Restaurante Maya (Av. Independencia at Av. Hidalgo, tel. 916/345-0042, www.mayarestaurante.com , 7 a.m.–11 p.m. daily, US$4–12) is an old standby, with bright tablecloths and a mural of Palenque  on the back wall. Reputation lets it get away with somewhat inflated prices, but the location facing the plaza is good and the meals—standard chicken, fish, and beef dishes—reliable. A classy sister restaurant of the same name in the La Cañada neighborhood has similar fare plus live marimba music most nights.
Las Tinajas (Calle 20 de Noviembre at Calle Abasolo, 7 a.m.–11 p.m. daily, US$5–10) is one of the better options in town. In addition to standard fish, chicken, and beef dishes, there are also pasta dishes, sandwiches, and salads. The main dining area is right on the corner with tables looking onto both streets. Portions are hefty—jarras (pitchers) of fruit drinks are a good deal for the very, very thirsty.
Lakan-Ha (Av. Juárez btwn. Calles Abasolo and Independencia, 7:30 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, US$4–10) is a breakfast favorite, with a variety of inexpensive combo plates, but it can be counted on for a decent, reasonably priced meal anytime. The pleasant dining room is on the 2nd floor, away from the hubbub on Avenida Juárez.
If you’re tired of Mexican food, Pizzería Palenque (Av. Juárez near Calle Allende, tel. 916/345-0332, 1–11 p.m. daily, US$8–15) offers decent pies in a breezy locale. The selection is standard pizzería—vegetarian, meat lovers, Hawaiian—so you’re sure to find one that’s appealing, or at least familiar. Delivery is available.
In La Cañada, the restaurant at Hotel Xibalba (Calle Merle Green 9, tel. 916/345-0411, 7 a.m.–10:30 p.m. daily, US$4–12) has a variety of vegetarian, Italian, and Mexican dishes, all well prepared and graciously served. The heavy wood tables and chairs are set up somewhat incongruously in the hotel’s reception area, but it remains a peaceful, low-key spot. In high season, the restaurant across the street occasionally has live marimba music, which can be heard quite well here (and on the entire block, for that matter).
Also in La Cañada, Cafetos Café (corner of Calle Merle Green and 6a Calle Pte., 7 a.m.–11 p.m. daily, US$2–8) is technically part of Maya Tulipanes, but isn’t your typical hotel coffee shop. Stainless-steel tables and chairs, free Wi-Fi, and a long menu of drinks, sandwiches, and other snacks—not to mention a separate corner entrance—give it a youthful, independent air.
On the highway next to the Super Che grocery store, Plaza Chulavista (5a Av. Nte. Pte. at Hwy. 199, no phone, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. daily) is a tiny commercial center with a food court on the 2nd floor, including a coffee shop and pizza place. More importantly, it’s air-conditioned and has public restrooms and a small indoor children’s play area (up to five years old)—it’s not much, but the only such place in town.