The Best Dive Bar Bodega in Iquitos, Peru
Bodega Bar Judith, as the name suggests, is a bodega and a bar in Iquitos. I don’t know what happened to Judith, but I’m guessing she ran away.
Bodega Bar Judith, you see, is a real dive of a bar. It is, in all honesty, a dirty shit hole with terrible service and weird customers.
But it’s cheap. Not cheerful at all, but cheap. And it’s in a great location, just a couple of blocks from the Plaza de Armas (Raymondi 262).
Iquitos needs more places like this in its city center. Places where a bottle of beer costs S/.4.50 rather than S/.8. Places that don’t make poorly prepared onion rings just because that’s what gringos supposedly eat.
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The guys who work in Bodega Bar Judith couldn’t care less what you want to eat. They don’t do food, especially onion rings, but they might sell you a packet of biscuits. And they don’t give a shit if you want a fan to cope with the sweltering heat. They might have a spare one out back, but they sure as hell won’t let you have it.
But they will bring you beer. Well, they will if they’re paying attention, otherwise they’ll at least give you one if you ask at the counter.
As for the weird customers, you never know what you’ll find slumped, swearing or singing in the corner. If you’re lucky, you might find yourself heckled by a table of incredibly flirtatious local women. Alternatively, and more probably, you might get stuck with the stale-smelling drunk guy with three fingers who just won’t go away.
If this all sounds like a nightlife nightmare, then you really will hate it. It is, after all, a hot, sweaty, dirty place with no obvious redeeming features apart from the cheap beer.
If you’re thinking, “cool, cheap beer” then you’ll love it — ‘love’ is probably too strong a word, but you’ll probably come back again. You’ll come back not just because of the cheap beer, but also because of the local atmosphere, the handy location, and the sense that anything can happen while you sit in the white interior of the altogether shoddy but eminently likeable Bar Bodega Judith.
Oh, and did I mention the Venus Video Rockola jukebox? An antique! And if after drinking in this Bar Bodega, you are looking for more adventure in Iquitos both Amazon Explorer and Maniti Expeditions offer the best Iquitos Jungle tours.