Isla Holbox: A foodie’s guide to island life

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Isla Holbox is not only a secret dream vacation spot, but a gold mine for foodies. On my first visit to the island, I was shocked by the unique elevated dining options in such a rural area. To this day, the best meal I have ever had in my entire life was on this island. The options are endless and even the best of the best are affordable, making the luxurious eats even more desirable. Of course, when you are on island time, you have to be sure to fit in a little sunset happy hour. Most of the restaurants have a happy hour cocktail menu fit for a queen. Not only are they refreshing, but many of the drinks are outrageously unique. From a mid-afternoon strawberry mojito to an Irish coffee night cap with all of the amazing eats in between, your palette is possible to explode.

LUUMA Cocktail bar & Tapas

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Our favorite trendy spot for happy hour on the island is an outdoor cocktail and Tapas bar, LUUMA. When you step into the gates of Luuma, the open air space filled with couches and cushioned chairs transports you to a wonderland. I have never seen a specialty cocktail menu like theirs. Each drink is beautifully crafted and served in unique cups. Their tapas menu compliments the cocktail menu with unique small bites, many which are local to the island.

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The Tabla de Quesos cheese board is served on a large hollowed piece of wood. There were various cheeses, homemade preserves, jams, and crackers. It was the perfect starter to split between four people.  The spring rolls are a go to item no matter where we are, although they are NOT allergy friendly, I have tasted a few bites and they are divine. These are veggie spring rolls that you can dip in a sweet chili sauce. The perfect crunchy sweet combination. Occasionally they have specials, which are always the best thing on the menu. We tried the pork belly and oh.my.gosh. my mouth is watering just thinking about it. I am not a huge pork fan, but these had me thinking I should change my ways.

If you are like me and get bored while waiting you can pop into le bazaar boutique to pass the time while you await your drinks and appetizers.

Mandarina Seaside Restaurant Casa Los Tortugas

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I’m not going to lie, I have had the opportunity to experience a lot of fine dining, but Mandarina at casa los tortugas tops them all. The ambiance is nothing over the top. It is laid back beach side, lit with twinkle lights and lots of seats to enjoy happy hour in the sand. You cannot go wrong, whether you are just stopping in for drinks, dinner or a night cap. This restaurant is the best of them all. The food is fresh, elegantly displayed and downright delicious. Start with appetizers like the fresh vegetable salad, pork belly, or Truffle mushroom bread. Then try the fish of the day, lamb or even the pasta! Finish it off with an Irish coffee that is served with a show. From the first time I ate here till I returned this year, I counted down the days until I would be enjoying a cocktail beach side with the most delicious cuisine.

Restaurante Milpa

CALLING ALL FOODIES! Resturante Milpa is the place for you. From the drinks to desert, each dish is a piece of art perfectly crafted to perfection. The only downfall is that because it is an artistic experience based on presentation, they take very few guests. Be sure to make reservations as soon as possible and be prepared to spend about 2.5 hours enjoying your meal. The service is impeccable with each table waited on by the owner herself. Get in line with all the other Holbox visitors for the most beautiful island dining experience of a lifetime.

El Mangle @ Villas Flamingos

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Whether you are staying at Villas Flamingos or juSt want a laid back dinner, El Mangle is a great option. We spent most of our lunches eating here due to convenience and downright deliciousness. Their guac and ceviche are the best on the island, and I have heard (but avoided b/c #allergies) the pasta is pretty good too! Enjoy your dinner Oceanside under the stars or inside with a view. No matter where decide to indulge, you will be able to enjoy your company and the friendly staff.

El Sabor De Las Nubes

On days we wanted to leave the hotel for lunch but did not want to trek into town, we walked down to El Sabor for a change in scenery and menu options. Their oceanside covered porch dining is perfect when you need a break from Mr. Sun but still want to enjoy the sea breeze. Their menu is simple and great if you are just really wanting some american food, like a club sandwich or chicken salad. There  is something for everyone.

Casa Nostra Roof Restaurant

This covered rooftop restaurant Casa Nostra is great for a low key local night, but the food is far from that. The Italian style dishes are large and in charge. The owner prepares all of the meals himself. You can really taste the love he puts into each dish, yes I’m that cliche but my Tuna Filet seared to perfection warranted that comment. Not only does he prepare all of the dishes, but the owner comes out to make sure you are enjoying them as well. His passion behind his restaurant is evident in not only the quality of the food, but also the impeccable service.

La Botana

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Last, but not least, is good ole La Botana. This bar and restaurant is perfect for breakfast lunch or dinner. The restaurant is owned and run by three brothers, and one of our most favorite islanders. You can really immerse yourself in the towns culture when chilling out on the second story patio and you can guarantee you will find all of the locals hanging out here to watch the futbal game. This local restaurant prides itself on gourmet comfort food and specialty made drinks. Their avocado toast and nachos are insane and will leave your belly smiling for sure. Stop by for a chill afternoon and enjoy the energy spreading off of the Holbox square.

 

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