It does not matter if you are an experienced gourmet with a sophisticated taste for food or, simply, just someone who enjoys trying new flavors and textures, you will fall in love with Mexican cuisine!
It is not a random coincidence that Mexican cuisine was rewarded with the UNESCO World Heritage designation since 2010.
The complexity of this cuisine and its tasty regional peculiarities have elevated Mexican gastronomy to a true treasure of Humanity.
If you are going anywhere in the Yucatan Peninsula, you will have the chance to experience this type of food. In fact, Cancun and the Riviera Maya are ideal places to have a very diverse culinary experience. There you will find all the flavors of Mexican cuisine, both in the form of dishes and drinks. In Cancun and the Riviera Maya, you will also find the best Mexican drinks including its most emblematic spirits.
In order not to miss any of these delicious experiences, there are multiple food tours.
In this article we will tell you about the best food tours in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.
Going on a food tour in Cancun has many benefits for tourists who want to experience Mexican cuisine:
A food tour allows you to discover different venues carefully chosen by the guides. It is a true anthology of flavors.
It is common that in food tours, you will be allowed to spend some time with the chefs in charges of preparing delicious Mexican dishes. More than a tasting, these food tours are an authentic cultural exchange with culinary artists.
A food tour is also an opportunity to go behind the scenes of the dishes you are going to taste. Learn the traditional recipes of Mexico and surprise your friends with tasty dishes done by yourself when you get home.
The food tour in Cancun offers more than just a tasting, it is also an opportunity to learn more about the history and the facts behind the dishes you eat. A gourmet and exciting activity!
Going on a food tour in Cancun is the perfect opportunity to try as much food as you can during your stay in the Riviera Maya.
A food tour has the advantage of giving you the advice of a specialized guide. The latter will adapt the tour to your wishes and choose its route according to your tastes and your budget.
Now that we have showed the main benefits of booking a food tour in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, without further ado, here are the different culinary experiences that you should not miss!
Something that makes your mouth water!
There are many food tours that will help you discover the secrets of Mexican cuisine.
It's impossible to talk about a food tour in Mexico without mentioning the world star of Mexican street food: tacos!
A true symbol of Mexican cuisine, Tacos are such an important Mexican icon that there is a documentary series entirely about it: “The taco chronicles”. Caution to everyone who dare to watch it late at night! You might be want to run out of your house looking for the closest taco restaurant. Or maybe, you will want to book a flight to Mexico as soon as possible.
Taco tours are plentiful in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. On a tour of this type, you will be able to explore the city and the vast universe of tacos. That's right, you must be aware that not all tacos are the same, there are many of them, each with its own characteristics.
Going on a taco tour in Cancun will give you the chance to experience the diversity of this world-famous snack.
Try “cochinita pibil” tacos! They are an iconic recipe in the region of the Yucatan Peninsula. These tacos are done in small corn tortillas with pork marinated in a special sauce (“pibil”). Most of the times fluorescent pink onions and habanero peppers are added to these tacos. Beware, because it can be really spicy.
The art of Mexican street food isn't just about tacos (although they are absolutely delicious!). With the food tours available in Cancun you will realize that the diversity of Mexican cuisine goes much further.
Eating on the streets in Mexico is almost a lifestyle. If you had the opportunity to spend some time in any of the big Mexican cities, you would realize the wide diversity of flavors and options that you can discover in each area of them. From one food stand to another, there is always something new (the sauce, a condiment, the type of meat, etc.), even if they are selling the same type of food.
"Antojitos" are a fundamental part of Mexican food. This is the term commonly used to identify most of the dishes that are cooked on the Mexican streets. “Antojtos” are, to make a vague comparison, the Mexican fast food. The most common ingredient is corn, either in the form of a tortilla or directly in grain. Among these snacks, you will find the enchiladas, the sopes, the flautas, the pozole, the tostadas, the pambazos, etc.
On a food tour focused on antojitos you can try these delicious dishes while you walk the streets of Cancun. Imagine trying a “tamal” here, an “esquite” there; on the corner of another street, maybe a “barbacoa” soup or an empanada 😋
If you want to learn more about Mexican Antojitos, hurry up and book a Cancun Street Food Tour!
One of the best places to go on a food tour in Mexico is a market.
In Cancun, there are two markets that stand out due their tourist activity, Market 23 and Market 28. These are iconic places of Cancun city. Both markets were founded decades ago and have been a fundamental part of the history and evolution of Cancun.
In these markets you will find "cantinas". Cantinas are traditional Mexican restaurants where you can try different native dishes such as “pancita” (beef belly) soup, chilaquiles or tasty enchiladas. Cantinas are also famous because of their wide diversity of drinks.
Keep in mind that the most authentic Mexican cuisine can be found in the markets.
Going on a food tour in the markets in Cancun is the guarantee of a 100% authentic experience of Mexican street food.
Mexican markets are excellent places to taste local specialties.
If you go to Merida, in the market at the zocalo (central square) of the city you will find the best lime soup in the entire Yucatan Peninsula.
For those who enjoy tasting alcoholic beverages, there are also gastronomic tours especially focused on Mexican artisanal drinks.
Going on a gastronomic tour in Cancun to taste Mexican liquors and spirits is an experience that you will surely remember forever. In addition, you will have the opportunity to share this experience when you get home, because on most of these tours you can also buy bottles of everything you are drinking.
If you come to spend your vacation in the Mexican Caribbean, tasting tequila is almost a must during your stay in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.
Although tequila is not produced in Cancun, there are many places to taste the wide variety of styles and brands of this famous Mexican agave drink.
This type of gastronomic tour is a great opportunity to learn more about this world-famous spirit: understand its origin and how it is produced as well as learning to tasting and enjoy it properly, not everything is about making "tequila shots" and drinking it just to get wasted. It is a drink you really can enjoy if you take the time to learn about it.
On a tequila tour, you will visit extraordinary places such as distilleries, one of the most famous is the Tequila Factory. There you will see a demonstration of the manufacturing process, following every step of tequila production: from the agave harvest until it reaches your hands as a drink.
The other Mexican drink that you must try during your Cancun vacation is mezcal.
If you want to learn more about this Mexican drink, a gastronomic tour focused on mezcal is the ideal option.
Mezcal is a drink with a strong flavor, but with a little time you will learn to taste and enjoy it.
To better understand the complex flavor of mezcal, on this tour you will visit a factory of this drink where you will be shown everything about its production process. In addition, you will learn the differences it has with tequila.
The final stop of the tour will be at a “mezcaleria” to do the tasting. There you will also have the opportunity to discover the subtle aromas of mezcal.
Our advice to fully appreciate a mezcal:
It is not often to hear about Mexican craft beers. However, Mexico has countless breweries and micro-breweries where the highest quality craft beers are produced.
If you want to go on a gastronomic tour in Cancun to try Mexican beers, you will discover beers that will make you forget those you already know, especially light beers.
On this tour, you will visit various trendy breweries and bars.
these alcohol tasting tours usually include food in the form of snacks or other Mexican specialties to prevent the party from becoming a headache.
If you are particularly interested in the vast world of Mexican gastronomy and want a more intimate dining experience, we highly recommend that you choose a cooking class.
There are all kinds of cooking classes among the gastronomic activities available in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Here are some examples:
What better way to relate to Mexican food than to learn how to cook a local dish with a Mexican chef.
This gastronomic activity will be an opportunity for you to know all the secrets of Mexican cuisine. You will learn to prepare a recipe under the supervision of a chef.
A cooking class with a Mexican chef is also an opportunity to share a friendly moment with a gastronomic professional who will teach you the “tips” of the great chefs.
Cooking can be learned alongside professionals but it can also be learned from the common people, the amateurs.
A cooking class with a Mexican family is a very personal experience.
On this gastronomic tour, native families welcome you to their houses to share with you an event of their daily life: meal time. This activity is about sharing a moment in which you can talk with members of a local family about the traditions of Mexican food.
The cooking class with a Mexican family is an authentic experience of daily life in Mexico. In this activity, everyone brings a bit of their traditions and culture to the table.
The real “plus” of this gastronomic tour is sharing a universal knowledge: the art of eating and of being together in the preparation of food. It is a unique experience, reserved for an exclusive number of tourists.
Among the culinary activities and gastronomic tours that you will find in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, a cooking class in a Mayan community is probably the most authentic experience you can live.
The cooking class by the Mayan people is offered by a very small number of communities. Few are the tourists who will have the opportunity to participate in this unique activity.
This activity is about sharing with the direct descendants of the ancient Mayan civilization, it is about being part of the transmission of their ancestral knowledge and traditions.
Participants on this tour assist on the cooking process, learn how to make tortillas by hand, and observe how the dish is baked in a Mayan native oven.
Food is also a moment of sharing experiences and conversation. You will always be in the company of a bilingual guide, so you will have the opportunity to ask the community about their history, customs and way of life.
There are other activities that you can combine with the cooking class with a Mayan community such as swimming in cenotes, tour to archaeological sites, etc.
Want to learn more about other tours in Cancun and the Riviera Maya?
Are you traveling to the Yucatan Peninsula? Tasting the local food is a must. It will be an unforgettable experience. We tell you all about it here.
Would you like to know more about Mexican cuisine? Here's a brief guide to the most outstanding Mexican dishes. You'll be delighted!
Tacos are the symbol of Mexican food. Let's discover together the variety of tacos, their ingredients and composition. It will be a delicious adventure!