10 food places in Merida that you will love


October 13, 2020

Mexico is a country full of traditions and cultural richness. Without a doubt, one of its greatest attractions is the gastronomic proposals it offers.

Since 2010, Mexican gastronomy has been considered Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

The Mexican states have their own specialties, and in Yucatan you will find different types of cuisine for all tastes and for various occasions.

Yucatan food is famous for the variety of spices and ingredients used. Most of the Yucatecan dishes include pork turkey, eggs and chaya leaves. In Merida you will find a great variety of restaurants, from traditional Yucatecan dishes to international food.

Do you have to taste the best dishes in the city? Here is a list with the must-visit restaurant while you are in Merida.

1. Kii’wik, café-boutique

The cafeteria and bakery Kii'wik is one of the greatest restaurants of contemporary cuisine in Merida.

Chef Pedro Evia is in charge of this gastronomic project. Chef Evia also leads the kitchen at K'u'u'uk Restaurant, another excellent restaurant if you are looking for a more sophisticated atmosphere.

Start the day with the delicious smell of coffee and artisan bread.  

The pleasant atmosphere of this place is perfect for eating with family, your partner or friends, since it has food options for all tastes.

Some of the contemporary dishes you need to taste are the green chilaquiles with castacan or the red ones with cochinilla pibil and red onion.

The best thing about this place is that if you only want to buy some bread from the bakery, Kii’wik has an special area for quick shopping.

Breakfast at Kii´wik Café Boutique
The meals at this place showcase the best local ingredients of Yucatecan cuisine.

2. Wayan'e

If you're looking for a good place to eat in Merida, Wayan'e is the place where you will taste a great Yucatecan breakfast or lunch.

Founded in 1991, Wayan'e is a tradition among the locals who love the delicious food and feel-like-home atmosphere.

Try the delicious stew tacos, with more than thirty options to choose from: tinga de res, cochinita pibil, castacán with egg, chicharrón in green sauce, relleno negro, poc chuc, and eggs with chaya.

Enjoy your meal and drink the chaya water in this restaurant with more of 20 years’ experience.

Wayan’e has 4 locations: Mejorada, Chenkú, Itzimná and Circuito Colonias.

Banner of real estate developments in Merida.

3. Taqueria La Lupita

This famous taqueria is located in the Mercado de Santiago near the Historic Downtown, where you can find several traditional food, but if you want to taste the true flavor of Yucatecan food, Taqueria La Lupita is the place to do so.

It is a business with years of tradition that has won everyone's heart with its more than 20 Yucatecan dishes.

The tacos of cochinita pibil and lechon with crispy chicharron will make you want to eat more than one. Try the tacos with habanero sauce and a juice.

To enjoy the dishes full of flavor of this place and to eat what locals call the best cochinita in the world, you must arrive early. La Lupita is open from 6 am to 12 pm.

Taquería la Lupita
Taqueria La Lupita is a must and its fame has reached the world since it was featured in Salt, Fat, Acid Heat, a Netflix original series.

4. La Chaya Maya

La Chaya Maya is a traditional food restaurant that combines the rustic atmosphere with Mayan cuisine in its purest form.

The history and customs of Yucatan can be tasted in every dish, which are cooked with the best ingredients of Yucatecan cuisine.

As in the taqueria La Lupita, we suggest you go early as this place is very popular among locals and tourists.

You will be able to taste the most traditional Yucatecan food. It's easy to fall in love with lime soup, empanadas de cazón or poc chuc, the traditional salbutes and panuchos. And you can also try the dishes with their famous handmade tortillas.

This is the ideal place to try the queso relleno (stuffed cheese), one of the most representative dishes of the state, which consists of a Dutch cheese -called queso de bola in Merida- filled with minced pork meat with raisins, almonds, olives, capers and peppers, served with a white sauce called kol and tomato sauce.

You can also eat the famous pib or mucbipollo at any time of the year. This dish is traditionally prepared only for the Hanal Pixan celebration in Yucatan.

Don't forget to try some of the desserts made with fresh fruits from the region.

Restaurante la CHaya Maya
It has two locations in the Historic Downtown, and La Casona is the favorite because of its beautiful decoration inspired by the era of the haciendas.

5. Apoala Mexican Cuisine

One way to define this place would be by its motto: Passion for Mexican Flavors. Apoala Mexican Cuisine is a project that seeks to rescue family recipes and the art of cooking, enriched by the experience and culinary style of the chef.

Apoala comes from the Nahuatl language and refers to the myth about the tree where the first man and woman of the Oaxacan Mixtecos were born.

In this restaurant you will be able to taste the tlayudas, the aguachile, pasta, seafood ceviche and flowers in yellow that are pumpkin flowers in tempura, filled with cheese and holy grass on yellow mole.

They also have an extensive wine list whose contrasts and flavors are experienced in a new way when paired with the flavors of Apoala's Mexican cuisine.

Located in the Santa Lucia Park - inside Merida's Historic Downtown - this restaurant offers tables inside the premises and on the terrace overlooking the park to enjoy the different cultural events that are enhanced, for example on Trova Thursdays and Merida on Sundays.

Restaurante Apoala Mexican Cuisine
With an incredible fusion of ingredients and recipes from Oaxaca and Yucatan, Apoala has managed to place itself among the favorites of local and foreign diners.

6. La Negrita

In Merida, the concept of the cantina has changed over the years.  Offering their drinks and snacks with the traditional seasoning that distinguishes them, they have been renewed under new brand concepts by adding a more varied menu, live music and a more picturesque decoration.

This is the case of La Negrita, an old bar that has been renovated to become a very popular cantina where there is always live music, beer and good mezcal.

It is located in the Downtown of Merida near the Santa Lucia Park and the Santa Ana Park.

You won't be able to avoid trying one of its great variety of handmade beers of Yucatecan brands.

The menu includes options such as brazo de reina, papadzules, assorted tacos, tortas, cochinita pibil, frijol con puerco and many more dishes of Yucatecan cuisine.

If you are looking for a cheerful atmosphere to have a drink and try some of the dishes of the region, La Negrita is one of the most charming places in the city where you can dance to live music.

If you are in the Downtown, do not hesitate to visit this place which is open from 12 noon to 10 pm.

Cantina La Negrita
Founded in 1917, it is the oldest cantina in the city still in operation.

7. Micaela Mar y Leña

If you're looking for a place to eat shrimp in Merida or any variety of seafood, you'll love this place.

With a totally different concept, Micaela Mar y Leña is committed to creating the best environment not only for their clients and friends, but also for their suppliers and the rest of the community.

The main objective of this restaurant is to communicate the love of ¨La nana Micaela¨ in each of their dishes. It is a place that will make you feel spoiled and at home.

Among the outstanding dishes of this place, we can highlight the raw tuna, Caribbean ceviche and macha salad. In its wood-fired menu you will find options such as octopus, shrimp and grilled arrachera.

They also have a children's menu to delight the youngest members of the family.

You can accompany your food with a drink from their wine list, mezcals and cocktails.

Without a doubt, Micaela Mar y Leña is an experience not to be missed if you want to eat well and enjoy yourself in Merida.

Restaurante Micaela Mar y leña
Its menu has been created to give diners the best of experiences.

8. Oliva Enoteca

If you have already experienced Yucatecan food in one of the restaurants mentioned above, Oliva Enoteca is the perfect restaurant to enjoy the best Italian food in town.

Oliva Enoteca is located in a large house in the center of Merida, near the end of Paseo Montejo.

Enjoy a menu of Italian haute cuisine in a chic industrial environment with the dishes of chef Stefano Marcelleti, who serves recipes with the best local ingredients and others imported from his native country.

Among the specialties of his menu we recommend his fresh pasta, salads, grilled octopus and the fish of the day, which is prepared differently every day.

This place is excellent for a romantic dinner with your partner or sharing a glass of wine with friends and family. They have an extensive wine list of more than 180 labels.

Restaurante Oliva Enoteca
Its bar is ideal for enjoying a signature cocktail with an excellent view of the open kitchen.

9. Museum of Yucatecan Gastronomy

The MUGY (Museo de la Gastronomía de Yucateca) is not only considered one of the best restaurants in the city but it also has its own museum with a permanent exhibition on regional food.

It also has its own village, made up of replicas of Mayan huts.

The perfect combination of a luxurious atmosphere with characteristics of the Mayan culture will transport you to the past, through a magical journey through the history of the Yucatecan cuisine, where you will be able to discover its authentic scents and flavors.

In every bite you will fall in love with the cochinita pibil and the delicious pib -mucbipollo-, which you will be able to taste at any time of the year in this place. You will also find the traditional poc chuc, the Valladolid sausage and many other dishes.

The MUGY was recognized as Traveler's Choice 2020 by Tripadvisor thanks to its incomparable dishes full of history and magic.

Museo de la Gastronomía Yucateca
It is a unique restaurant in Mexico, located in the heart of downtown Merida, which promotes cultural and gastronomic wealth.

10. Hermana República

Hermana República is a brewery with a restaurant that embodies the true brewing experience.

This place offers unique flavors, sensations and experiences perfectly fusing the innovative with the traditional.

Cerveza Patito is the independent artisan beer that is produced only in our state. It is commercialized in several presentations: ipa, pilsner, Belgian, porter, apa, weizenbier, and dry stout.

What is so special about this place?

In Hermana República you can visit the brewery, eat delicious food and try its great variety of beers with shades of chocolate, vanilla and many other flavors.

It has three locations: Xcanatún, García Lavín and Colón.

The kitchen is in charge of Chef Alex Mendez.Some of the specialties on the menu are cochinita pibil croquettes.  Beef and good grass kibis, fried octopus with xnipec and guacamole, Balam ceviche and many more.

Restaurante Hermana República
You will discover exquisite pairings with their signature food made with Yucatecan ingredients.

Merida, a city that has it all

Now that you know the best places to eat in Merida you can't help but fall in love with the gastronomy and culture. The gastronomic variety of the city is so great that you will need time to get to know it all.

We must also mention the Marquesitas, one of the most representative snacks of the Yucatan capital.

If you are wondering where to eat the best marquesitas in Merida, you can find them mainly in stands located in the Parque de las Americas and the Parque de la Aleman, or on weekends in the Historic Downtown.

There are various types of fillings for the marquesitas such as cajeta, chocolate, honey, jams, and many more.

You will always find a good place to eat in Merida, for this and many other reasons, foreigners choose to make this city their favorite tourist destination and even their permanent home.

To learn more about this topic we recommend reading the 5 reasons to invest in Merida and the benefits of buying a residence in Merida.

If you want to know more about the Yucatan and its wonderful capital, we recommend visiting the most emblematic haciendas in Merida, and we also leave you with a list of 6 tourist attractions that you will love.

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