Set on the Yucatán Peninsula’s Caribbean coast, Cancun’s mix of Mexican and Mayan culture creates a cuisine often overlooked by travelers who stay in the Hotel Zone. But, with these helpful tips, adventurous foodies can discover that there is more to Cancun than tacos and margaritas—though there are plenty of those to go around, too.
For your first taste of authentic Mexican food, stop by one of Cancun’s many street-food stands. Start with the classic tacos al pastor—a taco filled with thin slices of marinated pork. It’s easy to identify by the spit-roasted pork on display at the stands. Then, don’t miss the stands serving corn on the cob (elote) slathered in a rich array of dressings. Top off your street food adventure with a marquesitas—a local spin on a sweet crepe that can be found in street carts throughout the city.
If you are looking for a beach club, feet-in-the-sand dining experience, order a bowl of fresh ceviche (fish salad served with chips). Or, head to an authentic Mayan restaurant to try tikin xic, a fish baked in banana leaves with traditional Mayan sauces and spices.
- Get into the action, and a great meal, with a pirate-themed dinner cruise aboard an 18th-century replica pirate ship.
- Skip the tourist-centric restaurants—and the lines—and let a local guide lead the way to the best tacos in Cancun.
- Shop in a local market and learn to make authentic Yucatecan meals in a multicourse cooking class.
- Escape the busy streets of Cancun on a sunset lobster dinner cruise.
- Head to the bright lights of the Party Center Plaza for dinner followed by a night out at one of Cancun’s popular nightclubs. Prebook tickets to score a deal that includes a meal and open bar.