30+ of the Best Things to Do in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico

Nuevo Laredo had been on our list of places to visit for far too long, so we decided enough was enough. It was time to visit Nuevo Laredo, Mexico!

We wanted to make sure we enjoyed Nuevo Laredo to the fullest, so we did lots of research and asked around for recommendations on the best places to go and things to do in Nuevo Laredo. 

The list below is a compilation of the suggestions we received. Unfortunately, we did not have as much time there as we would’ve liked, meaning we weren’t able to personally tackle everything, but we still wanted to include them in the list since they received such high praise from friends, family, and locals of Nuevo Laredo.

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How to Get to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico

The fastest and most affordable way to get from Texas to Nuevo Laredo is by plane. If you keep an eye on ticket prices, you might score some great deals.

The cheapest option is taking a Greyhound Bus, but your travel time won’t be quite as short. The bus will take you to Laredo where you’ll then walk across Bridge 1.

Traveling by car is more convenient and you can make the trip in your own time, but there are certainly more costs, especially for tolls, gas, snacks, and any stops you may want to make along the way. From Dallas to Nuevo Laredo, it is about 431 miles / 694 km. 

Safety Measures While Traveling

It is best to stay near the border and the Market (AKA Mercado Maclovio Herrera, which is mentioned more below). The best time to cross the border is in the morning. At the border, both militaries are heavily armed. 

To avoid any issues at the border crossing or along the border, we recommend hiding valuables, dressing modestly, not carrying a lot of jewelry and expensive accessories, and driving an inexpensive car.

If you are looking for trouble, you’ll find it, which will not be good. But overall, the people in the stores, food stalls, and eateries are friendly and welcoming.

If this route makes you uncomfortable, opt for booking a flight, arriving at the airport, and then going to your destination. The airport is small; there are no waiting rooms, places to eat, or phone charging areas; it’s more of a touch-and-go location.

Where to Eat in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico

Try Nuevo Laredo’s Famous Tacos

At the border crossing, the tacos at “El Santo Niño,” also known as “Tacos El Papa Mundo,” are the best. They have been featured in the news and in popular city magazines. This small taco stand has appointed itself as the unofficial welcoming committee for border crossers. The taco stand has been open for over 80 years and more than three generations. It opens early and does not close until 9:00 pm. You can find the stand at the intersection of Galeana and Victoria, past the church. But if you’re having trouble finding it, ask around! Anyone can show you the way.

Indulge at La Providencia Panadería

La Providencia Panadería is the oldest bakery in Nuevo Laredo. It has been open since 1878, so yeah, they know what they are doing. They sell pan dulce and other traditional baked goods like donuts and cinnamon rolls. This bakery is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike in Nuevo Laredo.

Donut on store display

Grab Some Candy at Dulceria La Reina

At Dulceria La Reina, you’ll find everything you need for party favors in bulk at an affordable price. There are piñatas in all sorts of shapes and sizes; boxes and boxes of spicy candy, gum and hard candy, sweet candy, and even party favors, gifts, and all you’ll need to make candy bags for your next event.

Mexican Sundry Store

Get a Refreshment at La Michocana

La Michoacana is a staple you’ll find all over Mexico. At La Michaocana, you can choose from popsicles, ice creams, bolis (thick popsicle sticks), and aguas frescas, a beverage made with all types of fruit and lots of ice. This is the best place to let your body catch a break from the sun!

Snack on Epic Elote at El Snack

El Snack has the best elote and esquites in town. Esquites are corn in a cup with mayo, lemon, salt, cheese, butter, and other ingredients, making it a great snack at any time!

Dine with the Locals at El Padrino No. 1

We didn’t have the chance to try this place, but it was recommended at least twice during our short visit. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and all their traditional Mexican dishes are perfect for curing any hangover or satisfying any craving. You’ll find foods like tampiquenas, milanesas, ternera, pollo en mole, carnitas, flautas, and enchiladas, or choose the Guisado Del Dia or the daily special.

Get Your Hands on More Tacos at Taqueria Vicky

Taqueria Vicky is also known as “Fat Tacos” because their portions are so generous. The gorditas are 35 pesos per person (that equates to about $2). They also offer barbacoa, picadillo, carnitas, and more.

Fat Tacos Cooking Station by the street

Let’s Talk About Food & a Good Time

Get Serenaded at El Rancho

The breakfast buffet at El Rancho is one of the most popular attractions in town. The menu includes scrambled eggs with sausage, barbacoa, carnitas, menudo, and more. We were there for lunch and had chicharones with queso fresco, choriqueso, salsitas, costillas de cabrito & cabrito de machito. The parrillada was also fantastic; it included fajita chicken, ribs, queso fundido, guacamole, onions, and jalapenos. There is also a mariachi band that plays songs per request for a donation, and sometimes there are even dancers in traditional dresses from the Tamaulipas region. The atmosphere is fantastic! Relax and enjoy some entertainment with a full belly!

Grab a Drink at Emiliano’s Tequila Bar

This place is not fancy or pretentious, just how glorified Chef Anthony Bourdain liked his food spots. This is a hole-in-the-wall destination for drivers to stretch their legs and grab a cold drink.

Emiliano's Tequila Bar hanging store logo

Go on a Food Tour at La Union Food Truck

Food trucks from all over Nuevo Laredo gather at this open-air lot to provide customers with great food while they enjoy live music and kick back in their on-site lounges. Fridays and Saturdays feature live shows from local artists and bands. The ambiance is friendly and relaxed, and the beers are 40 pesos, so about $2 each.

Get Some Street Candy

Many street food vendors trek around with wheelbarrows full of candy and other goods. You’ll also see paleteros selling popsicles, bolis, and other baked and fried goods. Other unique staples include candied apples, pirulis, gomitas de rompope, and sweet potatoes (also known as camotes). Give them a try and discover the diverse flavors of Mexican culture.

Eat Seafood at La Laguna Mariscos

This place is always full and for good reason! You’ll find large portions that are not only affordable, but tasty. Some of their popular dishes are the Mexican shrimp cocktail, shrimp a la diabla, ceviche, caldo de pescado, and more!

Where to Shop in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico

Explore El Mercado Maclovio Herrera

The Mercado (or the Market) is brimming with shops and vendors, both inside and outside. You can find leather goods, artisan crafts, traditional Mexican household goods, traditional Mexican goods pre-packed for traveling, Mexican-style clothing, and more. The people are friendly and approachable; most speak English or can find someone to help them translate. 

Plaza in a local market

Shop for New Kicks at Zapateria Destroyer

Here, you’ll find quality shoes at a bargain price. Shoes are less than $15 and sometimes include bundle deals. Take a look around and see what you’ll find!

Shoe Display

Get Trendy at Laola & Vertiche

This local boutique has trendy clothing and accessories. The best part is there are good deals and affordable prices. 

Buy From Local Artisans

You’ll find local artisans with handcrafted goods lined up inside and outside the Market. However, there are other places you can find them as well. The streets along the border are filled with places to buy souvenirs, piñatas, good tequila, and traditional clothing.

Things to Do in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico

Watch the Abrazo Ceremony

Every year for the past four years, a child from both Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico have been chosen to meet at the center of the footbridge and engage in an act of unity and solidarity between the two cities: a simple hug. We found out about the Abrazo ceremony while talking to locals, and they were keen to share the events that they are proud to be a part of. 

Check out La Fuente de los Poetas

There are so many beautiful fountains around Nuevo Laredo, but this one in particular is a city landmark. The fountain is called The Fountain of Poems due to the poems inscribed all over it. This fountain is also in one of the city’s most beautiful and well-kept parks.

Fuente de Poeta

Take Time to Visit the Monumento a los Fundadores de Nuevo Laredo

The Founders Monument is a city landmark worth a brief stop to appreciate and reflect on history.

Founder Monument

Visit the Parroquia Santo Niño

This is one of the oldest churches in the city, founded in the late 1800s. The church, located in the heart of the city, is well maintained and has a beautiful entrance decorated in shades of white and beige that exude peace and tranquility. In October, there is a festival in honor of San Judas, or St. Jude, where the community comes together to pray, laugh, and have fun.

Mingle in Juarez Plaza

Juarez Plaza is a historic Nuevo Laredo landmark with everything you need within walking distance, like the #1 International Bridge and the Santo Niño de Atocha Church. There are musical performances on Thursdays and Fridays, plus local dance schools or city schools who perform for the public from 6 pm to 7 pm. 

Juarez Plaza

Explore the Plaza Hidalgo

Vendors gather to sell their creations on any normal day. An abundance of food vendors sell fruit, candy, cold water, sodas, and snacks. Plaza Hidalgo is famous for its community events, especially its big Mexican Independence Day event with local and famous artists and fireworks at the end of the evening. It is also decorated during special holidays such as Christmas and Three Kings Day.

Plaza Hidalgo Monument

The Reloj de la Plaza Hidalgo is a famous landmark that complements the park and announces the city’s times of prayer, like Angelus at 12:00 pm and Misericordia at 3:00 pm. 

Stop at Plaza 1º de Mayo

This park has been used continually as a center of culture and recreation, hosting folklore dancing performances by local schools, local musicians, and families spending time together before heading home. There is also a tree that has been “tagged” by Lety Gonzales, a local artist of Nuevo Laredo.

Plaze De Myo Tree with a Lizard Painting

Take a Stroll in Plaza Simon Bolivar

The plaza is covered with turf grass with an accompanying playground for children and flags from South America in memory of Simon Bolivar. On July 24, 1783, Simon Bolivar was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He is also known as “El Libertador,” or the Liberator, because he helped liberate the countries of New Granada, Venezuela, Quito, and Peru. The area is used by locals to play sports, eat, play, or participate in community events.

Plaza Simon Bolivar Statue

Hang Out at El Parque Ecológico Viveros

This park is a local hotspot for locals on the weekends. The park has a zoo and an aquarium, but I’ll tell you more about that below. There are plenty of playgrounds for kids to run around, along with swimming pools, craft areas, and recreational areas with barbecue grills for families to spend the day. Some people rent kids electric cars for an hour and vendors sell cold drinks, snacks, and sweets.