We all know that Mérida has become something of a foodie destination in recent years, and while I’m never one to refuse a top-notch meal, I also love it when my food really tells me a story or makes me smile. With that in mind, I set out to find fun food options in my beloved city. It’s been a hard year, so I wanted food that makes me smile hard, the kinda smile that breaks your face apart. Here’s what I found.
Macarons from M21
With the tagline “Amor, Pasión y Corazón,” it was going to be hard not to fall in love with this local company. M21, by the way, is an important name, because the M is for Miguel, the young man behind the deliciousness. The 21 is significant three times over: it refers to the year 2021, when M21 was established; and twice for March 21, the day they opened and World Down Syndrome Day, because Miguel, our talented chef, is a young man with Down syndrome. When I spoke to Miguel’s dad, who dealt with my order, he referred to the business as an “adventure,” so obviously I was all-in immediately. These guys have big plans and are already sending deliveries across México to macaron aficionados.
The macarons are exquisite. They’re light and dainty and they are full of flavor. I bought my family two of each, and within moments, everyone was trying each other’s and bickering over whose was the best. I try not to have favorites with macarons, I like to love them all equally, but the Horchata really blew me away.
Tel. (999) 174 2178
Taiyakiland Frozen Yogurt
Taiyaki might be new to Mérida, but it’s actually a Japanese custom dating back to the Edo period. Tai means sea bream and Yaki means fried (or baked, or grilled). The Japanese word Tai is also closely associated with the word Medetai, which means auspicious, prosperous, or happy. Traditional Taiyaki were filled with azuki red bean paste.
In 21st-century Mérida, Taiyaki are not bean paste-filled. Instead, you get a fish-shaped (real) waffle cone topped with frozen yogurt in the shape of a panda, mermaid, or unicorn. Under the frozen yogurt, go your chosen sauce and toppings (toppings are actually under-ings here). Your yogurt is then turned into the design of your choice before your very smile, get someone to take a photo of you against the cute wall designs, and then dive your face onto this piece of modern art before it melts.
Calle 37-A #37-A, San Ramón Norte
FB: Taiyakiland Mérida
Open daily 11 am – 8 pm
When I told my seven-year-old we were having Krazy Donuts for lunch, she told me that it sounded like a kid or daddy idea, not a mummy idea. Apparently, I’m not as fun as I think I am (sigh). I then made the mistake of taking both kids with me to choose the donuts, which made it hard to hear the server telling me about the artisanal dough they use to make fresh donuts on site every single day. My kids kept yelling out, “chocolate, it has chocolate! Oh, marshmallows, no, chocolate, oh, bacon.” My favorite was the hilariously named Bob Marley, a Jamaica-flavored donut, while the others raved about the bacon and cheese donuts.
Calle 42 #347 x 5-D, Residencial Pensiones
Tel. (999) 333 6224
FB: Krazy Donuts
Open daily 11 am – 9 pm
Have you ever eaten a Marquesita and thought about how really it’s an ice cream cone in a different shape? I have, many times. So, when I found Marquihelado in Parque de las Américas, my first thought was to throw my fist in the air and declare myself right! My second thought was obviously to try one.
Yum. The Marquesita is shaped into a cone and filled with your choice of cheese or banana (or marshmallow if you’re a seven-year-old, like my husband). The outside is slathered in Nutella, Nucita, or peanut butter; then the ice cream is added. The creation is finally topped with more grated cheese and a glacé cherry. Food to make you smile, right? It was good too, but don’t go assuming you can eat this for dessert after a big meal, as it’s extremely filling. Empty stomachs recommended.
Parque de las Américas, García Ginerés
Open every evening
Editorial by Cassie Pearse
Freelance writer and blogger, born in the UK. Cassie has a BA from Oxford University and an MA from SOAS, University of London. She lives in Mérida and loves exploring Yucatán with her family.
Photography by Cassie Pearse for its use in Yucatán Today.
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