Valladolid is a charming and quiet colonial city located in the centre of the Yucatan Peninsula. In the city, you can find some amazing authentic Yucatecan cuisine! There are so many options for cheap and traditional Mexican food as well as regional specialties, such as cochinita pibil and poc chuuc.
Here is a list of budget-friendly places to eat at in Valladolid:
Corner of Calles 37 and 32
The market is an easy walk from the centre of the city or an even faster bike ride (bike parking is available at the market, on all of the streets surrounding the market). It is open from 6 am to around 2 pm every day.
Visiting Valladolid’s main local market quite a cultural experience, as myself and two friends from my hostel that I went with, were the only Caucasian tourists there. Other than us, it was packed with locals.
The market sold absolutely everything, from clothing, to shoes, to fresh fruits and vegetables, to fresh meat to personal care products, to children’s toys and more. There were also lots of inexpensive eateries surrounding the market, both inside and outside, serving traditional food and fresh juices.
There were many Mayan women selling their fruits, vegetables and homemade handicrafts, dressed in their traditional outfit of the huipil dress.
Walking down in the meat section was definitely the most interesting experience for me! Fresh meat from various animals was being chopped, hung and packaged right in front of my eyes on tables that lined both sides of the aisles. The locals would walk up to their butcher of choice and order fresh meat packaged in a clear plastic bag. It was extremely hot inside the building and I couldn’t help but notice all of the flies buzzing around and probably sitting on the warm meat, as it didn’t appear like there was very good sanitation practices being followed! I observed every body part of different animals available for purchase; pig heads, eyeballs, intestines, pig hooves and other animal parts that were unrecognizable. As a vegetarian, I wanted to get out of that area as quickly as possible (but it was definitely interesting and eye opening to see).
What I loved about the market, was that you could buy plastic bags full of tasty fresh fruit for only 10 pesos (that’s less than one dollar Canadian!).
I highly recommend checking out the local market in Valladolid. It was such a unique experience!
Calle 54 #217 between Calles 45 and 49 (across the street from the Convent de San Bernardino)
Yerba Buena is a small restaurant located in a colonial building, with adorable and colourful decor. They serve healthy and vegetarian cuisine as well as Mexican favourites, including salbutes and chilaquiles, with a healthy twist.
There is a lovely garden with seating behind the restaurant, which is wear I enjoyed my meal. I ordered the Greek Salad (I still love Mexican food, but sometimes you need to switch it up) and a fresh and tasty fruit smoothie. Everything was delicious and the food was presented beautifully!
The restaurant is one of very few that I encountered in Mexico that offered free Wi-Fi. And it wasn’t just free, but it was also the fastest internet connection I experienced throughout my travels in Mexico! I was even able to make a Skype phone call without any delays (that is rare in Mexico). So if you’re looking for a place with a good internet connection and amazing food, this is definitely the place for you.
The service at Yerba Buena was prompt and friendly. The menu was offered in English and Spanish and the serving staff spoke very good English as well. The prices are also very reasonable.
Loncheria El Amigo Casiano:
Corner of Calle 39 and Calle 40 (inside the El Bazar open food court, northeast corner of the main plaza)
Loncheria El Amigo Casiano is a simple and inexpensive local eatery that serves delicious and authentic Mexican and Mayan cuisine. It is very popular with the locals and is always the busiest eatery in the food court! If you enter the food court from the main plaza, Loncheria El Amigo Casiano is located on the far left hand side, usually where all the crowds of people are gathered.
They are only open for lunch and into the afternoon. It was definitely a unique local experience eating here, as I was always the only tourist in the area, and I frequented this place at least once a day!
They serve a wide variety of super cheap and tasty traditional Mexican and Yucatecan specialties, like tacos, sopes, salbutes, panuchos, huevos rancheros, cochinita pibil, poc chuc and much more.
The menu is presented in Spanish only and the staff also only speak Spanish.
When you arrive at the food court, go to the counter of this eatery and grab a menu. Take your time to read it over while trying to decipher what exactly everything is. When you’re ready, take your menu with you and head back to the counter to place your order. If you don’t know how to say the meal you want in Spanish, just point to it on the menu. You will be handed a receipt with a number on it. You can choose to pay when you order or after you finish eating. Listen for your number to be called or watch the counter for the meal that you ordered to be placed on the counter. Then, enjoy your meal!
I thoroughly enjoyed eating here (as evidenced by my frequent visits, once a day) and highly recommend it when you are in Valladolid!
El Bazaar Municipal:
Corner of Calle 39 and Calle 40
The El Bazar Municipal is Valladolid’s open air food court. It is located on the north side of the main plaza and inside you will find lots of cheap eateries serving authentic local cuisine along the edges, with tables and chairs in the centre.
There are many eateries to choose from and I ate from a few of them, but Loncheria El Amigo Casiano remained my favourite (see above).
Corner of Calle 42 and Calle 31
La Selva is a small restaurant located within a quiet and safe residential neighbourhood, north of Valladolid’s main plaza and within walking distance. They are only open in the evenings after 6 PM and serve primarily “antojitos” which means “little snacks” in English. This includes foods like tacos, panuchos, sopes, quesadillas, salbutes and more. Don’t be fooled by the word “snacks” – you hunger will definitely be fully satisfied here! Everything is priced very cheap and it is easy to eat a lot.
I tried the tacos, panuchos and sopes and they were all absolutely delicious!
You will probably be the only tourist here, as I was, and it is pretty empty in the early part of the evening but the place fills up fast with local families later on in the night.
Taqueria Mr. Taco:
Calle 37 between Calles 48 and 50
Mr. Taco may sound like the name of a chain restaurant, but this place is far from it! The restaurant is located in a quiet residential neighbourhood, north of the main plaza, and is only open in the evenings after 6 PM.
It is a typical Mexican restaurant complete with red Coca Cola branded plastic chairs and tables, a TV playing either Spanish music videos, a soccer game or an action film, and the menu is posted on the wall of the restaurant. They serve a variety of authentic Mexican food options.
Mr. Taco is known for their tacos al pastor, and there’s a reason why – they were super tasty and flavourful! I sampled various other kinds of tacos that I had no idea what was in them, as the menu was displayed in Spanish only. Their Jamaica agua fresca (fruit-flavoured sugar water beverage) was also really delicious and refreshing.
Taberna de los Frailes:
Corner of Calle 49 and Calle 41A (beside the Convent de San Bernardino)
Taberna de los Frailes is a well-known and finer dining restaurant that has even been reviewed by the New York Times! It is a great place to dine for a nice dinner. The atmosphere is lovely, and there are tables on the restaurant’s property outside, surrounded by beautiful and lush vegetation and gardens.
The serves was excellent – professional, friendly and prompt. The menu features a variety of Yucatecan specialties including cochinita pibil and poc chuc, among many others. Even though this restaurant is considered to be finer dining, the prices are incredibly reasonable.
I tried the poc chuc and loved it! The sauce of Mayan spices that was served with it was absolutely delicious.
The atmosphere was peaceful, quiet and relaxing and I really enjoyed eating here!
There are plenty of “paleteria and neverias” (popsicle and ice cream shops) all over Valladolid. I highly recommend visiting one of them for dessert or a light snack. They serve delicious fresh fruit and cream-based popsicles (in flavours like strawberry, mango, coconut, watermelon, etc.) and a variety of interesting ice cream flavours as well (elote which is sweet corn, mamey which is a sweet fruit native to Mexico and more).
I hope you enjoy the wide variety of delicious food options available in Valladolid, Mexico.
Have you been to Valladolid? Where did you enjoy eating? What was your favourite dish that you sampled?
Let me know in the comments.