For those of you who have heard of cantinas, you may associate them with shady histories where gunslingers hung out and only men were allowed. All those suppositions were true twenty years ago. But today, you will find some pretty fancy cantinas where entire families go for a delicious lunch at reasonable prices. The majority of these restaurants are open and serving lunch from 1 pm to 6 or 7 pm.

Local tradition has it that when an ice-cold beer is served, it is accompanied by several dishes of snacks. Typically, four or five plates are served for every beer. These extra goodies are known as botanas and include such things as refried beans with tortilla chips, macaroni in a tomato sauce, cucumbers in lime juice, beets with lime juice and cilantro, pigs knuckles and ears, pureed pumpkin seed silqipec, empanadas, ceviche, cocktail hotdogs, mini chaya (like spinach) burgers, mini quibis, hummus, and labne. The list is really endless and varies by the day, the restaurant and the cook’s mood.

Each cantina or restaurant has its own specialties and most have live bands. The music is usually pretty loud and the ambiance fun.

Tacos and other Yucatecan dishes are also served at a cost. These include cochinita (suckling pig), Pavo Relleno Negro (turkey) and Pollo (chicken) in escabeche. You can actually have a free lunch just by ordering beers and receiving the free botanas. If you are drinking, remember to have a designated driver.

We recommend:
Eladios in Itzimna

Lucero del Alba
Calle 56 corner of Calle 47
At the end of Paseo de Montejo

 

Local tradition has it that when an ice-cold beer is served, it is accompanied by several dishes of snacks.

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