Type: Bar/Botanas/snacks and some heavier dishes until 6:00 pm
Neighborhood: Centro, Mérida
Address: Northwest corner of Calle 62 and Calle 49, Centro
How to Get There from the Centro: Simply go north on Calle 60 from the Plaza Grande, turn left on Calle 49 and go one block to the corner of Calle 62.
Parking: Street Parking
Air Conditioned?: No, but ceiling and floor fans
Outdoors: Small patio area with tables and umbrellas
Drinks: Full bar, Artisan beer, Soft drinks
Payment: Cash Only
Hours: 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Wednesday through Sunday
Pricing: Happy hour beverages 5:00-8:00, $19 MXN. Free botanas. Snacks/Entrees, $45-$70 MXN.
Notes: La Negrita is a classic Mexican cantina and cultural institution that for years was only open to local men where they would gather, drink and occasionally become quite rowdy and disruptive. These types of cantina establishments provoke curiosity for many foreigners as they pass by the swinging doors to hear and smell the commune with the mystery within. Over the years, several cantinas in the historic centro, such as La Negrita, have transformed themselves into inviting venues for the entire family.
Erik and Patricia, the new owners of the well-established cantina founded in 1918, intend to have their swinging doors welcome everybody including men, women, locals, nationals, foreigners and children. To help maintain the old ambiance and culture of the cantina, the owners salvaged much of the furniture and belongings of the old bar from the dumpster when they bought the establishment. This “new-age” cantina is fulfilling their plans, and already sports a very diverse crowd, according to manager Rafael. He wants everybody to experience the culture of a Mexican cantina.
Patrons can come and enjoy beverages, botanas and other foods as the tradition continues in this charmingly adorned bar. The music is great as well. On Saturday nights, come enjoy your libations and groove to live Cuban-influenced music.
On a recent trip (Summer 2013), we started off our Happy Hour with draft beers and a bottle of local artisan beer. The botanas soon followed. While the selection varies day by day, on this particular occasion we had many small plates before us filled with pork rinds with pico de gallo (a fresh salsa made of onions, tomatoes, limon), chaya tortitas (small sandwiches), chips with bean dip, seasoned peanuts, popcorn and fried tortilla rolls with roasted tomato sauce and cheese. We did not fear asking for more botanas, because that is the botana tradition. As long as you keep drinking, they serve the botanas! We nibbled on all of these delights as we chatted the evening away at our cozy metal table.
As we did have a larger appetite that evening, we wanted to try some of the snacks. The hamburger was extremely filling as the cooks were not stingy with the beef in the patty. The pan pita de pollo was also quite tasty with breaded chicken diced in a pita sandwich with a mustard/mayonnaise sauce. The special dish of the day had been Cuban picadillo; however, since it was after 6:00 PM, that was no longer available.
Whether you are hungry or thirsty, La Negrita is a great place to sit and soak up a true Mexican tradition.
At certain times of the day, parking might be difficult. The guy on the street who supervises the parking is named Jose and he’s been there for over ten years (as far as we know).
It has always been a tradition for people who park to go into La Negrita to pay him a few pesos, so don’t break tradition!!