MID City's Top Picks for Gourmet Dining in Merida, Centro

Merida has become a wonderland for the foodie and in the historic Centro, you have a variety of places to find some awesome cuisine. The time of Covid19 has been difficult for everyone, but these are some of our favorite fine dining restaurants the have survived the wrath of coronovirus and continue to give us innovative dishes, service and love–mask and all.  

We have sectioned our list off in categories so scroll down to find your favorite! 

  • Mexican & Yucatecan Cuisine with a Twist
  • French Fusion
  • Italian Gourmet
  • From the Sea
  • International Cuisine

What about Covid19 Protocols? 

The Yucatecan government is holding restaurants and customers to strict measures of hygiene and they are heavily monitored by the Health Department.

All restaurants must follow Covid19 protocols which include:

  1. Restaurants can only be at 50% capacity and must have 1 meter between each table. 
  2. All employees are using masks and face shields
  3. All people who enter must sanitize their hands, get their temperature taken and wear masks
  4. At the table the guests can TAKE OFF their masks to enjoy their meal.
  5. If the guest needs to get up from the table to go to the bathroom etc. They must put their mask back on.
  6. All tables have QR codes or a digital menu
  7. Restaurants must sanitize tables, chairs and all surfaces on a constant basis
For all of you who are still being very cautious, you can always order for delivery or take out! 

Mexican & Yucatecan Cuisine with a Twist

Kuuk Restaurant

K’u’uk Restaurant in Itzimna, Merida. This is a unique fine dining experience that everyone must try if living or coming to Merida. The food is spectacular and the ambiance set in a beautiful 19th Century home that belonged to a prominent Henequen family The Peons. They have top of the line mixology and their food is 100% Yucatecan, but with a twist of vanguardist culinary techniques. Chef Pedro Evia and his business partner Eduardo Rukos are visionaries and creative minds who bring the diner an intriguing dining experience. They have a a la carte menu as well as a tasting menu with 11 courses including wine pairing. The tasting menu is spectacular and you get to experience the magic that happens in the kitchen!

Winner of several national and international awards including:

Food & Wine Magazine’s 100 Restaurants in the world worth a pilgrimage

2013 – No. 1 New Restaurant in Mexico Travel & Leisure Gourmet Award

2014, it was nominated for Best tasting menu in Mexico Travel & Leisure Gourmet Awards.

2019 winner of Mexico Food & Travel’s Best Restaurant in the Interior of Mexico

Open Hours: 

Monday to Saturday 1:30pm-10pm

Sunday 1:30pm-5pm

Click the links below for their menus:

English Menu 

Wine and Cocktails

For reservations: click here

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KuukRestaurant/

To check out MID CityBeat’s pre-covid19 video on Kuuk go here: https://www.facebook.com/midcitybeat/videos/2326772287637959/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kuukrestaurant/


Picheta without a doubt has the best view in the city. The rooftop overlooks the main square and the cathedral and is an extremely romantic setting. The menu is gourmet Yucatecan and is a collaboration of dishes from various recognized chefs of Yucatan. The menu is full of flavor and variety and they have done a fabulous job. The food es excellent. They also are constantly innovating their menu according to the season and time of year. You will always have something new to try! Picheta’s interior and patio design make the experience that much better. Some of my favorite dishes were: 
  • Grilled octopus on a bed of rice mixed with longaniza from Valladolid.
  • A steak marinated in butter and coffee for three months which was so tender and flavorful accompanied with a sweet potato purée and vegetables.
  • Tuna on sliced homemade bread
The mixology is also great and it’s a fun place to enjoy a nice cocktail. 
There is plenty of air upstairs and space, so you feel secure and in a Covid “safer” environment. All waiters kept a safe distance and had masks and face shields.
Picheta is also serving their full menu, including vegetarian dishes, on the rooftop. They are also now open for lunch as well.
Location: Calle 61 between 62 and 60 Centro

They are open Monday to Thursday 5pm-10pm

Friday to Sunday 2pm to 10pm 

For reservations: 999 506 0339

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pichetamx/


Apoala has become a household name among foreigners who live here or are coming to visit. It’s located in Santa Lucia which is a historic park plaza in Centro and has been turned into a trendy restaurant space where you can eat while listening to live music. It’s a fabulous location and many great restaurants are there. Apoala is Oaxacan food taken to a whole new level of incredible. Chef Sara Arnaud has done a superb job with the menu which never disappoints. 

You find a new Oaxacan cuisine with a touch of Yucatecan flavors in some dishes.

Some of my favorite dishes:

  • Tiradito de short ribs – braised short rib slices, avocado, smoked pepper mayonnaise, cilantro, pineapple sauce
  • Flores en amarillo – fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with Oaxaca cheese & hierba santa over mole amarillo.
  • Lechón mixteco – local suckling pig slow cooked with avocado leaves and adobo, black beans, sautéed
    potatoes and cured onion.
  • Taco tlayudo de pulpo a la parrilla – 
    grilled maya octopus taco, chile de agua, Oaxaca cheese, avocado.

And for mixology my go-to’s are: 

  • Mayahuel Mezcal, Yellow Chartreuse, sour orange, agave, rosemary
  • Mezcal Sour Mezcal, sour orange, agave, aquafaba, angostura bitters

They have a great selection of cocktails…really!

But everything on the menu is spectacular. They also have a large selection of top-shelf mezcales and their mixology is definitely worth trying.  This is one of the first restaurants that all hotel owners recommend to their guests, and every visiting famiy member of an expat has tried it!

Also worth noting: The same owners and chef have a restaurant in the north end of town at the Isla shopping mall called Tatemar. Tatemar is another outstanding addition to Merida’s culinary world serving both seafood and meats with similiar Oaxacan fusion plates and fantastic mixology. If you are up north, this is a must visit restaurant. They will be featured next week in our article about great restaurants in the north so stay tuned…

Apoala Open Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 1-9:30pm

Apoala Location: Santa Lucia Park Calle 60 between 55 and 53 Centro


English Menu 

Drink Menu

Reservations: 999 923 1979

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ApoalaMexicanCuisine/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/apoalamxcuisine/


Catrin is a fun and colorful restaurant with a Mexican menu from all over the Republic. They are a botanero which means their meals are meant to be put in the middle of the table and shared.  The menu consist of meats, soups, elaborated vegetables and all hot dishes are served on a cast iron plate. The portions are smaller; the best is to order many plates to be shared among friends and family. They have cold and hot appetizers to choose from as well as a selection of main dishes, soups and desserts. Although because of Covid19, they have had to reduce their menu, the variety is still impressive and the dining experience in Catrin exposes the patron to a world of Mexican savor.

Catrin also serves as a trendy place to hang out and have some drinks with friends in the patio area. The bar specializes in cocktails and has a variety of spirits and beers to choose from. Outside, a stunning mural of the famous Catrin greets everyone venturing in!  The festive ambiance  invites the diner to stay not for just a meal, but for a long evening of great food, cocktails and laughs with friends. 

They are starting to have some controlled live music on the patio!

  • Every Sundays have latin salsa dance music
  • On Tuesdays is Cazuelas y Velas more relaxed music for a sophistcated crowd. 

There is limited space so be sure to reserve your spot. Some shows also require a cover so call them to find out. 

Location: Calle 47 between 54 and 52


Open Hours: 1-10pm everyday  

Reservations: 999 518 1725

Click Here For Menu 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Catrinmid/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/catrinmid/


Teya Viva Gastronomia Yucateca Viva

This addition to the Hacienda Teya brand is located in Centro, Merida in a trendy hot spot plaza called Paseo 60.  Teya Viva takes the traditional Yucatecan food from the original hacienda and adds a touch of city life sophistication. The food is absolutely spectacular and even has some vegan or vegetarian options. The empanadas of queso relleno were to die for and they have the best flan in the state. It is a local favorite, so you will see many locals enjoying a meal with family or friends. This restaurant has been brilliantly designed and has a striking mural as you enter through the doors. 

They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

The wine list and the list of top shelf spirits and mixology are impressive. Their bar tender will hook you up with a perfect cocktail as an appetizer…the way I like to start off my meal. They have created a super trendy chic place that has become one of our favorite hangouts. 


Open Hours: 8:30am -10pm everyday  

Reservations: 999 141 0248

Click Here For Menu 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teyavivamx

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teyaviva/

Rosas Sur 32

Rosas Sur 32 is another fabulous restaurant in Santa Lucia. It is an intimate dining space with few tables, but it is arguably one of the best restaurants in town. They have been plugging along during this pandemic and for a couple months were the only restaurant open in Santa Lucia, opening for breakfast, lunch and dinner! I visited them back in August and it was so nice to finally sit in a restaurant and have breakfast on the terrace in Santa Lucia. Rosas Sur is a gourmet foodie’s delight. The chef has prepared a Mexican and Mediterranean menu that is full of flavor and elegance. Rosas Sur will not disappoint. 

They have a nice wine list as well as excellent mixology. 

Last time I had dinner there I enjoyed: 

  • Beet and burrata cheese and kale salad – super good!
  • Baked duck breast with red berries and sweet potato – very tender and juicy
  • Picana beef with eggplant mole excellent!
  • Mascarpone cream with figs and pollen ice cream

It is an utter delight to dine at Rosas Sur 32


Open Hours: Monday to Friday 8am-10pm 

Saturday and Sunday and 8:30am -10pm 

Reservations: 999 923 1558

Click Here For Menu 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosasur32

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rosasur32/

Rosas y Xocolate

Rosas y Xocolate Hotel Boutique is an iconic pink building on Paseo de Montejo. It is a staple of class and quality and has an award winning restaurant. All their meals are spectacular and popular with not only visiting guests, but also the locals! I had one of my favorite breakfast here not too long ago which was:

Fried eggs, pumpkin sauce, smoked salmon, potato and dehidrated tomato–absolutely fantastic. The whole breakfast menu is incredible. 

The dinners are perfect for a romantic setting or small family or friend gathering. At my last stay there I enjoyed: 

A seared steak filet in a crust of oregano and local dry chiles, a mix of lettuce, truffle, cucumber and avocado. Loved it. 

I also ate while listening to live jazz which the diner can enjoy on Fridays, Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. Rosas y Xocolate is definitely a spot to keep on the list and always has the best quality. 


Open Hours: 8:00am -10pm everyday  

Reservations: 999 924 2992

Click Here For Menu 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosasandxocolate/about/?ref=page_internal

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rosasyxocolate/

French Fusion

Zinc Comfort Food

Zinc Comfort Food serves French and international cuisine and they even offer some of grandma’s recipes from a small town in France! Zinc has become one of the much loved restaurants on Paseo de Montejo because the view and ambiance is great and the food is spectacular. At Zinc you find orignial dishes that you won’t find in other restaurants in Merida and all the dishes are excellent, balanced and very flavourful. You can tell that owners, Antoine and Sophie,  pour their heart and soul into giving the diner a lovely experience. 
There  are many great items on the menu, but some of my favorites are the gravlax salmon plate with lemon dill cream dressing, the forest terrine –grandma’s recipe–made with mushrooms and chicken and served with tartar sauce and house salad. And of course I love to share la gallette–a rare find in Merida!
Zinc also has a great mixology menu as well as a wine list and it is not uncommon to see people enjoying several dishes and bottles of wine over 2-3 hour dinners–the French style. 
Located on Paseo de Montejo between 45 and 43


Open Hours: 12:30am -10pm Tuesday to Sunday  (kitchen closes at 9:30pm and alcohol served until 9:30pm)

Reservations: 999 219 1247

CLick here For Menu 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zinccomfortfoodmerida/?ref=page_internal

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zinccomfortfoodmerida/

Avec Amour

Avec Amour is the newest addtion to the Santa Lucia family and has fit in perfectly. This is a lovely restaurant that brings incredible food and the classy yet welcoming style that we all know and love about Santa Lucia. Avec Amour opened a couple of months ago in the same place where 500 Noches used to be. It is a French restaurant with a bit of Yucatecan fusion. The ambiance is beautiful and there is plenty of outdoor seating so you feel safer in our pandemic times.  A friend and I went to dinner at Avec Amour not too long ago and I have also had their breakfast delivered…which was absolutely incredible.

At our dinner we tried:
  • Tartines de Salmon made on artisan bread and salmon with goat cheese, cherry tomatos and some pesto. Excellent!
  • Steak filet wrapped in bacon with a peanut sauce and ratatouille. Excellent!
  • Salmon salad with goat cheese, apples, lettuce, almonds and red onions. It was light and has a wonderful dressing.
And for dessert we had
  • The “opera” chocolate cake made with dark chocolate from Ki Xocolatl. We were planning on just having a bite, but it was soooo rich and perfect we of course finished it all!
To reserve: 999 546 7203
Location: Santa Lucia Park Calle 60 between 55 and 53


Open Hours: 1pm -10pm Monday to Thursday

9am-10pm Friday to Sunday

Reservations: 999 546 7203

For Menu 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Avec-Amour-104307071342942

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/avec_amour_merida_/

Italian Gourmet

Oliva Enoteca

Oliva Enoteca is an authentic upscale Italian dining experience that boasts an award-winning wine list and some of the best dishes in town. This is a local expat favorite and because of it’s quality and customer base it has been able to survive this pandemic–thank goodness! The ambiance is cool industrial chic and you can see the kitchen from the first floor.  They do an incredible variety of anitpasto, homemade pastas, meat and seafood dishes. My personal favorite is their grilled octopus, it’s absolutely perfect. They have a killer bakery that also supplies their coffee shop across the street Latte Quattro Sette. It’s a restaurant that invites one to stay late into the evening sipping on wine and having great conversation with friends. 

Oliva is a family owned restaurant and they have now 5 locations in Merida. (however, only 4 are open now)

Olivia Kitchen in Centro (this was their first location, a small intimate restaurant that serves fresh pastas and panninis. This location is currently closed due to Covid19)

Oliva Enoteca in the Centro featured in this article

Oliva Patio in the north end of town (Oliva Patio has a large outdoor eating area and has the same menu as Oliva Enoteca)

Oliva Al Volo in Paseo 60 (more of a to-go style. It is in Paseo 60 which is a super cool gourmet plaza where you have lots of food choices and shopping)

Newest Addition: Oliva Pizzeria a great new spot in the north east end of town! Here they have many items from the Oliva Kitchen menu as well as wood-fried white and red pizzas. We visited last week and it was amazing! (They will be featured in our must-visit restaurants of the North Merida…stay tuned). This is a family restaurant, a bit more casual dining. Plus has TV to watch your favorite game. 

Location of Oliva Enoteca

Calle 47 on the corner of 54 Centro 

**No outdoor seating at Enoteca (Patio, Al Volo and Pizzeria, yes)

Open Hours: 1pm -10pm everyday  

Reservations: 999 923 3081

Click Here For Menu 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/olivaenotecahttps://www.facebook.com/teyavivamx

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/oliva_merida/

From the Sea 


The original Crabster is in Progreso and was such a hit they decided to move it to Paseo 60 in the heart of the city. Crabster is owned by the same owners of seafood and steakhouse Sanbravo and Restaurant Silverfish and the kitchen is run by Chef Christian Bravo one of Merida’s top chefs (click here for the article about Chef Bravo). All their restaurants are fine dining at its best and are local favorites. You can find many Yucatecans spending hours on a late lunch or dinner at any of these establishments. With Crabster we love to join right in on that tradition!

They have been closed for most of the pandemic in Paseo 60, but we are thrilled to see that they have finally opened back up! 

Crabster is an awesome dining experience. To start off the experience they bring over the mixology cart and my favorite is a gin cocktail with smoked rosemary and lime. It is a great way to start off your meal. They also have an extensive list of wines from around the world and you can see all their wines displayed in a wine room with glass walls.  I usually start with the seafood tower as our starter, a brilliant display of large prawns, crab legs and Rockefeller oysters with hard Dutch cheese. All delicious and fresh.

Some of my favorite dishes are Tikin Xic fish which is a Yucatecan traditional dish made with achiote and it’s grilled over an open fire with chilis (not too spicy), tomatoes and onions. I.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e! The grilled octopus is moist with a lovely charbroiled taste. The get the local octopus right off the Yucatecan coast. 


Location: Paseo 60 Calle 60 and 37 Centro

Open Hours: 8:30am -10pm everyday  

Reservations: 999 921 4545

Click Here For Menu 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CrabsterPaseo60

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/crabstermx/ 

Micaela Mar y Lena

One of the culinary hot spots has become a local favorite.  Run by Chef Vidal Elias Murillo and his partner Alberto Nacif Figueroa,  it’s a seafood and wood-fired kitchen with a flare of cajun.  And it boasts of Merida’s first oyster bar.  Michaela is located on what I am now officially calling “Merida’s Culinary Row” (Calle 47 between 56 and 52) because of all the great restaurants on that strip of road.  As you walk in you can feel the warmth of the atmosphere; it has a soulful and down-home energy with a hint of urban chic and New Orleans.​ 

Micaela is another restaurant that has pulled through this pandemic by giving it their all and not letting up. They have been inventing new innovative ways to get their food to their customers at home and were one of the firsts to open back up with all protocols in place. It love to see them open and seeing things getting back to the “new normal”. They were one of the first restaurants I visited once we got the–hestitant–green light to go out again.

A big part of the menu is seafood, ceviches, some meats, and a wood-fired kitchen. They have also included flavors from New Orleans in some dishes. One of my favorite dishes is “Don Anselmo Simon’s Fish”.  They prepare it using Arabic culinary influences such as ginger and tahini. The plates are big so you can share with family and friends. Chef Vidal makes everything in house including the breads, jarred pickled foods, and sauces. Their desserts are well thought out, and very refreshing. Micaela is a nanny who takes care of you, who gives you affection, who spoils you and feeds you. This is the heart and soul of Micaela Mar y Leña.

**NO OUTDOOR SEATING AVAILABLE, but there is plenty of space between tables and they are very careful with all protocols.

Location: Calle 47 on the corner of 52

Open Hours: 1pm -10pm everyday  

Reservations: 999 518 1702

Click Here For Menu 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Micaelamarylena

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/micaelamarylena/

Check out Stephanie Carmon’s article here: http://midcitybeat.com/micaela_the_story_that_inspired_Meridas_newest_hotspot.htm

International Cuisine 


Lou’s Restaurant is a family run restaurant which opened about a year ago, but was forced to close down again just a few months later because of Covid19. Just a month or so ago, they opened back up to the delight of many of the local expats! Lou’s is a restaurant that started in memory of owner Tom’s late wife. It was because of her passion for Mexico that their family came to Mexico, and they want their customers to feel Tom’s wife’s love through the food and service. And we sure do.

They offer international cuisine and many items on the menu include Tom’s favorites from around the world including Tai shrimp (pictured below), New Orleans cajun style blackened fish, steaks and of course some vegetarian options. This restaurant has quickly become a favorite among expat crowds because of its variety of excellent food, the casual environment and the welcoming feeling you get when eating there. 

The bartender/mixologist serves up a mean cocktail! At my last visit we enjoyed a classic side car as well as a gin with basil and cucumber. It was a perfect way to start the dining experience.
For dinner our dishes included: 
  • Tai Shimp
  • Greek salad
  • Filet mignon with asparagus and a bean sauce—excellent cut of meat that melted in my mouth!
  • Chicken breast stuffed with corn and chile and fried and then topped with a sweet pepper sauce.
  • Tom’s mushroom risotto
  • eggplant lasagna (super good and a local favorite!)
  • For dessert we had a soft and warm brownie with vanilla ice cream and a carlota cake made with Marias cookies and is a dish all Latin American moms make for their kids! It brought back great memories…
 The food is great and they have a nice wine list too!
Location:  Calle 55 between 64 y 66
Hours: 5:00pm-10pm Wed to Sunday
Reservations: 999 461 4654

**Although Lou’s doesn’t have seating outside, because it is a colonial house, the ceilings are very high and the large windows remain open, giving you the feel that you are in a patio area. 


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lousmid.55/

Casa San Angel

Casa San Angel is a staple at the end of Paseo de Montejo; a beautiful boutique hotel. This is a place I have always loved to come to and enjoy a coffee or glass of wine. It is right at the beginning of Paseo de Montejo in what is known as the “remate”. The “remate” is where Merida comes alive with festive activities and cultural events–in a non-pandemic year. One can usually sit on a table in front of Casa San Angel and have the best seat in the house for all cultural events. Although we cannot enjoy the cultural events right now because of the pandemic, Casa San Angel is still a beautiful place to sit and enjoy delicious food for a romantic evening or sunny breakfast. 

They have fresh breads baked every morning and is favorite among expats and locals for breakfast. Their lunch and dinner menu is international cuisine and they are the only place that I know of that offers Persian dishes. I have tried some and they are delicous. 


Location: Paseo de Montejo and 47 Remate

Open Hours:

Monday to Wed: 7:30 am-08:00 pm

Thursday to Saturday 7:30 am- 10:00 pm

Sunday: 7:30 am-3:00 pm

Reservations: 999 928 1800

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HotelCasaSanAngel

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hotelcasasanangel_/

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