A play on the Pink Floyd song, “The Wall,” El Muro (3a Calle Oriente #19, tel. 7832-8849, 6 p.m.–1 a.m. Mon.–Sat.) is Antigua’s newest gathering place, popular with the American expat crowd. It has cool chalk art on the walls and basic snacks for when the munchies set in, including pizza, grilled chicken, and hot dogs. You can also order food from Ni-Fu Ni-Fa next door.
Also popular with the American expat crowd is Café No Sé (1a Avenida Sur #11C, tel. 5501-2680, 9 a.m.–1 a.m. daily), where you can enjoy drinks in a rustically charming setting, often with live music. There’s also good pub grub, though the main attraction is the tequila/mescal bar. The second-hand bookstore next door is open until 4 p.m.
Just a few doors down, Nokiate (1a Avenida Sur #7, tel. 7821-2896, www.nokiate.com , 6:30 p.m.–1 a.m. Tues.–Fri., noon–3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.–1 a.m. Sat., noon–9 p.m. Sun.) features a hip fusion of Japanese and Latin American styles in its very attractive, well-executed sake bar/lounge.
Antigua’s Irish pub is Reilly’s (5a Avenida Norte #31, tel. 5672-7910, noon–1 a.m. daily), where there’s also decent pub food, including fish ’n chips. You won’t find Guinness on tap, however. You’ll have to settle for a can ($8). Check out the weekly Sunday trivia quiz at 5 p.m., a veritable Antigua institution.
A few doors down is Estudio 35 (Calle del Arco #35, tel. 7882-4008, 5 p.m.–midnight Tues.–Fri., noon–1 a.m. Sat., noon–9 p.m. Sun.) with a lively atmosphere and good tunes. Highlights include pizza and margaritas.
Monoloco (5a Avenida Sur #6, 11 a.m.–1 a.m. daily) is also wildly popular and lively. It’s set on two floors, and you can drink al fresco on the second-floor terrace. Reasonably priced burgers, nachos, and pizzas are served and there are sports on the downstairs TV.
The best place to grab a drink and watch the sunset with nice volcano views is the rooftop bar at Café Sky (corner of 6a Calle and 1a Avenida, tel. 7832-7300, 8 a.m.–11 p.m. daily). In addition to the rooftop terrace café bar, there’s the downstairs Sky Lounge and Bamboo Bar, where you can enjoy drinks and a full menu of tasty food.
The ever-popular Riki’s Bar (4a Avenida Norte #4, tel. 7832-1327, www.la-escudilla.com , 6 p.m.–1 a.m. daily) can be crowded and noisy at times. Locals tend to avoid it but it is a major stop with the backpacker crowd, particularly for its 7–9 p.m. happy hour.
Housed in the same garden courtyard complex is the hip Cielos Lounge Bar (6 p.m.–1 a.m. Tues.–Sat.), where you can enjoy Arab and Cuban beats as well as live music in a more comfortable setting.
Antigua’s most popular and dependably fun disco is the two-story La Casbah (5a Avenida Norte #30, tel. 7832-2640, 9 p.m.–1 a.m. Mon.–Sat., free admission Mon.–Wed., $4 cover Thurs.–Sat.), where you can dance the night away in a classy atmosphere popular with the wealthy Guatemala City crowd. The admission price includes one drink.
La Sin Ventura (5a Avenida Sur #8, tel. 7832-0581) is a popular disco bar with mostly Latin music and dancing on weekend nights.
A recent addition to Antigua’s nightlife scene is JP's Rum Bar (7a Calle Poniente and 5a Avenida #11, tel. 7882-4244, 6 p.m.–10:30 p.m. Mon.–Tues., Thurs., and Sun., 6 p.m.–midnight Fri.–Sat.).
Restaurante Las Palmas (6a Avenida Norte #14, tel. 7832-9734, www.laspalmasantigua.com ) has live jazz music on Wednesday nights, as does Mesón Panza Verde (5a Avenida Sur #19, tel. 7832-2925, www.panzaverde.com ).