Foodie’s Guide to Mexico – Yucatan Peninsula

You already know I am a foodie and Mexico made me so happy from this point of view. Today, I have decided to share my favorite meals from this amazing country with you! I am sure you are gonna crave Mexican food after reading this article!

Traditional food

I have to start with my favorite dish of all – the classical and popular TACOS. Hubby said that if I eat one more taco, I will turn into one. Besides tacos, you have to try PANUCHOS – they are absolutely delicious. The difference is that the wrap is fried. Imagine the taste! The first place in my heart goes to the ones with pork called cochinita and the second to the ones with chicken and avocado.

You should also try the traditional EMPANADAS (a type of baked or fried turnover consisting of pastry and filling) which made my tummy happy as wellThere are many options for the filling, but my favorite ones were with pork as well because they mixed it with a bean sauce that I love.

Other must try dishes are QUESADILLAS, NACHOS, FAJITAS and CEVICHE. To be honest, ceviche is not my cup tea, but I had to try. It is a seafood dish typically made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with garlic, chili peppers or other seasonings including chopped onions, salt, and coriander.

If you visit Valladolid, the traditional COCHINITA PIBIL (Yucatecan style roast meat pork) must be on your list. We had the most delicious one at El Atrio del Mayab. I recommend having dinner here and stay on the terrace. 

Shrimp Tacos at Nomade Tulum
Traditional & International Food Downtown Tulum

Fish and Seafood dishes

If you love seafood, you will be in heaven on the coast, as you can already imagine. For example, I am a big octopus fan and I have to say I have tried it twice in Mexico (at Be Tulum and Habitas) and I found it as tasty as in Greece or Zanzibar, which are my favorite places in the world for this dish.

I guess fried squid is yummy everywhere so there is no need to mention it. The best fish we had was in Rio Lagartos, a small fishing village, but the salmon at Nomade was also delicious.

If you are a sushi fan, I have to say I tried it once in Playa del Carmen, but I was disappointed.

Octopus at Habitat Tulum - a must try
Fish Soup in Rio Lagartos

International food

Mexico is well aware that some tourists are not fans of Mexican food and they prefer to eat as if they were home, so you will find international food everywhere. From pasta and pizza to Chinese and Japanese. Believe me, you just have to look for it. Let’s not forget burgers because the one we ate at Be Tulum was to die for!

PS: Pizza in Mexico is actually pretty good and we tried it 2-3 times!

Delicious Beef Burger at Be Tulum
Grilled Salmon at Nomade Tulum
Dessert at Nomade Tulum

To Spicy or not to Spicy?

If you like spicy food, Mexico is definitely the place for you. Hubby literarily cried in a parking lot after ordering a spicy taco. He wanted to eat like locals and ended up crying while the locals watched and laughed. It was one of the funniest experiences we had.

If you don’t like spicy food like me, do not worry. You just need to say this before ordering the food and all the sauces will be on the side leaving you in charge to decide how spicy you want your food to be.

Spicy Tacos from the locals

My recommendations for Restaurants

We’ve obviously tried many restaurants while we stayed in Mexico, but I am only going to recommend you the ones that are really worth a try.

PLAYA DEL CARMEN

We have started our Mexican food tour with a traditional breakfast at Carboncitos. The food was excellent and the atmosphere as well. Beer was brought to the table on the head of the waiter and mariachis made our first meal one to remember.

We had dinner at another place that I would recommend in Playa del Carmen, but to be honest, I cannot remember the name at all. I even tried on Google Earth, but not a chance. For dessert, we had a great show from one waiter that was playing a firefighter while preparing the dish in front of us. We have unfortunately lost a big part of our pictures where I had all the names 🙁 

I even tried sushi in Playa del Carmen at Sushiitto, but I was disappointed so I won’t recommend it.

Breakfast at Carboncitos

TULUM

Tulum is filled with great restaurants and the coolest part of that most of them are on the beach. We had the best experiences at Nomade, Habitas and BE Tulum. For dinner, I also recommend Gitanos – a beautiful restaurant that turns into club after midnight. It is filled with candles which makes everything so romantic. For healthy, vegan food, you should choose Matcha Mama – their Acai Bowl is amazing! 

Yummy food at Habitas Tulum
Healthy food at Matcha Mama Tulum
Appetizers at Nomade Tulum

VALLADOLID

We’ve stayed in Valladolid for 3 nights and I have to say the food was absolutely amazing. We have only tried restaurants and places to eat with traditional food. For restaurants, we recommend El Atrio del Mayab for dinner – they have a beautiful green garden in the back that is perfect for romantic dates –  and Las Campanas Restaurant that has the best view of the Cathedral and the yummiest margaritas.

One of my favorite meals in Mexico was actually in the local market that was just 2 minutes away from our traditional hotel called El Palacio Canton. You had many choices in the market, even Chinese and European, but we only tried the Mexican food and we were really happy with our choice. 

On our way to Valladolid from Chichen Itza, we stopped at a small traditional restaurant called Loncheria El Amigo Chente, owned by a local humble family that offered us a delicious lunch.

To be honest, we love eating at small family restaurants because this is how you really taste the traditional food. 

Traditional food at Las Campanas
The terrace at El Atrio del Mayab
Margaritas with a view at Las Campanas
Local Market Valladolid

COZUMEL

On this beautiful island, we only have one recommendation since it was our only meal there. It was amazingly tasty though so I would definitely insist to put it on the list: Casa Denis, a restaurant with history since it was opened in 1945.

Rio Lagartos

For this village, I only have one recommendation that I have already mentioned in my blog about the Pink Lakes – El Perico Marinero which is a fish restaurant. Hubby was delighted with its fish soup and I chose it fried with vegetables and plain rice.

El Perico Marinero
Menu at El Perico Marinero

To sum up, I am craving Mexican right now and I would teleport myself on the beach, under a palm tree to eat some tasty panuchos. I hope you liked my recommendations and you will soon be able to try them!

Love,

Blonde around the World

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Hi, I am Taisia.
Beach lover, Sushi addict, Adventure seeker, Bad packer. Lawyer. Happy Fiancée. Wanderluster. Control freak. Sunsets enthusiast. Travel Blogger. Explorer. Professional dreamer.

I am so happy that you made your way to my travel blog and I hope you are here to stay! I know you can find so many travel blogs out there and you are probably wondering why you should read this one. I won’t say it’s the best or the prettiest one, but I can assure you I will always share with you my happiness and love for traveling. But first, let’s get to know each other, shall we?

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