Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Mexico >
Mar 26, 2010 03:56 PM

What the locals eat in Cancun

I'm heading to Cancun next week to start a year long backpacking trip around the world. During this time I'm blogging ( ) about my experiences and will be focusing on food and photography.

I'm hoping the board can suggest some places to eat in Cancun that are local favorites. I will be going to the parc to sample the food there but I was also wondering if there are family haunts and stalls that go missed by travelers.

As I'm backpacking on a budget of $30 a day, high-end restaurants are out of the question. I'm just looking for good, authentic food.

Would love any suggestions you may have,


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You may be go over your budget including accomodations in Cancun, but as you're traveling to less expensive countries later, overall it may average out. But you didn't ask about places to stay, and this is a food board, so I'll stick to food recommendations. ;)

    For cheap food, you'll probably have to stick to street food, comida corridas, and taquerias. Since this food isn't terribly healthy, you'll also want to check out markets for things like fruits and breads and drinks.

    I can't remember which day (I think Wednesday?) but Comercial Mexicana, one of the larger Mexican supermarkets, has great discounts on produce. You could stock up on mangoes, papayas, bananas, and other locally grown fruits.

    Here are my favorites for cheap food in Cancun:
    -Mercado 23 has a good place to buy quesadillas...I can't remember the name, but it's called Los Huaraches de...something. Huge quesadillas (grilled, not fried) with numerous choices of fillings. Only open in the morning and during the day.
    -the taco truck outside of the bus station. There are two, and I prefer the one that is run by the tow women. I've been buying tacos there for ten years and they are still amazing. THe ladies usually have about ten fillings to choose from, and most tacos come with rice and some with beans. Nine pesos a piece and two will keep you full for hours. My favorites are breaded shrimp and chile relleno.
    -there's a little Mayan man who sells fresh orange juice for 10 or 12 pesos a glass and also makes fruit salas. Good if you're not into the traditional Coca Cola for breakfast.
    -comida corrida-food of the day, which you can find in locations all over Mexico. Most are family run businesses and you can always find several places in the parks and markets. There's a set price, which definitely varies depending on where you go, but I'll give you my favorites:
    .....Luz de Maria, which is at the corner of Av Palenque and Av Xpuhil, which is located a couple of blocks away from Mercado 28. They'll give you a huge meal of beans, tortillas, rice, a meat, and sometimes it comes with some sort of fruit juice depending on the place. Since I lived right across from Luz de Maria, I went there for years and it was always delicious. Don't remember prices, but I'm guessing they may be up to 40 pesos for a plate, but it's usually enough food for two meals.
    -Parque las Palapas has several places that sell comida corrida but the portions are small and the hygiene suspect...not that this stopped me from eating there on occasion, but there are definitely better places. Mercado 28 also has several, and I like La Chaya, but am not as devoted to those places as the one I mentioned further away from the main areas of Cancun.
    -for tacos, El Poblano has good prices and several locations in Cancun.
    -there are places to buy pollo rostizado all over the place, and that's also a good deal...either a whole or half a chicken with beans, rice, tortillas, and salsa. Again, prices vary by neighborhood. Can't recommend any specific places, as I'd typically just get a meal closest to wherever I was living at the can find places to buy anywhere from an actual restaurant type place to a woman who sells from her kitchen. Good meal to split with someone.
    -for tacos, my favorites come from either El Poblano (mentioned above) or a couple of places on Av Yaxchilan. These places don't open until early evening and close at 3 or 4 in the morning. But my favorites are El Piemonte (their prices keep going up but the quality has been consistent for years) and El Asador. The latter always has either 2 X 1 or 3 X 1 beers.

    I could go on, but these are probably the easiest places to find for a first time visitor. Also, a close friend has written a couple of posts on her blog about some places she frequents in Cancun (her husband is from Puebla so she has some suggestions for places that serve food from that region:

    1 Reply
    1. re: GabachaYucateca

      Thank you so much this is really helpful. I'm taking the list out tonight to find dinner!