Let’s face it, there’s no way one guy can try every restaurant in Merida. That won’t stop me from trying though, so I’ll be updating this post regularly in my quest to bring you the best of Merida.
By no means is this post in any particular order, nor does it represent every good restaurant. These are just the places I’ve tried that I would recommend to friends and family…by the way, would you like to be my friend? Then please share this information with anyone you think might benefit and don’t forget to book your stay at one of the growing list of Casas Thorpe houses available in beautiful Merida, Mexico!
This spot just south of the main city square is an absolutely delightful little operation. You can tell this is an owner/operator business and it shows in the care put into each dish, as well as the creative decoration found throughout the restaurant.
As the name might imply, ingredients here seem very fresh and of high quality. I’ve tried the pesto pasta and the penne arrabbiata and both were delicious. They also serve a nice cup of coffee that kept me going for hours afterwards! Sweetening the deal, prices are very inexpensive for the quality.
Neighborhood: San Juan
Nearest Casa: Casa Limonero or Casa Arquitecto at 7 minutes drive.
The Guacamole Test: Cafe Organico sadly doesn’t have guacamole on the menu, but you can have their fresh hummus with homemade pan for 125 pesos
Key Terms: vegetarian options, budget-friendly, excellent service
If you’re looking for a chill spot to have a few beers and some small plates, ring the bell at the doors of Patio Petanca to enter an enchanting garden setting. Once inside, you’ll find a mix of seating options (all outside) and two lanes of a game similar to Bocce Ball as the centerpiece of the once-empty downtown lot.
I visited Patio Petanca for the first time to meet with some new friends for an art exhibition, but have continued to return for the good vibes (and good prices). They usually have a killer playlist going and their cocktails and small plates are delicious.
Nearest Casa: Casa Arquitecto, literally around the corner!
The Guacamole Test: 100 pesos and it is tasty!
Key Terms: good vibes, budget-friendly, hideaways, outdoor dining
This is, perhaps, the place that was most recommended to me by locals throughout my first year building up Casas Thorpe in Merida. Surpisingly, it took me that full year to actually show up there, but I’m glad I finally made it.
Salon Gallos is tucked away, down a long concrete pathway lined with tropical plants. When I emerged, I found a perfectly ambient patio area, more seating in another building to the left, a covered bar area to the right, and a small movie theatre room to the back. I also found some extremely delicious drinks.
Both the food and cocktail menu are very creative, but for me, it’s the cocktails and deserts that really shined. They have the most incredibly refreshing strawberry/vodka blended drink and also an Ancho Reyes-based drink that’s got just the right blend of sweetness and spice.
The food menu includes venison and less widely-used cuts of meat and a long list of foodie-friendly ingredients. However, I’m a bit boring so I preferred the deep-fried avocado tacos to the pork-belly tacos, and they were both no match for the home-made rosemary ice cream!
I’m looking forward to returning to see what the movie theatre experience is like, and also to visit at different times of day since I’m sure they’d do the lighting just as perfectly as they did the day-time ambiance.
Nearest Casa: Casa Arquitecto at 10 minutes walking
The Guacamole Test: Salon Gallos doesn’t have guacamole on the menu, but you can have the “Helado de Romero” for 67 pesos (about 3 dollars)
Key Terms: foodie-friendly, trendy, hideaways, outdoor dining