Plaza Carmesí: Merida Centro's Newest Hot Spot for Shopping, Coffee & Cuisine

Plaza Carmesí

The newest addition to the historic Centro’s urban cool vibe is Plaza Carmesí. Located on the corner Calle 62 and 53, it is in the heart of the Centro — close to the Plaza Grande, the cathedral, and Centro’s culinary center: Santa Lucia park. It actually opened just before the pandemic hit and shut down the town. But as happened with so many businesses, the weight of the empty streets and economic shutdown made it close its doors until things eased up. Now, for the last few months, it has opened back up with all the Covid19 protocols in place and is quickly becoming the newest hot spot on the 62.

Plaza Carmesí is a boutique shopping and gastronomic experience. It has just four stores and one restaurant, and the visitor gets a combination of intellect, gastronomy, art and culture all in one plaza. As you walk in you can enter through Between the Lines Bookstore, or directly into the main entrance which takes you to the entrance of Volta Café or Miel Nativa Kaban. There is an outdoor eating or reading area where you can sit with friends and enjoy your time shaded from the Merida sun. It’s also a great plus in the time of Covid19 when most want to enjoy public spaces outdoors.

The architecture and design beautifully compliments the restored colonial building. It is urban chic with hints of the historic Merida that is so familiar to all those who walk the streets of the Centro.

What do you find in Plaza Carmesi?

Between the Lines Bookstore

Between the Lines is an English bookstore reminiscent of any cool boutique bookstore in a major city throughout the English speaking world. Owner Juanita, an avid reader and lover of the written word, has curated a brilliant selection of books and clever stationery. Her husband, an architect, helped with the design of the space and the details of the shelving and chandelier that make this space cozy and welcoming. As you enter you may be greeted by both Juanita and that fresh smell of new books that – in this modern age – is quite an elusive treasure.   Between the Lines is a place where you can browse for over an hour looking at books from both local and international writers.

Juanita also has the perfect gifts for any occasion, especially Christmas. And, the store is one of the few places in Merida which sells specialized gift cards. She also has fun office stationery, smart bookmarks, stylish reading glasses, tarot and oracle cards, adult coloring books, pens, journals with artwork by famous artists and more. In general, it’s an intellectual’s playground!


Voltacafe has become a household name for those who love fine coffee and great food. Their first  branch opened in Altabrisa a few years ago.  I have been a customer of theirs since they opened their doors. We are now excited to have them in Centro!  Volta is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  It has an extensive list of gourmet coffee brews, and a full spirits bar.

The Coffee

They serve only the highest quality organic coffee taking great care of where the selection comes from, how it is transported, conserved and prepared. They offer various styles of preparation such as:  Chemex, Japanese Siphon, Cold Brew, and the V60.

The Food

A fusion of Oaxacan and international cuisine. Volta gives the vibe of a place to gather, enjoy great food and conversation on a leisurely day. Exactly what I did the last time I was there.

On my last visit for brunch we tried:

  • Omelete with pesto and vegetables with salad – perfect for a healthy eating regime 🌱
  • Francesinha which is a sandwich made with homemade thick sliced white bread, sausage, grilled beef, cheese and topped with a creamy beer sauce and a fried egg – it is super decadent and way too good…
  • Tlayudita con huevo – a corn tostada with lard, black beans, cabbage, onion, topped with fried eggs.  As delicious as it looks in the photo!

We also took advantage of our Sunday vibe and had a mimosa, tinto de verano and a carajillo (we tried both dark and white carajillo). Everything was absolutely delicious.

They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Uumbah Arte Mexicano 

Uumbah Arte Mexicano is on the right hand side as you walk onto the plaza, and it shares space with Miel Nativa Kaban.  Uumbah, meaning to cradle or rock back and forth, was the name chosen in honor of the lovely handmade hammocks they sell.  At Uumbah they sell fine arts and crafts from Yucatan and Campeche. They are a fair trade company that prides itself on paying the artists their asking price and working with only the best in both Mexican states.

They sell delicate jewelry, fantastic handmade hammocks of all colors, bags and ceramics. The bags are both made from palm and jipijapa which is a type of palm that becomes extremely hard when dry.  It is used to make hats, bags, and baskets and takes a skilled artisan to be able to weave with jipijapa. The trick of the artisans in Yucatan is that they take their workshop to underground caves or cenotes where it keeps humid and moist all year round. In this way they can work on their weave without the leaf breaking; it stays humid throughout the process.

Uumbah Arte Mexicano is a perfect idea for gift shopping whether it be for yourself or for a loved one.  It’s’also a great way to support local!

Basica Sociedad

Basica Sociedad is a space that works to promote fine artwork, design and culture in Mexico. It supports the non-profit Asociacion Cedi Down which teaches people with Down Syndrome how to gain the emotional, communicative and practical skills in order to succeed in the work force. When you buy with Basica Sociedad you not only support local designers and artisans, but also those who are part of Cedi Down.

At Basica Sociedad, they have invited several different design houses around Mexico to collaborate on their project.  Here you will find beautiful artisan pieces created by craftsmen and women from around Mexico. They offer pieces such as leather wallets and notebooks, hand crafted mortars and pestles, ceramic plant pots, stylish bags, pillows and a variety of lovely gifts and items for home design and fashion. This is a space where the creativity is a value through which the artists can share their rich culture and innovative traditions.


Miel Nativa Kaban

Miel Nativa Kaban shares space with Uumbah Arte Mexicano. Miel, means honey in Spanish, and Miel Nativa Kaban tries to cultivate a holistic experience of consumption where the consumer connects with what they are eating and understands the true value of the bees, the producers and the delicious honey.

Here they teach you about the different types of honey and you sample various types that are found locally. They have honey from the delicate stingless bees of Yucatan: the meliponas as well as the apis bees from Europe. Their process of business has focused on educating themselves, the producers and the consumer so that we all can enjoy and support a sustainable and fair trade honey. When buying with Miel Nativa Kaban, you not only get a great honey product that sweetens your day and cures your ailments, but you also become part of a community that values local and renewable products! Another great idea for a stocking stuffer or gift!

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