I'll admit, I didn't go to every coffee shop in Merida. Mainly because we didn't have a car and walked everywhere, but also because we were staying about a 25 min walk from Centro. That said, I tended to have coffee at home in the morning thanks to a bag of beans I bought from Bengala. If we were out wandering Merida in the afternoon I would try to find a coffee shop, but wasn't always lucky. Note: I did have a coffee from the Circle K one morning before anything was open. The coffee there certainly doesn't make the cut of "best coffee shops in Merida".
1. Bengala Coffee Shop
Bengala is the first coffee shop I visited in Merida. It's perfectly located across from a park (well, the location I went to is) and the service is friendly. The atmosphere is quiet and busy. All the tables are counter height, so you may not be able to sit there for hours on your laptop working, but why would you want to? Aren't you at Bengala for the coffee?
I got a pourover which came in a campfire cup which at first glance looks great and makes me think of camping, but isn't such a practical choice as the handle gets hot as...well, a campfire. So I let it cool and used the wifi and drank enough and got the rest to go and drank it in the park across the street.
When I returned the next time I purchased a bag of beans and a flask of cold brew to enjoy back at home in the hot afternoons.
2. Dilan Coffee Shop
I must admit that this was my favorite coffee shop in Merida by far. It felt totally unpretentious. Just two stools in a tiny storefront that is reminiscent of Blue Bottle before it became Blue Bottle, if you know what I mean. The espresso was immaculate. It's like that scene in Ratatouille when the critic sniffs the wafting aroma coming off the bowl and is transported back into his past where is mittens are drying on the radiator and the kitchen is all sunlight and cheer.
Except this is espresso and my mom never made me espresso as a kid. She did have iced black coffee in the fridge for those hot Cleveland summers and after playing basketball in the heat my brother and I would come home and just stand in the kitchen with the fridge door open and chug that shit. What can I say. We didn't have air conditioning.
The service here is personal because you are sitting a foot away from the staff. When we were there it just seemed like friends making coffee for friends. Not to be missed.
3. Cafe Condesa
I visited Condesa twice and had the espresso. I like that it's tucked away off the street in a shy little corner of the ground floor of an office building. There is a courtyard with a few tables that you can access from the street on boths sides. They have sandwiches and whatnot, but I stuck to the espresso. I'm told it's the same bean as the espresso at Dilan, only a different roast. It's this roast that makes Dilan stand out above this.
Not to mention that it was 25 pesos for an espresso, but when I ordered a "double" I was charged 2x the amount. Makes logical sense but this isn't the standard I'm used to. Especially when you don't actually get 2x the espresso. Still, it's good and small and local and shaded.
4. Manifesto Coffee
It was a hot walk back from a tour of Merida homes and gardens so it only made sense to swing by Manifesto for a cup of coffee. I got the cold brew to go and it came in a small squat cup with a short straw that was so fitting. We had to wait a bit to order while she made a sandwich for another customer and she was the only person working, but the air conditioning was strong and thankfully so was the coffee. Definately a must visit (if you drink coffee) and are vising Merida of course.
5. Tlahuasco Cafetería Centro
While not my favorite coffee shop in Merida, Tlahuasco Cafetería Centro was a good respite from the heat. I thought they had a patio but they don't, so the back room just ends in the kitchen where they prepare specials of the day. My iced coffee that Jill encouraged me to get came sweetened, which was an unwanted surprise. I like my coffee dark and strong. It was still good and did the trick.
Tell us: What are your favorite coffee shops in Merida, Mexico? I'm sure I missed a few, but the search is never over.