Pasaje Enriquez – What to look for
The Pasaje Enriquez, situated in Xela’s central park, is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city and is the social hub of Zone 1. Built in 1900, it was originally constructed to create space for businesses, but today is home to some of Xela’s best bars and some crazy fiestas during days of celebration like Independence Day or a Real Madrid-Barcelona match. The sheer popularity of the Pasaje means that on any given night you will find a lively atmosphere and the great variety of bars means that there is something for everyone. Here are some of our recommendations for a night out at Pasaje Enriquez and what you can expect from its bars.
(12 Avenida y 4 Calle Zona 1 – Parque Centroamérica)
Salon Tecún – Live Music
Tecún is Xela’s most famous bar. It’s a must-visit place for anyone passing through Xela. The bar takes its name from the great warrior Tecún Umán, a K’iche commander who battled the Spanish invaders near Xela in the 1540s. The big highlights of the bar are its great pizza and live music. There are live performances every night of the week (including Sunday) from some of the best acts in Xela, and the bar often attracts special artists that come from around Guatemala to play there. There is a good variety of music in Spanish and English, but the general focus tends to be good old fashioned rock. However, all of this great stuff does come at a slight price premium, so expect to pay slightly more (41q) for your litres at Tecún.
La Cantina del Gringo – Cheap Drinks
A new place to Pasaje Enriquez where you can experience all the beauty of the Pasaje on a budget. Litres of Cabro and Gallo come in at 24q a bottle, the same price as all the food on the menu full of classic bar food like burgers and nachos! If spirits are your thing, there are more great deals for Quetzalteca, tequila, whisky, vodka, gin and rum drinks at 12q. However, if you are the kind of person who isn’t a big fan of loud Reggaeton, La Cantina could be a little bit much for you!
Playroom – Pool and Beer Pong
No, Playroom is not a 50 Shades of Grey themed play dungeon. But it is a great bar with everything you need: good food for sharing, well priced beer and loads of sporting events (particularly Champions League, boxing and Guatemalan league football). However, our favorite part of the place is the games! The pool table and the custom beer pong table make it the perfect place for a competitive games night with a group of mates.
Dos Tejanos – Sports
Dos Tejanos, or Two Texans, is our go-to bar for any sporting event. They always do their best to find the game you ask for and are also able to show multiple games at once. With plenty of TVs and space to watch, you shouldn’t need to be peering over someone’s shoulder as well. Also, if you are a big football fanatic who is yet to see Guatemalan fútbol, Dos Tejanos could be worth a trip (or better yet, get over to the Xelaju stadium). In terms of food and drink Dos Tejanos is mid-range for beer prices. We recommend going for the Texas Fries as a great sharing plate with friends.
Casa Nativos – Terrace Cafe and Bar
Situated on the terrace of the Pasaje, Nativos opens at 8am as a cafe serving typical Guatemalan breakfasts and lunches. The terrace has a really relaxed feel about it and provides a nice view of the city, looking up towards the theatre. Open all day until 10pm you can also head to Nativos for a few beers to get the night started, before heading down to the bustle of the Pasaje.
Casa Güin – Artisanal Beer
The newest addition to Pasaje Enriquez, Güin offers something completely different to the other bars and is even complete with a darts board just outside the front. Güin has a really modern look to it and stocks the biggest variety of beers of any bar in Xela, from all over the world. They serve a really good selection of classic food from all over the world and the sharing plates are particularly good for groups.
El Mediterráneo – Food
Trying to impress a first date? This is the place for you. Slightly more expensive than you would normally look to pay in Xela, but serving southern European style food that is not easily found elsewhere, El Mediterráneo offers a taste of something different. The big highlight of the menu is the big range of Spanish tapas and Greek mezze served up, split into meat, fish and vegetable sections.
Bodeguita del Duende – Beer on tap
El Duende (The Troll) is right at the Central Park entrance of Pasaje Enriquez. Look for the waiters dressed in green as Leprechauns, for some reason. It serves huge mugs of draft beer for as little as Q20. Take a right when you walk in off the park and you’ll find seating that puts you right in the Pasaje for some great people watching. You’ll be right in the action, with a gigantic mug of draft beer. What more could you ask for?
El Balcón De Enriquez – Food with a view
This is the only restaurant with a bird’s eye view of the Parque Central. It’s a fantastic place to people-watch, especially when holidays and special events fill the park with people. Ask your friends to meet you in the park and see if you can spot them from above! The food is standard Guatemalan fare, with moderately priced traditional breakfast and lunch menus, fruit smoothies and beer.
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