Isla Mujeres, Mexico Means GOOD Eats: Barlito and Rooster Cafe

I’ll repeat it because it is so true.  For such a small island (barely 5 miles in length), Isla Mujeres has some amazingly delicious eats.  It CERTAINLY helps that almost everything tasty that can be grown is grown in Mexico.  It’s a huge populous country with all sorts of altitudes and abundant sunshine.  As I always shout out –  VIVA LA MEXICO.  It’s one of my favorite countries in the world.  And certainly one of the most fun to visit.

In my last post, I ate gelato and at the gorgeous Mango Cafe located mid island.

IMG_3327Now let’s stay in El Centro, where you, if you are staying in a hotel, are most likely staying.  My very first morning there I woke up with a strong coffee craving.  The same craving I always wake with.  I left my hotel and walked and walked and walked.  6:45am and it was just me and the stray cats.

If you are a cat lover (or even liker), you are going to love the cats in Isla.  San Pedro has its beach dogs (the ones that follow you home at night to make sure you are safe and ask you to share your BBQ when you eat in the park), Isla Mujeres has a handful (or three) of street cats that lounge around like they own the place.  PARTICULARLY in the morning.

IMG_4019As I was about to have a no-caffeine freak-out because NOTHING WAS OPEN, I found Rooster.  And smelled coffee….ahhhhh….

And inside, this was all I needed to see.  Freshly baked muffins…a yummy coffee menu…

IMG_3998 IMG_3996

Desserted at 7:15…IMG_3999This sign sealed the deal.  Back tomorrow for breakfast.

IMG_3376And when I returned, it was better than I thought.  I am a HUGE fan of eggs benedict (I mean seriously…who isn’t?) and this selection is impressive.

IMG_4022

There’s also a ton of other delicious looking things on the menu.  Creamy oatmeal with a brulee top?  That sounds like heaven to me.  I went for the Mayan Benedict.  I ordered cappuccino and fresh baked Rosemary-Cranberry bread arrived.

IMG_4023

As you can imagine, I was incredibly happy.  And then my eggs benedict…I had already eaten some at this point…

IMG_4027

So yummy.  Rooster is my favorite favorite spot on Isla Mujeres.  I was ALMOST tempted to get a t-shirt.

IMG_4029

Oh yes…and the other side of the sign.

IMG_4001

I spent the morning at the beach with Tarzan (well…not actually speaking to him but NEAR him)…

IMG_3416

Sandy and hungry, I walked the pedestrian street back to my hotel and stumbled upon Barlito.  Sandwiches…mmmm….it’s one of the food groups that I crave most while living in San Pedro.  You can’t get a good cold deli sandwich.  Huge fresh salads?  Bagels?  This sign was speaking to me.

IMG_3434 IMG_3435Inside I met the owners (a couple from the US but both have been living on the island for over 10 years) and ordered this intriguing looking sammie special.  Daryl Adler, I later found out, is a local sea glass collector and artist.   Awesome.  Here’s his website:  Isla Mujeres Seaglass.  Apparently I need to return to the island for the monthly art fair to meet him and see his work.

IMG_3433In the meantime?  I can eat the sandwich.  Fresh delicious bread, HUGE and really really good but what I will be returning for is the beets.  I might travel to Mexico for these beets.  Not sure what they did to them…definitely some sort of balsamic glaze but they are like candy.  MAN…delicious.

IMG_2453

Barlito is a good place to chat with the owners, some expats that wander in, eat great food and watch the world wander by…

IMG_3431

Isla Mujeres has fantastic food.  No question about it.   You can eat cheap at the side street vendors or expensive (though not overwhelmingly so) at fancier restaurants.

You can do creative cocktails…

IMG_4002

You can do fresh seafood on the beachfront…

IMG_3307 You can do French or Italian or Cuban…

IMG_3986 IMG_3990 IMG_2448

 

What I’m trying to tell you is that you have SO MANY OPTIONS.  (This place below “La Tablita Hemingway” is a local bar worth seeking out if you want to hang with the locals…)

IMG_3992But for me, it was time to head to the Cancun airport and off to Providence, RI.  I’ll be back!

IMG_2457

Both Barlito and Rooster are located on Calle Hidalgo the main pedestrian thoroughfare.  And for those wondering about slow or low season closings, there are a few…but not many.  There are more than enough great restaurants for your to chose from…

IMG_3395

 

Let me know what restaurants I missed PLEASE!  I can’t wait to go back.

 

 

 




Be the first to get the Scoop AND receive my weekly newsletter...

  • Aaron

    Rebecca- We started following your blog last year when we traveled to San Pedro. Happy to see you blogging about Isla. We were staying at Villa Rolandi when you were there last month; it was funny to read your blog while staying at the hotel! And yes, Mango Café is one of our ‘must eats’ when we are on the island. Hopefully back to San Pedro next year. Love the blog.

    • Belize Blog

      Rolandi looks tres chic! I didn’t get a chance to stay there. Still waiting for an email with a SERIOUS discount! I love the island. Will definitely be back. So hard now to choose…Holbox…Isla Mujeres…my love, Tulum. Mexico is too good.

  • TarheelBornGal

    Oh yum! Isla just moved even higher on my “places to visit” list. Thanks!

  • Tiffany Yenawine Wareing

    Thank you for including Barlito! We are so happy you enjoyed your Daryl Adler Panini & beets. We hope you will return to the Island & visit us at our new location less than a mile from Centro on the bay at Marina Paraiso. We are still serving up our handmade NY Style bagels as well as yummy paninis on homemade bread! If you coordinate your next visit with the Artist Fair, we will see you around the first Thursday of the month! Hurry back!

    • Belize Blog

      Is that when the artist fairs are? Shucks! Flying out of Cancun on May 29th…not good timing! I loved your island. I can’t wait to come back. Come visit us! And bring bagels. Please!

      • Yes, the Artist Fairs are the first Thursday of every month from 4 to 9pm. I started them almost 3 years ago in front of Barlito but I was limited to 10 artists because I only had 10 tables. I proposed the idea to the Municipal in February of 2013 & the Fairs started in the town square that March. Now we are up to 75 participants including local & visiting artists, food vendors, non-profits & musicians. Now that I have some administrative help from the Municipal it will continue to grow & hopefully, reach my goal of 75% or more Mexican participants.
        I have lived on Isla for 12 years & have always worked so our traveling time is limited. I will have to live vicariously through you. I too am from NY (upstate) hence the reason we started making homemade NY Style bagels at Barlito. Growing up we had a bagelry in our neighborhood so after 7 years of living in Mexico craving bagels, I talked my husband into making them, being a sport fish captain from Arizona, he is way more patient than I am! If we ever make it your way, we will bring some bagels…our everything & sesame are seeded on both sides!!