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The Best Bars in Playa del Carmen: A Local’s Guide

November 15, 2020 8 Comments
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As one of the most popular vacation destinations in Mexico, Playa del Carmen has a robust nightlife scene with hundreds of bars and restaurants all over town.  While living in Playa del Carmen, I quickly learned to avoid the 2×1 drink specials offered at many of the bars and restaurants on the touristy Fifth Avenue, where the drinks are often watered down and overpriced.  Here’s my guide to the best bars in Playa del Carmen, a complete list of my favorite spots for high quality drinks, craft cocktails, and the coolest atmosphere. 

Be Roof

Located on the top of the Be Playa Hotel in downtown Playa del Carmen, Be Roof is a chic boho style rooftop with a pool and bar. You can have drinks in the pool, or just chill out on the daybeds or dining tables. They often have a live DJ spinning house music.  Its relaxed vibe makes it a great place for happy hour or a night out with friends.  Don’t miss the ladies night on Thursday nights where ladies drink free!

Fives Rooftop

The Fives Rooftop is a chic rooftop bar and pool located on top of the Fives Downtown Hotel and Residences (A Hilton Hotel). With a long infinity pool facing the ocean, it’s a great place for happy hour or late afternoon drinks to enjoy the views before it gets dark. You can also visit the Fives Rooftop during the day and relax at the pool with a minimum consumption fee. 

Purobeach Playa del Carmen

It Ganesha

Located in the residential Coco Beach neighborhood, IT Ganesha  is a rooftop terrace and bar located on the top of the IT Boutique Hotel.  You can visit IT Ganesha during the day to enjoy the pool on a day pass, or the rooftop bar is open at night.  With cozy seating and chill house music, the vibe is very relaxed making it a great place for cocktails and rooftop view.

IT Ganesha

Lobo de Mar

Covid update: Lobo de Mar is temporarily closed.  Check their Facebook page for further updates. 

Lobo De Mar is an eclectic bar located on top of the Lobo de Mar Hostel.  Once you arrive, you’ll have to walk up a large flight of wooden stairs to get to the top, where you’ll find the bar and semi-enclosed seating area. It’s not the best rooftop for views but it’s a fun place to start the night. It can get very crowded especially on Ladies Nights where ladies drink free!

Best Beach Bars in Playa del Carmen

Fusion

In my opinion, Fusion is the best bar in Playa del Carmen.  With low wooden chairs and lantern-lit tables, it has a very chill beach vibe where you can relax with your toes in the sand.  They also offer live music and an impressive fire show almost every night making Fusion my go-to place whenever I have friends or family visiting.  It never disappoints!

Fusion Beach Bar Cuisine

Zenzi

Located right on the beach, Zenzi is probably one of the most popular Playa del Carmen beach bars and also one of my favorites.  Zenzi Bar Playa del Carmen has a large open-air bar with a full service restaurant, along with tables and chairs in the sand. The food and drinks are not stellar but with live music and free salsa lessons every week, it’s a fun place to enjoy drinks on the beach with friends. 

Best Bars for Craft Cocktails in Playa del Carmen

La Perla Pixan

La Perla Pixan is an upscale Mexican restaurant and mezcal store that has some of the best cocktails in Playa del Carmen.  It offers an extensive drink menu, all crafted with fresh and unique ingredients. The drinks at La Perla Pixan are definitely a step up from the watered down margs on Fifth Avenue, especially if you’re looking for tequilas or mezcals.  The restaurant also offers a lively atmosphere with a live band or local musician.

La Perla Pixan Margarita

Trujillos Cantina de Selva

Located on the beautiful 38th Street, Trujillos Cantina de Selva is another great spot for craft cocktails.  Situated in a jungle setting with lowly-lit string lights, it offers a stunning atmosphere for dinner or drinks. If you’re dining there, be sure to ask your server for a cocktail to best pair with your meal.  They have a unique drink menu with many craft cocktails made with fresh ingredients. 

Best Bars for Live Music in Playa del Carmen

Fah

Fah Bar Playa del Carmen is a fun and lively spot and is one of the best places in Playa del Carmen for live music. The restaurant at Fah is open all day but it will be most packed at night after the live music starts at 6:00pm. You can hang at the dining tables or there’s a small area in front of the band for dancing. Fah is one of the 5th Avenue Playa del Carmen bars that draws the largest crowd and is a great place to start the night. 

Caiman

Caiman Tugurio is another Playa del Carmen bar that is very popular for live music.  They almost always have a live band or solo singer that attracts crowds from Fifth Avenue. It’s more of a local dive and doesn’t offer a fancy or upscale atmosphere, but it’s a fun and casual place to grab a few beers and enjoy the live music. 

Cantina La No. 20

Cantina La No. 20 is an upscale restaurant and bar located in the heart of Playa del Carmen on the second level of the Calle Corazon shopping center.  It’s a beautifully designed restaurant and bar overlooking Fifth Avenue that has a lively atmosphere and often has a live band. Cantina La No. 20 is a fun place for dinner or drinks but will be a little more expensive than other bars in Playa.

Bars with the Best Atmosphere in Playa del Carmen

Alux

Alux is probably one of the most notable Playa del Carmen bars.  It’s located just outside of downtown Playa del Carmen, which makes it a little harder to get to but it is worth it for the atmosphere.  The restaurant is set in a cave, offering the experience to dine in a cavernous setting.  The food at Alux Playa del Carmen is not amazing but I would recommend going there just for the drinks and unique atmosphere. 

La Verbena

La Verbena is another bar off of Fifth Avenue offering a jungle-esque setting.  With an upstairs seating area, the bar has an almost tree-house like atmosphere and they usually have a live band or DJ spinning beats or house music.  I love the unique setting at La Verbena and it’s definitely one of the lesser well-known bars in town. 

Tiny Tiki Hut

The Tiki Tiki Hut is one of my favorite bars just because the atmosphere is so fun.  Decked out with colorful tiki decor, it’s a great place to enjoy tasty tiki-inspired drinks and snacks. The food menu includes appetizers, entrees, and desserts with a Mexican-Asian fusion. They also have game nights, ladies nights, and live bands throughout the week. 

Best Wine Bars in Playa del Carmen

Off the Vine

Off the Vine is a wine bar and restaurant featuring a collection of local and imported wines. You can browse the wine selection inside the store or sit at the tables outside the restaurant on Fifth Avenue.  Off the Vine often hosts special events with dinner and drinks included. I attended a Halloween event at Off the Vine and it was so fun!

Best Beer Bars in Playa del Carmen

Club de la Cerveza

Located towards the end of Fifth Avenue, Club de la Cerveza is a great place for craft beer and speciality brews. It’s a small bar with a just a few tables but it’s the place to go if you’re a beer aficionado. Club de la Cerveza offers Mexican craft beers as well as a selection of imported beers from the United States, the UK, Germany, and Belgium. 

Chela de Playa

Formerly known as Akumal Cerverceria, Chela de Playa is a newer beer bar located on 38th Street. With colorful indoor and outdoor seating, they offer speciality brews and a food menu with small bites.  It’s a casual place to enjoy a beer flight or craft brews.

Best Bars for Cheap Drinks in Playa del Carmen

Cerverceria Chapultepec

If you’re looking for cheap drinks in Playa del Carmen, Cerverceria Chapultepec is the place to go.  Almost everything on the menu is only $19 pesos (~$1 USD).  That includes beers, margaritas, tacos, mini burgers, and much more.  There are multiple locations all over Playa del Carmen and they all draw a large crowd. You will be amazed at how small your bill is at the end of the night!

Cerveceria Chapultepec

Bar Loco

Bar Loco is owned by a friend of mine and it’s such a fun place for cheap drinks and dancing. There are two locations on 5th Avenue, with a third location coming soon.  Bar Loco is known for its $20 peso margaritas (~$1 USD) and $39 pesos (~$2 USD) food items.  It draws a lot of tourists but it’s one of those lively bars to go for cheap drinks to get the party started. 

Best Local Bars in Playa del Carmen

La Embajada

La Embajada is probably one of the most popular bars for locals and late night Reggaeton music. They offer large liters of alcoholic drinks at low prices.  With a second level and open courtyard in the middle, it’s a fun place for dancing after hours.  It definitely is a late night spot so it’s doesn’t get busy until after 11:00pm. I personally love Reggaeton music so I’ve had a lot of fun nights out dancing at La Embajada.

Bar Ranita

Bar Ranita is another popular locals bar located just across the street from La Embajada.  It’s a more chill place with open air seating and a small bar. It’s not super lively but somewhere where you can actually sit down and have a conversation. With lower prices, Bar Ranita is a casual place for a beer before heading out for the night. 

La Chancla

La Chancla (meaning “flip-flops” in Spanish) is another bar that’s very popular among the locals.  It’s more of a hole in the wall type of place and they offer cheap drinks and live rock music, and people usually just congregate outside of the bar in the street.  It’s not my favorite bar but one of those places you just stop in for a drink while you’re walking by. 

I hope my best bars Playa del Carmen guide was helpful!  Experiencing the nightlife in Playa del Carmen can be a lot of fun but it’s important to be careful and always be mindful of your surroundings. For more food and beverage guides, check out my posts on the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen or the best coffee spots to nurse your next day hangover! 

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8 thoughts on “The Best Bars in Playa del Carmen: A Local’s Guide”

  1. I haven’t been to Mexico yet, but I hope to visit Playa Del Carmen one day! I cannot wait to go to all those cool bars you have recommended!

  2. Love your photographs of the places- they all convey the vibe and buzz of very place so beautifully. Great post for someone looking to find all these great places while on a visit to Playa Del Carmen.

  3. I just spent some time in Playa Del Carmen and wish I would have found this guide earlier haha! I made the mistake of buying some cheap cocktails and 2 for 1 offers and the cocktails literally tasted like water. So so so disappointing. Saving this post for later when I return to Playa soon!

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