If you are staying in Xcalak and you like cooking, get a place with a kitchen. There aren’t many restaurants in Xcalak, and cooking for yourself is fun and saves money. When buying food in Xcalak you have a choice of a few restaurants, several small convenience stores, and the roving grocery trucks.
The convenience stores in Xcalak mostly carry processed snacks, soft drinks, and a few basics. It’s best to get groceries from the Chedraui mega-grocery/department store in Tulum on the way to Xcalak.
Your other option is to buy your food in Xcalak from a grocery truck. And let us tell you right now – the grocery truck is way more fun.
What is a “grocery truck” and how do I use it?
Without grocery stores in Xcalak, the locals rely on entrepreneurs who’ve outfitted their pickup trucks to carry a plethora of fresh and packaged goods. These grocery trucks ply the streets of Xcalak and the beach road most days of the week.
When the food truck stops outside your accommodation, you’ll hear a horn or a siren announcing its presence. Grab some pesos, a shopping bag, and head out to see what’s for sale.
Typical Grocery Truck Fare
- fresh vegetables like potatoes, cucumbers, onions, and peppers
- fresh fruit like mangoes, apples, pineapples, and cantaloupe
- fresh meat like chicken breast and ground pork
- fresh fish (in season)
- corn tortillas (sold by the kilo and ½ kilo)
- brand-name yogurt
- soda pop and chips
Warning – The meat sold from the grocery trucks is usually tied in a plastic bag and placed in a cooler with ice. Try not to let this old-school presentation freak you out.
Some grocery truck drivers speak English, and some don’t. You don’t need to be bilingual to buy from a grocery truck – the drivers know the English words for fruits and vegetables. As you buy food items, the driver will tally up the price on a calculator so you can see how much you’ll be paying.
Grocery trucks start out fully stocked, and the farther up the beach road your accommodation, the less will be available from the truck.
If you don’t see a particular item, be sure to ask. Those trucks can hold a lot more than you’d think at first glance.
Grocery trucks don’t stock everything – there are some things you should pick up on your way to Xcalak (the best place for stocking up is the Chedaui in Tulum). Buy a cheap cooler and some ice so that your perishables make it to Xcalak.
Before coming to Xcalak load up on:
- dairy products
- breakfast cereal
- sliced bread
- packaged meat (hot dogs, bacon)
Did you catch that last one? If your hotel doesn’t have an all-inclusive drink bar (and it probably doesn’t), be sure to stock up on your alcohol of choice before coming to Xcalak.
Note – In the high season more than just the regular grocery trucks ply the beach road selling their wares. Some of these tasty luxuries include fresh shrimp, fish, cheesecakes, and pizzas.