Quintana Roo, in addition to natural attractions, is also a reference for delicious typical and traditional dishes; In short, good gastronomy.
Let’s go, then, to taste typical food from Quintana Roo, coming from its incomparable kitchens.
1. Tikin-xic fish
To start our list, we have this exquisite dish that you can savor when you visit Isla Mujeres. This is a delicious fish prepared with a condiment based on achiote.
It is very common for the various dishes prepared in Quintana Roo to have a characteristic red color. This is due to the use of achiote in its preparations.
In the case of tikin-xic fish, in addition to having achiote in its seasoning for a special taste and color, it is placed in banana leaves and some coconut shells that serve as a wrap and is cooked over wood embers.
Do not stop enjoying this delicious dish when you go for a walk to Quintana Roo; you will be very satisfied.
2. Cabbage Makum
This is a typical food from Quintana Roo, although it is not very well known or popular. It is a dish made with chopped pork loin that is marinated in a marinade made with orange juice. The pork meat is seasoned with oregano, pepper and cumin.
To make it, take a pot and place the cut cabbage or cabbage leaves in layers and place the meat on top along with sliced onions and tomatoes; This is how several layers are made. Then cover the pot and cook over low heat until ready.
When you go to this Mexican state, be sure to try the Quintana Roo cabbage makum.
We can say that pipián is a typical food of many Mexican regions. However, each site gives it its own characteristics.
In all the places where pipián is made, roasted and ground pumpkin seeds are used to make a sauce used to accompany fish, chicken or pork.
The pipian from Quintana Roo, which is also known as “oni sikil”, dates back to ancient Mayan times.
On some occasions, tender plums are added to the sauce and various types of meat are accompanied, such as venison belly, fish, pork…
4. Snail ceviche
Another of the exquisite typical foods of Quintana Roo is the tasty ceviche prepared with snail meat.
This is a meal, made from the raw meat of this tasty mollusk; To do this, the snail meat is first hit with a mallet to soften it and then lemon juice is added so that it “cooks” in it.
Onion is added to the snail meat in lemon, preferably red, tomatoes and habanero chili to taste; all this chopped into small pieces.
If you are in Quintana Roo and they offer you to taste the Chetumal-style ceviche, they will be talking about the wonderful snail ceviche.
5. “Quintanorroense” enchiladas
One of the tastiest typical foods of Quintana Roo that you can taste when you visit this beautiful state, are the Quintana Roo enchiladas.
For these delicious enchiladas, the corn tortillas are lightly fried in lard. After this, they are bathed in a sauce prepared with ancho chili, guajillo chili, peanuts and almonds.
As a filling, chicken is placed on them and, at the time of serving, cheese and cream are added, as is traditional in other states of Mexico.
Among the typical foods of Quintana Roo, are the so-called panuchos, very traditional and popular throughout the Yucatan peninsula.
Panuchos consist of a fried corn tortilla filled with beans. This tortilla is served accompanied by lettuce and chicken or turkey that has been seasoned with the so-called “recado colorado”, a dressing prepared with achiote, chili and pipián.
The lettuce is placed on the tortilla, then the chicken or turkey and, on top, carrots, tomatoes, avocado and onion pickled with acid orange juice and salt.
Panuchos are, without a doubt, the typical food of Quintana Roo and its creation is shared with Yucatan, where it can be savored in any local or restaurant.
Another of the extraordinary typical foods of Quintana Roo are the papadzules. This dish consists of a style of enchiladas that are prepared with a sauce of green pumpkin seeds and epazote.
For the filling of this type of tortillas, a boiled egg is used and a sauce made with habanero chili and tomatoes is placed on top.
In addition to the egg filling, they can be filled with chicken, pork, or cheese.
Do not forget to savor the unique papadzules when you go to Quintana Roo; You will be pleasantly surprised and very satisfied.
8. Dogfish empanadas
Every tourist who arrives at the beaches of Quintana Roo must try the delicious empanadas de cazón, one of the typical foods of this state.
They are prepared with a corn dough, which is extended to place in its center a shredded dogfish stew, prepared with tomatoes, onion and epazote; They are folded in half to close them and they are fried in plenty of very hot oil until they are well toasted.
9. Stuffed cheese
There are those who say that the extraordinary stuffed cheese comes from the Yucatan Peninsula. However, there is no certainty about this.
There are other opinions that establish that this typical food from Quintana Roo was created in Chetumal, since the first Dutch cheeses that arrived from Belize arrived at this place, as contraband.
To prepare this unique dish, you must have a round cheese from which the center is removed to place, in its place, a stew or hash prepared with pork, capers, raisins, some strawberries and spices.
10. Cochinita pibil
One of the most delicious typical foods of Quintana Roo is the cochinita pibil. It is prepared with tender pork, orange, garlic, cumin, achiote, pepper, earnut and banana leaves.
The first thing that is done to prepare this dish is to cook the cochinita to be able to peel it more easily. Then some slices of meat are taken and varnished with orange juice and salt, leaving them to rest for a period of 24 hours.
When this time has passed, the other seasonings are added to the meat slices. The seasoned meat is placed on top of banana leaves and wrapped to cook in the oven for three hours.
11. King Crab
The seafood in Quintana Roo is one of the best in Mexico and the extraordinary king crabs come from the waters of the Mexican Caribbean.
To prepare this dish, one of the typical foods of Quintana Roo, fresh crabs are taken and steamed. This results in a delicacy for the palate due to the soft texture of the meat, its unique and wonderful flavor.
When you visit Quintana Roo take the opportunity to try the king crab, because you will not find it anywhere else in the Mexican Republic.
12. Chetumalian Kibis
This typical food from Quintana Roo has some background in Arab food, since it is made with a typical ingredient of Arab cuisine, ground wheat.
The first thing that is done is to soak the ground wheat, and then combine it with the other ingredients, which are: ground meat, onion, garlic, tomato, eggs and powdered chicken broth.
After all this is well united, small square-shaped pancakes are assembled and fried in very hot oil. When golden, they are removed and served with a spicy sauce called Xnipec. Some people prefer them with slices of sour orange and habanero chili.
A real delight for the palate, these chetumaleña kibis are.
Another of the typical foods of Quintana Roo is this delicious, nutritious and restorative soup, which contains beef and some offal to make a broth with a unique and inimitable flavor.
It has pieces of beef, kidney, heart and liver. First, the meat, liver and heart are cooked in water, all cut into small pieces. Onion, garlic, peppercorns and salt are also added.
When these meats are ready, the kidney is cleaned and cut into slices, which has been macerating in lemon juice for two hours.
Next, the calf brains are added, after removing the membranes.
When everything has boiled enough and is well cooked, slices of lime without seeds are added.
When serving this broth, it is accompanied by pieces of toasted tortillas, lemon slices, roasted chilies and radishes with salt and vinegar.
We continue listing and trying typical foods from Quintana Roo, and now it’s time for a family delicacy, chirmole.
This dish consists of a stew whose preparation includes burnt red chilies, which are the base of the recipe.
The result is a preparation similar to mole, but thinner and more liquid, a little spicy but without reaching the extremes of itching left by the habanero chili.
15. Motuño eggs
Traditional food in the Yucatecan peninsula, it is also very popular and is one of the typical foods of Quintana Roo.
Motuleños eggs were born in Motul, Yucatan. They have a kind of tomato and chili sauce that gives them a unique and unmistakable flavor.
It is a side dish that is served at breakfast by placing two freshly grilled tortillas on a plate, on which two fried eggs, beans are placed, and everything is bathed with the tomato and chili sauce and grated or shredded cheese.
Among the typical foods of Quintana Roo, we have the salbutes. It is a dish to lick your fingers and when you try it, you will want more…
These are corn tortillas that are fried in butter so that they puff up a bit. Next, they are placed with chopped lettuce, tomato and onion slices, shredded turkey meat and pieces of avocado.
17. Weathered Shrimp Tacos
A delicious typical food from Quintana Roo is weathered shrimp tacos. A very special flavor, accompanied by a delicious and very cold chela.
To prepare this dish, the shrimp are battered by covering them with a mixture of flour and water and then fried in hot oil until golden brown.
Take a couple of fresh tortillas and put chopped lettuce on them. Then the weathered shrimp are placed and bathed with pico de gallo sauce, tomato sauce, dressing, guacamole and anything else that the diner wishes to add (such as onion or avocado).
This is one of the typical foods of Quintana Roo. It has roots in pre-Hispanic times. This makes it a very traditional and typical dish of the entire area of the Yucatan Peninsula.
It is popularly known as black filling, due to the peculiar color that the preparation acquires.
Two kinds of meat are used to make it: pork and chicken; turkey is sometimes used as a substitute for chicken meat and is added roasted and shredded to the preparation along with the broth in which it was made.
Pork meat is used to prepare the “but”. This is a kind of artisanal type of sausage or sausage made with ground pork, cut hard-boiled egg, tomato, bell pepper, black pepper, mint and raw egg.
19. Steak Huarache
A typical food from Quintana Roo, with a somewhat peculiar name, especially for tourists. The huarache is a type of footwear in Mexico and this dish is shaped like a huarache.
The base is prepared with corn dough, which is filled with beans, cheese, flank steak and sauce to taste.
20. Tuna Burger
This typical food from Quintana Roo originated in Playa del Carmen and today it is the delicacy that everyone wants to taste.
It consists of a tuna medallion, purple onion rings, lettuce and a secret dressing, which is the touch that makes this hamburger a special dish; all this put between two pieces of bread.
If you like fish, you should not miss the opportunity to eat a tasty tuna burger when you visit Quintana Roo, surely after you try it, you will eat it again.
21. Coconut Breaded Shrimp
This is an exotic and typical food from Quintana Roo. The coconut breaded shrimp are simply delicious. It is the perfect combination of the Caribbean, seafood and coconut.
To prepare it, take the already cleaned shrimp and pass them through beaten egg. Then they are coated with wheat flour or cornstarch and, finally, they are passed through grated coconut… Now they are fried in very hot oil until they are golden on all sides.
They are served alone or accompanied by lettuce, tomato and onion, with your favorite sauce or dressing…
22. Mixed grill
A typical food from Quintana Roo that reflects all the flavors in a single dish. It is ideal to share on a day at the beach and fun.
The mixed grill consists of placing quesadillas, flank steak, grilled chicken together on a plate, along with a delicious guacamole sauce.
There are those who put seafood, sausages and vegetables, all roasted, bathed in guacamole and enjoyed with a cold beer.
23. Chilaquiles with everything
Chilaquiles are one of the typical foods of Quintana Roo preferred by all. It is the ideal breakfast and perfect to start the day well.
To prepare them you need tortillas, tomatoes, onions, chiles, salt, pepper and some complement or dressing.
The most important thing is the preparation of the sauce. In this is the secret of some exquisite chilaquiles. Therefore, you have to work hard to have a very good sauce.
Once the sauce is ready and fried, the tortillas are added and the seasoning is added to taste. They are left cooking for as long as desired so that the tortillas are either crispy or, rather, soft.
Within the typical foods of Quintana Roo we make room for desserts. That is why this time we have the very sweet marshmallows in our selection.
They are very simple to make and are made very often at home, although you also have the option of buying them on any street.
The ingredients are very simple and easy to obtain: panela or sugar, water and lemon or sour orange juice.
The first thing to do is boil the panela or sugar with water and lemon juice. When it begins to have a paste texture, remove it from the heat and spread it out on a flat, previously oiled surface.
As soon as it is somewhat cool, proceed to knead the mixture, pulling and folding several times until it reaches the point, creamy and almost solid.
25. Cassava with honey
It is one of the typical desserts of Quintana Roo, although it can also be eaten as a sweet breakfast.
The preparation is very varied and depends on the place where it is done. In Quintana Roo, for example, cassava is cooked with water and when it is ready, it is bathed in honey or, if preferred, in a syrup prepared with sugar.
26. Butternut Squash
This typical dessert from the state of Quintana Roo is very simple to make and is recommended for children at home. That’s because this dish combines the sweetness of jam with the flavor and nutrients of pumpkin.
To prepare it, the pulp of the pumpkin, sugar or panela, a slice of cinnamon, lemon juice and grated lemon peel are required.
From one day to the next, leave the pumpkin pulp covered with the sugar, the lemon juice and zest, and the cinnamon stick. Then it is boiled until it has the consistency of jam. Later, it is left to cool and is ready to eat.
27. Cocoyol in syrup
This is another of the typical desserts of Quintana Roo. It consists of the fruit of a palm tree in the region placed in a piloncillo and cinnamon syrup.
Cook the cocoyoles in the syrup until it thickens. It can be eaten at any time of the year and anywhere in the state.
One of the typical drinks of Quintana Roo, with a great tradition for Mexicans in general. Its origins come from the Mayan culture, where it was offered to the gods to thank for a good harvest or ask for it to happen.
It is prepared by boiling corn in lime water until halfway through cooking the corn. At that time, a little honey is added to give it a sweet touch.
To serve and drink it, deep cups made of wood are used.
29. Riviera Maya Cocktail
It is a drink born in Quintana Roo, which is why it is one of its typical drinks.
A drink full of colors and joy, which combines the best of the flavors of the Riviera Maya region and the state of Quintana Roo.
It is prepared with two liquors: strawberry and melon. These are accompanied by orange juice and a little rum.
It is an ideal drink for warm evenings on the Riviera, while having a good time with friends.
A drink that has been gaining popularity throughout the country and, especially in Quintana Roo, is mezcal.
It is prepared from the leaves of the maguey plant, typical of Mexico. These stalks are cooked, ground and then left to ferment to finally achieve the liquor that – according to connoisseurs – should be drunk in “little kisses” and not shot type , because in this way you can appreciate all the flavors and nuances of the drink.
Typical dishes of Quintana Roo recipes
Tortillas, epazote, eggs, pumpkin seeds, tomatoes, habanero chili. These are the ingredients to make the popular papadzules.
The first thing to do is boil the epazote. Then, it is blended with the ground pumpkin seeds to obtain a sauce. The whole eggs are then cooked.
Then a sauce is prepared with the tomatoes and the habanero chili is added. When the sauce is ready, the tortillas are put into it.
They are removed and filled with chopped boiled egg, rolled up like a taco and covered with tomato sauce, epazote sauce and pumpkin seeds.
To prepare the snail ceviche, sea snails, lemon juice, red onion, habanero pepper, tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste are required.
The first thing is to take the meat extracted from the snail and hit it with a mallet to soften it. After this, it is cut into small pieces and put into lemon juice to “cook”:
When approximately one hour has elapsed, add the other small-chopped ingredients, the onion, the tomatoes and the chili, add salt and pepper and it is ready to serve.
Coconut Breaded Shrimp
The ingredients to make delicious coconut breaded shrimp are shrimp, salt, pepper, beaten egg, cornstarch, grated coconut, oil for frying.
Peel and clean the shrimp (you can leave the tail on), beat the egg and place a plate with cornstarch and another with grated coconut.
Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and first go through the cornstarch. Then they are bathed with the egg and, finally, they are passed through the grated coconut.
Once breaded in this way, they are fried in abundant hot oil until they are golden on all sides.
They can be served with lettuce leaves, tomato slices and onions, tomato sauce or some other dressing.
3 Typical Dishes of Quintana Roo
Among the typical and representative dishes of Quintana Roo, we can mention:
- Fish Tikin Xic
- Macum of Cabbage
Typical food of Quintana Roo panuchos
Among the most popular and favorite typical dishes of the people of Quintana Roo, are the delicious panuchos.
These are made up of a tortilla that is made a little thicker than the traditional one, since it is open to place a bean filling inside; before filling it, they are put to fry a little.
It is served with lettuce and shredded chicken or turkey stewed with “recado colorado” is placed on top of it. The recado colorado is a kind of paste resulting from combining achiote, pipián and chili.
In addition to lettuce, the panuchos are accompanied by carrots, tomato, avocado and pickled onions in sour orange and salt.
This is one of those delicious dishes that you must try whenever you wear Quintana Roo.
Undoubtedly, Quintana Roo is an excellent tourist destination to enjoy, whether you go for the landscapes, for the weather, for the typical clothing of Quintana Roo and, of course, for the flavors that this land offers you.
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- See here our definitive guide to Tulum, Quintana Roo
- Read our guide on the 12 best things to see and do in Bacalar, Quintana Roo
- See here our definitive guide to Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo – Magical Town