Where to Eat in Cancun

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As a tourist destination it can be tough to find where to eat in Cancun that isn’t a tourist trap.

My arrival in Cancun was a bit rough but ultimately a pork taco saved what appeared to be an inevitable meltdown.

Food in Mexico

Food is always the highlight of any great trip so if you’re in Cancun and want to wander from the hotel zone keep this in mind:

1. Look for an eatery without gringos

Sure any taco is better than Taco Bell. While eating tacos with meat not coming from a tube is an improvement, locals know where to find the really good ones.

Stay away from posh places frequented by lots of foreigners touting 2-for-1 margaritas.

Sikil Pak

Instead head one block in any direction to find locals eating amazing Mexican antojitos on plastic tables and chairs.

There’s heaps of these places around Cancun. Look for menus with no photos, or better yet, no menu at all.

It’s okay if you don’t speak Spanish just point to some food and hand over the pesos.

2. Parque las Palapas

At night locals and their children flock to this park to eat from an outdoor food court and be entertained by the buskers. The comida corrida (daily special) prices are cheap and the food is good.

EASY RECIPE: Chocobananos

There has been some concerns about the hygiene in the stalls but I had no problems with it. Besides you’d never eat from a restaurant if you saw its kitchen.

3. The bus terminal

I may never forgive myself for not following up sooner on this recommendation by a Chowhound local. If I had known on my arrival I would have camped outside their stall the entire time.

There are two stalls, one by a man, which I have not tried, and one with two women. Don’t be intimidated by the 10 different toppings, they speak a bit of English.

I had both a shrimp taco, which was great. But the taco which will forever be ingrained in my brain (along with a rice, egg dish I had on a train from Thailand to Cambodia) will be the chile relleno taco.

The tender poblano pepper filled with cheese was heaven. It’s early in my journey but I feel I may have hit my culinary peak too soon.

But I don’t want to be too pessimistic, I fully intend to eat my way through Central and South America.

Join the Conversation

  1. Mikeachim says:

    Your photos are pure food porn.

    I should add that this is the highest accolade I’m capable of bestowing on food photography. It’s an A+. 😉

    It’s true – the less appealing an eatery looks, the more appealing the food might be – and the way to spot those hidden gems is watch what the locals are doing. It never ceased to bewilder me that some folk step off their buses, trains or ferries and head straight for the most expensive looking watering holes. Would they do that at home? I suspect not. So why here?

    Here’s why I probably need to go to Cancun:

    I’ve never had a good taco. Ever.

    (But then, I’m British).

  2. Great pics – I know some foodies I have to share them with.

    Your food story reminds me of the old riddle about the small town with two barbers. One is unkempt, horrible hair and his shop floor is badly in need of someone to sweep it. The other is clean cut, perfect hair and a spotless shop. Where do you go to get a trim?

    The messy one – the clean cut barber must have been the one to cut his hair while the messy barber cut the hair of the clean cut barber. His shop needing a sweep means that’s where all the locals go.


  3. Fantastic pictures! Your technique is superb and that soup looks immaculate.

  4. Hi,

    Is the taco truck in the bus terminal near the airport? or where can I find it?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Near the ADO bus terminal downtown.

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