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Food in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean

Local dining is a pleasure throughout the Mexican Caribbean region

Photo credit: © Jrothe |
Food in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean

From elegant restaurants serving five-star cuisine to street-corner stands churning out local specialties, you will find something to tempt your taste buds in the Mexican Caribbean. When you visit the region, don't feel restricted to places like Cancún for fine dining.


When it's time to dine, you face many choices. Meals are not only served in restaurants, they are also served in cafés, jugerías featuring jugos (juices) and licuados (shakes or smoothies), markets, and even streetside vendors.

Though you'll find plenty of low-key spots to dine, these local eateries aren't always the most popular spots. Larger chain restaurants are more common around the Cancún area, but you can also find them scattered throughout the region. And, of course, upscale dining can be done at some of the world's finest locally-owned restaurants, as well as international chains.

Culinary Styles


...savor the many flavors of Mexican cooking...


Once you've found a perfect spot, you can savor the many flavors of Mexican cooking, which is seasoned most popularly with unusual chiles. Most Mexican food, however, is not necessarily spicy, and many dishes are comprised of the mild combination of corn and beans.

To truly dine like a local, make lunch your largest meal. This may do more than help you feel at home, it may even save you money. Comidas corridas are different each day but quite inexpensive at most restaurants. If the idea of a large lunch and light supper doesn't sit well with you, many restaurants in Cancun offer lunch menus that cater to American meal ideals.  Most travelers find dinner reservations unnecessary, unless you plan to dine with a large group, or if you plan to make dinner a black-tie affair. To read more about Cancun's culinary styles, click here.


To wash down Mexican delicacies, choose from a diverse list of refreshments. Whether you're interested in fruit juices, sodas, coffee, or something a little more potent, you're sure to find something to enjoy.  The number of domestic beers, or cervesas in Mexico is endless, tequila is Mexico's signature liquor, and other Caribbean favorites like rum are available in abundance.  There are also a few lesser known drinks that are popular in Cancun.  Mescal, a drink similar to tequila with a worm at the bottom of the bottle, and palque is a milky beer made from the same cactus as tequila and mescal, are two such beverages.

Whether sipping a Corona in a seaside lounge or taking a worthwhile chance on a local specialty, the Mexican Caribbean has plenty for diners to choose from.


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