Famous and traditional. The bars and cantinas in Mérida are the scene of stories, reunions and solitudes.

The oldest cantinas and the best bars in Mérida to drink, snack and eat.

The bars and cantinas in Mérida are true icons of the passing of time and of a tradition that never dies.

Although it seems out of time, anachronistic and timeless, even in a couple of them the entrance to women is forbidden.

Read: Yucatecan woman. Pioneer in the fight for her rights.

In all the cantinas of Mérida alcoholic beverages are the protagonists of a setting very similar to the tower of Babel.

Beer, of course, will always be the favorite drink of the Yucatecan public.

In many, simplicity and informality are the key to their success. Others, reconstruct the old concept by giving a modern twist to their design and adding live music shows, thus turning them into immortal spaces of the city.

The truth is in the cantinas of Mérida, it's not just about drinking, they're good too dining options, listen to music or spend a bohemian time, with friends, family (some are appropriate) or alone (why not?).

Cantinas in Mérida to refresh with friends with Yucatecan food and beer of all kinds.

There are several famous cantinas in Mérida Yucatán, whose names are also suggestive.

From "The Dry State" to "La Casita de Paja" there are quirky, original and very funny names.

The location of the canteens also says a lot about them.

The canteens in downtown Mérida are the oldest and are located in the most traditional neighborhoods and popular. There are more than a hundred canteens.

You are interested in: Portrait of the neighborhoods of Mérida - Santiago

The food or snack in the canteens it is also a hallmark. It usually varies by region and in some places it can include up to a menu of three courses or more.

The Yucatecan cantina snack includes the most traditional flavors like sikil pak, papdzules, kibis and various tacos.

A city with more than a hundred canteens

It will be the heat ... In Mérida there are more than 100 canteens. They are distributed in the different city neighborhoods, although they are mostly located in the Center.

In Mérida, go to the canteen it is an experience that everyone should live more than once in their life.

They are a meeting point by tradition or custom, and ideal to celebrate, leave problems behind or even work.

The Merida cantinas and bars They are distinguished by their heterogeneous population, you can find from workers to university students to artists, teachers, journalists and foreigners.

There are canteens and bars classic and traditional, located in Antique buildings, that are found open to the public for decades, there are also more chic options with a high quality service, live music, in open spaces and with unique and modern styles.

You can find them for all budgets.

Origin of the canteens

Mexican Cantinas
The oldest bars and cantinas in Mérida.

The term "canteen" is derived from the Celtic word which means: pantry, cabinet or small room where they classified and stored wines.

In colonial times they were called tavern, to refer to those establishments that sold all kinds of intoxicating drinks.

The canteens originate approximately in 1847 during the US occupation of Mexico, as a result of the growing demand for beverages consumed by the invading soldiers.

Beer, the favorite drink in the cantinas of Yucatán

Beer is the oldest registered drink in the world. However, it was in the early Middle Ages that what we know as modern beer.

Around 1150, German monks began to use hops in beer.

This peculiar ingredient that provides the bitter taste, had other advantages: among them it allowed to keep the drink for longer.

With the passage of time, countries such as Germany, Belgium and the British Isles, became a true brewing center thanks to their rigorous preparation techniques and ingredients.

Free snacks or food? Ideal to know the gastronomic offer of the region

lent meal
Papadzules are a typical dish of Yucatecan cuisine.

In canteens, the main feature is the great variety of snacks.

Snacks are almost always dishes from the region, state or city where they are found.

In some canteens, more than 20 gastronomic proposals are offered, which makes them the ideal place to know the typical food of the region.

In some places They are divided by time and the type of snack changes according to the amount of alcoholic beverages that are consumed.

In some canteens they still operate with rules or systems for eat free and enjoy the complimentary snack: the first drink gives the right to choose between more or less 5 simple snacks and so on, until choosing between main dishes, such as puc chuc, black filling, queen arm, etc.

Some of the most common snacks are:

Papadzules: very tasty, it is a pre-Hispanic recipe characteristic of Yucatan.

Charritos: These fritters, mostly made with corn, are famous in different parts of Mexico.

Queen's arm: this tamale is typical of Yucatecan gastronomy. It is made with chaya, which is a native tree of the peninsula and of Tabasco.

Kibis: Lebanese heritage, this Yucatecan delicacy can be eaten as a snack in many cantinas in Mérida. It is prepared with wheat dough and filled with minced meat.

Codzitos: it is simply a fried omelette accompanied by red sauce and a little fresh cheese. Without a doubt, it is the best ally to accompany with a fresh beer.

Polcanes: stuffed with ibex, a legume typical of Yucatan, Polcanes are a very tasty chubby type of snack. You find it in markets and on city corners. Learn more about the street vendors on the streets of Mérida.

4 Fun facts about canteens

  1. Did you know that it was only in 1982 that enter the women to the canteens? In this way, a prohibition that had been in force since the 19th century was rendered ineffective.
  1. 62 liters per inhabitant per year. That is the average consumption of Mexicans in cantinas and bars in Mérida.
  1. The antecedent of the canteens were the inns. In Mexico, the first one opened its doors in 1525 in the capital of the country.
  1. The word and concept of canteen began to be used in 1847, after the invasion of the Americans into Mexican territory.

9 bars and canteens with complimentary snacks


One of the Older canteens in Mérida from the city. For eight decades it has provided Yucatecan snacks and good service.

It is also known for its bands of live jazz on Sunday afternoons. A show that takes you back to old New Orleans from your table.

Address: Calle 64 x 53, Centro.

The Cardinal Cantina

This restaurant bar in Mérida transmits an atmosphere for friends and has outdoor spaces.

There is live music and do not forget to accompany your beer with its delicious snacks and promotions who constantly post on their social networks.

Address: Calle 63 x 70 y 72, Centro.

The Gallito

Its comfortable and extensive bar is a symbol of the bars in the center of Merida. Among the richest snacks you will find fish, ceviche and mole.

Canteens and bars in Merida remodeled.

Address: Calle 45, almost corner with 62, Centro.

The Dry State

It is a classic among students and one of the most frequented canteens in Mérida.

Cantina Económica, born in the 30s and continues to serve the thirstiest of our days.

Old and informal, in it you can enjoy a very cold beer (loggerhead version but double) and eat delicious thanks to a generous snack which can include pork rinds in red sauce, motuleños eggs and potatoes with chorizo.

The menu varies with the days and an average of eight different snack plates are served between beer and beer.

Address: Calle 47 y 66, Centro.

The Straw House

Lots of beer and rum at affordable prices, for pirates who come looking for a place to quench their thirst for the sea.

At La Casita de Paja you can choose your music on the jukebox. It is a super popular place among residents of the area and university students.

Address: Calle 55, between 44 and 46, Centro.

The Morning Star

One of the cantinas in Mérida ideal to go on a weekend with the family is the Lucero del Alba.

Wide, with live music and a varied proposal of snacks 100% yucatecas You can taste everything from cochinita tacos to black stuffing or queen arm. You can eat even sweetbreads as a courtesy!

Address: Calle 56 y 47, Centro.

La Negrita

If you are looking for a varied target in La Negrita you will find it. Adults and young people, foreigners and locals, meet every day in this evening canteen.

Their snack is simple but abundant: refried beans, pork rinds, cucumbers, popcorn and elbows. There is live music.

Address: Calle 62 y 49, Centro.

The good bye

It is one of the most famous cantinas in Mérida to go with a family atmosphere.

Every day in Eladios women and men congregate to have a drink and eat a delicious yucatecan snack.

On the tables there is almost everything: Pop Chuc, squid ceviche, wrapped baby, kibis, gorditas ...

Address: Calle 59 #425, Centro.

New Town Bar

Popular and inexpensive, this is another of the bars in Mérida where you can enjoy a cold loggerhead. The snacks are homemade and include pickled potatoes, black stuffing, and beans with pork.

Address: Calle 53, corner with 44, Centro.

What did you think of these cantina suggestions in Mérida? They are certainly a great place to eat, refresh and be witnesses to the immortality of space in Yucatan.

In all of them, your beer shot is accompanied by an assorted, generous snack and in some cases with the best artisan flavor. Get to know them!


Previous articleYucatan in pink | The coloradas
Next articleEl Pinar House | Yucatan in pink