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Café No Sé is guilty of false advertising: the menu declares that the staff is confused, the seating uncomfortable, and the books battered. Instead, patrons entering the narrow establishment enjoy this bar and restaurant's unique sense of humor and are served by efficient staff. Enjoy a drink accompanied by peanuts to snack on or a better-than-bar-food-delicious meal such as quesadillas, soups, burritos, or sandwiches. The live music advertised outside is loud in the entranceway, but slip through to a table further back for a good conversation spot, or keep your eyes peeled for the little Alice in Wonderland-style door on your left and sneak through to the ilegal mezcal bar where the bartender is ready to pour some of the house liquor.
The name of this bar and eatery should be taken literally - continue past the first flight of stairs, up the spiral staircase, for some of the best views of Antigua to be found. Gaze out over the captivating displays of sunshine and shadows of the surrounding hills, or take the opportunity to learn about some major attractions in town : the Iglesia San Francisco sits just to the south, and streetscapes stretch out in every direction. The astonishingly friendly rooftop bartender will be happy to explain what you see between mixing drinks, chipping ice, and calling orders for food down to the kitchen.
A festive, upscale Mexican ambiance draws an older crowd than many Antigua establishments, and has a lively business serving up traditional dishes like tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. Colorful paper banners hang from the ceiling, ribbons are braided into the waitresses' hair, and reproductions of Frida Kahlo paintings hang all around the dining rooms. Two-for-one drink specials run all night on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays: pick the night that features your favorite alcohol and have it mixed however you like!
An Irish-themed bar with well-chosen American pop music setting the mood, Reilly's is a great place to start out the night in Antigua. Bartenders speak excellent English, as does most of the international crowd enjoying Guatemalan beers and the occasional Guinness (at a higher price). Be sure to examine the Celtic-inspired images painted along the walls, and the framed sports jersey hanging at eye-level.
Perhaps Antigua's most elite dance club, La Casbah leaves nothing to be desired for location: it overlooks the ruins of a Baroque church as dancers enjoying popular hit songs fill the floor. The club often projects movies directly onto the church wall as an added point of interest for customers, and people walking up the street can see the "screen" from a few blocks away. Drinks can be expensive, and there is a cover charge some nights, but ladies' night on Tuesday and Salsa/Latin night on Wednesday (no cover) help keep the revelry affordable.
A familiar feeling imbues the maze-like interior of Red's, with its picnic tables and cold drink pitchers: it's a sports bar in a fairly American tradition, offering English sports coverage and appropriately dim lighting. Not a place to find cheap eats, the bar nonetheless offers several pancake options, 2-for-1 happy hour from noon until 8p, and ladies' night specials on Mondays. Internet, wireless access, used books, and even a travel agency are also tucked into the space—take notice of the creative touches adorning the walls, on which are painted frames for pictures and for big cracks in the masonry.