Restaurants & Bars

Where We Ate on Our September Vacation-Yucatan Peninsula

GabachaYucateca | Sep 19, 200902:55 PM

As always, the culinary portion of our vacation included some great home-cooking, visits to old favorites, and some forays into new restaurants. We spent some time in Valladolid, Cancun and Cozumel. I've never eaten any type of Yucatecan cuisine, save for antojitos in a restaurant because we get enough of it at my mother-in-laws. Turkeys, chickens, and pigs were sacrificed for the arrival of the prodigal son and I got to eat some delicious pavo embutido and pollo en escabeche. Yum, yum!

But here's the breakdown of where we ate by city with a few brief comments:

Had a so-so meal at La Chispa in Valladolid...had only eaten there about ten years ago and remembered it being much better. Also ate breakfast at Las Campanas right in the main sqaure, and the molletes were just okay, but scarfed down the majority of my mother's fruit platter. Ate some panuchos at El Bazaar, but just couldn't handle the greasiness...I used to absolutely adore eating panuchos anywhere and everywhere, but I think the fact that my husband makes them at home with much less grease kind of ruined the overtness of the ones we tried in Valladolid.

But my two recommendations for the area are: El Portijo in Valladolid, which had AMAZING and well priced tacos and they also served beer and liquor. It seems to be only open in the evenings and late night but a friend says that everyone raves about their tacos...I am no one of those people. And there's a stand just next to the church in Tizimin that sells delicious tortas de carne asada in the mornings.

Our eating experiences in Cozumel went from heavenly to frustrating. It seemed a lot harder to find tasty options that weren't way expensive after the sun set. Of course, it would have been wise to write down some of your recommendations beforehand, but I forgot to before leaving! Breakfast was taken care of at the hotel and was fine.

We had some nachos at La Palapita, just across from Papa Hog's which were so-so but the atmosphere couldn't be beat! Our pescado frito at Chen Rio was absolutely sublime! Our evenings were equally touch-and-go....especially because we're so used to eating in Cancun, where there is a plethora of choices for well-priced and delicious food at all hours of the day. And yes, I do know that Cozumel has a very different atmosphere and gets quieter much earlier! :)

But we ate twice at Los Otates...my husband was thrilled with the pastor, but I found the food just so-so. Filled us up though. WE had some delicious tacos (husband had fish and I arrachera) right next to Casa Denis, but for 95 pesos a plate, I was expected at least some cebollitas or something, not just a plate with a couple of tacos.

Think that's just about it for Cozumel!

The first couple of days I was at The Royal Cancun with my mother and we pretty much just ate at the hotel. Not too much to share about that.

For the most part, we stuck to old favorites and below are my eternal recommendations for great food in Cancun for excellent prices:

El Piemonte on Yaxchilan: have been eating here for over ten years and still love the food to bits. The one change that made me sad was that you can no longer buy tacos de arrachera or pollo piece by piece, but need to order a whole plate. But for 70 pesos, they gave you a plate that you could make about 7 good sized tacos from.
El Asador: as always, delicious nachos and two for one beer.
La Taberna: we've recently shied away from eating much there because the prices keep going up and last time we went, the quality seemed to have gone done. But they still serve the ONLY buffalo wings I will eat anywhere. And two capirinhas (delicious ones) for 47 pesos made me very happy! Unbelievably, they had a cock fight in the restaurant on Independence Day.
As always, loved the food and location at El Fish Frittanga though I found the camarones al aijillo a little salty.
And I always try to visit the ladies who sell tacos just outside the ADO on Tulum as many times as possible. Have been eating there for ten years and they are just as lovely and friendly and their tacos are as amazing as they've always been. Their specialty is their tacos de camarone empanizado but they typically always have at least ten fillings to choose from and provide additional beans and nopal should you choose to add them!

Our only fancy dinner was at Thai Lounge...knew that it would be $$$ but we always try to get in one such dinner each vaction The atmosphere was killer and the cocktails and food tasty.

I think that's about it! Of course, I'm sure one or two places that we chowed down at will come to me later. And clearly our tastes are pretty low-brow, but we sure enjoy it!

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