Authentic Mexican food in Cancun is about more than just eating a meal, it’s a cultural experience marinated in years of history and culinary inspiration and full of the flavor of the people. UNESCO has declared Mexican cuisine to be an “intangible cultural heritage of humanity”, recognizing the importance of food from farm to table and all the rituals of Mexico’s culinary magic. A taco is never just a taco you see, it’s a tale of a region’s agriculture, climate, history, social situation and so much more.
“Authentic Mexican Food in Cancun” is a very broad topic as each region of Mexico has its own distinct sabor and traditions. You’ll find mole from Puebla and tlayudas from Oaxaca, huachinango from Veracruz and birria from Jalisco. The tamales in Cancun come in a variety of styles, the most popular being the Yucatan-style tamal wrapped in banana leaves but you’ll also find the traditional corn husk wrappings and sweeter fillings from the center of the country. There are far too many types of tacos to list here, each with a unique take on the “tortilla/meat” basics.
Where to Find Authentic Mexican Food in Cancun
With no offense intended to hotel chefs, the buffet at your resort is probably not the best place to find the most authentic Mexican food in Cancun. There are of course exceptions and some of the specialty restaurants are truly out of this world, but in our humble opinion, if you want the MOST authentic, you’ve got to visit Cancun centro (downtown). Often the best Mexican food isn’t even served in a restaurant, you’ll find a street corner with a crowd, eat with your fingers standing up and it will be legendary.
Fresh ingredients are a must with Mexican food, start your adventure with a visit to Market 23 Cancun. The butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker are all here and while you can wander for hours inspecting the exotic wares, tropical fruits and weird vegetables, you can’t miss the “food court”. Settle into your plastic chair and order up panuchos, sopes, tortas and tacos, there is a tendency towards Yucatecan cuisine and it is ALL delish.
Parque las Palapas Authentic Mexican Food in Cancun: Betcha Can’t Eat Just One
For a casual evening out in the hunt for authentic Mexican food in Cancun, Parque las Palapas is the place to be. There is literally food everywhere, from everywhere and you can’t choose just one stand. You’ll want to sample ALL OF IT and we support you. Start off with a little cup of “esquites”, try a taco piled high with extras like jalapeños, beans, rice or nopales then get ready for dessert. The local fave is a “marquesita”, a Yucatecan treat made of a crepe with Edam cheese and your choice of fillings like Nutella, fruit jams or the caramel-like “cajeta” and made in the moment on a gas-fired iron.
Authentic Mexican Food in Cancun: Join us for a Cancun Food Tour
What’s the best way to discover authentic Mexican food in Cancun? With one of our friendly and knowledgeable local guides on a Cancun Food Tour of course. We’ll pick you up in our air-conditioned vehicles and bring you to downtown Cancun for a taste of REAL Mexican food and drink. This will be the most delicious Cancun tour you’ve ever experienced, contact us today!