So you want to shake your groove thang? Wanna get down with the cool kids, and throw some shapes? Ok, ok, that last one sounded like something my Nanna would say, I apologise. But seriously… so many people tell me they can’t find anywhere to go in Playa del Carmen to listen to live music. As a singer, I originally fell in love with in this crazy beach town because of the thriving music scene, so it’s always so confusing to me that people can’t seem to find a good venue!
Well, the people asked and I answered! The next time you’re looking for somewhere to listen to live music, be it smooth jazz to grooving tropical beats, or funky bass lines to hard-core rock solos, you can find it here in my guide to the top live music venues in Playa del Carmen.
Calle 20 & 5ta Avenida
Owned by the famous Saul Hernandez, lead singer of the super popular Mexican band Caifanes, you just know you’re going to find amazing quality music here! Kitxen is one of my favourite places to go to listen to live music, of course for the talented musicians, but also for the amazing staff. The closeness of the bartenders and waiters makes you feel like your entering into a tight knit family, that are always exited to welcome new members.
Following in the footsteps of the Caifanes, in this bar you will mostly find rock music, but don’t worry, it’s not all tight leather and KISS make-up. From 7-9pm every night you can find some of the best acoustic acts in the area, every day it’s someone different so you’ll never be listening to the same song twice. At 9-12am is when the fun really begins, the amps get turned up, the casual Cokes turn into bears and tequila, and the dancing starts. Every night you will find fresh new artists all circling around the rock genre, but each with their own individual twist, of course.
Calle 8 & 5ta Avenida
You go for the amazing food and you stay all night long for the music! The newly named Fah, known to the locals as Siesta Fiesta, is one of the oldest live music establishments in Playa del Carmen, and they have survived in this ever-changing town for a reason. They have the most attentive staff, fresh mexican food and fantastic bartenders, making this place a favourite for both locals and tourists alike.
Far bar is a great place for a first date, relaxing with friends or even a family night out, and with live music daily from 6-1am, you can always find something you like. The style of music leans towards the rock genre but with a healthy amount of blues, pop and funk thrown in for good measure.
Calle 22 & 5ta Avenida
This Irish pub themed bar is one of the most popular franchises in Mexico. With well established bars in Guadalajara, Mexico City, Puebla and Cancun, the Playa del Carmen McCarthy’s is the newest of its kind, and keeps all the sporty Irish charm of the others. From the delicious chicken wings to their litre draft beers, McCarthy’s is the place to go and chill out with all your friends.
They have acoustic duos and trios from 7-9, and full bands from 11-2am every single day, so there’s always a big warm welcome when you walk through the door, in true Irish style. The typical music here ranges from hard rock to pop, with all the lovely riffs, notes and beats found in-between.
Calle 2 & Avenida 25
Definitely the most quirky place in the whole of the Riviera Maya! Le Lotus Rouge prides itself on being out of the ordinary, so out of the ordinary that I think it’s orbiting somewhere around Pluto! With the extravagant decor, circus terrace and VIP rooms, each with their own unique theme, this is definitely a place you can let loose, and be every part of the wacky human you were born to be.
They have live music every day, apart from Thursday’s, when you get to be the star in their Karaoke night. The artists range from soul duos to funk trios to full rock bands, so there’s something to cater to everyone’s taste. What makes it even more special is the amazing prices on drinks and food, it’s like being at your aunt’s house… if she had the interior design taste of an extraterrestrial!
Calle 14bis & 5ta Avenida
Ever wanted to eat gourmet Mexican food whilst sitting in the middle of a beautiful jungle, listening to the sound of a natural cenote? No? Well you’ll be thinking about it every day after visiting Aldea Corazon just once! This terrifically beautiful restaurant is the place to be for out of this world food and music, you’ll only find the best of the best here.
Expect to be serenaded with a collection of soul and jazz numbers, as you dine in style and enjoy the traditional Yucatecan surroundings. They change the day they have live music every week so you’ll need to ask when making your reservation, or just pop your head in the main entrance when passing and ask one of the lovely staff members… if you’re there on the right day it could even be me singing sweet nothings into your ear!
Calle 10 & the Beach
Where else can you have a salsa lesson, take a dip in the sea to cool off, order a margarita then listen to the best reggae Playa has to offer…. nowhere! Zenzi is truly one of a kind, in the day this beach front establishment is a hip beach club and at night it turns into an amazing restaurant/bar. The food here is to die for and the scenery is even better, making it an absolute favourite for locals and tourists all day every day.
They switch up their musical line up more than you’ve had hot dinners (again sounding like my Nanna, sorry!), but always at 7-1am each day. Zenzi put on Salsa nights with free lessons, reggae bands, blues bands and even a rockers night every now and again. This is definitely the chameleon live music venue of Playa del Carmen, giving you a musical surprise every day!
Calle 30 & 5ta Avenida
Being one of the most beautiful bars in Playa del Carmen, mixed with the fact they recruit only the best bartenders from around Mexico, to create their unbelievable drinks menu, makes Almirante one of the best places to head at night. They have been around for 3 years, and look as fresh now as they did on day one.
Almirante has only just made it to this list because, as it is a member of the Santanera Group, they have only ever hired DJs to cater to all their musical needs. This did, however, change around two months ago, on a beautiful god-given day in April, when they finally got their licence to have live music! Now you can find the best soul and funk musicians there every Sunday night 8 -10, and I’m sure on many more nights in the very near future.
Calle 2 & the Beach
This is the largest and one of the oldest music venues in Playa del Carmen. Was Wah was purpose-built to be a radical music venue and they succeeded, with its full sized stage, huge seating area and state of the art light projections, this is a place to really enjoy the show. They have live music on the beach every day from 1-4pm, so you can chill out on the sun loungers and enjoy the sunshine, then at night the stage comes to life with some of the most experienced musicians in the area!
The staff have all been living and working in the town for many years, and so know the importance of finding a bar that feels like home. On Sundays they have a pay per person hog roast, and are always getting involved in local charity events, even hosting a fair few under their huge palapa. These are just some of the reasons this venue is a favourite with the locals and expats alike.
Have you visited any of these venues? If so let me know what you thought in the comments below!
Stay Salty x