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. Amaro

    $$ | Centro | Mexican

    The romantic patio of this historic home glows with candlelight in the evening; during the day things look a lot more casual. Meat, fish, and...Read More

  • 2. 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

  • 3. Hacienda Teya

    $$ | Mexican

    A former henequen-producing site dating back to 1683, this beautiful hacienda just outside Mérida serves some of the best regional food around...Read More

  • 4. La Pigua

    $$ | Col. San Martin | Seafood

    This is hands-down the town's favorite lunch spot. The seafood is delicious, and the setting is unusual: glass walls replicate an oblong Mayan...Read More

  • 5. Salón Gallos

    $$ | Centro

    This innovative cultural complex, bar, and restaurant has brought energy to a part of Mérida that wasn't previously on the map for most visitors and...Read More

  • 6. Taberna de los Frailes

    $$$ | Mexican

    The "Tavern of the Monks" sits above Cenote Sis Ha and overlooks the ancient stonework of the Ex-Convento y Iglesia San Bernadino. Despite its...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Café Lucía

    $$ | Centro | Italian

    Music floats above black-and-white tile floors in the dining room of this century-old restaurant in the Hotel Casa Lucía near the main plaza...Read More

  • 10. 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

  • 11. Casa Chica

    $ | Centro

    The food is not the primary draw at this restaurant, though it does a good enough rendition of basic pastas, salads, and burgers as well...Read More

  • 12. 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

  • 13. Casa Nostra

    $$$ | Italian

    You can't get much closer to dining on the beach than this: at Casa Nostra, a little palapa restaurant, water laps just below the tables on...Read More

  • 14. Casa Vieja de los Arcos

    $$ | Centro | Mexican

    Whether you're having a meal or an evening cocktail, try to snag a table on this eatery's outdoor balcony for a fabulous view over Campeche...Read More

  • 15. Cenaduría Portales

    $ | Mexican

    Campechano families come here to enjoy a light supper, perhaps a delicious sandwich claveteado of honey-and-clove-spiked ham, along with a...Read More

  • 16. Chocol Ha

    $ | Centro | Bakery

    Follow your nose to this chocolate café, where the aromas of French pastries and rich cocoa waft into Campeche's narrow streets. Tucked inside...Read More

  • 17. Crabster Seafood & Grill

    $$

    Located right on Progreso's malecon, this restaurant is a notch above its neighbors and has contemporary Yucatecan inspired decor (think: pasta tiles, tzalam wood details,...Read More

  • 18. Dante's

    $ | Paseo Montejo | Café

    Couples, groups of students, and lots of families crowd this bustling coffeehouse at the Centro Cultural Dante, just above Mérida's largest...Read More

  • 19. 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

  • 20. 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

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