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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  • 1. Café Alameda

    $ | Centro | Middle Eastern

    The waiters are brusque, the building is old, and the decor couldn't be plainer. But you'll find good, hearty, and cheap fare at this always...Read More

  • 2. Cana Nah

    $ | Mexican

    Although this large roadside spot mainly caters to the groups visiting Uxmal, locals recommend it as the most formally established eatery in...Read More

  • 3. Casa Italia

    $$ | Centro | Italian

    If there was a "Best Pizza in Mexico" contest, this restored colonial gem a couple of blocks north of the main square would be nominated. Lots...Read More

  • 4. El Atrio

    $$ | Centro | Mexican

    Valladolid's newest entry in the restaurant sweepstakes occupies an elegant colonial house on the south side of the main square and specializes...Read More

  • 5. El Príncipe Tutul-Xiu

    $ | Mexican

    About 15 km (9 miles) east of Ticul in the little town of Maní, this open restaurant under a giant palapa roof is an inviting spot for lunch...Read More

  • 6. El Sushi Holbox

    $$ | Japanese

    This tiny restaurant fills a void in island cuisine with the day's catch transformed into the sushi roll of your choice. Local favorites include...Read More

  • 7. Flamingos

    $$ | Seafood

    This restaurant facing Progreso's long cement promenade is a cut above its neighbors. Service is professional and attentive, and soon after...Read More

  • 8. La Casa de Frida

    $$ | Centro | Mexican

    Chef-owner Gabriela Praget puts a healthful, cosmopolitan spin on Mexican fare. Traditional dishes like chiles en nogada (stuffed pepper in...Read More

  • 9. La Tradición

    $ | Col. Alcalá Martin | Mexican

    This family restaurant is a top choice among locals—in fact, many say it's their favorite restaurant in town. It's also one of the most formal...Read More

  • 10. Los Mestizos

    $ | Centro | Mexican

    This humble restaurant has brightly painted walls; even the ceiling fans are painted a vivid orange. The "Combinado los Mestizos" on the dinner...Read More

  • 11. Luz de Luna

    $ | Centro | Mexican

    Inside a colonial-era building, this small family-run restaurant is decorated with Mexican crafts. Since most customers are tourists, you'll...Read More

  • 12. Mandarina

    $$$ | Eclectic

    On the ground floor of Casa Las Tortugas, Mandarina has indoor and outdoor seating just feet from the sand. Chef Jorge Melul, a master baker...Read More

  • 13. Pizzería La Góndola

    $ | Pizza

    The wonderful smells of fresh-baked bread and pizza waft from this small corner establishment between the market and the main square. Scenes...Read More

  • 14. Rescoldos

    $ | Centro | Mediterranean

    This small, cozy Mediterranean bistro (whose name means "burning embers") was the dream of Canadian owners Jake and Rae Ann. Food is served...Read More

  • 15. Restaurante Kinich

    $ | Mexican

    At the entrance to the town’s most comfortable eatery, a small shop sells a carefully selected and cleverly displayed collection of local folk...Read More

  • 16. Restaurante Ría Maya

    $ | Seafood

    Grab a seat in this palapa restaurant directly across from the water, and watch the day's catch come straight from the docks. With a seashell...Read More

  • 17. Ristorante Bologna

    $$ | Col. Itzimná | Italian

    You can dine alfresco or inside at this beautifully restored old mansion, a few blocks off Paseo Montejo. Tables have fresh flowers and cloth...Read More

  • 18. Zarabanda Restaurante

    $$ | Seafood

    Near the main square, this unpretentious family-run restaurant is one of the oldest (and most affordable) eateries on the island, and it's considered...Read More

  • 19. Restaurante Isla Contoy

    $ | Seafood

    Run by the amicable family that guides lagoon tours, this open-sided seafood shanty at the dock serves generous helpings of fish soup, fried...Read More

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