The Guide to Cantinas in Centro Histórico, Mexico City

Head to these six famous cantinas for a few beers and typical Mexican cuisine.

10 Jul 2019

Cantinas are a way of life in Mexico. They are ideal spots for long lunches and late nights for people of all types and ages. If there is one place in Mexico City where the cantina culture is strong, it is the capital’s downtown area, Centro Histórico. The six following establishments (all famous and old) are well-worth visiting if you are looking for a local experience.

La Faena

Visiting this cantina (restaurant-bar, in fact) is worth it, if anything, for its decoration, location, and Mexican eighties hits. The service and drink menu are top-notch. The cantineros love to talk, so it doesn’t matter if you go alone.

cantinas centro historico

Address: Venustiano Carranza 49

El Tío Pepe

The best kind of cantina: golden lintels, mint-colored walls, wine-colored cabinets, and a long crimson bar—behind it, an old man in a tie is always serving drinks. As for the food, the usual suspects are served such as tortas and rice dishes. For whatever strange reason, very few people know it, despite having appeared in ads and movies.

cantinas centro historico

Address: Independencia 26

La Mascota

This spot is very, very famous—one of those places that you have to visit at least once in your life. Nothing in its ordinary façade announces the eccentricity of the drinks in this cantina. As for the rest, the place is comfortable, and they serve a decent selection of tortas. Getting tipsy here is kind of a given.

cantinas centro historico

Address: Mesones 20

El Gallo de Oro

This cantina grills a good piece of flank steak, but the cazuelas buffet on Saturdays is the grand hit: molitos, chicharrón stews, meatballs served in broth. An undeniable joy for just about anyone.

cantinas centro historico

Address: Venustiano Carranza 35

Los Portales de Tlaquepaque

At this cantina, you can find a sensational jukebox, hospitable bartenders, a few well-served drinks at a good price (always ask about beer promotions), and dishes like pork in morita, chicharrón in red sauce, fried mojarras.

cantinas centro historico

Address: Bolivar 56

La Mundial

For decades, the same bureaucrats have been coming to this cantina, singing the same songs. The space is enormous and, nevertheless, the service is always spot-on. Be sure to try their delicious snacks. Speaking of, if it’s on the menu, order the rice dish: arroz a la jardinera.

cantinas centro historico

Address: Bolívar 142


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