What’s an American to do when in Yucatán on American Thanksgiving? Here is our 2014 annual guide
Turkey is a common food every day in Yucatán, but if you want your traditional trimmings, you do have a few options. All of them include opportunities to make new friends!
This is a growing, crowdsourced list to be constantly updated. Please send your tips and suggestions!
Let’s start at the Hotel Zone and work our way out to the Gulf Coast, and then east to Valladolid.
Peregrina Bistro, Hyatt
Among expats in Mérida, the Thanksgiving with the most buzz is the Hyatt. The restaurant to the left of the lobby, Peregrina Bistro, is known for their buffet any day of the week, but their Thanksgiving spread is locally famous.
The buffet is enormous, with everything you ever had for Turkey Day back home, with at least seven whole birds rolled out and carved to order. Plus its usual offerings of steak, salmon, chicken, and pork, a salad bar, bread bar and cheese bar, plus, of course, the dessert bar.
Dinner is from 7 p.m. to midnight for $290 pesos per person. A glass of Champagne is included. The adjacent Kids Club area is available during the feast.
If you’re feeling sociable, real estate agent Jim Mann is once again organizing a group for the first seating. The restaurant has arranged a special, separate section, for a convivial atmosphere. This is something Jim’s been doing for the last 10 years. Last year, there were 57 people. As of this writing, there are already 50 people signed up. Call 999 244 0065 or email email@example.com to reserve.
Calle 60 at Colón, Hotel Zone, Mérida; call +52 999 942 1234
Café Montejo, Fiesta Americana
Off the lobby, the Café Montejo Restaurant is giving the Hyatt a run for their money. This elaborate buffet is $285, 7 p.m. to 11:30 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.
At the Paseo de Montejo and Avenida Colon, Hotel Zone, Mérida; call +52 999 942 1111
La Arboleda, Holiday Inn
The La Arboleda Bistro & Grill has a Thanksgiving buffet starting at 8 p.m. Salad bar with potato salad and tender baby corn, Italian salad ith pumpkin and marinated artichoke, spinach salad with strawberries and goat cheese, among others. Carving a traditional stuffed turkey, or top sirloin with Dijon mustard, or marinated pork with chile and plums. Cranberry sauce, or mushrooms with brandy or Salsa Jack Daniels. Pumpkin cheesecake and many other pastries. 305 pesos per person, including tax, servicio and a welcome drink.
(Update: We just heard they are completely booked up for Thanksgiving, but it’s interesting to see that Soma has moved from Chelem to the city proper.)
Soma has a new location, and it’s nowhere near the beach, so take note of the new address. They are advertising a five-course Thanksgiving brunch, noon and 1:30 p.m. seating only, at 249 pesos including non-alcoholic beverages. Bar service additional. Reservations required. See their Facebook page for details or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calle 21 #375 x 60 y 12 Fracc. Malaga, Mérida; call +52 999 195 6474
Casa de Piedra, Hacienda Xcanatún
Owner Cristina Baker tells us that roast turkey will be served on Thursday and Friday with traditional stuffing and gravy, and green beans with slivered almonds. Dessert is apple pie. The menu is à la carte at both lunch and dinner: soup, $85 pesos; turkey dinner, $290 pesos; apple pie with ice cream or whipped cream, $90 pesos. The elegant Casa de Piedra (Stone House) restaurant is in the restored powerhouse of this 18th-century hacienda, 15 minutes from the Centro Histórico.
Calle 20 S/N. Comisaría Xcanatún. Km. 12 Carretera Mérida-Progreso, Mérida; call +52 999 930 2140
El Bull Pen
It’s potluck at El Bull Pen, Chelem. You are invited to bring your favorite dish with enough portions for six to eight others. No dinner service will be offered, but there is a cash bar. Doors open at 5 with dinner at 6 p.m. Register here.
One block off the beach, across from the baseball diamond and across from Taco Maya in Chelem. No phone number available.
It’s too late to book Thanksgiving at this Texas barbecue and Yucateca-style seafood hotspot. But all is not lost. You can still join them for NFL football and the tailgate buffet, and maintain that all-American spirit!
Lizard Joes’s Calle 17 #75 x 24 y 26, Chelem; U.S. phone: 830 443 4597; local cellphone: +52 999 210 7826
La Casa Del Faro
It’s an all-day party with NFL on TV and drink specials, and their first annual horseshoe-throwing contest. A buffet with turkey served traditional, Mexican and deep fried. Tickets now on sale at La Casa Del Faro: 375 pesos per person, $425 at the door.
“Jim and Elke’s Place” is serving turkey, ham, mashed potatoes with gravy, vegetable casserole, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce and dessert for 250 pesos per person starting at 6 p.m. Reservation required.
“Tradicional Thanksgiving Dinner” for 200 pesos. Check their Facebook page for details.
A block from the beach on Calle 40, Progreso; call +52 969 935 1129
Why not an Irish Pub in Yucatán, Mexico, to celebrate American Thanksgiving? Hennessy’s is here for you.
There’s a mushroom soup to start, then traditional turkey with stuffing, followed by pumpkin pie. Just 250 pesos per person after 1 p.m. Please reserve.
Valladolid’s Casa Hamaca guesthouse is hosting Thanksgiving dinner at its Xoco Loco Palapa. Social hour 3-4 p.m., buffet at 4 p.m. Turkey, pork, pasta, and paper goods will be provided, and guests are asked to bring a side dish, relish tray or dessert to share with eight to 10 people. Cash bar for water and soda (10 pesos); beer (20); wine, Margarita, rum, vodka or whiskey (40); Bombay gin (50), bottle of wine (150) or a bottle setup of rum or vodka (300).