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Apr 16, 2007 08:01 AM


My gf and I will be spending a few days in Merida in early June. From looking around on the boards, it seems like it's an underrepresented city in terms of chow tips. So I'm basically looking for the must eats in town for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Casual, formal, everything in between and all cuisines are welcome. What's important is that it's good. However any tips on local Yucatecan cuisine and Cuban (as it appears they have a bit of expat community there) would be great. Much Thanks!

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  1. Tip #1.... throw all Frommer's tips out the window.

    Tip #2.... I did post some Merida tips here... they might be buried under a Yucatan or Cancun thread.

    Question.... where else will you be going?

    5 Replies
    1. re: Eat_Nopal

      Uxmal, Kabah, Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Ek Balam, Coba, Tulum, Cozumel, & Playa del Carmen.

      Frommer's was never even an option. I'll take a look around for your other posts. If you think of anymore or just feel like being redundant, post some more here. As I said, it seems a city the size of Merida is seriously underrepresented on here.

      1. re: Jonny Pops

        Don't have any tips- as it has been ages and ages since I was in that part of the world. I do remember that Merida was kind of a working class kind of place. It seems that Cozumel( I prefer Ilsa Mujeres to Cozumel) , and Cancun have the bulk tourist industry. When I was there, we did moslty street food in Merida. And Chichen Itza was really desolate- but the pyramids were awesome. Will have to take a look in my scrapbook, and will post back if I find anything.

        1. re: Jonny Pops

          Ah... I see you are doing the Puuc Route. Here are a couple of suggestions:

          1) On your way to the Puuc Route you should stop by the town of Oxhutzcab and dine around the plaza... its probably your best chance for decent food in the area. One of the well regarded chefs here in the Sonoma wine region is Mateo Granados who hails from Ox... you can probably mine him for some recs through his website (just google his name). Slightly, unrelated one of the towns near Ox is a an artisan hub.... might be Tikul... you will probably want to buy some handicrafts in the Yucatan.. and the best places to buy them are where they are produced.

          2) If you have half a day... I really recommend driving to Campeche (about 90 minutes west of Merida... its a cool pirate era city with La Pigua.... arguably the finest restaurant in the Yucatan... and which caters mostly to domestic travelers).

          3) Valladolid has one of the best culinary reputations in the Yucatan (very traditional cooking)... I just ate at a random place by the Plaza and had some very intriguing Coconut Shrimp & Lomitos Valladolid (kind of a pork tenderloin ropa vieja) & other specialities.

          4) In Merida... you can't go wrong in busy eateries or ice cream shops around the Plaza or on Paseo de Montejo.. but the best food is in the city perimeter... I will try to dig something up.

          5) Playa del Carmen will probably be your culinary highlight for contemporary, cosmopolitan cuisine.

          6) Around Chichen Itze... you just have to go into the town of Piste, otherwise you will get stuck with mediocre "fair" or hotel food.

          1. re: Eat_Nopal

            Here are four good places around Merida (away from the tourist areas):

            > El Porton
            > Montecristo
            > Karnes y Karnitas
            > Guisos Mexicanos Mis Chiles

          2. re: Jonny Pops

            Since this was on the International board and not on the newly formed Mexico board, I'll add this link to my old notes:


            If you take the back roads from Valladolid to Uxmal (which you can do, although the road is very difficult in spots), there are some very cool looking towns where you could stop and check things out. That would be fun.

        2. I have been to Merida several times, spread out over thirty plus years. Last, six years ago. Here is a link to a lovely spot.. I was there over thirty years ago as well, same restaurant.

          Now, I am not going to tell you this is the best food, or the Chowish, or the cheapest, or a hole in the wall discovery. It was sublime in different ways. The gorgeous patio, and personal service of the owners, who I believe are Lebanese. It is like a museum, stuffed with artifacts, and they will give you a tour. Merida is one of the most beautiful of Colonial cities, a fabulous gateway to the many spectacular places you are going to visit!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jesdamala

            I'm weighing in a bit late as you'll already be in Mexico but Italian food is the best thing to eat in Merida. For some reason, Italians are mad about Merida - you'll run into them I'm sure. Be sure to eat in the Plaza which has the Gran Hotel and Caribe Hotel.