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. Cuna

    $$$ | Col. García Ginerés

    This contemporary restaurant at the Wayam Mundo Imperial hotel in the García Ginerés neighborhood has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a lush, plant-filled terrace as well as...Read More

  • 2. Apoala

    $$ | Centro

    Apoala is one of the best choices for Mexican food on Parque Santa Lucia, Mérida's lively, restaurant-lined plaza. The menu includes both Oaxacan and Yucatecan...Read More

  • 3. La Negrita

    $ | Centro

    This cantina at the corner of Calles 62 and 49 is popular with locals, expats, and visitors to Mérida with its large courtyard as well...Read More

  • 4. La Poderosa

    $ | Centro

    Residents of Mérida have strong opinions on who makes the best salbutes and panuchos, two signature Yucatecan dishes, and La Poderosa is at the top...Read More

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