8 Foods You Just Have to Try in Merida

By Susannah Rigg - January 2nd, 2017


SalbutesThis local street food delight is a fried tortilla topped with all the local favorites of shredded turkey, cabbage, picked red onion, avocado and pickled jalapeños. They are a simple and tasty way to sample a lot of the famous flavors of the Yucatan.


PanuchosSimilar to Salbutes, Panuchos have the added joy of refried bean. A fried tortilla is stuffed with the beans and then topped with shredded turkey, cabbage, picked red onion, avocado and pickled jalapeños. Such a tasty combination!

Cochinita Pibil

Cochinita PibilA true mingling of Maya influence with some European flavors, this iconic Yucatec dish combines the indigenous staples of pork meat and annatto seed with the citrus flavors of oranges from Spain. The pork is marinated in citrus juices and seasoned with achiote paste from the annatto seed and wrapped in a banana leaf. The dish is traditionally slow cooked in a fire pit in the ground, hence its name, which means little, buried pig.


PapadzulesCombining two ingredients that are common in Yucatec cuisine, hard boiled eggs and pumpkin seeds, Papadzules are corn tortillas dipped in pumpkin seed sauce, stuffed with hard boiled eggs and topped with a tomato and chili salsa. It’s an unusual combination of flavors but it is a real taste sensation.

Sopa de Lima

Sopa de LimaThe idea of a citrusy soup often throws visitors off but this refreshing soup is just perfect for the Merida heat. The broth is made from a base of lima, a type of lime native to the area and spices such as pepper, cloves, cinnamon and garlic and then shredded chicken and fried tortilla strips are added to the mix.

Poc Chuc

Poc ChucAnother real signature dish of the area, poc chuc boast similar flavors to cochinita pibil. Pork is marinated in citrus juices, then spiced and colored with achiote paste but in contrast to cochinita pibil, this time the pork is cooked in strips on the grill. The tangy grilled pork is served with rice and the local pickled red onion.

Pavo en Relleno Negro

Pavo en Relleno NegroApart from being tasty this dish is worth a try just for its unusual nature. A thick black sauce is made from roasted chilies and the turkey is bathed within it. It is usually also served with boiled eggs.

Queso Relleno

Queso RellenoAnother dish that mixes European influence with local flavors. This time cheese imported from Holland is used to create an interesting dish of ground beef wrapped in gouda cheese. It is a tasty and rather filling combination.

Visit our Merida Restaurants page to find excellent choices to try these foods.

About the Author: Susannah Rigg

Susannah has English blood coursing through a Mexican heart. She is a freelance travel writer who specializes in all things Mexican and the founder of Mexico Retold a site focused on telling a different and positive story about Mexico. She lives in Oaxaca, Mexico.