Merida MX Food Scene

Merida MX Food Scene

My first trip to Mérida, Mexico was an unforgettable cuisine and cultural experience, as I continued to be inspired by Eva Longria’s CNN special “Searching for Mexico”. Upon arriving I immediately fell in love with the warm embrace of the Yucatecan atmosphere, with its rich history and lively energy, and beautiful mansions. 

Exploring the streets of Mérida, I found myself drawn to the mercados teeming with fresh fruits, aromatic spices, and street food stalls. From the iconic cochinita pibil, tender marinated pork wrapped in banana leaves and slow-roasted to perfection, to the savory delights of salbutes and panuchos, crispy corn tortillas topped with shredded chicken or turkey, refried beans, and pickled onions, every bite was a revelation of flavor. I signed for a food tour by Eating With Carmen, our tour guide Alex, included 8 food tasitng: cochinita pibil, relleno negro, carnitas, pastor, tamal, aguas frescas in Mercado Lucas de Galvez Market. (Highly recommend Alex with Eating With Carmen, Food Tours)



But it wasn't just the food that captivated me; it was the deep-rooted cultural traditions that infused every dish with meaning and history. As I savored each bite, I couldn't help but feel a connection to the generations of families who had perfected these recipes over centuries, passing down their culinary heritage from generation to generation.                                                     

It was evident Mérida, renowned traditional Yucatecan cuisine,  features a wide array of flavors and ingredients unique to the region. Staples include cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork marinated in achiote paste and sour orange juice), poc chuc (grilled marinated pork or chicken), and panuchos (fried tortillas stuffed with black beans and topped with various ingredients like shredded turkey, pickled onions, and avocado).

My menu tells the story of what Merida eats daily:

  • Sikil Pak: A popular Mayan dip made from pumpkin seeds, tomatoes, chili peppers, and spices, sikil pak is often served with tortilla chips or as a topping for tacos
  • Cochinita Pibil: Perhaps the most famous dish from the Yucatán, cochinita pibil is slow-roasted pork marinated in achiote paste, citrus juice, and spices.
  • Papadzules: A traditional Mayan dish consisting of rolled corn tortillas filled with hard-boiled eggs and topped with a pumpkin seed sauce and tomato sauce.
  • Sopa de Lima: A tangy soup made with chicken, lime juice, and tortilla strips. It's a refreshing and comforting dish often enjoyed as a starter.
  • Ceviche: Mérida's coastal location means that fresh seafood plays a significant role in its cuisine. Ceviche, a dish of raw fish marinated in citrus juices and mixed with onions, tomatoes, and cilantro, is a popular choice.
  • Brazo de Reina: A dessert that translates to "Queen's Arm," brazo de reina is a sweet roll filled with jam or sweet cream, often topped with powdered sugar.
  • Chaya: A leafy green vegetable native to the Yucatán Peninsula, chaya is often used in soups, stews, and juices. It's highly nutritious and adds a distinct flavor to many Yucatecan dishes.


Experiences I Enjoyed:


Over looking the Plaza Grande and the Cathedral, Picheta’s rooftop terrace is the ultimate spot to savor the open air. Collaborating with residents chefs Merida, Picheta’s menu boasts unique dishes crafted from local ingredientes. Its prime location offering the finest view downtown Mérida.

Plaza Grande @pichetamx

La Tradicion

Lives up to its name by serving traditional recipes passed down through generrations, resulting in unique flavorful, and authentic Yucateacan dishes made with fresh locally sources ingredients.

C.60 #293 @latradicionmid

El Museo del la Gastronomia Yucateca

The museum is a unque and maical concept that shows you a fragment of the history of the Mayan people through flavors and aromas of Yucatcan gastronomy.

62 #466 Santa Lucia @mugymx

La Libertad

Discover the taste of Nothern Merida in the heart of the new Corredor Gastronomica. La Libertad offers fresh ingredients, delicous bowls and chilaquiles.

47 #459 @lalibertadad.DB

Pan & Kof.fee

Just a short walk from Paseo de Montejo, you will find a charming French bakery and restaurant.

43 #485 Santa Ana @panandkoffee

Rosas & Xocolate

Located on Paseo de Montejo, known for innovative cuisine, incorporating local Yucatecan flavors and ingredients.

Zona Paseo de Montejo @rosasandxocoalte

Dulcería y Sorbetería Colón

One of many ice-cream shops thoughout Merida. Located in the Paseo de Montejo or the city center

56 474A Zona Paseo Montejo

La Negrita Cantina 

The tourist friendly neighborhood cantina, music, dancing and snacks.

C 62 #414 Centro @lanegritacantina

Gorditas Doña Gorda

This little gem is on the corner of the Gran Plaza, offers traditional gorditas. A fat corn toritilla stuffed with beef or chicken.  Perfect for a quick lunch.

Calle 60 #500 x 61 Col. Centro 


Not to Miss Experiences 

The 47th Street Gastronomic Corridor. Along the street you will find specialty restaurants: meat, seafood, Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean food, as well as you can enjoy bars with a variety of coffee while trying freshly baked breads. You also have ideal options for breakfast, spaces to socialize while having a glass of wine, or visit the most stocked whiskey bar, bars with live music and lots of entertainment.

The Corridor is also a key point to admire the architecture of Mérida , through the rescue of facades that were carried out on more than 60 properties that are on the street. It currently has more than 11 restaurants open and 8 more are about to open.

Paseo de Montejo is an iconic avenue in Mérida, known for its stunning colonial-era architecture, grand mansions, and leafy promenades. Named after Francisco de Montejo, a Spanish conquistador who founded Mérida in 1542. The Paseo hosts a variety of shops, boutiques, art galleries, cafes, and restaurants, offering visitors a taste of the local cuisine and culture.


The Lucas de Gálvez Mercado is the most important market in the city of Mérida. This market is known for its variety of fresh products, especially foods like fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, and seafood. Additionally, it offers a wide range of local products, handicrafts, medicinal herbs, and other typical items from the region. Frequented by both residents and tourists visiting Mérida. It's a place where you can experience authentic Yucatecan culture and enjoy the diversity of products offered by the region, also a social and cultural meeting point.

Products sold at the mercado:

Achiote paste:** A red paste made from annatto seeds, used as a seasoning in many Yucatecan dishes such as cochinita pibil.

Recados:** Spice blends used in Yucatecan cooking, including recado rojo (red recado) and recado negro (black recado).

Panuchos and salbutes:** Popular Yucatecan street foods made with fried tortillas topped with various ingredients such as shredded chicken, pickled onions, and avocado.

Local sweets:** Traditional Yucatecan sweets and desserts, including marquesitas (crispy filled crepes), dulce de papaya (candied papaya), and more.

Fresh produce: & agua frescas** A wide variety of fruits and vegetables grown in the Yucatán Peninsula, including avocados, tomatoes, citrus fruits, plantains, and more.


There are more than 900 restaurants and cafes in Mérida. The main areas where you will find the best restaurants in Mérida are the historical City center, along Paseo de Montejo and the 47th Street Gastronomic Corridor. 


Beyond the culinary delights,  Mérida's rich cultural heritage, is evident in its colonial architecture, vibrant street art, and lively music and dance. Exploring the city's historic center, I marveled at the grandeur of the Cathedral of Mérida and wandered through the bustling Plaza Grande and Goverment Palace, where locals and visitors alike gathered to socialize and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.



Helpful Website links:

Merida Yucatan Region

Yucatan Today


Ready to visit Merida? Dulce Vida Travel offers hotel and tour booking services. @dulcevidatravel

Dulce Vida Travel




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