Food On 47: A Guide to Mérida’s Gastronomic Corridor

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The city’s massive overhaul of Calle 47 has been dramatic. Traffic is one lane to fit café seating areas on the widened sidewalks. Underfoot, attractive brick and paving stones have replaced asphalt and concrete. Power lines have been buried underground, and where poles used to be, flower beds and trees line the road.

Of course, the real story of the Gastronomic Corridor is what’s inside the restaurants that today line these five now-celebrated blocks and surrounding streets. Some of Mérida’s best restaurants are concentrated right here. Here is but an amuse-bouche of what the neighborhood offers.

Casa Remate

The main floor of the El Remate complex was conceived through the lens of the traditional European brasserie while reflecting the Peninsula’s culinary heritage. Start the day with Motuleños en Cazuela with Longaniza sausage from Valladolid and return for pork belly en chilimole, slow-cooked for eight hours and served with a demi glacé of its own juices. See also: El Gato and La Terraza on the roof deck. Calle 47 486 x 56A, elrematedemontejo.mx, 999-900-4818

La Terraza

From under the stars on Casa Remate’s roof terrace, take in a sweeping view of the Paseo de Montejo while the sun sets in the west and fresh breezes travel from the north. The menu is diverse but leans heavily toward seafood, including an extensive raw bar. A festive cocktail bar runs along one side of the terrace, staffed with expert mixologists. Calle 47 486 x 56A, elrematedemontejo.mx, 999-900-4818

El Gato at the Remate in Mérida. Photo: Courtesy

El Gato

A high-class, low-key hideaway with a Raymond Chandler vibe atop the Remate restaurant and behind the rooftop bar. Cocktails lean toward mezcal and tequila, and a bar menu ranges from Escabeches Mixtos to black oysters. Calle 56 486A, IG: @elgato.mx, 999-900-4818

Pizza Neo

A wood-fired oven yields a variety of pizzas inspired by the busy kitchens of New York City, but using local ingredients. Castacán and arugula pizza, a white pie based on the flavors of a BLT, is a crowd-pleaser. Outside, they sell by the slice, bringing shades of Coney Island and the Jersey Shore to the Remate. Appetizers, entrees and cocktails are also on the menu. Calle 56 486A x 49 y 47, IG: @pizzaneo.mx, 999-445-4155

Trópico 56

Live music and colorful murals set up a beach bar vibe at this fun-loving restaurant. Come on Thursdays for karaoke. The menu is known best for seafood dishes such as pulpo, fish tacos, and ceviche. Recommended drinks include the Frozen Mezcalita Bloody Caesar and the Avocado Margarita. They also host a “no-cover weekly meetup” for expats. Calle 56A 425A x 49 y 47, IG:@tropico56mid, 999-757-1453

Baretto

This small café is known for its variety of croissants and other pastries and plates, such as crostini, avocado toast with poached egg, and panini with savory roast beef or a four-cheese mixture. But they’re perhaps best known for espresso, cafe latte and flat white coffees. Calle 47 478 x 54 y 56, IG: @baretto_mid, 999-912-6254

Marmalade 47

A friendly café noted for its broad menu, including its cinnamon rolls with sweet toppings, along with healthy alternatives, like the California Bowl. For lunch, the turkey club is piled amazingly high and the burgers are served with homemade buns. Calle 47 x 56 y 54, marmalade.mx, 999-303-6744

47th Street Piano Bar

Cozy speakeasy atmosphere — behind an unmarked door —where fancy cocktails and live piano music blend. The bar is an offshoot of the Yakuza Japanese restaurant next door, and a daring attempt to introduce the concept where others have failed. Seating is extremely limited. Calle 47 478 x 54 y 56, IG: @47streetmx, 999-343-0522

Yakuza

Elegant sushi bar that takes its craft seriously. Huge selection of hand rolls, nigiri, sashimi, and makis, plus side items such as crispy salmon tacos and beef carpaccio. For the true aficionado, splurge on the shavings of Wagyu A5 or the rib eye tataki with Brussels sprouts, truffle aioli and ponzu. Calle 47 478 x 54 y 56, IG: @yakuzamx, 999-700-1097

One Balance Healthy Food

Omelets, bowls, waffles and thick banana hotcakes are all exceptional at this plain, but earnest eatery. The emphasis is on less fat and more nutrition, but they don’t skimp on flavor. The chicken Caesar salad for lunch is a mainstay, when we can get it. Calle 54 431 x 47 y 49, IG: @onebalance.healthyfood, 999-193-5346

Pizzeria Oliva on Calle 54, near 47, in Mérida. Photo: Yucatán Magazine

Pizzeria Olivia

This new pizzeria, just a stone’s throw from its sibling, Oliva Enoteca, imports its “00” flour from Italy, and the pizza dough is fermented in-house for 48 hours for a nuanced flavor and texture (and we suspect improved digestion). Choose from 11 pies, from pepperoni to the Picante, with tomato, mozzarella, and soppressata, drizzled with honey and chile calabrese. The wine list is curated with reasonably priced bottles. More about Pizzeria Oliva. Calle 54 433 x 47 y 49, IG: @pizzeriaolivamid, 999-928-4332

Oliva Enoteca kicked off a neighborhood restaurant trend. Photo: Lee Steele / Yucatán Magazine

Oliva Enoteca

The first of the Gastronomic Corridor’s high-end restaurants started slow, a couple of blocks away, with a tiny pasta place that had lines out the door. Chef-owner Stefano Marcelletti was raised in Rome and that’s where his influence lies. Even the simplest pasta dishes are a revelation, but don’t overlook the fried calamari and the osso bucco. A stool at their bar is one of the most sought-after locations on the street after 8 p.m. Calle 47 x 54, olivamerida.com, 999-923-3081

Bendita Paleta

This “alta gelatería” is true to its name, with rooftop seating overlooking the busiest intersection on this “Restaurant Row.” The franchise restaurant chain serves gelato inherited from an Italian family recipe by way of an Argentine entrepreneur who came to Mexico 22 years ago, according to their website. This branch appears to be twinned with a Six convenience store. Calle 47 x 54. 999-924-3245

Hōmu 

Contemporary Japanese restaurant with “a Mexican fusion” and an elaborate presentation of everything from sushi to its miso soups with birria, chilmole, and tonkotsu ramen. To the rear is a series of wooden doors. One of them leads to a “secret” bar, Ignoto (@ignotomx), on Fridays (house sessions) and Saturdays (pop and reggaeton). Don’t tell anyone. Calle 47 464B x 52 y 54, IG: @homu.mid, 999-416-1657

Look for a colorful VW beetle parked in front of Rosa Mexicano in Mérida. Photo: Facebook

Rosa Mexicano

Look for the VW bug out front for a chill place to hang out with friends, especially if you can get a seat on the roof deck — a rarity on the block, so far (aside from Bendita Paleta). The menu is traditional Mexicano — tacos bistec, pollo, chuleta, longaniza, or campechano with papas fritas, nopales and cebollitas — and the service is friendly. Calle 47 464 x 52 y 54, IG: @rosamexicano.yuc, 999-558-6053

Micaela Mar y Leña

Diners may forget how extremely rare a raw bar was before Micaela. The place was an immediate hit for its seafood and meats cooked with the smoke of a wood-fired oven. Pulpo (octopus, if you dare) is a particular specialty here. Don’t miss the small cocktail bar to the right as you come in. Very festive if you can find a stool. More about Micaela Mar y Leña. Calle 47 458 x 52 y 54, IG: @micaelamarylena, 999-518-1702

Among restaurants on 47, Bar Vagón is the closest to La Plancha. Photo: Lee Steele / Yucatán Magazine

Bar Vagón

With just a handful of tables, a new tap room serves craft beer at the Hostik Hostal. Its name, Bar Vagón, is an allusion to the antique rail cars and the retired bar cars among them at Parque La Plancha, which is easily seen from the sidewalk. In the daytime, there’s no evidence of such a bar, but after 5 p.m., a garage door folds open, and there it is. On the small but well-rounded menu, botanas include cambray potatoes and ceviche de betabel (beets), plus paninis and spirits or cocktails. Calle 47 442 x 48 y 50. IG: @hostik_mx

Sandunga has ingredients shipped in weekly from Oaxaca to keep the menu authentic. Photo: Lee Steele / Yucatán Magazine

Sandunga 

Walk a bit from the fray toward La Plancha to find this gem from Chef/Owner Araceli Perez Quiroz, who learned to cook from her mother in Oaxaca. After culinary school and stints in Nectar and Oliva, her restaurant is revered for its homemade mole enchiladas and tlayuda de arrachera. What helps is her family ships authentic ingredients from her hometown every week. Even the corn that’s ground for the tortillas is sent from back home. Calle 47 #453 A 50 y 52, IG: @sandunga.mid, 999-561-8631

La Libertad

Another transplant from the north of the city, La Libertad is hugely popular for brunch and lunch, with a wide selection of crepes, waffles, hotcakes, omelets and everything else you’d expect. It is a popular place to take the parents, aunts, and uncles on a Sunday morning. Calle 47 459 x 52 y 54, IG: @lalibertad.db, 999-223-1541

Gin 47

Thriving in the land of mezcal and beer, this is Mérida’s first bar specializing in gin. Gin 47 Mixology & Kitchen opened in 2017 north of the Centro, but since early December has been pouring more than 60 gin brands on the Corredor Gastronómico. Of course, they have a full bar with all the standards, plus a comprehensive menu, including salads, tacos, and charcuterie. Calle 47 459 x 52 y 54, IG: @gin47mx, 999-241-5334

Ánima

Open-flame, farm-to-table barbecue from Kansas City’s Ted Habiger, who serves as Ánima’s executive chef. Super hip and casual, diners walk past the impressive outdoor hearth where house-smoked lamb, beef, and chicken are coaxed into robust, juicy bites. One big side dish surprise is the beets with avocado jocoque, pine nuts, dill, and organic tomatoes. Don’t miss the cocktail scene at the super lush El Viento Listening Bar up front. Calle 47 461 x 52 y 54, animaelviento.com, 999-960-3666

Catrín

This colorful, often boisterous cantina-themed restaurant rightly holds the claim to reinventing Mexican cuisine. Passion fruit ceviche, risotto, and braised pork were particularly popular with reviewers, who described the taco selection as innovative. Cocktail selections are equally creative and have been a hit with customers. Don’t miss the murals out back. Calle 47 463B x 52 y 54, catrin47.com, 999-518-1725

130 Grados Steakhouse

High-end steaks and sides are served in an intimate, upscale, yet casual, atmosphere. A new private dining room faces Calle 54. Cafe seating on the sidewalk. Plenty of non-beef choices. For dessert, a modern version of Flaming Baked Alaska starts with chocolate bread and walnut ice cream. Calle 47 465 x 52 y 54, 130grados.mx, 999-429-5398

Latte Quattro Sette

Literally, Milk 47, this Italian-inspired café is just what you’d expect from the owners of the Oliva restaurant group and Casa Lecanda, the boutique hotel next door. A chic, relaxing atmosphere with a large selection of Illy coffees and various teas, plus a wide array of baked goods. Fruit-and yogurt bowls and avocado toast round out the selection. Calle 47 475 x 54 y 56, @lattequattrosette, 999-924-8895

El Lucero

A classic Yucatecan restaurant with live music or a deejay, popular with families celebrating birthdays or anniversaries. Free appetizers fill the table soon after diners order their first bottles of Sol or Pacifico. Queso relleno and ceviche on a blue-corn tostada were particularly memorable on a recent visit. Calle 47 493 x 56, IG: @elluceromx, 999-924-8099

Taberna Montejo

Cozy dive bar with a game room (complete with Foosball and pool tables) reminiscent of the type of hangout we see in every college town north of the border — but with probably a better craft beer selection. Known for being friendly and unpretentious. Snacks get high marks, as well.
Calle 47 495 x 56 y 56A, FB: @tabernamontejo, 999-223-6396

Cafeteria Impala

At the base of the corridor is a standby that’s stood by since 1958. Cafeteria Impala packs them in for its diner-type food served under the glow of their iconic neon sign. One attraction is the view of cars circling around the Montejo monument that separates the Remate de Paseo de Montejo from the grand boulevard. Calle 56A 500 x 47 y 45, IG: @cafeteriaimpala, 999-923-8196

Carajillo Mérida

On the glorieta in front of the Montejo statue is a fast-growing national chain restaurant known for its “Instagrammable Burger,” presented tableside with a lava-flow of melted cheese. Run by celebrity chef Juan Arroyo, Carajillo values innovation along with showmanship. Calle 56A 497 x 45 y 47, IG: @carajillomerida, 999-429-4731

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