- While shamelessly tourist-driven (touts will literally run downstairs brandishing menus when they spot potential customers) La Casa Vieja is the ideal spot to watch the sun set behind the cathedral, one of the most gratifying sights in all of Campeche. The restaurant and bar is situated on the first floor of a building facing the plaza, with a romantic colonnaded balcony running the length of the block. Sit beneath the arches, order a margarita or two and watch the play of light on the church as the day fades.
Calle 10, #319; +52 811 80 16
- Another spot popular with tourists, Marganzo does a hearty line in regional specialties like pan de cazon (baby shark cooked between layers of tortillas in a mole-like sauce), cochinita pibil and papadzules. Bonus (or fair warning, depending how you feel about these things): there’s also a roving mariachi band.
Calle 8, #267; +52 (981) 811-3898
- The 24-hour café/restaurant La Parroquia is situated in a former garage, a cavernous space with soaring ceilings and a mural along two walls depicting scenes from Maya history. While the atmosphere is fun enough – ceiling fans, bustling waiters, a man tirelessly feeding oranges into a juicing machine behind the counter – the food is just average (not to mention the ghastly instant coffee.) Still it’s popular with both gringos and locals, so it’s doing something right.
Calle 55,#6; +52 981 816 2530
- If you’re craving a decent coffee, head to the cute Chocol’Ha, an air-conditioned café with terrace on a quiet side street that does a great line in Mexican hot chocolate and caffeinated drinks.
Calle 59, #30; 981 811 7893
- For a taste of the authentic local scene, head to Portales de San Martin, on Calle 49B in the barrio of San Martin just outside the city walls. Here you’ll find a row of simple family-run restaurants – Mananitas, El Cuadrilatero, Conchita Cervera – each with plastic tablecloths, tables on the street and basic menus featuring delicious, dirt-cheap panuchos and tortas. The scene is loud, lively and convivial.
- On the other side of the Parque San Martin is Capriccio, a suprisingly good pizza joint that makes its bases and toppings to order in a wood-fired oven. Grab a street-front table and watch the young hipsters hanging out the front of the tattoo parlor next door.
Calle 49, between 10 and 12.
Read more about where to stay and what to do in Campeche