Coastal Yucatan

Salbutes

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Salbutes in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

What: These colorful Yucatecan antojitos consist of deep-fried tortillas (like tostadas) topped with shredded chicken (or turkey), tomato, chopped cabbage, pickled red onions, and avocado. They’re quite similar to panuchos, minus the refried beans inside. Like those, salbutes are very common on taqueria- and loncheria- (luncheonette) type menus, and perfect for a snack or light meal.

Where: On Isla Mujeres, we scored these salbutes from Taqueria Glenssy (Lopez Mateo at Hidalgo, map), a small stand that also offers quesadillas, tortas, tamales, empanadas, and the like.

When: Daily, 8:30pm-9pm

Order: You can get three chicken-topped salbutes for 50p here, and you will want all three: They’re absolutely delicious, the masa base nicely fried but not crunchy—a perfectly malleable vessel for a mouthful of savory goodness.  

Alternatively: Also on Isla Mujeres, try one of the loncherias outside Mercado Municipal Javier Rojo Gómez Centro, like Tacos Tumbras or San Martin (Vicente Guerrero betw. Lopez Mateos & Matamoros, map), or inside the market, at the excellent Loncheria Nic-Teha. In Playa del Carmen, swing by Loncheria Doña Mary (Calle 28 at 30 Avenida Norte, map), a great spot for local antojitos like these and panuchos. You might also try a great Yucatecan restaurant, like Labná (998-892-3056; Margaritas 29, map) in Cancún; we’ve also heard the street vendors near the ADO bus station in downtown Cancún are good bets for this. But if you see this on the street, anywhere—just get one. Chances are it’ll be worth your while.