The Food Lover's Travel Guide to Cancun

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Cancun is so much more than beaches and the hotel zone. Located on the Caribbean Sea in the area known as Riviera Maya, Cancun is part of the Mexican state Quintana Roo.  Many travelers head to Cancun for a fun beach vacation (it's very easy to get to Cancun, and there are plenty of accommodation options), although there is so much more to see in the area. Cancun is one of the youngest cities in Mexico, but full of culture, history, archaeology, and great, local food - if you know where to find it.

Here's a list of favorites...

The Food Lover's Travel Guide to Cancun

Restaurants

El Fish Fritanga

People who eat here? They're in the know. It's the best seafood in Cancun - and inexpensive. Don't be surprised by the location - it looks like a taco stand from the street, but take the stairs down around the back to the main restaurant. It's right in front of the lagoon on the marina, and you can eat outdoors and watch the sunset. 
El Fish Fritanga. From The Food Lover's Travel Guide to Cancun
Photo: El Fish Fritanga 

Barbacoa de la Tulum 

I LOVE barbacoa. So just point me in this direction, please. Attentive service, great takeout, and incredible meals. The taqueria to visit! 
Barbacoa de la Tulum. From The Food Lover's Travel Guide to Cancun
Photo: Barbacoa de la Tulum 

Carnitas Michoacan

Looking for inexpensive tacos? $1 here, and highly recommended. Plastic tables and chairs, but what do you expect for such low prices?
 Carnitas Michoacan. From The Food Lover's Travel Guide to Cancun
Photo: Carnitas Michoacan 

La Parrilla

Another lagoon-front restaurant, La Parrilla is more of a tourist spot than other recommendations on this list. However, don't let that deter you. There is live music (a mariachi band!), delicious food, and generous portions. Since 1975, La Parrilla has been creating delicious food for locals and tourists alike.
La Parrilla. From The Food Lover's Travel Guide to Cancun
Photo: La Parrilla 

Coffee

Café de la Nader

Café de la Nader opened in the 1990s and is known for coffee and freshly baked bread. You can also get a variety of fast, high quality, delicious foods here, so if you're looking to caffeinate while eating, this is your place.
Café de la Nader. From The Food Lover's Travel Guide to Cancun
Photo: Café de la Nader 

Tradiciones Latte Art Café

This cafe has lovely coffee drinks (as you can imagine from their name), and serves local coffee. But the latte art is the draw - what will you get? Drink your art!
Tradiciones Latte Art Café. From The Food Lover's Travel Guide to Cancun
Photo: Tradiciones Latte Art Café 

La Cafeteca

Delicious sandwiches, homemade pastries, and incredible coffee? Add in a record player and plenty of vinyl, and an interesting ambience...count me in! Make this small coffeeshop YOUR coffeeshop, while in Cancun.
La Cafeteca. From The Food Lover's Travel Guide to Cancun
Photo: La Cafeteca 

Cafe Antoinette

Perhaps you want to have a more cosmopolitan coffee experience? Head to Cafe Antoinette for your French coffee and breakfast or lunch. The menu is extensive, the coffee is quite Parisian, and the outdoor seating is lovely.
Cafe Antoinette. From The Food Lover's Travel Guide to Cancun
Photo: Cafe Antoinette 

Drinks

While you are probably familiar with Mezcal, while in Cancun, try the Raicilla, another agave-based spirit. Don't drink it straight - mix it, so you can enjoy the flavor without getting inebriated too quickly. 

Hidden Treasures

Mercado 23

Skip Mercado 28 - too touristy! - and head to Mercado 23. You'll find a slower, more relaxed market, inexpensive local food, and plenty of shopping! Bring cash and your best Spanish - not many vendors speak English.
Mercado 23. From The Food Lover's Travel Guide to Cancun
Photo: Mercado 23  

Underwater Museum

Not food, per se (although you'll find plenty of fish to inspire your dinner), the Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA), created by artist Jason deCaires Taylor, is incredible. We've shared much of his work here - so visit (scuba or snorkel), marvel at the art of humans and nature, and work up your appetite! 
Jason deCaires Taylor - La Jardinera de la Esperanza in the Underwater Museum. From The Food Lover's Travel Guide to Cancun
Jason deCaires Taylor diving next to La Jardinera de la Esperanza. Photo: Jason deCaires Taylor 

 

So, fellow food lover - what are your favorite places to eat in Cancun? I'd love to know!

 

 

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