We weren’t even sure we were going to pull together a Thanksgiving dining guide this year. But here we are, with a list of turkey-and-trimmings options for anyone in Yucatan craving a taste of home.

Restaurants are hanging in there during the COVID-19 crisis, and restrictions have eased. Buffets are still here, but you can’t serve yourself anymore, and you’ll need to wear your face mask while in line. Managers will regulate those lines, as well, to ease crowding.

In these times, we need comfort food more than ever. Here’s where to find some on Thursday, Nov. 26.

This report, by the way, is a work in progress right up to the holiday. Do you run a restaurant? Let us know! There is no charge to be included on the Yucatán Expat Life Thanksgiving Dining Guide.

Hyatt buffet

The first place in Merida to get entirely booked up is the gigantic Peregrina Bistro off the lobby of the Hyatt Regency (map), but diners may wonder what became of the buffet. In this case, the buffet remains. Portions of some foods are individually packed and others are served by masked attendants. Lines will be controlled for social distancing. The payoff is the Hyatt’s roast turkey, stuffing, salmon, pastas, salads, grilled vegetables, gravy, mashed potatoes, etc. The buffet is $390 per person and service hours are between 1 and 9 p.m.

Calle 60 at Avenida Colón, Hotel Zone, Mérida; 999-942-1227

Fiesta Americana

Across the street from the Hyatt is a big rival, the lavish Fiesta Americana. The lobby and restaurant are worth visiting just for the big 2018 renovation, but note that they have been upping their buffet game, even during the pandemic. From 7-11 p.m., turkey, prime rib, smoked salmon and pork tenderloin along with a multitude of side dishes and a dessert bar are available for $490 per person.

Paseo de Montejo and Avenida Colon, Hotel Zone, Mérida; 999-942-1111

Hennessy’s Irish Pub

Hennessy’s Irish Pub (map) never forgets the Thanksgiving holidays. It’s three courses: mushrooms soup, turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and pumpkin or apple pie for $375, or just the turkey plate for $235.

Paseo Montejo No. 486A x 41 y 43; 999-923-8993

Bistro Cultural

Bistro Cultural (map) is serving a special a la carte lunch to celebrate Thanksgiving. They are also roasting turkeys to take home for 2,400 pesos. Advance notice and 50 percent deposit required.

Calle 66 No. 377 x 43, Centro; 999-923-2013

Lou’s Restaurant

Traditional turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes with gravy, vegetables, and a piece of pie served from 5 to 9:30 p.m., 425 pesos per person. A very friendly place in the former Dadaumpa restaurant.

Calle 55 No. 522, Santa Lucia, Centro; 999-461-4654

Club Sibarita at Hotel Wayam

Years in the making, the Hotel Wayam on Avenida Colon turned out beautifully. Now we learn the hotel’s celebrated chef Maycoll Calderon is offering a special gourmet Thanksgiving celebration on the Cuna restaurant’s rooftop deck. Book at Club Sibarita (1,000 pesos for members or 1,400 pesos for the general public) to take part in the delicious dinner pairing. Space is limited.

Av. Colon 508, García Ginerés x Calle 72

Hacienda Xcanatún

Another newly renovated destination has Thanksgiving classics on its a la carte menu. Under new ownership, the elegant Casa de Piedra (Stone House) restaurant is in the restored powerhouse of this 18th-century Hacienda Xcanatún (map). When making your reservations, let them know ahead if you’ll be ordering turkey so they will have their kitchen stocked amply.

Calle 20 S/N. Comisaría Xcanatún. Km. 12 Carretera Mérida-Progreso; 999-930-2140

Provecho 66

One seating at 3 p.m. for pumpkin carrot bisque, roast turkey, whipped potatoes, stuffing, green beans almondine, sweet potatoes, whole-cranberry sauce and a choice of pumpkin, pumpkin-cheesecake or chocolate pie or pound cake for dessert. 400 pesos per person, payable when making the reservation. Pickup option (425) at 5 p.m. Seating limited.

Casona 66 Merida B&B, Calle 66 No. 494, 59 y 61 Centro;+1-330-321-5904 (WhatsApp) or jkschmitz1@gmail.com

Barbie Q delivery SOLD OUT

One of 2020’s bright spots has been the arrival of Barbie Q, a popup business that delivers ribs and other smoked meats along with sides and banana bread. For Thanksgiving, the owners offer an entire apple-smoked turkey, cheese peanut stuffing (a secret recipe), bacon Brussels sprouts, English garlic roast potatoes, pecan pie and gravy, delivered to your home for 3,200 pesos. Deposit required.

facebook.com/BarbieQSmoke / instagram.com/BbarbieQSmoke or gimmefood@barbieqsmoke.com

Also…

We are awaiting details from Oliva Enoteca in Santa Ana and Barlovento in Progreso, two more restaurants planning Thanksgiving fare. Again, restaurants wishing to be added to this list should let us know what’s in the works. 

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Lee Steele is the founding publisher of Yucatán Expat Life, which has been publishing news and information about the peninsula since 2012.