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. So, today is the lucky day to answer this valuable question!
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.
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 a heavy expat circle or opt for a more local lifestyle, there is something for everyone here.
- 1 Mérida Mexico Facebook Groups
- 2 Mérida Mexico Restaurants, Cantinas and Neighborhoods
- 3 Mérida Mexico Coffee Shops
- 4 How to Meet Expats in Mérida Mexico Intentionally
- 5 Final Thoughts on How to Meet Expats in Mérida Mexico
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
- Coffee Club
- 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.
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.
How to Meet Expats in Mérida Mexico Restaurants and Cantinas TIPS
I HIGHLY recommend making a reservation as most of these at this time are reservations only.
Unquestionably, the most reliable source of information will be on Facebook.
Do NOT, I repeat, Do NOT rely on Google.
Expats LOVE to connect with other expats, especially in Mérida.
Above all, feel free to introduce yourself and find your commonalities.
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.
- Coffee Pop Up Events – Local shops hosting pop ups on various days and times. Notably, before Covid, this was an extremely active group. Understandably in the current time, it’s not as active. I’ve been notified that the coffee pop ups will resume very, very soon.
- 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, 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 Market – Every Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm – Arrive early for best selection!
The MOST Popular Events in Mérida for Expats
SUMMUS Catering Service Events (in my opinion)
SUMMUS Catering Service is a full-service catering company. They provide all the details to make an event memorable, including flower arrangements, tableware, rentals, music, and staff, plus an unmatched level of quality and simplicity. Hosted by none other than yours truly and Angel Rodriguez, noted for his incredible service, SUMMUS Catering Service has events regularly.
Here’s more about this great company (and of course, I am excited to be a part of this amazing team):
With a personal approach and the motto “details make memories”, SUMMUS focuses on small, intimate gatherings of 20 people or less.
With a wide variety of cuisine, from international to traditional and seafood, SUMMUS also caters to special diets and individual requests.
SUMMUS knows that both the magic and the memories are in the details and promise to provide a level of service and distinction that is simply unprecedented.
The SUMMUS Team
Executive Chef Roman Lazaro’s style exudes touches of his home state of Veracruz and his Oaxacan roots, along with dishes inspired by Mexican and Italian cuisine that showcase originality and innovation. He shared his chef’s secrets at the Yucatán book fair 2019 and garnered second place in the Club Sibarita 2020 Young Talent contest. Chef Roman brings 12 years of experience to SUMMUS.
As Operations Manager, Angel Rodriguez’s commitment is making clients feel like part of the family. “What we seek at SUMMUS is to create each event with a feeling of happiness and joy . . . the magic that happens when people connect and share stories over a wonderful meal,” states Rodriguez. Angel brings 16 years of experience to SUMMUS.
As a native of Texas and a former resident of Dallas, Amy Jones has extensive experience in the customer service industry. She brings her knowledge of unique concepts like pop-up dinners and Feng Shui to personalize the atmosphere of each event. Amy brings over 30 years of experience to SUMMUS.
Angel Rodriguez, Amy Jones & Roman Lazaro of SUMMUS Catering Service
- First Monday of every month – Chef’s Table. Promising to be one of the most memorable gastronomic experiences in Merida, get a sneak peak behind the scenes of one of Merida’s most popular chefs!Get comfortable at the Chef’s Table and enjoy watching and interacting with Chef Roman Lazaro. Capturing his childhood memories along with the flavors of Yucatan, Oaxaca and Veracruz, Chef Roman transmits love and warmth in each dish.
- Second, Third & Fourth Mondays – Happy Hour Tasting. An intimate event featuring dishes from Chef Roman’s private collection of delicious recipes. This mini-tasting happy hour will delight your senses. Sample a variety of cuisines with the unique flavors of Yucatan, Oaxaca and Veracruz. Guests are invited to interact with and watch Chef Roman in the kitchen as he transmits love and warmth into each delectable sample.
- One Friday per month – Underground Events. Underground Events sponsored by SUMMUS Catering Service, Life in Mérida and Mérida Mexico Tours. Each monthly event is unique and one of a kind. Events are held at surprise locations in Mérida with the address revealed to guests 24 hours in advance. You’ll meet expats, locals and other visitors in Mérida – learn local secrets and information.
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! Cheers!!!