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Mar 5, 2011 12:59 PM


Currently on the ground in Merida and somewhat disappointed in the food. However, we had a stellar meal last night at a fairly new place called Local 3. Wonderfully creative drinks including some using mezcal and the best sangria I think I've ever tasted. Entrees included nut stuffed pork loin. Jamacia lacqured salmon, huitlacoche pasta and shrimp several ways including encrusted w/chicharron. I'll be home tomorrow and can post a more complete report, with pictures, but can honestly say right now that our meal at Local 3 was some of the best food of the trip.

Local 3
Av. Prolongacion Paseo Montejo #454-B
Plaza Arbolda Local 3
Colonia Itzimna

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  1. Hi DD - am heading to Merida for a few days early April. It seems you were underwhelmed by the food - we will definitely give Local 3 a try - any other tasty/casual recommendations or anything else worth a look?

    15 Replies
    1. re: redhead

      RH, one of the problems we had was that we were there during Carnavale and the nightly parade route went right past our hotel. The city puts up chain link against all the buildings to help protect them from the crush of people. Taxis, combis and busses aren't allowed closer than 2 blocks in any direction along the parade route and taxis were pretty hard to come by between 5 and 10 pm. If we weren't out of our hotel by the time the parade started, we were kind of stuck there for the rest of the evening. The food in our hotel - Casa de Balam - was pretty good but had we been able we would have eaten out.

      The food is Merida is not bad or awful, just rather pedestrian and predictable. Panchos has a really nice patio in the back and they do 2-fer drink specials at the bar during happy hour. That said, their margaritas aren't very good and the food is uneven, BUT the patio is a great place for drinks and apps in the afternoon. They've got an appetizer on the menu called "rustic pate". It turned out to be a seafood pate that was served with parmesan encrusted baguette slices. This was good.

      2 of the couples I was traveling with tried Casa Frida and like it alot. Another couple and I tried some of the fondas in the main market and found them bland. Chaya Maya was pretty good.

      If you see a street cart selling marequesitas buy one, they're great. It's a thin crisp wafer cooked to order on a hot iron. When it's done you can adorn it with cheese and/or cajeta, or both. A newer version uses nutella. These are cheap 15 pesos, crunchy and an easy food to eat while strolling. The Janitzio ice cream store on the zocalo has some pretty good ice cream. And if you're near a Sanborns and need a refreshment, go into their coffee shop and try a Squash. Not a vegetable but a refreshing drink with strawberries, pineapple and soda, it's been on their menu for years.

      Every Saturday morning there is a Slow Food Market sponsored by Slow Food Yucatan. It's pretty small but with an interesting assortment of food and people, ex-pats and locals. The market is hosted on the grounds of a bakery doing some really interesting breads and baked good. 60% of the customers for the bakery's goods are Mexicans not the ex-pat community. You will need the exact address and a taxi to get there, if you want it let me know.

      1. re: DiningDiva

        thanks for the insider tips! Those marequesitas are definitely up my alley..will be sure to enjoy a few of them!

        1. re: DiningDiva

          Thank you ... leaving in a week ... Can't wait to try the marequesitas!

          1. re: joclouti

            Prepare yourself for heat. High today in Mérida is expected to be 104°F, about what you can expect for the temps during your trip.

            1. re: cristina

              Best to visit Merida in late January if possible, so it seems. We were there for just over a week and experienced wall-to-wall sunshine every day except one (partly cloudy), with temps in the mid 70s every day. It felt like we were in San Diego!

          2. re: DiningDiva


            Please post the address of the Slow Food Market?

            1. re: joclouti

              The address is:
              Calle 31 #70 con Calle 12
              Colonia Chuburna de Hidalgo

              It's on the border with colonia Malaga and kitty corner from an old store called El Super Farahon. It's not on the beaten path. It's not very big, but it was worth about 30 minutes of time. I should also disclose I am the Secretary for Slow Food Urban San Diego so I do have something of a vested interest

              1. re: DiningDiva

                Missed you last year amd could not find you last week-end :-( Will try again this saturday

                1. re: joclouti

                  The Slow Food Market has relocated. If you can give me a bit, I can find the new address and post it.

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    I am heading to Merida soon and would love this info if it is available!

                        1. re: Maya

                          This restaurant has been getting rave reviews:

                          I haven't been, but friends are crazy about the tasting menu. One friend said that it was the single best meal she had ever eaten--anywhere. She said cost was about 1000 pesos per person--about $75USD.


                          1. re: cristina

                            Very creative menu - not lengthly but nice range of selections. My only excuses for visiting Merida are sisal hammocks and guayabera shirts, unfortunately.

                            1. re: Veggo

                              I go back year after year and I still love every minute of it...

            2. What we discovered is that the truly local food in Mérida, by itself, is very mild and somewhat bland. The cuisine here is a case in which the habanero isn't optional -- it's necessary. It adds the flavor and zip that makes it a truly Yucatecan dish. That just doesn't happen otherwise. Once we realized that and followed through, the food tasted wonderful.

              Favorite restaurants:

              Cantamayec (on 21, across the street from Plaza Fiesta)

              Katun (on 60 just north of Colon)