Devouring my way through the Yucatán


Apparently mom was right — my eyes ARE bigger than my stomach.  Still, I gave it a good go as I scoffed my way through my recent trip through the Yucatán.  From the colonial cities of Merida, Valladolid, Izamal, San Pedro Nophat, Kanasín to the Gulf beach towns of Progreso and Telchec, to the tourist city of Cancun… I enjoyed the regional Yucatan, local Mayan, and traditional Mexican cuisines.  Here are some examples… which ones look good to you?


Salbutes, empanadas, and flan, Hacienda Teya, Merida

This was probably the best cuisine that I consumed in the Yucatán, especially the salbutes, which are an authentic Yucatán specialty.  They are small, puffed, deep fried tortilla topped with pulled pork, chopped cabbage, tomato, pickled red onion, avocado, and pickled jalapeno pepper.


Filete de Yucatán, Kinich, Izamal

Pork fillet marinated in tamarind seeds and chile peppers and sour orange then sautéed and served with pickled onions and black beans.


Tamale and chaya drink, La Susana, Kanasin

The huge tamale was an appetizer shared by our table.  Chaya is a drink made from spinach, considered to be refreshing by local Karen Kruse, however, not by me.


Churo, downtown Kanasin square

Who doesn’t like donuts?  These deep fried treats are crisp and coated liberally with cinnamon sugar.  I have to admit, I ate the whole bag while walking around the Mexicana fiesta of local music and art on Saturday.  I didn’t even share.


Ice Cream, Plaza Grande, Merida

By now, nearly everyone in the world knows my appetite for ice cream.  I plan to eat ice cream around the world.


Jalapeño nachos, La Exquina, Merida

The nachos at this little eatery located right on Merida’s fashionable, tree-lined Paseo de Montejo were good, but the margaritas were phenomenal.  Close second to Hussong’s in Baja, where they originated.  That’s saying something.


Chimichangas, Eladio’s, Progreso Beach

A burrito, delicately fried to a satisfying crunch and filled with shredded beef, cheese, salsa and sour cream.  Unlike the Tex-Mex version, the Yucatan chimichangas are not filled and folded over before deep frying, but just folded over.  Messy to eat, but delicious.


Street tacos, Valladolid

No English spoken here, and I’m still not sure exactly what kind of meat was in these tacos!

YucatanCarlosCharlie  YucatanCarlos

Chorizo quesadillas and the mother of all margaritas, Carlos ‘n Charlie’s, Cancun

The quesadillas were good, the margaritas were fun but weak but who cares?  Carlos ‘n Charlies is my favorite place to go in the evening in Cancun.  What can I say? I’m partial to dancing on my chair!


  1. That all looks so good- made me hungry. Would love to do that sometime!

  2. Such a fun read! …and informative.

  3. Your post definitely made me hungry and the last photo made me thirsty. It looks like a great trip. I’ve visited the Yucatan but hope I get the chance one day.
    Jerome Shaw recently posted…A Day Trip to Washington, D.C.My Profile

    • luggageandlipstick says:

      Lol! You should definitely go — great eats, great sights, safe, and affordable. Winning combination, huh?

  4. These look yummy! My favorite Yucatan dish is pork pebil.
    Irene S. Levine recently posted…Villa Delfines: A luxury weekend in Los Cabos, MexicoMy Profile

  5. Looks like you did some serious research into Yucatecan cuisine 😉 Everything looked like something I’d like to try except for the pathetic fact that having chile in anything ruins it for me. If there’s chile (no matter how mild), all I can taste is the chile. Fortunately, I can speak Spanish and can explain to waiters in Spanish speaking countries that when I say “Por favor sin chile” — I mean NO chile. Nada. Then they wonder why I can speak Spanish if I won’t eat even a little chile. (I would like to point out that I also speak fluent English (it’s my native tongue even), but this did not help in New Mexico where the concept of “no chile” apparently does not exist.). Fortunately, I can eat a very Yucatecan dish sin problema — Pollo Pibil. Did you have any? Tasty without chile!!
    Suzanne Fluhr recently posted…Wanna Feel Kinda Small? Our Visit to the Elephant Nature Park Near Chiang Mai, ThailandMy Profile

    • luggageandlipstick says:

      Most of the time the Yucatan dishes are served with a small dish of green pureed habanero peppers on the side, unless you specifically order or ask for a spicy dish. So no problemo for you!

  6. Everything looks delicious! I remember eating a version of those street tacos when I was in Cabo. We practically drooled on the grill!
    Nancie recently posted…Chiang Mai: The Olive Tree for Foodie TuesdayMy Profile

    • luggageandlipstick says:

      Haven’t been to Baja for a couple of years, but the street tacos throughout the whole Baja peninsula were wonderful!

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