Dining in San Miguel

There’s no shortage of dining choices on Cozumel, where restaurateurs from Mexico, the U.S., and Europe bring every visitor a taste of home. The narrow streets of San Miguel are filled with the aromas of grilling steaks and smoking shrimp, as waiters deliver platters of enchiladas and pizza to sidewalk tables and passersby eye the tables full of food, trying to choose where to eat. At rooftop restaurants, groups gather over Italian feasts; along the shoreline, lobster and fresh fish are the catch of the day. All over the island, there is a bias toward tourist taste buds. Yucatecan dishes such as cochinita pibil, queso relleno (Gouda cheese stuffed with ground meat), and sopa de lima (lime soup) rarely appear on menus aimed at foreign visitors; however, you will still find authentic regional cuisine at San Miguel’s small family-owned eateries, which are often simply a cluster of wobbly tables in a tiny café.

Although there are a growing number of restaurants that serve fine cuisine, even the island’s top chefs tend to emphasize natural flavors and simple preparations. The same spirit holds for the dining room, where casual clothes are the rule and a shirt with buttons qualifies as dressed up. (There are a few places here where you can let your sartorial excellence shine.)

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