There’s no doubt about it. It’s just a natural thing to want to connect with others who have been where you’ve been. Obviously, gaining knowledge from an expat’s experience is valuable. There’s also a level of comfort being able to connect with other from your home country. How to Meet Expats in Mérida Mexico is a question I’m constantly asked. Meeting expats can occur in restaurants, markets, grocery stores, and more.
Current statistics estimate that approximately 1,000,000 expats live in Mexico. In a country with almost 125 million people, that’s not alot. However, what you do need to consider is the expat community of your city of choice. According to several reliable online sources, the expat community in Mérida and the surrounding area averages about 10,000. Accordingly, in a city with just over 1,000,000 people, that’s not alot of expats either.
This article was updated in May of 2023.
Take into account, out of those 10,000 expats, about half are snowbirds who arrive for only a few months out of the year. One of the things I love about Mérida is that you can choose your community. Whether you want to be part of an expat circle or opt for a more local lifestyle, there is something for everyone.
Mérida Mexico Facebook Groups
Of course, this is kind of a no-brainer. BUT you’ll want to find the right expat group for you. Some are small and intimate like my group Life in Merida: Visitor & Resident Resources. Others are quite large like Merida Mexico Expat Community with 11,000 members. Then, there’s everything in between. There are even quite a few specialty groups that I’ll list for you too. I’m positively, absolutely sure you will find one or two that suits you.
In the search bar, type a variety of words along with Mérida in the title:
- Mexico Expats
- Yucatan Expats
- Food Hunt
- Non-Food Hunt
- Yucatan Builders Forum
Nevertheless, I think you get the idea – happy expat hunting on Facebook!
Calle 60 right across the street from Santa Lucia Park – Bengala Coffee is the small shop to the right of the pink building.
Mérida Mexico Restaurants, Cantinas and Neighborhoods
Centro is a heavily populated, visited area of Mérida. The charm of the colonial houses, pretty colors, variety of shops and restaurants are magnets for locals and visitors alike. How to Meet Expats in Mérida Mexico Restaurants, you ask? Visit the restaurants, cantinas and neighborhoods that are popular with expats. Again, I guarantee you will run into at least 1, 2, 3 or more with whom you can strike up a conversation and even a possible friendship.
Popular Restaurants in Mérida for Expats
- Hennesy’s – Located on the Paseo de Montejo. Visit their Facebook page for up to date information and live music calendar. This is probably the top hangout for expats.
- Rosas y Xocolate – Located on the Paseo de Montejo. A boutique hotel with a gift shop and a restaurant, Rosas y Xocolate has wonderful breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Unquestionably, sitting on their outdoor patio and watching the people and vendors on the Paseo de Montejo is an experience you don’t want to miss.
- Osteria Piccoli – Located on the Prol. Montejo, this delicious Italian restaurant features a special price menu every Wednesday night.
Popular Cantinas in Mérida for Expats
- Dzalbay Cantina – Located just a few blocks from Calle 60. Furthermore, this is probably the second most popular spot for expats. Dzalbay features live music 7 days a week. Check their Facebook page for their music calendar.
- La Negrita – Located just a few blocks from Calle 60. This cantina features live music as well where you’ll find a variety of ages, travelers, locals and expats.
Known for their incredible music, Dzalbay is a great location to meet expats in Mérida Mexico.
Popular Neighborhoods in Mérida for Expats
- Santa Lucia Park – Located on the corner of Calle 60 and Calle 55. This park has the only obelisk in Mérida. I love the old photos of the park and Mérida en la Historia Facebook Page has great information too.
- Plaza Grande – Located just down the street from Santa Lucia park on Calle 60 and Calle 61. Not surprisingly, find expats, vendors, locals, musicians, food, and much, much more. Line up with other visitors to take a photo on the big Mérida sign.
- Paseo de Montejo – Located in the center of the city running north and south. As well as a plethora of activities, sights and sounds, you’ll find this large avenue is the heartbeat of Mérida.
- Calle 60 – Located in the center of the city running north and south. Likewise, this is another high traffic area with restaurants, shopping, hotels, parks, museums, theatres, street vendors. Obviously, all ways on how to meet expats in Mérida Mexico.
These are the most popular neighborhoods in Centro where you’ll find many expats, tourists, visitors and locals.
Mérida Mexico Coffee Shops
For the love of coffee, you’ll have the opportunity to choose from over 100 local shops. I’ve found the best coffee and wonderful expats in many of the off-the-beaten-path coffee shops and cocina economicas around Mérida. Of course, this is going to be hit or miss BUT you’ll have an intimate setting for the perfect expat conversation.
Moreover, perhaps you have questions about retirement, how to start a business in Mérida or want to learn more about what’s happening with the almost-crazy Uber drivers here. Keep in mind, ask 10 expats a question and you’ll get 10 different answers. Clearly, it’s all about perspective.
Popular Coffee Shops in Mérida for Expats
- Starbucks – Several located all over the city. Just like any other large city, you’ll find a plethora of expats frequent the Starbucks. Especially the one located on the Paseo de Montejo.
- Marago – Located on the Paseo de Montejo. Admittedly, I like to go to local coffee shops vs. Starbucks. Chill vibes, amazing coffee and expats! Altogether, this is the trifecta.
- Bengala – Located on Calle 60, close to Santa Lucia Park. Not only do they have great coffee and a wonderful location, it’s almost a sure thing you will run in to at least one expat here.
Local coffee shops are great places to meet expats and they’re all over Mérida.
How to Meet Expats in Mérida Mexico Intentionally
Sometimes, I just don’t like to leave things to chance; particularly if I want to connect with other expats. Likewise, there are times when only an expat can empathize and understand my position. At times like these, I will actively search out how to meet expats in Mérida Mexico intentionally.
So, you might be wondering exactly what that means . . .
Popular Grocery Stores in Mérida for Expats
For example, when I need a particular spice and instead of asking the Facebook Mérida Food Hunt group, I approach someone in the grocery store. I don’t know about you but I’m kind of craving human contact after being cooped up for so long. For me, it’s much more satisfying asking a real live person if they’ve seen Meyer lemons that asking in a Facebook group. Do you feel me?
On any given day, at any given time, expats are in the following local stores:
- Costco – Located on Prol. Paseo Montejo. Well known for expats, find similar products you are used to in the U.S. While Costco Mexico is a different division, many of the same products are offered with the same quality.
- Wal-Mart – Located all over the city. My favorite is the City Center location but the newest one is located in the old Costco location in the north. Many expats frequent the location in Centro on the Paseo de Montejo.
- Sam’s Club – Located just south of Costco on Prol. Paseo Montejo. Personally, I’m not a fan of Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club BUT they do carry certain products you can’t find anywhere else.
- Slow Food Market – Located in the Garcia Gineres neighborhood – Calle 72. Absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, you’ll see a plethora of expats every Saturday morning at the Slow Food Market.
- Slow Food Norte – Located in the North at Parque Pista Roja. There are different vendors here than the original market.
Original Slow Food Market – Every Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm – Arrive early for best selection!
Final Thoughts on How to Meet Expats in Mérida Mexico
In conclusion, if you want to meet expats in Mérida Mexico now you have more than enough information to begin. I know it can be hard to meet new people but look at it this way . . . I’m an expat, you’re an expat (or thinking about being one) – let’s meet, chat, have a glass of wine and commiserate! OR let’s meet over Zoom – Cheers!!!