Yucatán and Campeche States Restaurants

Expect a superb variety of cuisines—primarily Yucatecan, of course, but also Lebanese, Italian, French, Chinese, vegetarian, and Mexican—at very reasonable prices. Reservations are advised for the pricier restaurants on weekends and in high season. Beach towns, such as Progreso, Río Lagartos, and Celestún, tend to serve fresh, simply prepared seafood. The regional cuisine of Campeche is renowned

throughout Mexico. Specialties include fish and shellfish stews, cream soups, shrimp cocktail, squid and octopus, and panuchos (chubby rounds of fried cornmeal covered with refried beans and topped with onion and shredded turkey or chicken).

Mexicans generally eat lunch in the afternoon—certainly not before 2. If you want to eat at noon, call ahead to verify hours. In Mérida the locals make a real event of late dinners, especially in summer. Casual (but neat) dress is acceptable at all restaurants. Avoid wearing shorts or casual sandals in the more expensive places, and anywhere at all—especially in the evening—if you don't want to look like a tourist. Although food servers at most local restaurants are kind and hospitable, they don’t always show it like they do in the States. Be patient and realize that, for many, the language barrier may cause them to be more reserved but not necessarily unfriendly. It's common practice for restaurants to include gratuity and tax in the total bill, so double-check your bill before adding a tip.

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