out in Mexico

The secret is out, Mérida is Mexico’s hottest up-and-coming queer destination

A stylish man leans on an alabaster door frame in a lush garden while wearing an oversized white linen shirt, beige hat, and colorful printed shorts.
Credit: Folks Clothing

Often overlooked by its glitzy neighbors in The Mayan Riveria (Tulum, Cancun, Playa del Carmen), Mérida is charming its way into the spotlight. Queer travelers are flocking to the Yucatan’s most cosmopolitan city where a special blend of rich cultural heritage, vibrant street life, and friendly locals welcomes them with open arms.

Despite its nickname, the “White City,” Mérida’s city center is filled with colorful Colonial buildings and charming plazas with a vibrant cafe culture that spills onto the cobblestone streets. It’s also a foodie haven where lush courtyard restaurants join traditional Mexican and Mayan cuisines in perfect harmony. As the Yucatan’s most queer-friendly city, Mérida is an ideal destination for travelers looking to experience the best of Mexico’s history, cuisine, and LGBTQ+ community.

Many shops, restaurants, bars, and hotels in Mérida’s city center warmly welcome queer travelers by providing a safe and inclusive atmosphere. Here are a some of our favorite establishments…

Shopping in Mérida

Four stylish men and women pose for the camera dressed in colorfully draped outfits and accessories.
Credit: Casa T´HŌ Concept House

Stroll down Paseo de Motejo to soak up the quant artisanal shops and local luxury boutiques in colorful repurposed historic Colonial buildings.

Casa T´HŌ Concept House

Unique and elevated shopping experience 498 P.º de Montejo · Mérida, Yuc. 97000
(999) 923-2350
Website

Step inside this architectural dream to browse eleven stores showcasing high-end Mexican designers and local artists. After shopping at Casa T´HŌ Concept House, brunch amongst a jazz quartet in its charmingly lush courtyard.

Folks

Hip unisex boutique C. 55, Parque Santa Lucia, Centro · Mérida, Yuc. 97000
(999) 297-6021
Website

Tropical-inspired garments are showcased in this hip unisex boutique. Choose from a wide variety of lightweight print shirts, unique footwear, and gender-neutral clothing at Folks.

Fine dining and good eats

A handsome man in a white shirt, black boy tie, and suspenders approaches the camera with a plate of food.
Credit: Restaurante Picheta

In Mexico, it’s hard to find a bad meal, but what makes Mérida unique is its creative fusion restaurants, quality coffee roasters using Mexican beans, brunch restaurants full of ambiance, and the regional Yucatan Mexican cuisine which often combines Mayan delicacies and traditional Mexican staples.

Salon Gallos

Lebanese Mexican Fusion with gallery & cinema 459-B C. 63 · Mérida, Yuc. 97000
(999) 189-6564
Website

This reimagined oat mill includes a rustic Lebanese/Yucatán fusion restaurant featuring a Mexican wine bar, an indie art movie theatre, and a modern art gallery. Salon Gallos has left many of the industrial charms from this former factory to create an edgy and original vibe. Make sure to check out its social media as the space often hosts live music, DJs, and special events. 

Te extraño, extraño.

Sophisticated secret garden Calle 56 #426 x 47 y 49 · Mérida, Yuc. 97000
(999) 921-1304
Website

Relax in this elevated contemporary breakfast and lunch cafe which has a sophisticated lush courtyard garden and a gentle pastel color motif. Expect fresh salads, vegan/vegetarian options, and re-imagined Mexican favorites at Te extraño, extraño.

Micaela Mar & Leña

Homey seafood bistro 458 Calle 47 · Mérida, Yuc. 97000
(999) 518-1702
Website

Homey seafood bistro focuses on fresh regional delicacies such as grilled octopus, raw oysters, ceviche, and other Yucatán favorites. If you’re visiting around Dia de Los Muertos, make sure to attend Micaela Mar & Leña’s special dinner experience.

A shaggy man with sunglasses looks away from the camera as he poses with a bag of coffee under the Manifesto Coffee Roasters sign.
Credit: Manifesto Casa Tostadora Calabrese

Restaurante Picheta

Fine dining with stunning views 501 C. 61 · Ejido del Centro, Yuc. 97000
(999) 506-0339
Website

Located on the rooftop of a building overlooking the Central Plaza of Mérida, this restaurant offers incredible sunsets in a relaxed atmosphere. Restaurante Picheta offers modern takes on classic Yucatán dishes, an expansive Mezcal menu, and locally sourced ingredients.

Manifesto: Casa Tostadora Calabrese

Independent coffee roaster and breakfast cafe Calle 59 #538 por 66 y 68 · Mérida, Yuc. 97125

Website

This Italian-inspired coffee roaster and cafe brews up local Mexican beans through a variety of extraction methods to ensure quality and taste. Try one of its tempting breakfast crepes, open-face sandwiches, or pastries. Manifesto also has ample inside and shaded courtyard seating perfect for a breakfast with friends.

Gay Mérida Nightlife

A DJ spins music as the crowd dances and raises their hands in jubilation.
Credit: Cadadía Bar and Cafe

After dark explore the city’s vibrant gay cantina and drag culture or dance into the night at one of Mérida’s many clubs.

Papis

Drag and strippers Calle 72 número 400b x 33a y 33b, 97000 · Mérida, Yuc. 97000
(999) 268-8316
Website

Papis is where Mérida’s gays go to see steamy strippers, nightly drag king/queen shows, and dance the night away. Pro-tip, if a dancer asks for you to buy them a drink it will be at the “entertainer’s price” which may be more expensive as this is a ticket for you to spend more time with them.

Casa Chica | Bar

Palacial cantina 498 B P.º de Montejo · Mérida, Yuc. 97000

Website

Within an old-world Mérida mansion, you’ll find a queer-friendly restaurant and cantina bar. Casa Chica serves fresh tropical breakfast by day and signature cocktails, live music, and underground electronic music by night.

Casa Pompidou

Electronic music hub CALLE 58 469A por 53 y 55, 97000 · Mérida, Yuc. 97000
(999) 129-9108
Website

This queer-friendly underground dance club hosts international techno, house, and global music DJs. Sip cocktails under light art installations or dance amongst captivating visuals until dawn at Casa Pompidou.

Four sassy drag queens pose in front of a sign that reads "Welcome to Hell" at DIX bar.
Credit: DIx Bar

DIX Bar

Devilishly deligtful drag 495 C. 53 · Mérida, Yuc. 97000
(999) 649-0031
Website

Rowdy dance and drag club where you’ll find sinister drag queens and scorching hot dance parties. This place gets pretty steamy, no wonder the neon entrance sign at DIX bar reads “Welcome to Hell”!

Cadadía Bar-Cafe

Queer owned cantina 435 C. 53 · Mérida, Yuc. 97000
(999) 931-0385
Website

This stylish queer-owned bar and restaurant is known for its women and feminist-led events including queer karaoke, alternative drag shows, and dance parties. Stop by during the day to brunch with friends before you mingle at Mérida’s queer nightlife hub Cadadía Bar.

Banana’s Club

Fruity drag cabaret esquina con Calle 89, entre Calle 60 y Calle 64 · Mérida, Yuc. 97000
(999) 506-0176
Website

This fruity drag cabaret is located just south of Mérida’s el Centro (downtown) neighborhood. Most come to Banana’s Club to see the queens perform, but in between performances, you can dance to DJs and be entertained by male strippers. 

Don't forget to share:

Your support makes our travel guides possible

We believe that LGBTQ+ people deserve safe vacations that allow them to be their authentic selves. That's why our City Guides aren't locked behind a paywall. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

Latest Articles on GayCities

Pride in Places

Mexico’s lively queer nightlife started with one bar owned by the chief of police

ocean fun

I’ve always loved Sydney’s amazing ocean rock pools. Once you see them, you will too.

do it all

This Florida resort has mind-blowing experiences you won’t find anywhere else

you deserve MORE

This huge, boisterous Pride party may well be the country’s best-kept queer secret

Pride in Places

Catch One

new horizons

Finding power in (small) numbers at St. Croix Pride

inclusive travel

New data highlights the importance of LGBTQ+-friendly destinations

sand and smooches

Beautiful beaches for a romantic rendezvous

Pride in Places

An Egyptian tomb contains the first gay love story recorded in history

captivated by Cleveland

Cleveland’s ready for its queer close-up

hot hot hot

[PICS] Speedos and Ricky Martin kept LA Pride “SoCal cool”

pros and cons

Should you move to Europe? Or just visit for extended stays?