Food & Drinks You Must Try When on Vacation in Cancun

by Kristin Carleen Busse (Kristin)

Who doesn't love Mexican food? Is there anything as delicious as a huge plate of enchiladas, rice and beans? It makes your mouth water just thinking about it.

All of the Mexican foods you are used to eating at your local Mexican restaurant are available in Cancun, but be sure to try some other “delicioso” dishes that are popular with locals.

1. Cochinita Pibil

by pehemedia-com
by pehemedia-com

Cochinita Pibil is a traditional Mayan dish. Pork is marinated in acidic juices with achiote and wrapped in banana and slow roasted. Achiote is a traditional Mayan mixture of oregano, cumin, clove, cinnamon, black pepper, allspice, garlic and salt.

2. Seafood

by verythai-co-uk
by verythai-co-uk

Cancun is located on the Caribbean Sea, so the seafood is about as fresh as it can get. Ceviche on the beach is a “must do”. Ceviche is fresh raw fish and other seafood cured in lime juice, with tomato, cilantro and onion and served with tortilla chips. Sometimes peppers are added as well. If you order a “shrimp cocktail” in Mexico you’ll get a cold “soup” of shrimp, onion, garlic, lime, catsup, avocados, salt and pepper served with saltines. It’s definitely worth a try.

3. Tacos

by foodlovingwino-com
by foodlovingwino-com

Tacos in Mexico are served on soft flour or corn tortillas. One type you may not have tried before… tacos al pastor, made from marinated pork cooked on a spit, which was brought to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants. Try them with cilantro, onions, pineapple, lime juice and salsa.

4. Street Food

by Abel Ríos
by Abel Ríos

A great place to try different kinds of Mexican street food is Parque de las Palapas in downtown Cancun. Esquites, boiled corn kernels served hot with lime juice, chile powder or hot sauce, salt and mayonnaise are yummy and cheap. Empanadas sometimes also called, quesadillas, are fried pastries stuffed with your choice of filling. Top them off with a spicy salsa, crumbled queso fresco (cheese) and cebollas curtidas (pink pickled onions). Other choices include salbutes, puffed deep fried tortilla topped with your choice of meat; panuchos, refried tortilla stuffed with refried beans and loaded with your choice of meat and toppings; and sopes (look for the pinched sides) and gorditas both made from fried corn flour and topped or stuffed with various ingredients.

5. Drinks

by Kristin Carleen Busse
by Kristin Carleen Busse - Hacienda Tres Rios

You're going to need to wash all this scrumptious (and sometimes pretty spicy) food down with something. As far as non-alcoholic drinks go, aguas frescas, fruits, cereals, flowers or seeds blended with sugar and water are a sweet, refreshing choice. Try horchata (rice), jamaica (hibiscus) or tamarindo (tamarind).

If you're looking for something with a little kick, instead of a margarita, try a paloma, which is tequila and grapefruit soda with a salted rim. And remember, straight tequila is always a supurb choice, but it’s to be sipped, not slammed. Mexican beer is popular all over the world, but skip the Corona this time and try Pacifico, Bohemia, Negro Modelo or Indio. Better yet, order them with a vaso (glass) chelada (ice, lime juice and a salted rim) and turn your beer into something "especial".

And then as they say in Mexico, provecho (enjoy your meal)!

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Everybody loves Mexican food… enchiladas, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, pico de gallo… yum! When visiting Cancun, Playa del Carmen or the Riviera Maya it’s important to indulge in as much authentic Mexican food as you can. It’s also fun to try traditional Mexican cocktails that may not be available back home.

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