A Foodie's Guide to Holbox, Mexico That Will Make Your Mouth Water
If you've been following The Beauty Backpacker for a while (if not, *here comes the gratuitous plug* subscribe here), then you'll know that I am absolutely obsessed with Holbox, Mexico. I wrote this love letter, um, I mean, travel guide to this island paradise and my Instagram is littered with photos from my visit. But this island isn't just beautiful, it's also - surprisingly - a foodie's paradise. There are so many great places to eat in Isla Holbox that it's inspired me to put together my very first foodie destination guide. Rest assured, every single one of these foodie hotspots was tried and tested (most on multiple occasions) during my three-week stay on the island. So let's get those taste buds going! Here are my top 11 Holbox restaurants (ok, who am I kidding, bars too); ones you simply cannot miss during your travels to this dreamy Mexican island.
1) A La Chingada: This is hands-down the very best restaurant in Holbox. I ate here pretty much every other day (or was it everyday?) during my time on the island. It's small, local and can be so easily be missed (especially if you don't wander off the main square) but seriously, DO NOT MISS IT. The food is fresh, authentic and absolutely superb. A La Chingada is renowned about town for its mouth-watering ceviche (raw fish cured in citrus juices that's absolutely delicious) which they serve up in crunchy, spicy tacos. But they also do incredible fish tacos (battered fish coated in a savoury home-made mayo) and to-die-for guacamole. The staff are also so super friendly and cheery and the dishes come cheap. I'm talking under a fiver for a meal that will leave you comatose and ready for a long afternoon hammock nap.
Where to Find It: Calle Esmedregal, 5060
2) La Tortillera Española: This Spanish-style restaurant sits in the main square and, in my opinion, is the best restaurant you'll find in this central tourist zone. I stumbled on it in an attempt to hunt down wifi - any wifi - on the island. But I went back time and time again for its delicious Chilaquiles. This mush of tortilla chips, green or red salsa, coriander / cilantro and your choice of additional toppings (take your pick from frijoles, chicken or beef) may not look very pretty, but it's divine. La Tortillera has seriously turned this Mexican peasant dish into a fine art. Plus, you'll feel like you're having nachos for breakfast.
Where to Find It: Calle Tiburón Ballena, 77310
3) Roots: Sure, pizza is not what first comes to mind when you think of Mexico, but Roots will change all that. This is an outdoor restaurant, with reggae and rasta vibes, that only serves up pizza a la leña, or wood-fired oven pizza. And, oh my word, they are delicious. Roots do your traditional Margherita and Four Cheese varieties, but if you visit, try the more exciting Mexican-infused options like the Yucateca, which is covered in Cochinita Pibil (a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork) and takes artisanal pizza to a whole new level. The cocktails here are also fantastic (particularly the Mezcal mixes) and they have nightly live music to entertain you while you devour your dinner.
Where to Find It: Calle Porfirio Diaz
4) TacoQueto: This is your classic hole-in-the-wall Mexican eatery, except it's become such a success that it's not so tiny anymore. But trust me, in this case, that's a good thing. You need all those tables to have any luck at finding a seat. And despite its popularity, Taco Queto's flavours never falter. These are traditional Mexican tacos at their best. They're small, flavoursome, served right off the grill and offered up with every spicy sauce imaginable. I kept going back for another round of Tacos Al Pastor.
5) El Cafecito Soul Kitchen Cafe: This is another breakfast spot I frequented time and time again. This place caters to flashpackers and hipsters that like to have their regular helpings of granola + yoghurt and healthy fruit bowls. But they also do traditional Mexican breakfast dishes like Huevos Racheros (eggs in a spicy red or green sauce) which get served with steaming hot frijoles and fresh tortillas. The coffee here was also my favourite. You can order Cafe de La Olla (potted coffee), a Mexican-style coffee served in a clay mug and flavoured with locals spices, herbs and plenty of sugar.
Where to Find It: Avenida P.J. Coldwell, 77310
6) Terra Mia: This is a small smoothie and coffee bar but oh they do whack up some seriously punchy juices. It's a bit pricey, as compared to the fresh juices you can pick up in some of the more local restaurants (probably because this an outpost of the beautiful local boutique hotel, Terra Mia) but if you're looking to detox, their smoothies will hit the spot. Just go small, as these are jam-packed with fruit and fruit pulp, so they fill you up fast. Terra Mia also serves up some great iced coffee if you're looking for a bit of a cool down after wandering through the shops in the square.
Where to Find It: Avenida Damero 310
7) Naay: If you need a break from all the Mexican goodness, then head to Naay. This fun little spot lets you pick and mix a selection of fresh veggies, meats, healthy carbs, nuts and sauces to create a delectable little meal. It's a great place to stop for a healthy and hearty lunch before jumping back on your bike or heading out for an afternoon swim.
Where to Find It: Calle Porfirio Díaz X Palomino y Carito, 77310
8) El Mangle Blanco: Everyone harps on about the famous Porque No ice cream shop, but I stumbled on El Mangle Blanco one hot afternoon and pretty much never bothered to go anywhere else. The ice cream here is melt-in-your-mouth good. The textures and blends are straight out of an Italian gelateria but the flavours are lovingly local. You can also sit and enjoy your cone on the shop's swings whilst you watch the world stroll by.
Where to Find It: Calle Palomino, 77310
9) Alma Bar: Ok, so the next two recos are a bit cheeky because they're more about the cocktails than they are the cuisine. But don't miss out on a trip to Alma Bar, a trendy rooftop bar located on the Punta Mosquitos end of the island. It's a a bit of a walk if you're based in the centre of town, but it's worth the effort to arrive at that this chic, North-African-themed bar where you can sample some flavourful mojitos whilst lounging on the hammocks in the pool. Yes, that's right. In the pool. Need I say more?
Where to Find It: Calle Paseo Kuka, 150
10) Coquitos Beach Club and Restaurant: And if you want a place to watch the sunset and savour a sundowner, than head to Coquitos. This classy beach bar right on the water became part of my little evening ritual during my time in Holbox. I'd bring my latest book, find the perfect lounger and read, margarita in hand, while watching the sun set. And their margaritas are mean. So make sure to spend at least one of your Holbox evenings here.
Where to Find It: Av. Pedro Joaquin Coldwel S/N Zona de Playa, 77310
11) Beach and street vendors: This one might seem random too, but trust me, the beach and street food snacks are not to be missed. Try a quick taco to tide you over before a late dinner or a mango dipped in chilli flakes to cool you off on the beach. Or sample the homemade horchata and aguas frescas (I highly recommend the hibicus flower variety) that the women sell out of their coolers on the sand. At the very least, have a fresh coconut chopped and served right before your eyes as a reminder that you really are in paradise.
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