Friday, June 14, 2024

Guadalajara has the world’s coolest neighborhood, says Time Out

Mexico doesn’t just have the world’s best small city — San Miguel de Allende, according to readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine — but now also the world’s coolest neighborhood.

The Colonia Americana neighborhood in Guadalajara ranked No. 1 in Time Out magazine’s 2022 list of the 51 coolest neighborhoods in the world.

Time Out, which surveyed readers and sought “expert input” from its “global network of local writers and editors” to compile its fifth annual coolest neighborhoods list, said that Colonia Americana – located just west of Guadalajara’s downtown area – is the epicenter of the Jalisco capital’s underground scene. 

“Located right next to 500-year-old El Centro, it’s an edgy blend of art deco and neoclassical mansions with artists’ squats and warehouses containing some of the city’s best music venues,” the publication said, mentioning Segundo Piso Music and Bar Americas, which it described as Latin America’s answer to legendary Berlin club Berghain. 

DJ Jimi Jules performing at Bar Americas in Guadalajara
DJ Jimi Jules spins the tunes at the Bar Americas nightclub in the world’s coolest neighborhood. BarAmericas

Time Out also said that the plaza around the neo-gothic church Templo Expiatorio del Santísmo is “prime for people-watching at any time of the day thanks to its many food carts and street performers.” 

Adding to Colonia Americana’s coolness are the “sleek cafes” and “dive bars” where “creative locals” work and sip tequila, the liquor whose birthplace is the town of Santiago de Tequila – located about 70 kilometers northwest of central Guadalajara.  

Time Out recommended a range of other Colonia Americana places to visit in a “perfect day” itinerary, including the art gallery Tiro Al Blanco, the restaurant Veneno and “vibey Chapultepec Avenue” for its weekend handicrafts market. 

One thing that the magazine didn’t talk about was safety. However, the Mexican author Antonio Ortuño – a resident of Colonia Americana – said that almost 900 crimes were reported in the neighborhood in the first nine months of 2022. 

“Let’s say it without subterfuge: la Americana is not a safe area,” he wrote in an article published Monday in the Spanish newspaper El País

Only one other Mexican neighborhood appeared in this year’s 51 coolest neighborhoods list, and it just scraped into the rankings at No. 51. Versalles, in the Jalisco resort city of Puerto Vallarta, is “an inconspicuous part of town” but home to “a clutch of Vallarta’s coolest shops and restaurants,” Time Out said.   

“This charming area feels like a small town in itself, with its cobbled roads, bougainvillea and traditional single-story homes, and its calm is a refreshing contrast to the nearby tourist neighborhoods of Centro, Cinco de Diciembre and Zona Romantica,” the magazine said. 

However, Versalles is “not all peace and quiet,” Time Out said, noting that “when you are ready to paint the town red, Calle España has the city’s best dining and nightlife, with street-style tacos waiting at La Mucca and smoky mezcal cocktails at La Tatema Mezcalería.”

It also said that the proximity of the neighborhood to Puerto Vallarta’s beaches adds to its appeal.  

Joining Colonia Americana and Versalles on the coolest neighborhoods list are areas in cities such as Tokyo, Toronto, São Paulo, Barcelona, Melbourne and Lagos. 

Ranking second to fifth behind Guadalajara’s epitome of cool are Cais do Sodré in Lisbon, Portugal; Wat Bo Village in Siem Reap, Cambodia; Ridgewood in New York City in the U.S.; and Mile End in Montreal, Canada.    

Mexico News Daily 

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