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Top 5: Alternative Bars in Guatemala City

by Jack Guy

Apr 20, 2015

© Edonalds | Dreamstime

South America

The alternative bar scene in Guatemala City is tied to the regeneration efforts in certain zones, as well as enjoying a close relationship with developments in the contemporary art world. Below is a selection of venues which stand out.


SOMA Centro Cultural

A spacious bar and live music venue, where gigs vary from tribute bands to raucous rock and punk, but as the name suggests, SOMA is not just a bar. The basement hosts a small art gallery with a regular program of events showcasing local artists.



Another venue combining music and art, Poporopo is housed in an impressive old house, whose bedrooms have been converted into an art gallery. Regular live music, delicious food and cheap beer make this a favorite of the trendy Zone 1 crowd.


El Portalito

This traditional bar in Zone 1 is said to have been Che Guevara’s favorite local hangout during his time in the city. Che himself may be long gone, but his spirit lives on in this atmospheric bar, hidden inside a commercial arcade. Tasty draft beer and free tapas keep the political discussions flowing.



The newest bar on this list opened last year in rapidly developing Zone 4. The well-designed interior plays host to live music and a hipster crowd, who can be seen eating, drinking and playing pool late into the night.


Ruta 666

One for the metal fans, this small venue serves amazingly cheap beer which tends to make their frequent live music nights pretty raucous affairs. Long hair and leather jackets are all the rage, and you’d better brush up on your Iron Maiden knowledge so you can mosh along with the locals.



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