Top Eateries Only The Locals Know About In Cancun
When it comes to dining on vacation, everyone knows that the best places to grub down are where the locals go. They are the most trusted sources you can find. So we at YAH are doing our best to uncover these often kept secret eateries, so that you dont have to hide behind dark corners stalking the locals when they get off work, following 20 steps behind them just to find out where they spend their hard earned pesos.
Mazatlan Street SM 31 (Downtown)
True to local Cancun culture, Cheesters is only open in the later half of the day, which is a good thing because we haven't met anyone that can eat this much pasta in the A.M. or early P.M. hours for that matter. Portions, quality and prices keep the locals coming back. In fact, they might not be happy about directing attention to their favorite dining establishment as it will increase the wait time even more than it already is. The chef may even hold us accountable. He is known for not taking kindly to "off the menu" requests and too many tourists means an increased likelihood of "dietary restrictions" and special orders ("umm, no trans-fat in my alfredo sauce please"). Save that kind of thing for The Old Spaghetti Factory up north, and remember that you are on vacation.
Yaxchilan Avenue (Downtown)
This one is going to come off as being a bit of a lie on our part because if you've spent even just a few days in Cancun you may have already been to La Parilla. The thing is, that was not always the case.. La Parilla gained its fame from the heavy local contingent and began to attract notoriety amoungst outside visitors over the last few years. The bottom line is that the locals made La Parilla what it is today and thus earns its number 2 spot. Keep in mind too that Cancun is packed full of tourist based eateries such as the Hard Rock Cafe and Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville to name but two, so this authentic little restaurant with amazing Tacos, atmosphere and music is a welcome escape from the glitz and glam that has become the norm for downtown Cancun dining.
Av. Circuito Copan SM 19, Lt. 25 (Downtown)
The atmosphere alone at Marakame is a big draw for locals. Dim lit laterns dangle from the trees above and beckon evening passerbyers like Lepidoptera (basically a nice way of saying "moth", sorry). Authentic live latin and pre-hispanic music entertains the masses and lends local entertainment flavor to a like menu. Marakame is also a popular spot for weddings, birthdays, baby showers and even first communions (not necessarily in that order) which tells you something about Marakame's popularity with those residing in the area. Add in the gourmet coffee bar with free wireless access and you know where you'll find the citizen's of Cancun camped out on a regualr basis.
Los de Pescado
Labna Avenue & Kukulcan Avenue (Downtown)
Los De Pescado is one of those places that random friendly strangers will recommend when asked about where to go for lunch in Cancun. A definite "hole in the wall" eatery with a small menu. Small menus in Mexico means that the establishment is darn confident in their dishes, so why give you more options than necessary? If you haven't tried fish tacos before then get it out of your system now, because once you've tried the batter fried fish and shrimp tacos here, you'll be ruined from ever wanting to eat them anywhere else but at Los De Pescado.
If the friendly stranger didn't give you good directions, just look for the thatched roof over sidewalk tables between the VW Dealership and Office Depot (two places you probably wouldn't go near while on vacation in Cancun) on Tulum Avenue.
Kukulcan Blvd. 9.5 km (side of the lagoon)
Xtabentun is a small eatery located behind the Plaza Coral Negro. Being small and located behind something is usually a good indicator that a place is one of those "off the beaten path", hidden gems and Xtabentun does not dissappoint on this anecdotal point.
Its known for its homemade tortas and local beers, read not Coronas or Sol, so instead try the "Tecate". Xtabentun's little outdoor patio is the perfect setting to enjoy your order along side Cancun's friendly and hospitable people.