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29 Margaritas , (next to City Hall)
Cancun , Mexico

Under a 30-foot vaulted ceiling, a mural depicting the once-ascendant treasures of the Yucatán—pyramids, rainforests—sets the mood for a journey into a culture through its food. This moderately upscale spot (black-and-white tile floor, softly lit white tablecloths) attracts locals and tourists serious about both eating and history; trademark Mayan dishes, often flavored with the spice achiote, take center stage. But the real gems are little-known Yucatecan dishes like panuchos, crispy tortillas with black-bean paste, as well as the fish that were swimming in the Caribbean just hours before. Go on a weekend afternoon to listen to a guitar trio while enjoying the sampler Yucatecan Tour combo.

Insider Tip: The requisite chips come with killer salsas, including pumpkin seed, habañero, and chunky tomato with Mayan spices. For a satisfying $5 lunch, simply add the side dish sopa de lima—tangy lime soup with shredded chicken and fried tortillas.

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