These are MY favourite eats, I'm not claiming they're the best or that I've tried every single restaurant in the peninsula, just that these are meals or restaurants I've particularly enjoyed. If you get a chance, I highly recommend you try them but I don't pretend for one second that this is an exhaustive list of good restaurants in the area.
Merida: this is a real, big city with a multitude of choices. From the teeny tiny 'I serve tacos from my house on Fridays' to international fare, there is everything you could wish for.
My favourite brunch spot has to be Roses and Xocolate on Paseo Montejo. This small boutique hotel has an incredible egg menu that includes an amazing poached eggs with a pumpkin sauce that makes my taste buds tingle just thinking about it. Coffee is unlimited.
For a lighter breakfast or just to while away time with a coffee, I tend to head to either Pan Central on Calle 55 just down from Santa Lucia or Cafe Montejo on Calle 59, near Plaza Santiago. Pan Central is a small and unobtrusive coffee shop that sells good European cakes. Cafe Montejo is altogether a much more impressive affair. It has a large courtyard, beautiful art all around and a proper sit down menu. They also make the best coconut rolls I've ever tried and their coffee frappe is pretty damn special too. What makes this place really stand out though is the lovely and friendly owner who is always there for a chat.
If you fancy sushi then there really isn't any competition: Miyabi wins, hands down. We had an incredible meal for four (our small kids eat sushi as if it costs nothing, one of the 'downsides' to coming from London where decent sushi isn't expensive!). Our small son devoured an entire plate of salmon sashimi on his own while the small girl picked salmon off rice and ate the two separately.
Apaoloa on the beautiful Santa Lucia is the perfect restaurant to spend a long evening. The food is good, the ambiance is slow and kind and on Thursdays there is a show on the square too. We had a wonderful farewell to my parents dinner here before they left us. Also worth mentioning is Door 54, just off Paeseo Montejo, this place serves a phenomonal tuna steak and, even better, you can eat whilst relaxing and watching a movie in their small cinema. Well worth a visit.
In Tulum we fell in love with Pizza Manglar, an incredible restaurant just off the main road in town. Every pizza is 100 pesos and will feed two people. Try chaya and pineapple for a taste explosion. If you're nice to the staff then your meal may well end with a free tequilla shot!
Holbox gave us the perfect Raices where we were served the most perfect coconut fish ever made. We sat on the beach under palapas listening to average live music sipping our beers and watching the sea while our kids played in their hammock chairs. Just perfect.
In Chelem we loved Taco Maya, a small, Canadian run, enterprise that is only open until 2pm. Their portions are large and everything is fresh and delicious. Well worth the short drive from Progreso to sample their wares.
And finally, Mango Y Chile, a place that serves the best damn vegetarian burger you'll ever have. Bacalar is a teeny tiny town on Caribbean coast down towards Belize. It is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen and these burgers fit perfectly. To be honest, the best burger wasn't mine but my husband's. He had a beetroot burger that was so full of flavour I almost grabbed it and ran. I would have had I not been so relaxed sitting on their beautiful decking area overlooking the laguna with a frappe in hand and my own pretty awesome burger in front of me too. And then there's their doughnuts. Yum.
This concludes my edible tour of the Yucatan Peninsula. I'm sure there are hundreds more amazing places to eat and I'd love to know what you think cuts the mustard.
To learn more about my adventures (and strong opionions!) why not check out my blog: yacasillegamosblog.wordpress.com