If you need a break from tacos or Cochinta Pibil, never fear…for the local restaurant scene is as diverse as it is delicious. It’s easy to find TexMex, Italian, and US styled restaurants in Mérida, but what about the less well-represented national cuisines? Did you know we have an Israeli restaurant run by an Israeli, a Thai restaurant that feels as calm and serene as any in Thailand? Did you know we can eat traditional Peruvian food right in Santa Lucía or that we can get some of the best sushi in México right here in Mérida?

Pita Mediterranean Restaurant Cuisine & Bar

Pita Mediterranean Cuisine & Bar

Israeli food in downtown Mérida? Why, yes of course! Home-made pita like you’d find on the streets of Jerusalem? Absolutely. I’m serious. As good as the pita I’ll never forget eating while sitting on the Old City walls. The pita at Pita (!) is worth the trip before we even start talking about fluffy falafel, awesome hummus and a beet dish I haven’t stopped dreaming about. If you’re after a laid-back restaurant in Centro where you can enjoy a beer, a traditional Israeli dish or a delicious seafood meal, then Pita is a great option. The only danger here is over-ordering when you see the menu! As they say in Israel, “b’teavon”… or “buen provecho!”

Pita Mediterranean Cuisine & Bar
Calle 55 #496 x 60 y 58, Centro
Tel. (999) 923 1592
Facebook: Pita Restaurant Cuisine & Bar
Abierto Mar. – Sáb. 8 am – 10 pm, Dom. – Lun. 8 am – 4 pm

Miyabi

Miyabi is a long-time favorite of my family. This is, for sure, the most authentic sushi you’ll find in Mérida. We eat here a couple of times a month for our raw fish fix. It’s important to know that Mexican sushi restaurants will generally add cream cheese to most sushi but you can always ask for it without, and the same goes for the Mexican style soy sauce (soy with lime) if you’re a purist.

We always order agedashi tofu (fried tofu) to start. And then we move onto plates of nigiri, a salmon hand roll, and the most delicious soft-shell crab roll. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. There are five locations across the city, two of which are “express,” which they told me simply means it’s a little less formal than the very smart restaurants in the other three locations. Try the sake mixology bar at the new Plaza El Árbol location!

Miyabi
Prolongación Paseo de Montejo, Plaza Mayor
Tel. (999) 948 9896
Facebook: Miyabi
Instagram: Miyabi
Lun. – sab. 1 pm – 10 pm, dom. 1 pm – 9.30 pm, cerrado mié.

Miyabi, Plaza El Árbol
Prolongación Paseo de Montejo
Tel. (999) 285 3869
Lun. – sab.1 pm – 11 pm, dom. 1 pm – 10 pm

Miyabi, San Ángelo
Calle 14 x 61, Plaza San Ángelo, Montes de Amé
Tel. (999) 941 9287
Lun. – sab. 1 pm – 11 pm, dom. 1 pm – 10 pm

Miyabi Express
Avenida Andrés García Lavín, Col. San Antonio Cucul
Tel. (999) 481 9724
Lun. – sab. 1 pm – 11 pm, dom. 1 pm – 10 pm

Miyabi Express
Paseo 60, Calle 60 x 35, Centro
Tel. (999) 565 9863
Mar. – sáb. 2 pm – 11 pm, dom. 2 pm – 7 pm

La Casa de Los Lotos

This restaurant is in Baca, about a thirty-minute drive northeast of the city. The food is delicious, very authentically Thai…but what really struck us was how calm and serene it is. Of course, if only I could have a lotus garden and a koi pond then I could recreate that serenity in my house!

We began by sharing spring rolls that were delicious, fresh and light. I actually haven’t been able to stop longing for them. I then had a Pad Thai, which was easily as good as in Thailand. The others all enjoyed Thai curries. Once we’d eaten we took a stroll around the garden, enjoying not having any children with us to destroy the peace and quiet. It’s worth noting that the restaurant only takes cash and that the restaurant was established to provide a free rehabilitation center for people living with cancer.

La Casa de Los Lotos
Calle Trigésima 10, Cipche, Baca
Cel. 9919 59 40 15
www.fundebien.org.mx
Facebook: La Casa de Los Lotos
Mar. – sáb. 7 am – 4 pm, dom. 9 am – 4 pm. (reservations recommended)

Peruano Cevichería y Cocina Peruana

As a very special treat to myself, I headed here with a group of friends. If you wish to do likewise, I highly recommend making a reservation since Peruano is a small restaurant. But while it may be small, it is fantastically located across from Parque Santa Lucía, making it a great option if you’re looking for something different without leaving Mérida’s Centro Histórico. The staff were very friendly and patient (which is always important when you go anywhere with a big group).

Peruvian food is not that similar to Mexican food, and our servers were very happy to help us work through the menu and decide what we wanted to eat, while we sipped on cold beers or Pisco cocktails. I was most intrigued by “leche de tigre,” assuming that they hadn’t just milked a tiger to make me some delicious Peruvian ceviche! Turns out that it’s a citrus based marinade for ceviche, rather than the terrifying sounding tiger milk!

Peruano Cevichería y Cocina Peruana
Calle 55 #502 x 60 y 62, Santa Lucía, Centro
Tel. (999) 436 6908
Facebook: Peruano Mérida
Lun. – sab. 1 pm – 12 am, dom. 1 pm – 10 pm

Peruano Express
Paseo 60, Calle 60 x 35, Centro
Diario 1 pm – 11 pm

 

Editorial by Cassie Pearse
Photography by Cassie Pearse and Andrea Mier y Terán for use in Yucatán Today

 

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