Cancun may be best known for its All-Inclusive Resorts which fill their guests’ bellies with standard westernised versions of food from around the globe.
Sure they will probably have “Mexican” food at one, if not all, of the restaurants on offer. But did you know that real Mexican food bears little resemblance to meals served up in the USA, Australia, UK and so on?
Do not despair, for if you can convince yourself to get away from your All-Inclusive (What, but I paid good money to get here for the “free” food!) it is possible to find a few hidden gems offering great food at prices well below the usual tourist trap levels.
One such place is Pik Nik, an ordinary little place in a quiet sidestreet, with tables, chairs and umbrellas spilling out on to the sidewalk. I was specifically looking for it but walked past three times before I finally noticed the name. I’m very happy to have found it in the end.
High ratings on Tripadvisor can be a good or bad thing so I was a little apprehensive as we were seated. The menus were handed around, nothing fancy, just slightly worn, laminated cardboard, and drinks were offered.
We decided on our all time favourite Pina Coladas for the grownups, the “usual”, but backed them up with an offer too good to refuse… a 99 peso one litre Margarita. Now who wouldn’t want a giant frozen Margarita on a steamy Cancun day?
We ordered a range of meals to get a good sampling of what is on offer at Pik Nik. A variety of salsas, a selection of small tacos, and more. The servings were generous without rising to the mammoth proportions one expects north of the border.
And the service, as I have become used to in Mexico, very friendly but a little laid back at times. But who cares if they take a few extra minutes to get to you, you are on vacation in Mexico, do you really have somewhere you have to get to in a hurry?
We even had a lovely gentleman stop by our table and serenade my girls, the cynical may say he was praying on tourists, but I think is was a nice addition to our meal and a tip of a few pesos meant everyone went home happy.
In the unlikely event that I ever go back to Cancun (but that’s another story) then I would definitely be heading back to Pik Nik for another meal, and hopefully another huge Margarita!
Very good food, very good prices for a tourist town restaurant, and down to earth Mexican service. Pik Nik was a winner in our books. You will find Pik Nik on Calle Tulipanes just off Avenida Tulum.
Do you have any other restaurant recommendations in Cancun?