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<< back to foods in Coastal Yucatan


Panuchos from Isla Mujeres, Mexico

What: Panuchos are crispy fried tortillas—like delicate tostadas—stuffed with a schmear of refried black beans and topped with chopped cabbage, tomato, pickled red onions, avocado, and shredded chicken or turkey. The primary difference between this and a salbute, another common (masa-based) Yucatecan antojito, is the bean filling inside the tortilla. It’s a lovely, highly addictive bite of food.

Where: We found our early-morning panuchos on Isla Mujeres in the Mercado Municipal Javier Rojo Gómez Centro at Loncheria Nic-Teha (Vicente Guerrero betw. Lopez Mateos & Matamoros, map), one of several food vendors set up in a little enclave inside the market.

When: Daily, 7am-noon

Order: The panuchos, topped with cabbage, shredded chicken, a hunk of tomato, and a creamy slice of avocado, run 10p each here, a price at which you wouldn’t be faulted for ordering several. Or try some of the other delicious offerings here, like pollo de relleno negro, and be sure to pair it with one of the fresh jugos sold by the vendor across the way (see chaya).

Alternatively: Just outside the same market on Isla Mujeres, you might try Loncheria San Martin, which is usually open till about 5pm. In Playa del Carmen, Loncheria Doña Mary (Calle 28 at 30 Av. Norte, map) is locally beloved for antojitos like panuchos and salbutes. Elsewhere, you’ll find these on most of the Yucatecan-restaurant menus around here, like the esteemed El Faisan y El Venado (Carretera Federal at Calle 2 Norte, map), off the highway in Playa del Carmen, where it’s markedly pricier but comes with your choice of turkey, pork, or relleno negro on top. You can also find this at street stands all across the Yucatán, so keep your eyes peeled!

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