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, stuffing myself with the fantastic Yucatan food.
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 food, local Mayan specialties, and traditional Mexican cuisines. Here are some examples… which ones look good to you?
Salbutes, empanadas, and flan
This was probably the best Yucatan food that I consumed in this part of Mexico, 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.
Here are places to stay in Merida.
Filete de Yucatán
Pork fillet marinated in tamarind seeds and chile peppers and sour orange then sautéed and served with pickled onions and black beans.
Here are places to stay in Izamal.
Tamale and chaya drink
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.
If you love sweet, juicy fruit, you’ll find plenty in Mexico. Guava, papaya, and pitaya are just a few of the many, tasty Mexican fruits to enjoy.
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.
Not a specialty Yucatan food, but by now, nearly everyone in the world knows my appetite for ice cream. I plan to eat ice cream around the world.
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.
A burrito, delicately fried to a satisfying crunch and filled with shredded beef, cheese, salsa, and sour cream. Unlike the Tex-Mex version, Eladio’s chimichangas are not filled and folded over before deep-frying, but just folded over. Messy to eat, but delicious.
Here are places to stay in Progreso.
No English is spoken at this cafeteria-style eatery in Valladolid, and I’m still not sure exactly what kind of meat was in these tacos!
Here are places to stay in Valladolid.
Chorizo quesadillas and the mother of all margaritas
The quesadillas were good, the margaritas were 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!
Here are places to stay in Cancun.
IMPORTANT! Never travel to any foreign country without travel insurance! Random, unplanned things can happen. I was involved in a horrendous car crash in South Africa in 2014. Click here to compare prices on travel insurance.
This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer.
About the Author
Patti Morrow is a freelance travel writer and founder of the award-winning international blog Luggage and Lipstick and southern travel blog Gone to Carolinas. TripAdvisor called her one of “20 Baby Boomer Travel Bloggers Having More Fun Than Millennials.” Patti is the author of the book “Girls Go Solo: Tips for Women Traveling Alone,” and has over 150 bylines in 40 print and online publications, including The Huffington Post, International Living Magazine, Washington Post Sunday Travel, Travel Girl, Travel Play Live Magazine, and Ladies Home Journal. She has traveled six continents looking for fabulous places and adventure activities for her Baby Boomer (and Gen X!) tribe.