Looking for the best restaurants in Campeche? Look no further. This guide has been written by a local and showcases some of the best places to sample traditional regional food in the city.
Best Restaurants in Campeche
Campeche is the least visited state in the Yucatan tri-state peninsula – an area made up of Campeche, Quintana Roo, and the Yucatan state. Campeche City is a wonderful off-the-beaten-path Mexico travel destination to spend a long weekend and there are plenty of things to do here to keep you occupied.
The food in this part of Mexico is distinctly different from that in other parts of the country and you will likely find that it is nothing like the Mexican food that you have tried before. Many dishes in this region are pre-Hispanic.
This means that they predate the Spanish colonization of Mexico and many recipes that are used today are the same ones that were used by the Ancient Maya centuries ago! There are also a number of delicacies specific to Campeche city itself. Many of these utilize seafood, on account of the city’s coastal location.
A selection of the best restaurants in Campeche is detailed below for your consideration. Some of these restaurants focus on regional cuisine, while others serve general Mexican food.
Where: C. 59 1, Zona Centro, 24000 Campeche
Calle 59 is one of Campeche’s most bustling, pedestrianized streets. By day, you will just see a couple of well-heeled locals here hanging out and sipping cappuccinos beneath cabanas.
However, it is by nightfall that the street really comes to life. All of the local bars and restaurants set out tables and chairs in the center of the street, while salsa and banda music blares out from the various eateries, and you are spoiled for choice in terms of what kind of international cuisine you can try.
Among all of the options though, there is one place that stands out from the crowd: Aduana Vasconcelos. The restaurant prides itself on its sumptuous Campeche and Yucatecan recipes that are cooked to perfection using ancient cooking methods and local ingredients.
Considering the city’s seafront location, it may not come as a surprise that seafood plays a very prominent role in Campeche food culture. If you want to sample some of the fish dishes that are native to this part of Mexico, you cannot go wrong with the ajillo camarones.
These are local shrimps that are sauteed with chili, garlic, olive oil, and white wine. If seafood isn’t your thing, opt for the cochinita pibil.
If there were a regional dish of the Yucatan peninsula, this would be it. The dish is made by marinating pork with achiote, orange, and herbs, wrapping it in banana leaves, and then slow cooking it overnight in an underground oven known as a pib.
One of the great things about dining at Aduana Vasconcelos is that they also offer charcuterie-board style entrees so that you and your dining companions can sample multiple different local dishes at once. Wash it all down with an exquisite mezcal cocktail.
La Casa de Las Mascaras
Where: C. Coahuila 104 B, Barrio de Sta Ana, 24050
The Casa de Las Mascaras is a charming breakfast and brunch spot that sits beside the Parque de Santa Ana. It is found just south of the historic neighborhood of central Campeche but it is well worth the short walk to get to.
It is perhaps for this reason that the eatery is frequented solely by Campeche residents, rather than tourists. You will find all of the classic Mexican breakfast dishes here – different variations of eggs, chilaquiles rojo or verde, etc.
The chilaquiles rojos are always a good choice. In case you have never eaten chilaquiles before, these are torn-up tortillas that are fried and then slathered in tasty homemade tomato salsa with chicken, cream, and Oaxaca cheese.
To have breakfast the Mexican way, order a coffee, a pan dulce, and a fruit platter alongside your main dish. Pan dulces are Mexican sweet bread – sort of like the Mexico alternative to having a breakfast croissant with your cappuccino.
Vanilla and chocolate conchas are particularly popular. A selection of coffees, agua frescas, and other Mexican drinks can be ordered to enjoy alongside your meal.
The name “La Casa de Las Mascaras” translates to mean “the house of the masks”. As the name suggests, all of the walls of this little eatery are decorated with vibrant, colorful traditional masks.
There are also many colorful art pieces and sculptures on display that have been produced by local artists. Many of them are available for purchase. The atmosphere is lovely and the service is friendly and incomparable.
Casa Vieja del Rio
Where: Calle 10 No.319 Altos, Zona Centro
For the best dining views in town, head to Casa Vieja del Rio. This eclectic eatery is located on the second story of a building in the city’s Central Square, overlooking the Zocalo.
The entrance to the restaurant is not obvious and you could quite easily walk straight past it if you didn’t specifically know it was there. Look out for a narrow, rickety old wooden staircase that you can access from the road. Casa Vieja del Rio awaits at the top.
Opt to dine outside on the balcony for incredible views of the Campeche cathedral. The ambiance is particularly beautiful if you stop by at sunset when the sky is illuminated in shades of pink and orange.
If you prefer to dine in the comfort of the aircon, the inside seating area is just as charming and is decorated with all manner of eclectic antiques, mismatched chairs, and obscure artworks. The waiters will happily tell you the history of the building which, at one point, was Campeche’s very first hotel and all manner of Mexican celebrities stayed here.
The menu boasts traditional Mexican cuisine. Think fajitas, tacos, etc.
La Maria Cocina Peninsular
Where: Calle 8 173, Zona Centro, 24000 Campeche
La Maria Cocina Peninsular is one of the best restaurants in Campeche to stop by, particularly if you enjoy fine dining. This gorgeous eatery is housed inside an old colonial building that boasts tall ceilings, ornate fixtures, and azulejo tile flooring. It has been lovingly restored to its former glory and provides a wonderful setting for a romantic meal with your partner or travel buddies.
Most of the dishes here are regional specialties that have been elevated or prepared with a modern twist. The resident chefs also take advantage of Campeche’s location next to the sea to recreate seafood delicacies that originate from other parts of Mexico.
For instance, shrimp aguachile from Sinaloa. If you want to indulge in a Campeche specialty dish, try the coconut shrimp. Vegan and vegetarian options are also available on the menu here.
Where: Calle 8 267, Zona Centro, 24000 Campeche
Marganzo is a local favorite place that is always bustling with life, whatever time of day you happen to stop by. This is by no means a gentrified or touristic restaurant and you will see a lot of Campeche residents coming here for dinner after they finish work.
Housed inside a traditional building, the decor is bright and bold and the servers wear traditional Yucatecan dresses. You will often find live mariachi and Mexican trio musicians performing here as you dine.
The menu focuses on Campeche and Yucatecan specialties, particularly seafood delicacies. The quesadilla de jaiba (blue crab quesadillas) and the dogfish bread are entrees that are not to be missed.
Hacienda Puerto de Campeche
Where: Calle 59. 71 Por 16 & 18, 24000 Campeche
If you want to dine in a gorgeous, elaborate setting fit for a King or Queen, treat yourself to dinner at the Hacienda Puerto de Campeche restaurant. This grand 17th-century hacienda has been lovingly restored to its former glory.
Today, it houses a luxury hotel, although anyone is permitted to dine at the on-site restaurant. (Reservations are recommended, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights as it does get busy. Just call ahead earlier that same day!) There is simply no better setting for a romantic meal or a special occasion.
The hotel’s La Guardia restaurant is located on the second floor of the property, offering incredible rooftop views of Campeche. Both regional and international options feature on the menu and you can stop by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
There is an extensive wine list available and your waiter can recommend the perfect pairing for your meal from hundreds of options. Alternatively, treat yourself to bespoke cocktails prepared by expert in-house mixologists that utilize local herbs, fruits, tequilas, and mezcals.
Xtabay Taberna & Restaurant
Where: C. 59 No. 34, Zona Centro, 24000 Campeche
Xtabay Taberna & Restaurante is a restaurant and brewpub situated right in the heart of old-town Campeche. It is popular among locals and tourists alike.
This laidback, casual place serves a diverse selection of craft beers that can be fun to try while waiting for your meal. The waiters and bartenders can tell you about the different brewers and if you want to sample a few different varieties, you can order a selection of small tasters.
The food here is essentially bar food with a Mexican twist. So, this is the place to come to if you want a change from Mexican food or you just want to grab a light bite.
Various tacos, fajitas, and Tex-Mex chili dishes are available, as is an extensive selection of burgers with all manner of weird and wonderful toppings. For something delicious and completely unique, order a portion of the crazy nachos to share on the table.
These are nachos with flank steak marinated in beer, accompanied by beans, jalapeños au gratin, and cheese. Yum!
Have you traveled to Campeche or other places in the Yucatan peninsula? What did you think? Did you discover any other great Campeche restaurants that are not on this list?
If you are planning a trip to Southern Mexico for the first time, you might also enjoy this article on safety in Campeche.
Enjoy exploring Mexico! Buen viaje! XO