Latest update: 16 February 2024
One of the main reasons why I am such a fan of the Mexican town of Bacalar is the range of nice cafes and restaurants. There is so much choice here. My stomach and taste buds are having a blast! So let me share my restaurant tips with you.
Bote de leche – dinner
This is easily the best restaurant I’ve encountered on the Mexico coastline. You. Must. Go. Here. It starts with the service: incredibly friendly and helpful. The meal begins with a small salad from the house. The menu is written on a chalkboard, and when the chef hears that we want our piece of meat medium-rare, he comes straight to our table. If that’s what we like, we should order the filete. It is a bit more expensive, but we won’t regret it, he assures us. And he’s right. It’s divine. The wine at Bote de Leche is dirt cheap compared to, for example, restaurants in Tulum. The food is also very reasonably priced.
Enamora – breakfast, brunch, and coffee
Enamora is THE place for breakfast and brunch in Bacalar. The coffee is excellent, and all dishes on the menu are highly recommended. Try yogurt with granola, waffles, and good sandwiches. The menu is Swedish oriented (the owner is Swedish) and is supplemented daily with cakes and tarts. Enamora has a relaxed coffee café atmosphere, also in the outdoor area. Take a sheltered seat under the characteristic old trees.
La Piña – breakfast, lunch, and dinner
A huge garden is hidden behind a seemingly small entrance. One where you can go for delicious food both during the day and in the evening. Most of the ingredients are sourced locally. The menu is Mexican, with successful forays into pizzas and delicious hummus. Vegetarians and vegans can also indulge at La Piña: there is much choice.
El Manatí – all day long
El Manatí (the manatee) is a restaurant, shop, and gallery. You will mainly find products and art from local entrepreneurs and artists in the shop and gallery. You might find something unique here if you’re looking for a souvenir. At the back is a tropical garden that you can visit from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. El Manatí also offers many vegetarian options. So expect a lot of options on the menu. Maybe a little too much, so the quality of the breakfast is just okay, but not wow. When I get there, the coffee machine is unfortunately broken. However, the setting makes up for this completely.
Mango y Chile – lunch and dinner
At Mango y Chile, you can eat the tastiest vegetarian and vegan burgers. Everything is plant-based. It is not a restaurant for a romantic dinner but more for a quick meal. You order at the counter and then sit at one of the tables on the veranda. A burger and a view of Lake Bacalar, what more could you want?
La Playita – all-day
At La Playita, you basically don’t have to leave, ever. You can swim in the lake, eat well and chill in a hammock. It’s not the cheapest place in Bacalar, but you also pay for the location. And that sure is great: you can jump into the lake, and the restaurant area has a real jungle vibe. The service is a bit slow, but hey… you’re on vacation, take your time!
Los Aluxes – breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Check the photos with #losaluxes on Instagram. You will only see bright blue water, relaxing people, the sun, nice chill spots by the water, and delicious cocktails. Oh, and swings in the water. The ideal Instagram spot. Of course, I manage to go to Los Aluxes when a downpour breaks out. So my plan to swing in the water and finally become an influencer on Instagram is canceled. That forces me to have a bite to eat in the restaurant. Quite pricey but very tasty. By the way, you must spend at least 200 pesos to use the facilities.
Banana Go – lunch and snack
Banana Go is a popular food truck with ample seating. The picnic tables invite you to join other people and strike up a conversation. The menu includes burgers and banana rolls: a deep-fried roll filled with chicken or fish, for example. The price is competitive, and the owner is extremely enthusiastic. Update 2023: the food truck has been ‘temporarily closed’ for a while. Unclear if it’ll open again.
Café café – coffee
Need caffeine? Then make an emergency stop at the coffee truck Café Café on the square, open from Monday to Saturday from early to late. Whether you want an americano, cappuccino, latte, or macchiato: you’ve come to the right place here.
Update 2023: I’m not sure if this coffee truck still exists.
So much to eat and so little time! 😉
Are you also looking for a nice place to sleep? Check out my ho(s)tel tips in Bacalar.
Or do you still need to be convinced to visit Bacalar? Then read the 9 reasons why you want to go there.
More Mexico inspiration?
Helpful links for your Mexico trip
- Accommodation. All-time favorite: Booking.com. Find hostels via Hostelworld.
- Activities. You book the best tours and activities with GetYourGuide and Viator. You could also try WithLocals. ‘Free’ walking tours are available at GuruWalk. And for bike tours, try Baja Bikes.
- Attractions and museums. Get a 5% discount on museums and attractions at Tiqets with the coupon code KIMOPREIS22.
- Bus. Book bus trips in Mexico with Busbud or 12Go.
- Car rental. My go-to car rental companies are EasyTerra and Sunny Cars as they have all-inclusive / worry-free offers. If you want more options, compare prices at Discover Cars.
- Flights. Compare all your options! Definitely check out Momondo, Skyscanner, and Kiwi.
- Money. Your bank cards may not get accepted everywhere. You could opt for a Revolut card as an additional card when you travel.
- Package deals. Rather go on a catered trip? You have many options! For the Dutch, try ANWB vakanties, Tui or Sawadee, or maybe you can find a sweet deal at Vakantie Discounter or D-reizen?
- SIM card. Beware of unexpectedly high calling and internet costs. Buy a local SIM card when you arrive, or arrange one online via Airalo.
- Travel gear. Buy your gear at Bever or Decathlon, or simply at Bol.com.
- Travel guides. I love the practical travel guides from Lonely Planet, buy them at Bol.com or Amazon.
- Visum. Make sure you have the right documentation to travel to Mexico. iVisa can help you out.
- Yoga retreat. Or: try a yoga retreat in Mexico!
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First published: April 2018. The article has been updated since.