Progreso ’s restaurants are typical of Mexican seaside resorts: if you like freshly caught fish you’ve come to the right place—it’s hard to find much else.
Flamingos (Calle 19 at Calle 72, tel. 969/935-2122, 8 a.m.–midnight daily, US$6–12) serves big portions under a breezy palapa roof. Shrimp, fish fillets, and ceviche are the most popular, but you’ll also find brochettes, meat and chicken dishes, and even a few Chinese options. Nice views of the beach and waterfront.
Next door, Shark Restaurant (Calle 19 at Calle 72, tel. 969/935-2116, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. daily, US$6–15) is a somewhat newer, hipper place, specializing in seafood carpacho—a version of carpaccio made from thinly sliced fish, octopus, or conch served in an olive oil, vinegar, and white wine sauce. The restaurant also has shrimp, chicken, beef, and pasta options as well.
Le Saint Bonnet and El Viejo y El Mar (Calle 19 at Calle 28, tel. 969/935-2299, 8 a.m.–11 p.m. Sun.–Thu., until 1 a.m. Fri.–Sat., US$5–15) are sister restaurants right next to each other on the malecón. They keep the same hours (more or less) and share a menu of mostly international seafood: Try the three-person seafood platter or the filete de mero empapelado, fresh grouper baked in aluminum foil with shrimp. There are also pizza, pasta, and standard Mexican plates. Le Saint Bonnet has tablecloths and is a bit classier with live music Friday and Saturday nights, while El Viejo y el Mar caters to a slightly younger crowd with drink specials and DJ music Friday and Saturday nights. There also is a small swimming pool that guests of either place can use.
All the way at the east end of the waterfront, Viña del Mar (Calle 19 between Calles 60 and 62, tel. 969/934-4747, noon–8 p.m. daily, US$5–10) is worth the walk. The dining room is pretty plain, but the dishes are creative and tasty, such as the filete viña, prepared with a cilantro and chaya sauce, or the coconut shrimp made with fresh coconuts.
Lito’s II (Calle 23 between Calles 72 and 74, tel. 969/934-4383, 1 p.m.–1 a.m. Tues.–Sun.) is a downtown offshoot of the original Lito’s, a Progreso institution. The kitchen specializes in seafood, while the bar serves up a variety of beers and cocktails. Live music, often jazz, is featured Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.
Mercado Municipal (Calle 80 between Calles 25 and 27, 7 a.m.–3 p.m. daily) is a place where locals shop for their daily needs: fruits, veggies, fresh meats, clothes, toiletries, and other personal items. There are a handful of eateries offering cheap meals and snacks too.
Super San Francisco de Asis (Calle 80 between Calles 29 and 31, 7 a.m.–9 p.m. daily) is a large modern supermarket across from HSBC bank.