Queretaro is a city in Mexico that few people outside of the country seem to know about. Yet it’s one of the larger cities in Mexico and is only about a three hours drive North-West of Mexico City. (My brother-in-law would say it’s much less!) Queretaro has a beautiful historic centre which is one of my most favourite places to wander around while in Mexico. There are patios where you can linger for hours and hidden shops where you can find basically everything. At night, the city comes to life even more. Here are our top three places to visit once the sun goes down.
Maria y su Bici
When you enter Maria y su Bici (Calle 5 de Mayo 91), you feel like you are entering another time. The joint has expanded since the last time that we visited. The main room contains a long table, that looks like it belongs in Game of Thrones, where groups of people mingle. From there, there are alcoves with smaller tables as well as a beautiful patio out back. The rooms are filled with collections and interesting objects that seem to whisper “If only we could tell you our stories.”
The round menus at Maria y su Bici are attached to beautifully carved coconuts. They specialise in mezcal here and have a bunch of cocktails on the menu made with that spirit. Should you prefer some of that smoky mezcal on it’s own, the server will bring over a basket containing a bunch of different bottles. He will work his way through each, letting you smell them and telling you about the properties of each until you settle on one. He will then pour the mezcal into a jicarita and the night will float away.
The Dodo Café (Venustiano Carranza #50) is located in a front room of Carranza 50 Terraza & Grill. It was a pleasant surprise to find a proper cocktail bar here. The bar manager Omar (who may resemble Heath Ledger even if just a little!) was wonderful. The cocktail menu is filled with some great drinks and you can order some food from Carranza 50 Terraza & Grill that they will bring down to you. The room is stunning and I could have sat there all night. This same bar could be in any major city in the world and it would still feel like the same great place.
Gracias a Dios Cantina
GAD is the perfect late night bar to hit up in Querétaro. It’s also one that we would not have known about if the bartenders at Dodo hadn’t told us.* It was a place that we have walked past countless times during the day over the years but had no idea just what was behind that big wooden door. Inside is a bar that is both indoors and outdoors. Where you lean on barrels and can enjoy a beer and a shot. They have their own mezcal on offer and Josh even bought a bottle because it was that good.
* My husband and I recently began a new project called Bartender Atlas. We dreamed it up a long time ago and have finally made it a real thing. Throughout the years of traveling and visiting bars, we thought that it would be great to have an online community of bartenders. One where bartenders and cocktail lover could unite. Where people traveling to new cities could look up that city’s bartenders and learn and thing or two from them, plus get a tasty adult beverage in the process.