Yucatán is a piece of land tucked inside of the ocean. Over a dozen coastal towns harbor hundreds of humble fishing boats, where fishermen practice the seasonal harvest of fresh seafood. From lobster to octopus and fish, the catch is almost always abundant. Our list includes some of Mérida’s most outstanding restaurants alongside a pair of mom-and-pop style local favorites. Remember, when it comes to seafood, ask your waiter what’s fresh. A trusted recommendation is guaranteed to be your best bet.

La Fondita de Celestún

Less than 10 years ago, this local Mérida secret had only one table. Now, the restaurant overflows with 40 tables and a line extends around the block on weekends. It might sound like a joke, but people actually stop by La Fondita to pick up their favorite seafood dishes on their way to the beach. Coconut shrimp, “Haranchac” garlic ceviche, and “Jaiba en Mayonesa” top the menu of endless original recipes.

Calle 43-B #391, Col. El Porvenir, Mérida
Every day, 12 pm – 6 pm
Tel. (999) 371 5501
FB: La Fondita de Celestún


El Muelle de Sisal

In Sisal, you can have it all. Ice cold beer, sand between your toes, an eternal view of emerald waves, and seafood so fresh that you’d swear it was still swimming. Order the fried octopus ceviche, a dish that’s crunchy on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside. Call at least a day in advance to reserve a beachside “palapa” – the best seat in the house.

Calle 8 Oriente x Calle 6 Norte, Sisal
Every day, 11 am – 6 pm
Tel. (988) 912 0176
FB: Restaurante Muelle de Sisal


Muelle 8

Decorated with fishing nets and a Floridian color palette, enjoy a cold glass of your favorite white wine while surrounded by tables that are almost always full. Popularly celebrated as one of Mérida’s most classic restaurants, Muelle 8 takes seafood to the next level. The highly recommended “paella” falls nothing short of exquisite.

Calle 21 #142 x 30 y 32, Col. Buenavista, Mérida
Every day, 12 pm – 6 pm
Tel. (999) 944 5343
FB: Muelle 8



Upscale ambience takes on a colorful attitude in Mérida Centro’s first Peruvian restaurant. Located on Calle 55 facing Parque de Santa Lucía, Peruano combines impeccable service with ceviche and a drink menu starring Peruvian “pisco,” an amber-colored brandy made from “amphorae.” Try the pisco sour and Nuestro Ceviche, an intricate plate featuring the season’s freshest white fish marinated in what we like to call perfection.

Calle 55 #502 x 60 y 62, Centro, Mérida
Monday – Saturday, 1 pm – 12 am
Sunday 1 pm – 10 pm
Tel. (999) 436 6908
FB: Peruano Mérida


La Lagunita

Located in front of a lagoon where rumors whisper of crocodiles, La Lagunita is an oasis in the middle of the hot Yucatecan coastline. The sleepy fishing village of Santa Clara dusts off its shudders and comes to life during Semana Santa, and people from all over herd to La Lagunita. With confidence, we recommend the breaded fried shrimp, “camarones empanizados,” and a cold beer – we know you’ll love it.

On Dzidzantún – Santa Clara highway
½ block north of beach highway, Santa Clara
Every day, 10 am – 6 pm
Cel. 9911 02 74 86
FB: La Lagunita


By Amanda Strickland

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