Kathryn Ferguson writes about her favorite border cantina, from The Insider's Guide to the Best of Mexico, page 32.

Salon Regis

Step over the line into Mexico, turn at the nondescript corner, walk down the unremarkable street, step inside a dark door, and leave the coat of what defines you on the hanger. Take a deep breath. You are in the Salon Regis in Nogales, Sonora–the best border cantina in Mexico.

The first thing you see (other than cowboy hats and smiling red lips) is a thirty-foot mirror in a mahogany frame behind the bar. It came from a luxury passenger ship in Guaymas.

One family has owned the Regis for years. As you settle in, you feel as if you are part of the family. Between jokes, the bartender mixes an old fashioned margarita with secret ingredients, and serves it to you in a metal shaker. I believe a prerequisite for the job of bartender is a sense of humor.

If you are a woman alone, no worry. Not only does the bartender shoo away any annoying situation, three musicians sing your favorite song.

In the bohemian atmosphere of vintage lamps and a private room for bullfighters, this is my home away from home. As strangers, we first enter the Regis with caution, but then comes the camaraderie, then the trust across cultures. 

-Kathryn Ferguson

Download the Insider's Guide to The Best of Mexico here.