smoking area upstairs. I've always enjoyed myself here. It was my go-to after hours spot for nightlife in Mexico City.

Chance of getting in: Easy

 

  • Niuyorquina- Often overlooked by foreigners in favor of next door Pata Negra, in my humble opinion, Niuyorquina is the better of the two bars. It's always packed, drink prices are reasonable and the music is on-point (a bit of everything...reggaeton, salsa, with some classics mixed in here and there). Since everyone is so packed together, you can't help but mingle with other groups. A good place to find a romantic partner.

Chance of getting in: Easy

  

  • El Imperial- The Roma Norte spot for rock music! A real nice vibe and decor - clientele is borderline hipster, but you don't get a stuck-up vibe from the crowd. Surprisingly good cocktails. Easy to mingle with other groups. Thumbs up.

Chance of getting in: Easy

 

  • Pulqueria los Insurgentes- THE place to try pulque in Roma Norte! In addition to serving this newly revived ancient Mexican beverage, Pulqueria los Insurgentes also serves up some great music. It's four floors high, with each floor offering a different style of music. The decor and atmosphere is truly unique. I'd say it's a must-see. Come here in a group, though. It's not the easiest place to mingle without one.

Chance of getting in: Easy

  

  • Pata Negra- A fixture of Mexico City nightlife. If a tourist asks a local about where to go to party in Mexico City, that local will point them here. And it's no wonder. The girls that frequent this place have a well-earned reputation for being gringo-hunters (i.e girls that like gringos). In my opinion, Pata Negra is hit or miss. Some nights are bumping, particularly if there is a band playing, but other nights fall flat. It's tough to predict. The one good thing is that it's always packed with people, and it's very, very easy to mingle. I went here a lot when I first arrived, but sort of grew out of it over time.

Chance of getting in: Easy

  

  • Gin Gin- An elegant art-deco style, an impressive cocktail list and well-dressed people. This staple of nightlife in Mexico City is located in the hip Roma Norte neighbourhood. What's not to like!? Ok, well there are a few things. The service isn't great and the drinks are expensive. Also, they allow smoking inside, so if you're not into that, this place will piss you off. It does, however, provide a great atmosphere to go out with a group. If you don't have a group, skip this place - I've scarcely seen people here without 3 or more individuals accompanying them.

Chance of getting in: Easy

 Lesser-known Spots

  • La Chilanguita- This place has a few locations throughout the city. It's a restaurant, but transitions into a bar on the weekend. When I was first invited here by a friend, I was skeptical - I'm not a fan of going out only to find everyone sitting at their own tables talking amongst themselves. But I must say, I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived. The place was packed. Although everyone was mostly in groups, the groups were easy to penetrate (I almost got roped into one with middle-aged women on my way to the bathroom). There's even a little dance floor to mingle. It's not a must-do by any means, but if you pass by and see a lot of people inside, check it out. 

Chance of getting in: Easy

 

  • Foro Normandie- If you want to experience legitimate, local nightlife in Mexico City, this place is a must. Particularly if you like electronic music. Easy to meet people here, especially if you're a foreigner. It gets packed. And warm. Wear a tee-shirt. If you're claustrophobic, maybe skip this one. If not, I'd say it's a must-do.

Chance of getting in: Easy

  • Mr Duck- On Madero Street in Historic Center of Mexico City. A very local scene. I’ve scarcely seen a tourist in this place. A lot of groups, but room for dancing and easy to meet people. Also, a very cheap spot to get your buzz on. Beers go for about $1.50 USD.

 

*I visited a handful of lesser-known spots while dabbling in nightlife in Mexico City (particularly in Centro and Roma) but I don't recall the names of a lot of them. I'll look into it and update this article accordingly.

More Unique Options

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  • La Invencible- An authentic Mexican cantina, family-run with a lot of history. I suggest this place because it's rather welcoming, and located in the safe neighbourhood of Santa Fe. Other cantinas can be a bit seedy. I used to live not far from here, so I can attest to the fact that it's a good spot for day-drinking!

Chance of getting in: Easy

 

 

  • El Salon Tenampa- OK guys, this is another must-do. If you want to do justice to nightlife in Mexico City, you can't do so without visiting Plaza Garibaldi, a.k.a where the mariachis are! Get serenaded with solemn Mexican music as you drown your sorrows in Tequila (I've visited this place more times than I'd like to admit). Don't wander away from the plaza, though. This is not a safe neighbourhood. Also, make sure to go with a group. You can't do this place alone!

Chance of getting in: Easy

 

  • HOBOS (Jazz/Blues)- If you're staying or studying near UNAM, and you're a fan of jazz and blues, you gotta check this place out. There aren't too many good spots for this kind of music in Mexico City. This is one of the better ones.

Chance of getting in: Easy

  

  • La Faena- A bullfighting-themed cantina in Centro. This was mine and my roommate's go-to spot to get a beer with a colorful photojournalist whom I'd met shortly after I arrived. Good memories, cheap beer and free food with every round!

Chance of getting in: Easy

Fancy Options

  • Joy Room- Located in the affluent neighbourhood of Polanco, Joy Room is one of the popular, upper end places to enjoy nightlife in Mexico City. Expect to pay an expensive cover charge and shell out for drinks. The upside is that you'll get to see some beautiful people (there's a fairly well-known former Mexican weather girl who frequents this place, among other minor celebrities). Unfortunately, unless you know someone, getting in is not a guarantee. You could very well wait in a long line just to get turned away at the door. If you're going without a connection, dress to impress and make sure you show up with at least one good looking woman. Music is more pop than anything else.

Chance of getting in: Moderate/Difficult

 

  • SENS- A ways out from the tourist areas of Roma and Condesa, on the way to Sante Fe in Bosque de las Lomas. Sens is another rather exclusive nightclub in Mexico City, where the richer folk go to party. An elegant interior with, again, beautiful people. The doormen here are slightly tougher to impress than in Joy Room, so you need to dress right. A cold fact is that if you're foreign, good-looking and arrive with a few foreign girls, you'll get in. Eventually. If you turn up with locals that don't have connections, you may get rejected. The atmosphere inside is rather stuck-up for this reason. Check it out if you're inclined to see how the rich party in Mexico City, but I wouldn't say it's a must-do. 

Chance of getting in: Moderate/Difficult

  

  • Hyde- Also in Bosque de las Lomas, you can give Hyde a shot if you get rejected from SENS. In my experience, it also had the least stuck-up and best looking people out of any of the fancy clubs I visited here. Again, shitty fact, but if you're foreign, you'll have much better luck at the door/with your reservation (at these places, even if you make a reservation, there are no guarantees. I'd opt for Hyde over Joy Room or SENS. It's a bit of a younger crowd as well.

Chance of getting in: Moderate/Difficult

 

  • Beyork- One of the relatively few rap/reggaeton clubs in the city. Always packed on the weekends. Getting in isn't too much of a problem, but it gets busy on the weekend, so it's best to make a reservation. Located in San Angel. 200+ peso cover.

Chance of getting in: Moderate/Difficult

  

  • Republica- Located in Polanco. Similar to Joy Room in vibe and music. Fairly small and exclusive, so you may have trouble getting in. However, if you arrive early (i.e. before midnight) you should be fine.

Chance of getting in: Moderate/Difficult

 

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  • Ragga- Although I'm not a fan of fancy, overpriced bars, if I had to pick a favourite, Ragga would probably be it. Less snobby and easier to enter than the aforementioned Polanco club Joy Room, and actually possible to meet people you didn't arrive with. Again, expect to pay to get in (300 pesos was the rate when I was there) and you need to come dressed well. Music is decent here (less pop than Joy Room). One of your better fancy choice for Mexico City nightlife.

Chance of getting in: Moderate

 

What Does it Cost to go Out in Mexico City?

As you might imagine, the cost of nightlife in Mexico City ranges greatly. Typically, in the bars around Roma and Condesa, you'll pay 60-80 pesos (about $3.00 or $4.00 USD) for a beer and about 120-200 pesos ($6.50-$10.00) for a cocktail. Bottle service in these places will start at around 900 pesos ($48.00 USD). You can find bars that are cheaper, but this would be about average. Many more places have now started charging cover, but there are still plenty of free options.

However, if you want to party in some of the fancier places I noted, bring some cash. Cover will run you at least 300 pesos ($16.00 USD) bottle service will start at around 2000 pesos ($108.00 USD) and a bottle of beer will set you back $6.00 or $7.00 USD.

In short, unless you're planning on living the high-life...

- $3-4 USD for a beer

- $7-10 USD for a cocktail

-$50 for a bottle

 

The Key To Enjoying Mexico City Nightlife

If you want to make the most of Mexico City nightlife, you need to sort out your logistics.

If you're in to a grittier, bar/cantina type of party, you might want to base yourself up in Centro.

If you're in to the high-life, you're going to want to situate yourself in Polanco or Santa Fe.

Looking to meet students? The neighbourhoods around San Angel or Metro Copilco would be decent choices. There are a decent number of clubs close to UNAM.

Do you simply want options? A bit of everything? Stay in Roma or Condesa - this is where most of the bars and clubs in Mexico City are located.

Unless you have specific tastes for nightlife, most folks are going to be happy staying around Roma or Condesa. A general rule of thumb is that if you're walking distance from Parque Mexico/ Parque España, you're also walking distance from the majority of the bars and clubs you'd ever want or need to visit.

Another tip for enjoying Mexico City nightlife would be to go out with a group. Mexicans tend to go out in groups of at least 3 or 4 people, and I find it's better for meeting folks if you can do the same.

If you can't, no worries. I've flown solo in this city before and had a great time. Going out alone in Latin America doesn't have to be intimidating - at times, it can actually be more fun!

 

Final Thoughts On Nightlife in Mexico City

The nightlife in Mexico City is among the best in Latin America. The only city that has it beat is Bogota. (P.S Here's a great article on Bogota nightlife if you're interested in knowing why it's the best place to party).

There is truly something for everyone here...with a population of over 20 million people, how could there not be!

If you decide to make the trip down south, I can assure you, you will not be disappointed.

 

And that's all, folks!

I hope I've shed some light on the best places to party in CDMX. But don't take my word for it - book a ticket and check it out for yourself!

 

For More information on Mexico City, be sure to check out my Mexico City guide!