cochinita pibil tacos at one of the best restaurants in merida mexico

31 Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico in 2023 [Locals’ Guide]

Wondering about the best Merida restaurants?

I’m here to help — and I live in Merida — so I make a great source of info! That’s right, you have the most coveted of all travel advice at your fingertips: Tips from a local.

I also happen to be a foodie, so please allow me to guide you to the best restaurants in Merida, Mexico.

👩‍🍳 Want to try a cooking class in Merida, or take some Merida food tours? Head here for information on those.

This list (and website!) is intended as a resource for those traveling to Merida. As such, the majority of best restaurants in Merida featured are in the two main areas visitors frequent: Centro Historico and Paseo Montejo. There are, of course, great restaurants all over town.

What you will find on this list are places with both great reviews and a great reputation, which most people would vouch for.

From the best tacos, to the best brunch, and the best places to eat Yucatan food in Merida, I hope you find the perfect restaurants in Merida to enjoy.

🔍 Table of Contents show

Best Restaurants in Merida Map

For your convenience, all 31 places on this list of best restaurants in Merida, “The White City,” have been pinned to a handy Merida Mexico map. Should you find yourself wondering, What are the best Merida restaurants near me? — this map will help direct you right to them.

Best Restaurants in Merida for Yucatan Food

What is Yucatan food?

While most think of tacos and burritos as the only Mexican foods — these only play a supporting role in Yucatan local cuisine.

This food is different because the Yucatan Peninsula has a tropical climate, so many fruits and veggies that grow in Merida don’t grow in other parts of Mexico.

When in Merida, you’ll be enjoying foods you may have never even heard of, using local ingredients like naranja agria (sour oranges) and achiote paste (AKA axiote, or annatto), staples of Yucatec cuisine. Some unique foods from Yucatán Mexico include:

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

10 Traditional Yucatan Foods You Must Try

  1. Cochinita pibil: The most famous and beloved of all dishes in Yucatec cuisine, and a must try in Merida! Cochinita pibil is a suckling pig marinated in axiote and sour orange juice, then wrapped in banana leaves and cooked underground.
  2. Sopa de lima: Flavorful and light lime soup with chicken or turkey.
  3. Poc chuc: Marinated, grilled pork filet — one of the top Yucatan specialties.
  4. Papadzules: One of the few vegetarian Yucatan dishes, papadzules are egg enchiladas in pepita (pumpkin seeds) sauce and tomato sauce.
  5. Relleno negro: Turkey and black chili stew.
  6. Queso relleno: A stuffed ball of cheese, called queso de bola or Edam cheese, that’s stuffed with meat and then cooked until the cheese melts a bit.
  7. Salbutes: Fried, puffy tortillas used for tacos.
  8. Panuchos: Tortillas stuffed with refried beans paste, and used for tacos.
  9. Kibis: A Yucatan fast food bulgar wheat snack you can get from street vendors.
  10. Marquesitas: The famous crepes in Yucatan, which you can get from street vendors when the sun goes down.

Now that you know a bit about the local food in Yucatan, here are the Top 3 best Merida Mexico restaurants for Yucatan food. You can sample it all over town, but these three places are visitor favorites. If three aren’t enough, add La Prospe del Xtup and Los Almendros to your list!

For a complete guide to Yucatecan Cuisine, visit 33 Best Yucatan Foods & Mayan Dishes in Mexico

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

1. Manjar Blanco — As seen on Netflix

cochinita pibli tacos at el manjar blanco, one of the best restaurants in merida yucatan mexico
Cochinita pibil tacos are a must-try at Manjar Blanco restaurant in Merida — considered among the best restaurants in Yucatan.

🎥 One of the Merida Netflix restaurants! You can see Manjar Blanco in Taco Chronicles, Season 2, Episode 2, “Cochinita.”

Led by Yucatan Chef Miriam Peraza, Manjar Blanco is a Merida institution. Chef Miriam gathered a group of other abuela (grandma) chefs, who prepare Yucatan food by hand, using ancient methods.

When you eat at Manjar Blanco, you’re tasting the real deal regional cuisine of Yucatan.

📍 Manjar Blanco Merida Address: Calle 47 #496, Zona Paseo Montejo, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

2. La Chaya Maya

salutes at La Chaya Maya, best restaurants in merida mexico
You can’t go wrong with the salbutes at La Chaya Maya in Merida. (Photo: shehasnostrings via Flickr)

You probably won’t ever see a Best Restaurants in Merida list that doesn’t include La Chaya Maya!

Beloved by visitors and locals alike, this is one of the top Merida restaurants to eat authentic Yucatan food — including sopa de lima, poc chuc, papadzules and cochinita pibil.

La Chaya Maya got so popular that they opened a second location; but they are both in Centro Historico (Downtown Merida City Center). This one is your standard restaurant set up, but the for the best ambiance, head to the La Chaya Maya Casona location, linked below ⤵

📍 La Chaya Maya Merida Address: Calle 50 #510, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

3. Museo de la Gastronomia Yucateca

Making fresh corn tortillas by hand at Merida Gastronomy Museum Restaurant — one of the best places to eat in Merida Mexico, and also learn about Yucatan food.

Both the Museum of Yucatecan Gastronomy (MUGY) and La Chaya Maya serve similar food, but this museum-restaurant offers a great experience that’s interactive.

Head out to the back to tour the traditional Mayan village, and get to know Yucatec cuisine more (and don’t miss the gift shop).

📍 MUGY Merida Address: Calle 62 #466, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

🍽🍷 For a truly unique experience, you’ll love trying Yucatan food at one of the real Mexican haciendas near Merida. Located just 15 minutes downtown, head to Casa de Piedra restaurant at Hacienda Xcanatún by Angsana. | Website | Book a room

Best Restaurants in Merida for Dinner (Upscale)

4. Kuuk Merida — Best Fine Dining in Merida

beautifully plated pork dish at Kuuk, best restaurants in merida mexico
A pork dish from the tasting menu at Kuuk Merida. Though the menu changes seasonally, whatever you get will always be some of the best food Merida has to offer! (Photo: K’u’uk via Facebook)

Ku’uk is the best Merida fine dining restaurant located near Centro Historico.

It is run by one of the two most famous Merida and Yucatan chefs — Pedro Evia. The other being Roberto Solis who runs Néctar, #7 on this list, which is located outside of Centro Historico.

🤔 Wondering, Are there any Michelin Star restaurants Mérida Mexico has? For now, no — but hopefully soon!

For foodies, Ku’uk is a must try Merida restaurant. They have accolades from the biggest names in the food world, including Food and Wine and Wine Spectator.

The 10-Course Chef’s Tasting is the way to go, so you get to sample the best of Chef Pedro Evia’s modernist Yucatan cuisine. Chef Evia is one of the best Mexican chefs working today, and after the tasting, you’ll see why.

📍 Kuuk Merida Address: Av Rómulo Rozo 488, Itzimná, Merida 97100 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

5. Picheta — Best Rooftop Bar in Merida

best rooftop bar in merida at picheta in centro historico (downtown)
Picheta is the best Merida rooftop bar and restaurant, especially during sunset, with its great views of Plaza Grande, the Main Plaza. (Photo: Picheta via Facebook)

If there were a Best Merida Restaurants with a View award, Picheta would win!

Enjoy re-imagined Yucatan food made with local ingredients, creative cocktails, and a view of the San Ildefonso Catedral. The 16th Century Merida Cathedral is among the oldest churches on the continent.

📍 Picheta Merida Address: Calle 61 #501, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

6. Sonora Grill — Best Steak in Merida

tomahawk steak at sonora grill, best restaurants in merida yucatan mexico
Indulge in a massive 33.5-ounce tomahawk steak at Merida Sonora Grill. (Photo: Sonora Grill via Facebook)

Sonora Grill is a Mexican chain restaurant, albeit an upscale chain. It is the only chain restaurant on this list, but many agree they have the best selection of steaks in Merida.

Sonora Grill is located in North Merida, so it gives you the perfect reason to check this posh part of town.

🥩 If you’d rather stay away from chain restaurants, 130° SteakHouse (AKA 130 Grados, or 130 Degrees) is another great option, and located just off Paseo de Montejo. It is one of the best restaurants in Merida Centro for a steak. | Website

They have everything from wagyu beef to tomahawk steaks. As with any great steakhouse, Sonora Grill has a nice wine section, but being Mexico, you’ll also find plenty of artisanal tequilas and mezcals.

When visiting, try the jugo de carne, a rich soup made with the meat drippings.

📍 Sonora Grill Merida Address: Calle 37 215, Monterreal, Merida 97133 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

7. Nectar by Chef Roberto Solis

meat dish at nectar by roberto solis, best restaurants in merida mexico
Nectar Food and Wine, Chef Roberto Solis’ original Merida restaurant, serves some of the best food in Merida. (Photo: Nectar via Facebook)

Chef Roberto Solis is the biggest name in Yucatan fine dining, and a classically-trained chef who used to work at what’s called the best restaurant in the world, Noma.

He has two restaurants in Merida, Néctar and Huniik, where his Nueva Cocina Yucateca (New Yucatan cuisine) shines. After eating at either, you’ll see why he’s known as one of the most famous Mexican chefs of our time.

📍 Nectar Merida Address: Avenida Andrés García Lavín #334, San Antonio Cucul, Merida 97116 | Google Maps |

Note: If you go a bit further north, you’ll be at Dzibilchaltun Ruins, the closest Mayan Ruins near Merida!

🍽 Chef Solis has also consulted on different menus, including Fronto Restaurant at the Diez Diez Collection — one of the best boutique hotels in Merida.

Best Restaurants in Merida for Dinner (Casual)

8. El Catrin Merida

tacos and cocktails at El Catrin, best restaurants in merida mexico
The Merida Catrin restaurant has a lively atmosphere, great food and drinks. (Photo: Catrin via Facebook)

El Catrín Merida is a hip Yucatecan food gastropub, with a lively vibe and funky artwork on the walls. It is located on trendy Calle 47 (47th Street), just off Paseo de Montejo, and a popular place for a fun night out to enjoy creative cocktails, tapas-style eats and their friendly service.

📍 Catrin Merida Address: Avenida Andrés García Lavín #334, San Antonio Cucul, Merida 97116 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

9. Mercado 60 — Merida Food Hall

mercado 60 food hall | things to do in merida mexico
The hip Mercado 60 Merida food hall is the perfect place for good food and a good night out. (Photo: derek.kolb via Flickr)

Mercado 60 is the perfect place for dinner in Merida when everyone wants to eat something different.

This popular food hall in Merida has 18 dining options, and live music or events on most nights. Mercado 60 makes an ideal Merida nightlife option, for dinner, drinks and dancing.

📍 Mercado 60 Merida Address: Calle 60 #461, Parque Santa Lucia, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

11. La Bottega

gourmet salad at La Bottega, best restaurants in merida yucatan mexico
La Bottega is among the best restaurants Merida Mexico has for wine and tapas. (Photo: La Bottega via Facebook)

The perfect place for wine and craft beer, small plates and decadent desserts.

La Bottega is located right next to the Monumento a la Patria, so head there for photos at sunset, then make your way to the restaurant for a classy-casual dinner of pizzas, salads and charcuterie boards.

📍 La Bottega Merida Address: Calle 56A (Paseo Montejo), Zona Paseo Montejo, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

10. Flamante — Best Burgers in Merida

giant bacon cheeseburger at Flamante Burgers, best restaurants in merida mexico
When you want the best burger in Merida, head straight to Flamante Burgers & Friends. (Photo: Flamante via Facebook)

When talking about the best Merida burgers, most people will say it’s Flamante Burgers all the way!

They have a fun menu with several types of gourmet burgers, including a Juicy Lucy (burger with cheese inside the meat!), as well as vegetarian options and vegan burgers.

🍻 Fancy a beer after your burger? Head to La Negrita Cantina just around the corner, one of the best bars in Merida.

Flamante is a modern diner — but they always play vintage movies and cartoons projected on the walls, so it feels a bit like going back in time.

Besides the burgers, enjoy milkshakes made in the old school milkshake blenders, and even yummy sweet potato fries.

📍 Flamante Merida Address: Calle 64 #403, Parque Santa Ana, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Tacos in Merida

12. Wayan’e Tacos

tacos at Wayan'e, best restaurants in merida mexico
You have plenty of options at Wayan’e — including vegetarian tacos. (Photo: barbbarbbarb via Flickr)

You won’t ever see a Best Merida Tacos list that doesn’t include Wayan’e (pronounced why-en-ay, and meaning “here it is” in Maya).

A local’s favorite, they have about 25 different things on the menu, but many favor the castican (crispy pork belly), available as a taco or torta (sandwich).

Wayan’e is very popular, and they have locations all over town. There are two on opposite ends of Centro Historico (Downtown Mérida) — this one in the south part of downtown, and this one in the north part.

For the best ambiance, head to the one linked below ⤵

📍 Wayan’e Merida Address: Calle 59 #408, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

13. Taquería La Lupita — As seen on Netflix

A salbute and a panucho at La Lupita Merida, located in Mercado Santiago.

🎥 One of the Merida Netflix restaurants! You can see La Lupita in the “Acid” episode of the show Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, hosted by James Beard Award-winning Chef Samin Nosrat.

Located at Parque Santiago, inside the Mercado de Santiago (Santiago Market), you’ll find La Lupita Taquería.

After being featured on Netflix, there were several La Lupita Merida taquerías that opened up, so make sure you’re headed to the right one in Mercado de Santiago.

At La Lupita Taquería, sample traditional dishes like panuchos and salbutes, and wash them down with a piña con chaya (pineapple and chaya) drink. This is a great place for cheap eats in Merida, as you can have three tacos and a drink for only about $5-7USD.

📍 La Lupita Merida Address: Mercado Santiago, Calle 57, Between Calles 50 and 52, Centro, Merida, 97000 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

14. Los Trompos

trompo for tacos al pastor at Los Trompos, best restaurants in merida mexico
The trompo to make tacos al pastor, which is the same spit used for gyros and shawarmas.

After living in Mexico since 2018, I know “these are the best tacos” are fighting words! I won’t go so far as to say Los Trompos has the best tacos al pastor in Merida, but I will say I used to live in Mexico City, which has the country’s best pastor tacos, and Los Trompos is a solid option.

In case you’re unfamiliar, tacos al pastor are the most popular of all Mexican tacos. It is pork meat, marinated in various spices, and cooked on a spit. They are actually a Lebanese-Mexican fusion food, as you may have noticed by the Middle Eastern-style spit the meat is cooked on.

📍 Los Trompos Merida Address: Calle 59 #502, Centro, Merida, 97000 | Google Maps | Note: There are several Los Trompos in Merida locations, but the one linked in Downtown is convenient for visitors.

You can also eat at this one by the airport, as one final taco meal before leaving town.

Best Italian Restaurants in Merida

15. Oliva Enoteca

beautiful plate of italian food at oliva enoteca, best restaurants in merida mexico
Yummy fish carpaccio at Oliva Enoteca, considered the best Italian restaurant in Merida. (Photo: Oliva Enoteca via Facebook)

Beautifully-designed Merida Italian restaurant, with a really extensive wine list of about 150 bottles.

Enjoy authentic Italian pastas, brick oven pizzas, antipasti, main courses, and carpaccios — a house specialty. Save room for dessert, because Oliva Enoteca has a delicious selection.

📍 Oliva Enoteca Merida Address: Calle 47 & Esquina con 54 S/N, Centro, Merida, 97000 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

16. Trattoria La Pasta Montejo

best italian restaurants in merida mexico
Try the famous gnocchi alla sorrentina at the Merida Trattoria La Pasta restaurant on Paseo Montejo.

Located right on Paseo de Montejo, the best street in Merida, Trattoria La Pasta Montejo is a local’s favorite.

Beyond the authentic food (this restaurant is owned by an Italian expat), the people watching is great. If you want to dine on a weekend, arrive by 7pm, or expect a long wait!

📍 Trattoria La Pasta Merida Address: Paseo de Montejo #481, Zona Paseo Montejo, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

17. Pizza e Core — Best Pizza in Merida

best pizza in merida mexico at Pizza e Core
Delicious brick oven pizza at Merida Pizza e Core, which rivals New York pizza! (Photo: Pizza e Core via Facebook)

You can’t go wrong with a pizza place that has a brick oven! Charming Pizza e Core is owned by an Italian who imports high quality ingredients from Italy.

Enjoy their Venetian-style margarita pizzas, and other gourmet options with Italian meats and fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese.

📍 Pizza e Core Merida Address: Calle 64 #408a, Parque Santa Ana, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Seafood Restaurants in Merida

18. Micaela Mar y Leña

best restaurants in merida
Micaela Mar & Leña has great ambiance, and even better food. (Photo: Micaela Mar y Leña via Facebook)

Gastropub style seafood restaurant in Merida, with a creative menu of local fish and seafood.

As many of the best beaches near Merida are about an hour away, the city has constant access to fresh seafood, and Micaela Mar y Lena lets it shine with simple yet elevated preparations.

📍 Micaela Mar y Leña Merida Address: Calle 47 #458, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

19. Shibumi Sushi — Best Sushi in Merida

best sushi in merida mexico
Shibumi Sushi in Merida is among only a very small selection of sushi restaurants in Downtown Merida.

Shibumi Sushi is located in Paseo 60, a shopping, dining, entertainment complex on Paseo Montejo — which also has one of the best hotels in Merida, the NH Collection Merida. It is one of the best sushi restaurants in Merida, also serving fried rice bowls and ramen.

📍 Shibumi Sushi Merida Address: Paseo 60 Complex, Calle 60 #346, Zona Paseo Montejo, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

🍣 Also check out ASAI Japanese Cuisine in the Villa Mercedes Curio Collection by Hilton Hotel. Chef Yasou Asai is from Nagoya, Japan, though he lived in Mexico City for years and ran ASAI Kaiseki Cuisine, before opening his ASAI Merida restaurant.

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

20. La Pigua Mérida

stone crab claws at La Pigua, best restaurants in merida mexico
Fresh stone crab claws at La Pigua — one of the best Mérida seafood restaurants.

La Pigua has been around for almost 20 years — and is a Merida restaurant institution, beloved by locals and visitors alike.

Enjoy fish, shellfish and seafood dishes, with ingredients delivered fresh daily from the nearby Yucatan Coast, so you know everything will be delicious at La Pigua.

📍 La Pigua Merida Address: Avenida Cupules #62, Zona Paseo Montejo, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

21. El Marlin Azul

ceviche, chips, salsa and a beer at El Marlin Azul, best restaurants in downtown merida mexico
Ceviche de pulpo frito (fried octopus ceviche) and a michelada at El Marlin Azul in Downtown Merida.

El Marlin Azul (The Blue Marlin) is a no frills place that’s very popular with locals; and as there’s only about five tables, you might encounter a wait. However, it’s worth it because their fish is fresh, and they serve one of the most unique Merida seafood specialties — ceviche de pulpo frito.

This means “fried octopus ceviche,” and it does use pan fried octopus instead of uncooked fish, but the same diced veggies and lime juice you’ll find in any Mexican ceviche.

The cooked octopus adds some heat to the veggies and lime juice, which brings out their flavors even more.

📍 El Marlin Azul Merida Address: Calle 62 #488B, Parque Santa Lucia, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Cafes in Merida

22. Marago Coffee

best coffee in merida at Marago Cafe
The Gem Dripper pour over at Márago Coffee, located on beautiful Paseo de Montejo. (Photo: Marago Coffee via Facebook)

For the coffee lover (or even coffee snob!), there’s no place better than Cafe Marago on Paseo Montejo, as they have all the fancy coffee gadgets — like a Chemex and Japanese Siphon. The owners have their own roasting plant, so the beans are always freshly-roasted.

👩‍💻 ATTN digital nomads in Merida, or anyone who has to get some work done: Marago Cafe is ideal, as they have comfy seating, strong WiFi and air conditioning.

Besides coffee, they have a nice tea selection, as well as smaller plate offerings and sweet treats. Marago has some great breakfast specials, with an egg or pancake dish, plus a cup of coffee, for only about $100 MXN pesos ($5USD). They are open all day, from 8am-9:30pm.

📍 (Original Location) Marago Merida Address: Paseo de Montejo #481, Zona Paseo Montejo, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

📍 (Newest Location) Marago Merida Address: Calle 60 #491, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

23. Manifesto Casa Tostadora Calabrese

cafe latte in merida at Manifesto Cafe
Manifesto Cafe is one of the best coffee shops in Merida. (Photo: Manifesto via Facebook)

Another Merida coffee shop option offering freshly roasted beans, with a rotating line-up of varieties from all Mexico’s top coffee regions. Enjoy Mexican coffees from states including Oaxaca, Chiapas, Puebla and Veracruz, considered the best Mexico state for coffee.

They really only do coffee and a few small snacks here, so come for the coffee but know you’ll have to eat elsewhere.

For those who want to get some Merida souvenirs for the coffee lover in your life back home, Manifesto Cafe Merida is a great place to buy bagged coffee to take home.

📍 Manifesto Merida Address: Calle 59 #538, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

24. Latte Quattro Sette

brunch in merida at cafe latte quattro sette
Latte Quattro Sette just might be the perfect Merida cafe! (Photo: Latte Quattro Sette via Facebook)

One of the cutest cafes in Merida, and located on one of the nicest streets in town, Calle 47. Latte Quattro Sette covers all the basics — coffee, tea, granola bowls, avocado toast and yummy pastries.

For those who love taking food photos, this is an Instagram worthy Merida cafe.

📍 Cafe Latte Quattro Sette Merida Address: Calle 47 #465, Zona Paseo Montejo, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Brunch in Merida

25. Rosas y Xocolate — Sunday Jazz Brunch

The beautiful pink Merida hotel, Rosas & Xocolate, is one of the nicest renovated colonial buildings in Merida! It is also a great spot for brunch and people-watching.

Not only is Rosas & Xocolate one of the best hotels in Merida, but it’s also one of the best Merida brunch spots. Head there for Jazz Brunch, held Sunday mornings from 10am-12pm, to enjoy the live musicians on the outdoor patio — though the brunch is great any day of the week!

📍 Rosas & Xocolate Merida Address: Calle 47 #465, Zona Paseo Montejo, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

🏩 There are only four rooms in Rosas & Xocolate Boutique Hotel & Spa, so if you want to stay in this Merida hotel — don’t hesitate on reserving your room now!

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

26. SOCO Merida

best brunch in merida at SOCO Cafe
A beautifully decadent brunch spread at Soco. (Photo: Soco Merida via Facebook)

Soco Mérida started as just a great bakery, but has expanded into a full brunch operation — with dishes that incorporate their delicious, fresh baked breads.

Enjoy traditional brunch favorites, like Eggs Benedict, French toast and bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese at Soco.

📍 (Downtown Merida) SOCO Merida Address: Calle 51 #492C, Parque Santa Lucia, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

📍 (North Merida) SOCO Merida Address: Calle 20 #46A, Colonia México Norte, Merida, 97128 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

27. Te Extraño, Extraño

instagram worthy merida cafe at Te Extrano, Extrano
From food to ambiance, Te Extrano, Extrano in Merida is a crowd pleaser and popular restaurant for those who love photographing their food! (Photo: Te Extrano, Extrano via Facebook)

Right off the bat: This place is stunning! Easily one of the most beautiful restaurants in Merida, the cool tropical vibes in Te Extrano, Extrano don’t end at the decor.

The dishes are beautifully-plated, each prettier than the next — and looks aside, everything tastes light, fresh and yummy!

📍 Te Extrano, Extrano Merida Address: Calle 51 #492C, Parque Santa Lucia, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

28. Chilakilez Morning Food & Treats

best chilaquiles in Merida
Chilaquiles with salsa roja (red salsa) and longaniza, a type of chorizo sausage from the Yucatan. (Photo: Chilakilez via Facebook)

You know the restaurant’s a good place when they’ve been around for a while, and specialize in just one thing. At Chilakilez, it’s chilaquiles, one of the most popular and best Mexican breakfast foods.

For those who aren’t familiar, and wondering What is chilaquiles?, let me explain!

Authentic chilaquiles start out with a plate of totopos (tortilla chips). These are covered in a red or green salsa, or even mole sauce, and topped with a fried egg or meat, cheese and crema.

At Chilakilez, you’ll choose from different salsas and toppings to create your perfect breakfast.

📍 Chilakilez Merida Address: Calle 57, Between Calle 56 and Calle 58, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Markets in Merida

29. Saturday Slow Food Market

farmers market in merida
You have so many options at the Merida Slow Food Market. (Photo: Slow Food Market Yucatan via Facebook)

The Saturday Slow Food Market is the best Merida farmer’s market, with organic, artisanal products like Mayan honey, local cheeses and vegan desserts for sale. It’s held Saturdays from 9am-1pm, and after you shop, enjoy a meal at the adjoining Los Platos Rotos restaurant.

📍 Slow Food Market Merida Address: Calle 33ᴰ #498, Reparto Dolores Patrón, Merida, 97070 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

30. Mercado Santa Ana

local market in merida mexico
Eat with the locals at Mercado Santa Ana for some of the best Mexican food in Merida! (Photo: Horacio C. via Tripadvisor)
merida santa ana park church
Santa Ana Merida church
Santa Ana Park in Merida

This local mercado (market) is right next to Parque Santa Ana (park), and it’s beautiful Parroquia Santa Ana Colonial church.

There are shops in the market to buy great souvenirs, local handicrafts and artisanal food products, but there’s also inexpensive, no-frills Yucatan food stalls.

Head to the Santa Ana Market to sample all the Yucatan food staples — for cheap! You can try everything from panuchos and salbutes, to cochinita pibil and sopa de lima, and wash it all down with an agua fresca (fruit water) for about $5-7USD per person.

📍 Mercado Santa Ana Merida Address: On the corner of Calle 60 and Calle 47, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

31. Mercado Lucas de Galvez

best tacos al pastor in merida mexico
You can never go wrong with tacos al pastor from El Rey del Trompo in Lucas de Galvez Market.

This is the largest Merida market, and if you want to check out authentic local markets (mercados), this is definitely the place.

A bustling market where locals do their shopping, this market can get a big hectic, but it’s worth checking out and even snapping some photos.

As this is a 100% locals’ place, you can expect authentic, cheap eats. It isn’t easy to direct anyone to the best places to eat in Lucas de Galvez Market, as it’s so huge, but be on the lookout for Taquería El Amanecer and El Rey del Trompo (in the adjoining Mercado San Benito).

📍 Mercado Lucas de Galvez Merida Address: On the corner of Calle 65A and Calle 56, Centro, Merida 97000 | Google Maps

Bonus: Best Merida Food Tours & Cooking Classes

In 2010, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) declared traditional Mexican food an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Mankind.” In plain English, this means Mexican food is a cultural treasure worth preserving.

What better way to preserve this cuisine for yourself than by taking a cooking class in Merida so you learn how to cook all the best things for yourself?! Not up for cooking while on vacation? No worries, the Merida tours featured below make for great things to do in Merida as well.

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

Merida Cooking Class, Market Tour & Lunch

Merida tours: authentic cochinita pibil and other Yucatecan food in Merida, Mexico on a food tour
Cochinita pibil is the most beloved of all traditional Yucatecan cuisine. (Photo: Airbnb)

Visit a small market, where chefs from many Merida Yucatan restaurants shop, to learn about local ingredients — like zapote, mamey, axiote and chaya. Then, head back to the kitchen at a renovated Colonial hacienda to cook a three-course meal you’ll eat afterwards in the courtyard.

Note: This tour can accommodate vegan, gluten-free and other dietary needs while still staying true to cooking traditional Yucatecan dishes.

Additional Merida cooking classes

Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

Merida Street Food Walking Tour

Merida tours: authentic cochinita pibil and other Yucatecan food in Merida, Mexico on a food tour
Merida is a big city, but it will feel like a small pueblo when you visit all the local market stall vendors. (Photo: Viator)

Discover the best Yucatan food in Merida with a local as your guide to explain all the unique flavors of Yucatecan gastronomy. Start this three-hour walking tour in a central location at Hidalgo Park, and make your way to the main Merida market, sampling and learning as you walk.

You’ll enjoy fresh fruit juices and the best local dishes, including cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork), panuchos (tortillas stuffed with refried black beans), empanadas, tamales and tacos. At the tour concludes, you make one final stop to try a gelato from a local ice cream shop.

Additional Merida Food Tours

Final Thoughts: Best Restaurants in Merida Mexico

Though Mexican food is well-known and beloved all over the world, the unique cuisine of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is just now coming into the spotlight.

Merida, known as the Cultural Capital of Yucatan, and the capital city of Yucatán State, is one of the cities leading this charge.

With famous chefs like Roberto Solis of Nectar and Huniik, and Pedro Evia of Ku’uk, Merida is starting to gain press for the Mayan cuisine that’s been around for centuries.

From the fine dining options mentioned above, to delicious street food tacos, you’re going to love eating in Merida.

Merida Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy Mexico travel insurance?

100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10 USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from Travel Insurance Master, one of the biggest names in travel insurance. (Read more)

💧Can you drink the water in Merida?

No — You’ll want to buy a Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling Mexico. (Read more)

🚙💨 Is it safe to rent a car in Merida?

Yes — Renting a car in Mexico is one of the best ways to see the country! I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Mexican companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)

📲 Will my phone work in Merida?

Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy a Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of any Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)

🏩 What’s the best way to book my Merida accommodation?

For Mexico hotels and hostels, Booking is the best site. If you’re considering a Mexico Airbnb, don’t forget to also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb! (Read more)

✈️ What’s the best site to buy Mexico flights? For finding cheap Mexico flights, I recommend Skyscanner.

🎫 Do I need a visa for Mexico?

Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but check here to see if you do need a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa upon arrival.

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