“And I like to listen to the mariachis, singing their lovely songs from their soul, her how those guitars sound and drink a tequila with the valentones,” sings Jorge Negrete in “Ay Jaliso, no te rajes,” a song that describes to perfection the most famous place to live a Mexican night: the Plaza Garibaldi.
Located in the heart of Mexico City, Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas, Plaza Garibaldi is a place that never sleeps, where music and parties join to create a popular ambience.
Being that it used to be known as the Plaza de Santa Cecilia, patron saint of musicians, each November 22, thousands of artists unite to celebrate the Virgin. It was later named Garibaldi, in honor of José Peppino Garibaldi, who fought in Madero’s ranks in 1911.
The party in the plaza became popular in 1830, with the opening of small pulque bars. At the beginning, entrance to these places wasn’t permitted and those who wished to purchase the drink didn’t have much option other than to drink it in public. Even though in our times, drinking booze in the street is a sanctioned action, Garibaldi hasn’t lost this custom.
Garibaldi gained recognition as a regular scene in Mexico’s golden era of cinema. Artists and composers like Javier Solís, José Alfredo Jiménez and Pedro Infante, recorded scenes in the plaza’s emblematic spaces. In the films, you can see the interpretations that they made in company with the mariachi, all dedicated toward their beloveds. Since then, they’ve offered the purest charro style music in honor of such films.
A visit to Garibaldi is stop that cannot be missed. All city residents and foreigners should make the effort. Listening to mariachi in the public square costs about $100-120 pesos per song. The variety is impressive, and you can ask for interpretations of the classic charros negros, norteños and romantic trio music.
Alcoholic beverages are no longer permitted in public spaces, but never fear, it’s no problem because if you want to drink tequila, mezcal or pulque, you can do it within the area’s restaurants: El Salón Tenampa, and Guadalajara de Noche.
Salón Tenampa is a traditional place, full of musical magic and Mexican food. Among its murals you can learn of Garibaldi’s musical history of and taste some tostadas, enchiladas, pozole or birria, which will make your stay all the more pleasant.
Guadalajara de Noche is a place where you can enjoy a truly Mexican evening. It’s ideal for dancing and seeing a folkloric spectacle, prideful folkloric spectacles and traditions, as well as national customs. The vibe gets high on weekends after 6 p.m.
But if you’re looking to move your hips, you can also find the cathedral of salsa and cumbia: the Salón Tropicana. Excellent for checking out or to dance to the rhythm of son. While it’s open every day, the best ambience is found on Fridays and Saturdays after 10pm.
There’s always something going on in Garibaldi. Even if you’re not looking for a party, the plaza offers a lot to get to know. Take a walk along the paseo de las luminarias, where you’ll find famous singers such as Juan Gabriel, Lola Beltrán, Pedro Infante, José Alfredo Jiménez and Javier Solís, immortalized in metal statues.
Visiting the Mariachi school, the Museo del Tequila, and seeing open-air cinema every month are even more options.
We recommend that you pass through Plaza Garibaldi on the weekends, being that the place is much more happening during those days. The agaves, the charros negros, the traditional Mexican music, and tequila, convert your state into a 100% Mexican diversion.