The Montevideo nightlife has its secrets and one of them is knowing the right time to go out, more similar to that of Argentina and Spain. On Fridays and Saturdays the peak time is between 11 pm and 2 am and the dance floor will be full only after 3 am. Even though some establishments offer the opportunity to go for a drink right after office, this has not turned into a habit for the people of Montevideo.
In order to fully enjoy the Montevideo nightlife, read the recommendations of a local journalist and blogger. The first one is: do not hesitate to have a little nap and a little reinvigorating shower before going out; that way you will be able to face the night with all your batteries charged.
MONTEVIDEO NIGHTLIFE IN THE “SOHO” DISTRICT
At the border between the neighbourhoods of Cordón and of Parque Rodó, you can find several nightclubs concentrated in a few blocks. Among them, you will find the rock and roll Irish pub Brickell (Blanes 1175). In front, there is another option mixing pop music and commercial cumbia: the Después te explico pub (Blanes 1188). In the surroundings, you can also find Bakers (Pablo de María 1198 at the corner of Charrúa) and Monroe (Constituyente 1885). The last one is hidden in a bookstore without any poster to advertise its presence, just like a speakeasy from the United States.
Even though almost all those places are pubs, you can also eat something there (share tapas, pizzas, chips and other snacks with your friends) and from Thursday to Saturday, after 1 am they take the tables and chairs out so that the whole place can turn into a dancefloor. Definitely a great option to enjoy the Montevideo nightlife!
MONTEVIDEO NIGHTLIFE IN DOWNTOWN & OLD CITY
Even though we must warn you that FunFun (Soriano 922) is a place where you will find more tourists than Uruguayans, the visit is still worth it since this place offers live music and decorations that combine colourful elements of Uruguay such as sports and culture, among other things. The menu is quite simple (pizza, empanada and snacks) but you cannot leave the place without tasting the “uvita”, a liquor made with wine that was created in this pub. If you are into this sort of things but want something a little more refined, you should go to El Milongón (Gaboto 1810) that looks like an international dinner show. This is one of the few places in the city where you can have dinner as you watch tango and folklore shows.
Book here El Milongon tango and candombe show.
If you wish to try something really different, try Barón (Santiago de Chile 1270): this place looks like a speakeasy that came right out of the Prohibition. This is a barber shop that indeed can cut your beard but also hides a bar and restaurant in the back. Another jewel of the area, a few blocks away, is the Candy Bar (Durazno 1402 at the corner of Ejido), an old store of the neighbourhood that turned into a “cool bar” of the city, that offers exquisite tortillas de papa (potato omelette). There aren’t many tables and they do not accept reservations so you should better go early.
MONTEVIDEO NIGHTLIFE IN POCITOS & PUNTA CARRETAS
Inaugurated in 2016, Vasca bar de tapas (Miñones 455 corner of Jaquín Nuñez) mixes the Spanish concept of offering a little of everything in small portions with the Montevideo menu. Another Montevideo nightlife option is El Fondito (Pedro Bustamente 1222, near Montevideo Shopping) that is especially nice during warm nights as visitors can enjoy its garden, tables and chairs. Informal and mostly dedicated to youngsters, you should try its gramajo served on a plow disc. You will have a lot to eat so you should share it with someone!
On the other hand, as far as high-end cocktails are concerned, one of the best of the city in terms of innovations is Negroni (Guipúzcoa 352). If you want something similar but with the international atmosphere of a hotel bar, doubtlessly your best option is Moderno Bar, in the recently inaugurated Hyatt Centric Montevideo (Rambla Perú 1479). Besides, its interior design will doubtlessly also surprise you.
If you want original options in Montevideo, one of the most innovative is the BocaNegra vinos & tapas (Ellauri corner of García Cortinas) since they offer a magnetic card that enables everyone to go and pour different varieties directly in their cup using electrical dispensers that indicate the prices and calculate your bill as you enjoy the Montevideo nightlife. Wherever you choose to spend your night, take into account that Uruguay is famous for its Tannat: you must try it at least once!
MONTEVIDEO BEER CIRCUIT
Uruguay has not been left out of the worldwide craft beer boom and there are more than fifty locally brewed ales you can try, such as the Bizzarra, Volcánica, Mastra and Davok. Some of them are available at the Montevideo Beer Company (Bvr. España 2614 corner of Muñoz), La Choperia (21 de Setiembre 2650, corner of Bonpland), Montevideo Brew House (Libertad 2592 corner of Maeso), Gallagher`s (Pagola 3233 between Berro and 26 de Marzo), El secreto de Igor bar de tapas (Guipúzcoa 318 corner of García Cortinas) and Patagonia Brewing Co. (L.A. de Herrera 1193 between Iturriaga and 26 de Marzo); the last one is the top-notch establishment of Uruguay in terms of South Argentinian beer.
Don’t miss: Mastra Artisanal Brewery Tour
MONTEVIDEO NIGHTLIFE UNTIL EARLY MORNING
If after going to the pub – or having a few cups with friends – you wish to keep on enjoying the Montevideo nightlife, in the Plaza Mateo centre (Rambla corner of Sarmiento, Parque Rodó), several night clubs, pubs and restaurants coexist. Among them, Volvé mi negra, where you will be able to dance pop music, cumbia pop, quechengua and other contemporary music still until early morning.
Another option for night owls is the Lotus Club (Luis A. de Herrera 1248, World Trade Center). It has been opened for more than a decade but is very selective, above all when the club is full (which usually happens from 3 am). Just in case, do not go with sports shoes (boys or girls) and if you are a man try not to wear a short. For girls, this is one of the few places in Uruguay where you can go with dresses and lot of jewels without calling too much attention – in most places jeans are generally more than perfect.
MONTEVIDEO NIGHTLIFE IN CARRASCO
The historical pub restaurant Clyde’s (Costa Rica 1690) is about to celebrate its 40th birthday in a neighbourhood in which pubs and clubs come and go: just by visiting it, you will understand the secret of its success. However, if you are looking for a more recent, informal offer made for youngsters, ChiviPizza (Schroeder 6472) is what you are looking for. Its menu combines pizzas and chivitos with daiquiris, caipiriñas and other cocktails: a great option to enjoy the Montevideo nightlife with friends.
FOR MUSIC LOVERS
Crossing the Carrasco Creek you will find the music bar Hendrix (Gral. Lavalleja 1018 almost Rambla, Barra de Carrasco). Two Uruguayan musicians, Diego Martino of the band Hereford and Marcel Frontanini of Snake joined together to create this pub restaurant in 2012. In Hendrix, you will hear rock and all its variations and you can also generally listen to live music or have a laugh with stand up shows as you enjoy cocktails and pizzas.
Another place where you will be able to listen to original music is El Mingus coffee bar (San Salvador 1952, Parque Rodó) that can offer you some jazz sessions and Mexican snacks and other surprises. But if what you want is a concert, go to La Trastienda website (Fernández Crespo 1763, www.latrastienda.com.uy) and you should find what you were looking for. If you cannot find your happiness there, another place where you can get information about big and small live concerts to enjoy the Montevideo nightlife is www.cartelera.com.uy , one of the most complete websites in the city.
Montevideo Nightlife Address List
Bakers (Pablo de María 1198, corner of Charrúa, Phone 096 212 767 y 097 457 260)
Barón, the barber shop that hides a secret (Santiago de Chile 1270, Phone 097 978 566)
Brickell Irish Pub (Blanes 1175 Phone 2401 2804)
BocaNegra vinos & tapas (Ellauri corner of García Cortinas Phone 2716 5935)
Candy Bar (Durazno 1402 corner of Ejido, Phone 2904 3179)
ChiviPizza (Punta Carretas: Miñones 2855 Phone 2710 1710; Carrasco: Schroeder 6472 Phone 2600 6161)
Después te explico (Blanes 1188 Phone 091 314 980)
Clyde´s (Costa Rica 1690 esq. Rivera Phone 2600 4198)
El Fondito (Pedro Bustamante 1222 Phone 2628 8167)
El Milongón (Gaboto 1810, Phone 2924 8535)
El secreto de Igor (Guipúzcoa 318 corner of García Cortinas) tapas bar and artisan beer
FunFun (Soriano 922 Phone 2904 4859)
Gallagher`s (Pagola 3233 between Berro and 26 de Marzo)
Hendrix music bar (Gral. Lavalleja 1018 almost rambla, Barra de Carrasco. Phone 094 122 700)
La Choperia (21 de Setiembre 2650 corner of Bonpland. Phone 095 927 454). Tuesday to Saturday from 7 pm to 2 am.
La Trastienda (Fernández Crespo 1763, Phone 2402 6929, Website. www.latrastienda.com.uy)
Lotus Club (Luis A. de Herrera 1248, World Trade Center)
Mingus coffee bar (San Salvador 1952, Phone 2410 9342)
Moderno Bar (Hotel Hyatt Centric, Rambla Perú 1479 Phone 2621 1234)
Monroe Bar (Constituyente 1885 Phone 092 666 763)
Montevideo Beer Company (Bvr. España 2614 corner of Muñoz. Phone 2716 6218)
Montevideo Brew House (Libertad 2592 corner of Maeso. Phone 2705 2763)
Negroni (Guipúzcoa 352 Phone 2716 7903)
Patagonia Brewing Co. (L.A. de Herrera 1193 between Iturriaga and 26 de Marzo. Phone 2622 9812)
Plaza Mateo (Rambla corner of Sarmiento, Parque Rodó)
Vasca tapas bar (Miñones 455 corner of Joaquín Nuñez Phone 093 982 211)
The pictures used in this article are directly taken from the social networks of the recommended establishments.
By Carina Fossati, Journalist specialised in travelling and author of the blog Hills to Hells
Translated to English by Grégory Noël