Here are the restaurants in Mérida and at the beach offering traditional Thanksgiving this year.
Turkey and all the trimmings is a taste of home for expats and snowbirds, but restaurants are also attracting Yucatecans and nationals the fourth Thursday of every November.
So here again is our Thanksgiving roundup. It helps that turkey is a mainstay in Yucatán. It’s the cranberry and pumpkin pie that’s a little harder to find. Not all the restaurants will be able to nail the exact meal you had with the family back home, but the general concept of savory sides and comforting desserts, eaten communally, will be there.
The major hotel zone restaurants are back on the list this year, and so are your favorite funky hotspots at the beach. In between, chefs in at least two hacienda resorts are preparing for the holiday.
Canada celebrates Thanksgiving much earlier than the U.S. — on the second Monday of October, before many snowbirds get to the peninsula for the season. So most restaurants wait for the “American Thanksgiving” date, which is Nov. 24 this year, to whip things up.
The list will be updated as we get more information, so please check back. And send your suggestions, as well! There is no charge to be included on the list.
Peregrina Bistro, Hyatt Regency (Update: Sold out!)
The buffet is enormous, with turkey carved to order. Plus its usual offerings of salmon, chicken, pork, a salad bar, bread bar and cheese bar, plus, of course, the dessert bar. A play room is off to the side to house fidgety youngsters.
Live music will add to the ambiance of this popular bistro. (Update: We learned on Wednesday, Nov. 23, that the buffet has sold out.)
Calle 60 at Colón, Hotel Zone, Mérida; 999-942-1227
La Arboleda, Holiday Inn
The Holiday Inn in the hotel zone (map) will offer various entrees, side dishes and desserts to choose from, including the traditional roast turkey on Thanksgiving. Adults, 340 pesos; children 5-12, 170 pesos.
Avenida Colón at Paseo de Montejo, Hotel Zone, Mérida; 999-942-8800
Café Montejo, Fiesta Americana
The Fiesta Americana (map) has held to last year’s prices: 310 pesos per person, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., and includes a glass of red or white. Turkey with cranberry and gravy, in addition to glazed ham, roast beef, pork loin with orange and maple salsa, and chicken breast rellenas with cranberry salsa. Desserts included as well.
Paseo de Montejo and Avenida Colon, Hotel Zone, Mérida; 999-942-1111
Calle 60, between 51 and 53, Centro, Mérida
Casa de Piedra, Hacienda Xcanatún
The elegant Casa de Piedra (Stone House) restaurant is in the restored powerhouse of this 18th-century Hacienda Xcanatún (map). A la carte Thanksgiving menu for lunch and dinner, with live piano music.
Calle 20 S/N. Comisaría Xcanatún. Km. 12 Carretera Mérida-Progreso, Mérida; 999-930-2140
Restaurante Valentina, Hacienda Santa Cruz
Under new ownership and a fresh renovation, Hacienda Santa Cruz (map) has Thanksgiving dinner and live music, but a day early. The International String Quartet of Yucatán is performing 7 p.m, Wednesday, Nov. 23, and the Thanksgiving meal will follow.
Calle 86 S/N, Santa Cruz Palomeque, Mérida; 999-254-0541
If you prefer the beach and love turkey-day pro football, this is the place. Lizard Joe’s (map) has NFL games on their large-screen TV, Thanksgiving dinner and an after-dinner Tailgate Menu for 200 pesos.
Turkey dinner includes: smoked turkey breast, gravy, Cran-apple chutney, stuffing, three sides, bread and dessert. Tailgate menu includes chicken wings, dips, chili con carne and chicharrones.
Turkey dinners will be ready before each game at noon, 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Note: In 2015, they sold out ahead of time, so make reservations.
Calle 17 #75 x 24 y 26, Chelem; Reserve for one of the seatings at firstname.lastname@example.org
La Barca Dunas Hotel
Restaurant La Barca (map) is offering a special Thanksgiving chicken dinner for 120 pesos, NFL on the TV and live music. Full menu with normal prices available. No tickets or reservations required. Football begins at noon, dinner service starts at 4:30, music starts at 6. More about La Barca on their Facebook page.
Calle 21 #1049, Chelem; 999-199-5314
El Bull Pen Restaurant & Bar
El Bull Pen (map) offers their annual community pot luck 5-10 p.m. There is a sign-up sheet to ensure everyone doesn’t bring the same casserole of sweet potatoes with little marshmallows. You are invited to bring your favorite dish with enough portions for six to eight others. Cash bar. To participate, visit the events page.
It’s across from the baseball diamond and from Taco Maya.
Calle 19 x 128, Chelem; 999-114-9595
“Jim and Elke’s Place” has turkey, ham, mashed potatoes with gravy, vegetable casserole, cranberry sauce and dessert for 275 pesos per person starting at 5 p.m. Door opens at 4. Reservation required.
Xoco Loco Restaurant/Bar Palapa, Casa Hamaca
In Valladolid, Casa Hamaca Guesthouse (map) mixes service with pot luck. Entradas and botanas begin about 3 p.m., followed by roast turkey, léchon al horno and mac’n’cheese. Plus lots of side dishes and desserts. No charge for the main dishes but they ask for a donation of a side dish, hors d’oeuvres or desserts to serve a minimum of 10 people. Or a donation of cash (suggested 200 pesos per person). Cash bar happy hour begins at 3; dinner at 4:30. First come, first served. “Last year, late comers ate mac’n’cheese and side dishes,” says proprietor Denis Larson.
A silent auction and bake sale starting at 3 will benefit local people, as Casa Hamaca seeks donations year-round for dispenses. One dispensa, a package that provides two weeks’ food and basic supplies for a family, costs about $50 USD. Ask how you can help.
Parque San Juan, Calle 49 #202-A between 40 and 42, Valladolid; 985-100-4270
Traditional turkey dinner at Barlovento (map) includes turkey, ham, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy and a delicious homemade dessert, all for 199 pesos per person. Also, half-price drinks, and most beers for 20 pesos all day and night. Live music and cocktail hour from 5-6 p.m.; dinner at 6. NFL games on the big screen. RSVP in person or on their Facebook page.
Calle 80, No. 109, between 21 and 23, Progreso; 999-242-5057
Calle 66, No. 377C between 41 and 43, Centro, Mérida; 999-923-2013
Hennessy’s Irish Pub
Hennessy’s Irish Pub (map) is an expat favorite for traditional Thanksgiving dinner and all the trimmings.
Paseo Montejo No. 486A x 41 y 43, Mérida; 999-923-8993
Door 54 (Sold Out)
At Door 54 (map), the “Traditional Thanksgiving with a Twist” sold out ahead of time last year*. Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, autumn vegetables are on the menu. And second helpings if you have room. Plus, a dessert table.
Live music from Maricarmen Perez, plus board games, football and a movie. All the comforts of home for 300 pesos per person, which includes dinner and non-alcoholic beverages. Gratuities and alcoholic beverages not included. Full cash bar available.
One seating. Socialize at 3 p.m.; dinner served at 4 p.m.
*UPDATE: There are no more seats available at Door 54 for Thanksgiving.
Calle 54 at 35, Centro, Mérida; 999-289-3973.