“When in Rome, do as the Romans do” doesn’t only apply to Rome, it applies to everywhere you travel, including the Yucatan. In fact, the best way to experience the local culture is to enjoy the local cuisine. So, whether you’re local to the Yucatan or you’re just visiting, it’s nice to have a list of places where you are sure to get a delicious meal.
Yucatecan cuisine is a Mexican/European blend of dishes with a touch of Mayan cooking influence and is something you want to experience. The Yucatan has a variety of sights and rich culture that offer something for everyone, but here are a handful of restaurants you should take time to fit into your busy schedule.
Buffet Restaurant in Hotel Mayaland, Chichen Itza
Inside the heart of Chichen Itza lies the Hotel Mayaland, complete with a private entrance to the archeological site, big rooms, TV, and air conditioning.
At Hotel Mayaland, they take care of their guests, so if you ever have a problem with the temperature of your room, they’re sure to have an HVAC contractor take care of the problem. And while they’re taking care of your room, you can enjoy the local cuisine at their buffet restaurant located right inside the hotel.
The buffet display includes international, Mayan, and Yucatecan cuisines to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters, while Mayan dancers give you a taste of history.
La Chaya Maya, Merida
La Chaya, in Merida, takes its name from the chaya leaf which was revered in the ancient Mayan culture for its medicinal properties. The restaurant’s nod to the historical herb is to incorporate the chaya leaf into most of its traditional dishes.
The restaurant takes local cuisine and adds its own special touch to every dish, so you get a taste of history with every bite. But beware, if you want to get into this restaurant, call ahead or prepare to wait because they’re so popular that they are always busy. That fact alone tells you how much you will enjoy the food once you get a table.
La Casona de Valladolid
Right outside of Chichen Itza, you’ll find Valladolid which is a city considered the Yucatecan cuisine capital. La Casona de Valladolid takes traditional Mexican cuisine and gives it a modern touch. The restaurant is set in a buffet style, so you can choose what you like and try some new dishes too.
Among patron favorites are black turkey stew, pork with achiote sauce, panuchos, pumpkin desserts, and Valladolid-style pork loins. After you enjoy your meal, you can visit the local shop inside where they have souvenirs to commemorate your visit.
If your idea of a delicious meal is one caught fresh from the Caribbean Sea and cooked on a hand-made oven and open fire grill, head to Hartwood. This restaurant, located in Tulum, concentrates its efforts on sustainability and freshness with everything they offer.
The menu changes every day because they not only catch their food in local waters, but they buy fresh produce from milpas in the area. So, even though you never know what you’ll find on the menu, you know that it will always be fresh and delicious.
Dine on Local Yucatecan Cuisine
Whether you live in the Yucatan or are just visiting, it’s helpful to have an updated list of places to eat. And with the variety of local dishes the area has to offer, you’ll never be short of places to choose from.
Whether you want traditional Mayan dishes, Yucatecan cuisine, or traditional Mexican food with a twist, the Yucatan can satisfy your hunger.