Nebrina Gin & Cocina, located in downtown Cancun on Nader Avenue, not far from the entrance to the Hotel Zone, is one of those places to see and be seen for locals. They specialize in gin cocktails (they offer at least 20 brands of Gin) and Mediterranean and Mexican dishes. The wood interior is refreshing as it is almost non-existent in Cancun. Favorites include the tuna tartar and fish and chips. Live music, sporting events, DJs, Nebrina Gin & Cocina offers indoor and outdoor seating and is open Monday through Saturday from 6 pm to 4 am.
Recommended for Night Clubs because: Nebrina Gin & Cocina is a hip bar-restaurant that is popular with locals.
Kristin's expert tip: On Thursdays, ladies can get 3 gin cocktails for 199 pesos (about 10 dollars).
Located on Nader Avenue, which has come back to life with trendy bars and restaurants, in the heart of downtown Cancun, Amarula offers deep house electronic music, mixology and tasty eats, all "con acento tropical" (with a tropical touch) Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 pm to 3:00 am. The décor is colonial meets art deco meets tropical and the crowd is fashionable. Wednesdays and Fridays are ladies night, and cover is only 50 pesos (about 2.50 usd). On Thursdays they offer open bar for just 250 pesos (about 12 usd). Call ahead and reserve a table.
Recommended for Night Clubs because: Amarula is different from the nightclubs in the Hotel Zone and offers a chance to mix with locals.
Kristin's expert tip: On ladies night, chicas drink for free with their 50 pesos cover charge.
For over 40 years, Hard Rock Cafe has been known for delicious food, live music, and its amazing collection of rock 'n roll memorabilia. Each Hard Rock Cafe is different and the Cancun version was recently totally remodeled. Hard Rock Cafe serves "new" and traditional American food. The restaurant is open daily, from 12 pm to 12 am. They often have tribute shows to bands like Queen, Pink Floyd, Metallica and AC/DC and feature drink specials like 2 x 1 margaritas and mojitos. Try their classic Legendary Burger and famous Hurricane cocktail. Hard Rock Cafe is available for parties and special events.
Recommended for Night Clubs because: Hard Rock Cafe serves up food, drinks and live music, and is a Cancun institution.
Kristin's expert tip: Hard Rock Cafe is in the heart of Party Center, where Cancun's major nightclubs are located. Start the evening out with dinner and drinks at Hard Rock Cafe, before moving on to the big clubs, or stay and watch the band play.
The name Senor Frog's is synonymous with fun. This bar and restaurant has sawdust on the floor so you don't have to worry about your children making a mess. Kids can order "virgin" versions of the famous drinks in yard glasses that people love to take home as souvenirs. Around 9 pm this family-friendly restaurant turns bar/nightclub. The lively staff always makes sure everyone has a blast. Conga lines, balloons, confetti and craziness are the norm here. Senor Frogs know how to throw a party. They feature a glow party, foam party, reggae night, and have a Latin night with a live band.
Recommended for Night Clubs because: Senor Frogs has food, drinks, fun atmosphere and they just moved to the Party Center.
Susan's expert tip: Before 9pm, Senor Frogs is pretty much a restaurant, but after that, the atmosphere changes to bar/nightclub.
La Vaquita (The Little Cow) is one of Cancun's newest nightclubs. It sits smack in the middle of Cancun's Party Center at kilometer 9 of Boulevard Kukulcan. This casual open-air bar/nightclub is decorated in red, black and of course, cow print. Sexy go-go dancers abound. Visitors can pay a cover charge and purchase individual drinks or go for the open bar option. The club sells "litros" or liters of beer and other drinks, which is very popular in Cancun. You can also find La Vaquita in Playa del Carmen and Puerto Vallarta.
Recommended for Night Clubs because: La Vaquita serves "litros" (liters) and features a "Let's Get Ridiculous" theme night.
Kristin's expert tip: If you're looking for a crazy night try their #RidiculousParty.
This small open-air club is smack in the middle of all the action in Cancun's Party Center and is always full of fun-loving locals and tourists all night long. Since this is a smaller bar rather than a nightclub, the open bar prices are lower than those charged in larger venues. Also, since it's open on two sides, you can see how wild & crazy the party is before you even enter. There isn't really a dance floor to speak of, but that doesn't stop anyone from dancing. Expect go-go dancers, shot girls and every once in awhile, a strong burst of confetti. Grab a balloon and join the conga line.
Recommended for Night Clubs because: Congo offers crazy atmosphere and is more economical than the bigger nightclubs.
Susan's expert tip: The large nightclubs don't open until 10:30pm. If you want to start the party before then, Congo is a great place to do so.
The exterior looks like a huge rock, with DADY'O carved into it. The long hallway that leads to the club entrance looks like an underground tunnel. The inside of the actual club resembles a large cave. There is a dance floor in the center of the room and rows of tables line the walls of the multi-level club. Well-known DJs, celebrities, and bands often perform here, or host special parties. Even though this is one of the oldest clubs in Cancun, there is usually still a long line of people waiting to enter the club.
Recommended for Night Clubs because: Dady'O is a nightlife institution as it was one of the first nightclubs in Cancun.
Susan's expert tip: To avoid waiting in the long line to enter the club, go with the entertainment staff from your hotel.
This gigantic club claims to be the largest nightclub in Latin America, with a capacity for over 5,000 people. It is most definitely the biggest club in Cancun and it's often packed to the brim during Spring Break and in the summer months. The 3-story club often has performances by internationally known artists like Ludacris, Akon, Flo Rida, 50 Cent, Fergie, Snoop Dogg and celebrity DJs. Like Coco Bongo, The City Cancun also has performances by acrobats and other performers during the evening. They play music of all genres on the 1,000,000 sound system and 650 square feet of video screens.
Recommended for Night Clubs because: The City is an awesome place to party and claims to be the largest nightclub in Latin America.
Susan's expert tip: Go to the club with the entertainment staff from your hotel (most hotels have employees that escort a group of guests to a nightclub each night). The group will get express entry and a table.
This beautiful medium-sized club is one of the most popular nightclubs in Cancun and is located right between The City and Coco Bongo in the Party Zone. The Indian-inspired decor, which features rich, vibrant colors & lush fabrics instantly informs you that you are in an upscale lounge, rather than a hokey run-of-the-mill nightclub. Mandala feels like the nicest, most ornate VIP room you've ever seen... only it's an entire club, not a VIP room. The fact that the front of the club is entirely open to the street adds to the ambiance. This is one of Cancun's hippest and hottest clubs and it's been extremely popular since it opened.
Recommended for Night Clubs because: Once Mandala opened it quickly became one of Cancun's most popular clubs.
Susan's expert tip: A nice alternative to the large, busy nightclubs.
Cancun's most popular night club, Coco Bongo, has been featured on many travel-related television shows. Throughout the evening, a variety of performers put on shows. On any given evening at the club, Beetlejuice makes an appearance, Spiderman flies through the air, acrobats perform high above the crown, and a Michael Jackson impersonator lip-synchs some of MJ's classic songs. The bartenders and wait staff even take the stage to sing and dance a few times a night. When you feel your feet start to move, don't bother looking for a dance floor because there isn't one. People just dance where they can find a little space.
Recommended for Night Clubs because: Coco Bongo has it all and all ages love to visit Cancun's most popular nightclub.
Susan's expert tip: The club gets very crowded. Get a table in one of the areas off the main floor, to avoid the largest crowds.