Playa del Carmen's Thriving Live Music Scene: Rock, Salsa and More

Playa del Carmen is known for its electronic music scene and the yearly Jazz Festival, but visitors and locals can also hear different types of live music every single night in Playa's bars and restaurants.

For rock, Kitxen, Fah Bar or McCarthy's Irish Pub won't disappoint. For those who love salsa, La Bodeguita del Medio features Cuban vibes and live Latin music every single night.

Caiman Tugurio, Le Lotus Rogue, The Public Place, and Esquina 26 Bar & Grill all feature various types of live music throughout the week.

Zenzi Beach Bar and Grill not only offers live music but a white sand beach and the turquoise Caribbean as well.

And what would a visit to a Mexican beach resort town be without a night at Señor Frogs? At Playa del Carmen's version, which is located next to the ferry to Cozumel and right on the water, they often feature live music, sometimes during the day.

Visit Playa del Carmen's live music venues and create the soundtrack of your vacation.


Senor Frogs is a popular bar-restaurant chain with locations all over Mexico, but Playa del Carmen's version is right on the water, with seating on the beach or indoors on the covered patio. The views can't be beaten. The fun staff provides a family atmosphere during the day and a party vibe at night means there's something for everyone here. The food is quite good and well-presented. Order guacamole and they will prepare it right at your table on the Guacamole Cart. Senor Frogs features live music most days, sometimes at night and sometimes during the day.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Live Music because: Senor Frogs features live music almost every day (or night) and it's located right on the water.

Kristin's expert tip: Senor Frogs is the perfect place to have a few cocktails before you take the ferry to Cozumel.

Read more about Senor Frogs Playa del Carmen →

Located in Paseo Coba in a two-story plaza in the upscale gated community of Playacar, this cozy little spot is frequented by locals and tourists, thanks to its creative cocktails and eclectic mix of live music, including Jazz, Reggae, Rock, Salsa and more. They also feature stand up comedy acts and community dance social nights with lessons. If you feel like some fresh air, sit on the terrace. Hungry? Order appetizers, salads, hamburgers, tacos, sandwiches or a nice cut of meat from the menu. Don't forget to ask about their promotions and drink specials.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Live Music because: The Public Place is a relaxing place to chill, listen to good music, grab a bite and mix with the locals, aka Playenses.

Kristin's expert tip: The Public Place's Community Dance Social Nights are generally on Tuesday and Saturday and there are free Latin dance lessons.

Read more about The Public Place →

Esquina 26 Bar & Grill is a bright, charming open-air bar/restaurant located on 1st Ave. and 26th St. This casual eatery is open Tuesday to Sunday from 1 pm to 2 am and serves lunch and dinner, including appetizers, burgers, tacos, tostadas, ceviches, aguachiles, alambres and desserts at economical prices. They feature live music Thursday through Sunday and have a giant screen television, so this is a good place to watch important sporting events or award shows during your vacation. Get 20 peso beers and 50 peso cocktails during happy hour every day from 2 pm to 6 pm.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Live Music because: Esquina 26 Bar & Grill is just a fun place to grab a bite, hang out, and hear live music or watch the big game.

Kristin's expert tip: Instead of "the usual", try a cocktail made with mezcal and cucumber, pineapple and rosemary or guava, agua de jamaica and cranberry.

Read more about Esquina 26 Bar & Grill →


Skip 5th Avenue one night and see a different side of Playa del Carmen at Le Lotus Rouge, a wonderfully wacky bar/restaurant/cafe/lounge. The German owner, Natasha, calls it a "multicultural artistic space". They feature eclectic live music and other different types of international performances, plus karaoke. They offer a small menu that includes appetizers and a few entrees. Located off-the-beaten-path on 35 Ave. and 2 St., each room at Le Lotus Rouge is decorated in different, fun, whimsical, artistic ways. They are open Tuesday through Sunday, from 6 pm to 12 am.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Live Music because: Le Lotus Rouge is different, funky and fun, and features different artistic performances.

Kristin's expert tip: This is not your usual bar, but an oasis for the arts, so bring an open heart and mind.

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McCarthy's Irish Pub is a Mexican chain. This bar/restaurant serves up yummy wings, hamburgers, and live rock music every single night at 11 pm. They are located right on 5th Ave. at 22nd St. and offer daily specials, like wings and boneless chicken strips 4.90 pesos each from 1 pm to 1 am or 2x1 hamburgers and liter draft beers for 49 pesos. McCarthy's Irish Pub is open daily from 2 pm to 2 am and Happy Hour is every day from 4 pm to 9 pm when participating beers are 2 for 40 pesos. This is also a great place to watch the big game, fight, etc.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Live Music because: Patrons can rock out at McCarthy's Irish Pub every night while enjoying their daily specials.

Kristin's expert tip: The music is LOUD so if you want to have a conversation you might want to try another place.

Read more about McCarthy's Irish Pub Playa del Carmen →

Fah Bar is an open air bar/restaurant located on Playa's bustling 5th Avenue. The ambiance is enhanced by the canopy provided by the huge tree growing up through the floor. They feature live rock music every single night. Fah Bar is open every day from 8 am to 2 am and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bands play at 6:30 and 9:30 pm. They have a huge menu. Highlights include the seafood casserole, tuna carpaccio and Fah Salad. Go for dinner and people watching and stay for the music and cocktails.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Live Music because: Fah Bar features live rock every night and bands start early at 6:30 pm.

Kristin's expert tip: Try the extreme margarita, which is a huge margarita with two upside down beers in it!

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La Bodeguita del Medio was inspired by the original bar with the same name in Havana, Cuba. The decor is similar and you can dine on Cuban food (try the Plato Mixto Cubano) and sip delicious mojitos while you listen to live Cuban music. They serve other non-Cuban food as well. La Bodeguita del Medio is located in a shopping area on 5th Ave. between 34th and 36th Streets and is open every day from 1:00 pm to 2 am. Unfortunately, you won't find Cuban beer here, but you will find Mexican beer and find plenty of Havana Club rum. Prices are reasonable.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Live Music because: La Bodeguita del Medio serves Cuban food and has live Cuban music every night and a fun, lively atmosphere.

Kristin's expert tip: If the music is too loud sit out on the patio.

Read more about La Bodeguita del Medio →

Kitxen, located on 5th Ave. between Constituyentes and 20th, is the best place in Playa del Carmen to listen to live rock music every single night. The open-air bar, which does not serve any food, is owned by famous Mexican rock musician Saul Hernandez. The laid back crowd is a good mix here and includes both locals and tourists. Kitxen is open 7 days a week from 1 pm to 2 am. Happy Hour is 6 pm to 9 pm and live bands play daily. Kitxen may not be much to look at but in this authentic Mexican bar the music is loud, prices are good and the beer is cold.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Live Music because: Kitxen offers live rock every day and has a great local vibe.

Kristin's expert tip: Kitxen only accepts cash.

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Imagine a place that has it all, morning, noon and night. With bright sunshine during the day and twinkling lights at night, this beach bar offers white sand and the aqua blue Caribbean, but it also offers delicious meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and special events like art and fashion shows, Halloween and Superbowl parties and live music, including Blues, Rock, and live Salsa Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Don't miss the Sunday barbeque from 2 pm to 6 pm. With their simple yet fitting motto, "Eat, Drink, Chill", you may end up spending most of your vacation at Zenzi!

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Live Music because: Zenzi Beach Bar & Restaurant has it all, cocktails, food, special parties and events and live music... and it's all on the beach.

Kristin's expert tip: Zenzi is a great place to be at sunset.

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This funky little open-air joint located off 5th Avenue on 24th Street serves up breakfast, lunch, dinner, craft beer, cocktails and live music every evening at 6 pm and 10 pm, and all at a reasonable price. Bands play Blues, Rock and other genres, and people even hang out in the street to listen. You can also catch your favorite futbol, aka soccer games at Caiman Tugurio. On Fridays order a burger and you'll get a free mug of beer. This is a spot you'll surely want to visit more than once.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Live Music because: Caiman Tugurio offers a lively, relaxing ambiance, yummy eats and live music every evening.

Kristin's expert tip: Caiman Tugurio serves breakfast until 2 pm, just in case you oversleep.

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Meet Kristin Busse

After vacationing in Mexico many times, Kristin decided to move to Cancun "for a year". That was in 2001.

Kristin grew-up in Michigan and studied Communications at Michigan State University....  More About Kristin