Eat Like a Local: Merida and Yucatan Food & Restaurants

How about a new topic listing some of the local expats fun places to eat like a local. I think it would be more reliable and honest if we limited it to peoples’ personal experiences, so it’s not just some front for advertising. I’d also propose that the thread features places that the authors eat at regularly, not just single experiences that may not be representative of what an every-day diner would find. You could list the type of food, location, directions on how to get there, approximate prices for a meal, and what you guys like best.

I’ll start. My friends and I love Wayan’e (Wy-ah-nay’s) for tacos and tortas in the morning. They are a long-term staple of Yucatecan tacos and tortas offering about 30 kinds of fillings: from huevos con chaya, or green chorizo, to chili-buul. Newbies can look at all the different offerings sitting behind a glass display. Wayane’s draws workers and students and families from across Merida, which makes it pretty busy most mornings. They are only open until about 1:00 PM, so their selection drops after about 11:30 AM, because once they run out of an item, then that one is done for the day.

We order 3 tacos each or one torta (sandwich), enjoy them, and then order 2-3 more if we are still hungry. The tacos cost $8 pesos and the tortas are $12 pesos. With an agua (de fruita), the total bill per person is usually under $50 pesos per person. One of the owners/cashiers speaks English if you don’t like to scan their offerings and point to what you want.

Wayane’s truly is a local favorite of ordinary folks, so, don’t expect to be treated like a tourist. There are only 6-8 tables set up on the sidewalk and a bunch of seats at the lunch counter (kind of a sushi-bar for taco eaters). You get there by going east out of the Fountain glorieta (Burger King) on Paseo Montejo, on Circuito Colonias past the big Chapur. Keep going 2 stop lights to the right turn to go to the Izamna town square (see big green interstate hwy style sign for Izimna). Turn right as if you were headed to Calle 50, and Wayane’s is 2 blocks down on the street corner your left.

Yuuuum. (and priced right for Small and Large Gropers)
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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

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5 Responses to Eat Like a Local: Merida and Yucatan Food & Restaurants

  1. Khaki Scott says:

    Re: Keep going 2 stop lights to the right turn to go to the Izamna town square

    Tell the truth… you’re really from Louisiana, aren’t you!
    All directions in Louisiana begin with “go to the light” or “go to the stop sign”… and since there is usually only one of each (in most towns), no confusion factor at all!

  2. EJ Albright says:

    As I am one of your friends, I can attest to the culinary wonder that is Wayan’e, although I don’t believe you and I have been there together. I especially love their logo, which is a Chac Mool holding up a peace sign. I ended up buying one of their t-shirts (the kind worn by the cooks and wait staff) I enjoyed it so much.

    You didn’t mention that the name of the place is Maya and that it means “Here we are” or “We have arrived.” Something like that. In any case, the name is apt, because the truth is you haven’t been anywhere until you’ve eaten at Wayan’e.

  3. BerylG says:

    Taqueria Nuevo San Fernando gets my vote. It’s on Cupules, between 60 and 62, a block or two west of the Fiesta Americana. It’s a hole in the wall, but a fabulous hole in the wall. They serve cochinita and cochinita only. You can get cochinita tacos or cochinita sandwiches, on wonderful fresh bread. The pig is actually cooked in the ground in Hunucma and brought into the restaurant in the AM. Open 7 AM until about 1. I never thought pig could be this good. It’s hard not to overeat. They have fresh o.j. and the usual refrescas. See a full write-up on Eat Merida.

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