You have to dance and taste the regional foods and the artisanal beer.
MERIDA — At noon the bar La Negrita opens their doors to allow entrance to all the people tired by the heat of Merida. A place where you can drink some beers, enjoy frozen drinks and, most importantly, dance to salsa or another Cuban rhythm. You can also taste regional dishes like frijol con puerco, pan de cazón, queso relleno and more.
The bar is a must stop when you cross the corner of 62 and 49 streets of the historic center. The party atmosphere remains the same since it opened, a few years before the start of World War II. It is rarely empty, thanks the great environment that live bands provide until closing time at 10 at night.
If you reach 57th street, you will be where the verses of the best singer-songwriters, poets and performers born in Yucatan sound. They call it the “door to the world of romantic music”, but it really is the Song Museum of Yucatan, hidden behind a turquoise house, supported by huge white pillars.
The voice of Armando Manzanero is softly heard in the salon on the phonographs, accompanying your tour as you walk among the scores, oils and sculptures of Guty Cárdenas and Pepe Domínguez.
The musical pieces sound even better on Thursday nights, when Santa Lucia Park provides the backdrop for serenades. In the open air, the show includes dance, symphony orchestra and the playful “bombs”.
A couple of blocks, on 55th street, is Kukul Bout’ik. More than a store it is a handicraft museum. They work with jewelry, with elements that refer to the Mayan culture, such as quetzal and snake, but also fuse national textiles to design blouses, guayaberas and handbags.
To decorate the house you can find stools with Otomi embroideries, Huichol cup holders and even hand embroidered covers for tablets (a work of more than 40 hours).
In Yucatan the people are brewers by tradition, so the love of craft beer has reached the white city.
Hermana República, at 64th Street, is one of the temples in honor of hops and malts. The site is led by the chef Alex Méndez, who is responsible for marbling dishes with the craft beer Patito, whose factory is on the highway heading to the port of Progreso.
The best place is in the backyard, with communal tables under the shade of a huge ceiba tree. There you can taste fried octopus with pico de gallo or the recipe reinvented of relleno negro, dishes that must be accompanied by the different varieties of beer: flavor of chamomile, chocolate and citrus fruits. A round of four varieties costs $55 pesos.
According to El Universal, Mérida never seems to sleep. When restaurants, shops and bars are closing there is a site that just opens: Malahat. The mezcalería is hidden behind the arches of Santa Lucía park.
To enter you have to go around a parking lot and look for the door of a cooling chamber. Behind is a small mezcalería, with capacity for barely 20 souls who dance until the sun comes out again.
And as dictated by the phrase “a friend of a friend, he told me that”, the next day everyone will go to the Santiago Market, where there prepare the best tortas of Cochinita Pibil, with their respective onions and tanned habaneros .
After a night out, what will reclaim the body will be a good break. For that there is Rosas and Xocolate, a seductive little hotel with 17 rooms made by artisans, located between the mansions of Paseo de Montejo.
Its adobe walls are painted completely Mexican pink and its best secret are the outdoor bath tubs that are in each suite, which, every day, if the guest wishes, can be covered with rose petals.