Here is our list of restaurants and resources in Mérida and at the beach for anyone craving a taste of Thanksgiving.
Turkey and all the trimmings is hard for U.S. and Canadian expats and snowbirds to do without the fourth Thursday in November. Many nationals, as well, have come to enjoy the stuffing, sweet-potato casserole and pumpkin pie in the fall. And restaurants and supermarkets are catching on.
So here again is our Thanksgiving Dining Guide, with apologies to our Canadian readers who celebrate Thanksgiving the second Monday in October — which is before the snowbirds arrive.
For expats cooking at home for Turkey Day, ingredients such as canned pumpkin pie filling and stove-top-style stuffing mix are getting easier to find in the supermarkets. Sweet potatoes were spotted at Mega Los Balcones and its sister store, Comercial Mexicana Gran Plaza. Fresh cranberries are rare, but prepared cranberry sauce was recently found at Costco, which had also defrosted Butterballs in the poultry case. And Pascadeli is also a haven for foods that are common north of the border, but hard to find here.
The cook doesn’t have to have an oven large enough for a turkey. Prepare your own sides, and get a whole smoked bird from Momacoa, a barbecue restaurant at Calle 27 at 48, Col. Cordemex. Order before Monday, Nov. 20, with 50 percent down; 11 lbs/900 pesos; 22 lbs/1,700 pesos; 999-297-7460. Also, at Bistro Cultural (map), the turkey is “to go” only. One roasted, stuffed turkey and garnishes — enough to feed 15 — is packaged to take home for 1,800 pesos. Call by Monday and leave a 50 percent deposit. Call 999-923-2013 or message on Facebook. If you’re taking home a bird to roast in your own oven, one tipster on social media recommended an early-day trip to Mercado Miguel Hidalgo Chuburna.
For those who prefer to dine out on Nov. 23, we surveyed over 50 area restaurants and got the following responses from the ones offering Thanksgiving meals. 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.
Most restaurants either suggest or require reservations.
Hennessy’s Irish Pub, Paseo de Montejo
Hennessy’s Irish Pub (map) is an expat favorite for traditional Thanksgiving dinner and all the trimmings. This year, the package (295 pesos) begins with mushroom soup followed by a turkey plate with trimmings and pumpkin pie, or just a turkey plate for 195 pesos. The meal is available all day from noon to midnight. This year, the kitchen is roasting whole turkeys, not just the breast, so dark meat is also available.
Paseo Montejo No. 486A x 41 y 43, Mérida; 999-923-8993
Oliva Enoteca, Santa Ana
The popular Italian restaurant, which seems to have led a small restaurant boom in its neighborhood, is serving Thanksgiving turkey, rosemary mashed potatoes,
prosciutto-wrapped green beans, gravy and corn bread. Choice of white or dark meat or a little of both, while available, for 350 pesos. Plus, family-style sides: Roasted beets and sour cream, 95 pesos; cheddar mac and cheese with crispy Parmesan, 140 pesos; roasted butternut squash and sage, 120 pesos; and creamed spinach and chard, 95 pesos. For dessert, a slight Italian twist: There’s Mascarpone cream on the pumpkin pie, 120 pesos.
Calle 47, corner with 54, Mérida; Reservations: 999-260-1568
Hyatt Regency, Peregrina Bistro
Hyatt Regency Mérida (map) offers perhaps the largest buffet in Mérida at Peregrina Bistro, which is open from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. for 365 pesos. Turkey carved to order; drinks are extra. A Kids Club playroom keeps fidgety youngsters occupied. Live music. Call ahead. In 2016, the buffet sold out the day before.
Calle 60 at Avenida Colón, Hotel Zone, Mérida; Reservations: 999-942-1227
Amuza Social Food
Also off the Hyatt lobby is Amuza Social Food, an upscale Latin American small-plates restaurant, which on Thanksgiving offers a buffet at 350 pesos for adults, 175 pesos for kids, from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m. Price includes aguas frescas, but not wine, beer or liquor. A deejay will provide music. Reserve ahead.
Calle 60 at Avenida Colón, Hotel Zone, Mérida; Reservations: 999-942-1234
Fiesta Americana, Cafe Montejo
The Fiesta Americana (map) buffet is 295 pesos per person, 7 p.m. to midnight., and includes a glass of red or white wine. Reservations suggested.
Paseo de Montejo and Avenida Colon, Hotel Zone, Mérida; Reservations: 999-942-1111
Holiday Inn, La Arboleda
The Holiday Inn in the hotel zone (map) will offer various entrees, side dishes and desserts, including the traditional roast turkey. Adults, 355 pesos; children 5-12, 180 pesos, not including drinks, from 8 p.m. to midnight.
Avenida Colón at Paseo de Montejo, Hotel Zone, Mérida; 999-942-8800
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 with live piano music. Our staff went there last year, and we were not disappointed! Reservations strongly suggested; let them know ahead that you’ll be ordering turkey so they will have their kitchen stocked amply.
Calle 20 S/N. Comisaría Xcanatún. Km. 12 Carretera Mérida-Progreso, Mérida; 999-930-2140
Hacienda Santa Cruz: Canceled
After a big holiday debut in 2016, the Hacienda Santa Cruz (map) will not offer Thanksgiving Dinner this year. This historic destination has been rented for a private event.
Calle 86 S/N, Santa Cruz Palomeque, Mérida; Reservations: 999-254-0541
NEAR THE BEACH
Traditional turkey dinner at Barlovento (map) includes turkey, ham, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and a delicious homemade dessert, all for 250 pesos per person. Also, half-price drinks, and discounts on beers. 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
The Pa’Puli Steak and Wine House (map) offers a traditional Thanksgiving buffet. Expect ham, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, salad and pumpkin pie, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for 280 pesos per person, including one drink. Live jazz music from the Half Past Never Band, featuring the music of Larry Carlton, George Benson, John Scofield and Norah Jones.
Calle 80, between 33 and 35, Progreso; Reservations: 999-990-3425 or email@example.com
El Bull Pen Restaurant & Bar, Chelem
El Bull Pen (map) offers their annual community pot luck 5-10 p.m. A sign-up sheet ensures everyone doesn’t bring the same casserole of sweet potatoes with little marshmallows. Your dish should have portions for six to eight. Cash bar. Visit the events page.
Calle 19 x 128, Chelem, across from the baseball diamond and Taco Maya; 999-114-9595
Jim and Elke’s Place “Faces” (map) will serve turkey, ham, mashed potatoes with gravy, bean casserole, cranberry sauce and homemade dessert for 275 pesos per person, the same price as last year, starting at 5 p.m. Door opens at 4. Reservation required.
Calle 23, No. 66 at 48 and 50, Progreso; Reservations: 999-191-9510
La Barca Dunas Hotel, Chelem
Calle 21 #1049, Chelem; 999-199-5314
L’Adventure, Plaza Solare
Trendy L’Adventure, a nightclub that opened in August on the third floor of Plaza Solare, surprises us by offering stuffed turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, asparagus, coleslaw, pumpkin pie and rice pudding. Reservations required. $300 pesos per person, 5 p.m. to midnight.
Avenida Camera de Comercio 230, San Antonio Cucul, Merida; Reservations: 999-445-2210
Casa Hamaca/Xoco Loco Restaurant
Casa Hamaca Guesthouse/Xoco Loco Restaurant (map) mixes service with pot luck on the side. Botanas at 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, plus 50 pesos per person to help cover other expenses. Cash bar happy hour begins at 3; dinner at 4:30.
Casa Hamaca seeks donations for dispenses, 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; Reservations: 985-100-4270